Etsy 2019 Free Shipping Policy Is Bull And Unfair

I got an email from the CEO of Etsy this
morning oh yeah did you get one too oh yeah yeah
I have some feelings hi everybody Clee here alright guys this is not gonna
be a typical Rafi and klee video in fact this is not even gonna be a typical Rafi
rant this is gonna be a bonafide clear and clear so I’ve been selling my
jewelry on Etsy for about eight years and in that time I have been a huge
advocate for and supporter of Etsy and everything they do for small business
I’ve recommended Etsy two hundredths no probably
thousands of fellow makers and I’ve only had the most positive things to say
about Etsy until today today an email was sent out introducing a new campaign
which is asking American Etsy sellers and international Etsy sellers that do
business with the United States to do something which frankly I simply cannot
get behind Etsy has asked us asked us to begin offering free shipping on any
orders of $35 or more shipping to a destination within the United States
they’re calling it the free shipping guarantee free shipping hearin bullcrap
sounds awesome right well here’s the thing there are numerous problems with
this in other words a lot of problems we’re gonna get through all the problems
that I’ve come up with so we’re gonna try to move quickly through this
problematic clusterf luck yeah thanks Etsy for the problematic cluster okay
let’s start with the obvious first of all $35 is a very low minimum to be
offering free shipping I have pretty low shipping costs compared to a lot of
sellers my stuff is small I typically spend about eight dollars to ship a
package I charge my customer four dollars and I absorb the other four
dollars I offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more you spend a hundred
dollars in my shop I got you covered on shipping we good
now if I sell an item for $35 with free shipping and I eat that $8 that
essentially means I’m giving a 23 percent discount on those items every
time forever in addition to paying the fees that I OSC so just how long can I
keep up this business model that business model my shipping is not even
close to that cheap yeah exactly I’m one of the lucky ones who has very
low very predictable shipping costs poor saps like Rafi who sells large works of
art and people trying to sell 200-pound armoires they’re really getting screwed
here no worry says I see you’re gonna benefit
long term from the increased number of sales yeah cool perhaps that’s the truth
if we managed to stay in business that long Rafi what’s your average shipping
cost for like 30 by 30 painting 30 by 30 painting well considering that our
country is rather large the average shipping cost for that could
be anywhere between 40 to $100 so you’re comfortable just eating that for
breakfast no no no you don’t want a big ol bowl of 40 to $100 loss Tio’s no no
no no didn’t think so okay let’s move on why don’t we just not participate
problem solved right wrong wrong here’s the kicker guys Etsy is strongly
encouraging participation in this new shipping campaign by implementing the
following policy which I’m going to read to you verbatim so there’s no mistake
starting on July 30th 2019 we’ll give priority placement and us search results
to items that ship free and to shops the guarantee free shipping to us buyers on
orders of 35 or more this means that shoppers in the US will
primarily see items that ship free and shops the guarantee free shipping on
orders of 35 or more in the top and most visible rows of search will also begin
to prioritize these items wherever Etsy advertises in
the US and email marketing social media and television ads you will be at the
bottom of the pile and those who comply will be raised and elevated Rafi yep
could you please define coercion for me coercion the practice of persuading
someone to do something by using force or threats oh yeah thanks sexy okay
let’s pause here I’m not saying Etsy is using coercion
tactics but I’m not saying that they’re not I’m saying they are it’s more like
they’ve made us an offer that we can’t refuse hey I make you an offer you can’t
refuse do you want a big old stallion head in your bed unless we want our shop
to swim with the fishes so at this point I went to the Etsy help
forums and Etsy had the following to say don’t worry we don’t expect you as the
seller to pay the extra shipping cost in the next week we’re releasing a tool
that will help you to simply roll the extra cost into your item prices to help
recoup the loss offer free shipping that’s not in fact free because now it’s
gonna be a hidden cost in our item prices that’s just downright dishonest I
do not it will not ever roll hidden costs into my item pricing that’s just
dastardly and downright deceptive yeah that is not that that’s not cool that
really is not cool no I really like the carefully chosen wording they used here
though roll the extra cost into your item pricing Etsy be like guys it’s not
morally corrupt okay we’re not asking you to slap extra cost or even tack it
on just roll it just just roll it into your just roll it it’s really more like
a gentle breeze just rolling that extra cost into your item pricing it’s more
like just tucking it neatly into your item part it’s really like you’re giving
the customer a gift that is funny they’re like we’re not asking you to do
anything wrong just tell them it’s free it’s not a moral
gray area just roll it in and give the illusion of free shipping you don’t even
have to be a rocket scientist to understand that this is not good
business practice let’s say hypothetically that I’m willing to roll
this extra $8 of cost into my item pricing so henceforth all my items are
$8 more expensive what about you Rafi what am I supposed to do it will am I
gonna go with the $40 where am I gonna go with 120 dollars of shipping if it
costs $40 for you to ship a painting to one location and it cost 120 dollars to
ship the same painting to a further away location what do you add to the painting
forty or a hundred and twenty in addition if I raise my prices on Etsy
that means I have to raise my prices across the board because I want my
