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Etsy salespeople are not happy with the platform, pushing them to offer free shipping

Today, Etsy announced that it will start prioritizing goods and stores offering free shipping and sellers are not enthusiastic. From July 30, Etsy will prioritize placement in US search results for items shipped for free and for stores that guarantee US buyers free shipping on orders of $ 35 or more. An email sent to sellers of the company's CEO advises them to include the freight costs in their retail prices, a change that many vendors on the platform, focusing primarily on handmade art and small business goods, are having problems.

Etsy justified the decision by saying that Etsy buyers are 20 percent more likely to buy free shipping goods. But the news has provoked a passionate response from both sellers and buyers on Twitter and at Q & A about the announcement on Etsy forums currently receiving over 1

,300 responses.

Implementation of fixed shipping fees in pricing can pose a challenge to international vendors delivering worldwide. Cambridge-based artist Katie Fuller, who runs his Etsy store since 2015, says that including the freight costs in her products would put her at a disadvantage. "If I [raise my prices] then I will make my prices uncompetitive to customers elsewhere. Most of my customers are in the UK, it would not make sense for me to do so, so it sounds like I can wave goodbye to my US sales. "

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman acknowledged that change may be difficult for some sellers in a Business Insider interview and said," We know this is going to be a lot for sellers to absorb – It's a real change in how they think about pricing. " The new policy is primarily written for an American audience, but Silverman & # 39; s letter includes a line to bring more support to international sellers: "We will continue to invest in your success by increasing our digital marketing efforts to bring more buyers from the UK to Etsy. " An Etsy spokesman told The Verge that the company begins with the United States, its largest and most mature market for now, and provides guidance to international freight strategies in the meantime for non-US sellers.

A good portion of the listings on the first page of the search results already has free shipping and buyers can turn on & # 39; free shipping & # 39; change to find items they do not have to pay extra shipping to. The new policy, when it comes into effect at the end of this month, shows a majority of goods with free shipping on search results, in the most visible top rows. Etsy also says it will prioritize these products in its ads, via email marketing, social media and television.

"Most of us are small businesses – we are not Amazon or eBay, we cannot compete with" the rest of e-commerce "and it will not make sense for us all to absorb our freight costs into the total price, "says Fuller. "But Etsy will punish us for that."

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