prices to be consistent whether you buy it from my Etsy store or from me in
person or from one of the galleries where I show my work so if you come see
me at a local market and you buy a piece of jewelry from me you’re gonna pay me
an extra eight dollars just to hand it to you handling charge you’re welcome I
know what we’ll do let’s just skip to the end of this path of destruction and
make everything a million dollars 1 million u.s. dollars for everything from
here on with free shipping ok let’s talk about buyers outside of the US who
currently make up about 25% of my online business you guys you guys are really
getting screwed in this scenario not only do you have the higher item cost to
contend with but you don’t get the free shipping guarantee which essentially
means you’re paying higher item prices and the shipping so basically you’re
paying for shipping twice to get your item sounds like a really good deal
right not to mention international sellers who are doing business with the
United States who already have tremendously high shipping cost Etsy
went on to explain and I quote online shoppers expect free shipping everywhere
they go Etsy is no exception but apparently only American buyers because
you international buyers aren’t included in this so let’s edit that statement
American online shoppers expect free shipping everywhere they go
Etsy is no exception for these people that they’re talking about that expect
free shipping like right I am an American and I don’t ever expect free
shipping for the stuff that I order who are these mysterious American consumers
that expect everything they buy online to arrive safely at their homes
magically for free as far as I know Santa Claus is not a viable shipping
option 364 days out of the year people is there a secret postal service out
there delivering packages out of the goodness of their hearts SC went on to
say that 20% of shoppers don’t complete an online order because of shipping
costs well you want my jewelry but you don’t want to pay the shipping charge
for it to get it to your house I’ll send you a picture of it free of charge or we
will secretly actually charge you for the shipping I tell you that it’s free
right right because that’s the new regime and finally Etsy went on to say
that we need to embrace this new policy in order to stay competitive with
e-commerce and big-box markets I joined at sea because it was the antithesis of
the big-box market it was all about quality and the human element behind the
goods makers artists artisans jewelers uniqueness the little guys if I wanted
to throw all that out the window I would approach big-box stores with my designs
and buyers do you really want the lie of free shipping with a bunch of hidden
costs or do you want real pricing with real shipping cost with transparency and
decency and business practices I think what’s happening is that we’re battling
Amazon Prime and we shipping we do not talk about Amazon Prime Amazon handmade
though it shall not be named yeah but do they get free shipping
good question Rossi that was my next question
who are these online retailers that are offering free shipping
don’t say Amazon Prime don’t you dare say Amazon Amazon does not offer free
shipping I know because we have Amazon Prime we pay 100 plus dollars a year to
get our free shipping no time am i under the delusion that the shipping is free
we’re just paying for it all at once for the convenience of it so who is offering
free shipping on orders of $35 or more if not Amazon not Poshmark not Vitacost
not any of the art supply stores that we buy our art supplies from not Walmart
not Target not Best Buy the answer is no one I can think of
we are not big-box we don’t have our own personal fulfillment center to process
and ship orders on the cheap if you think that this is the way of the future
then perhaps you guys should cover the shipping costs yes I don’t want to end
this rant on a sour note of hopelessness and despair
what can we artists and makers and business owners do about this I decided
to do this rant so that you like me can process this information and make a
decision about what to do I’m a small business owner and I don’t want anyone
telling me how to run my business especially if it goes against my moral
compass if that means that I put my efforts into some other e-commerce
platform then so be it we makers are the blood running through
the veins of Etsy and they need us and we don’t need them very true you’re here
it’s like a train / going straight down the tracks of voicing our opinion so I
submit that we get the word out about this questionable decision so that
everyone makers and shoppers alike can take a moment and decide where we stand
perhaps I’ll move my upper outside of Etsy perhaps if we share our
honest opinions and concerns we might get Etsy to reconsider
perhaps if we all band together we can stop this from happening at all
perhaps I’ll try my absolute best to offer free and discounted shipping and
see how it works out but one thing that I will never ever do is roll hit and
cost into my pricing to try to recoup my losses and screw over my buyers one
thing I will never do is sacrifice my ethics and morals to try to make a few
extra bucks what are you gonna do about this just be honest and upfront with
people let them know this is how much it cost to ship I will give you free
shipping if it is this much but don’t try to do hidden costs so basically you
didn’t have all your eggs in the AXI basket one might even say you only had
one gleaming egg yeah in the etsy bath one gleaming egg so Etsy pulling this
deal this rug out from underneath me is not a big impact because most of my
business comes from my own site not through Etsy but for people that really
rely on that Etsy business this is this is really screwed up so I want to hear
your thoughts on this fellow artists makers online shoppers and any of you
that are on Etsy what do you make of this and what do you plan to do and
that’s it you guys obviously this is not the typical Rafi and CLE video but this
was something that was very important to us to talk about I don’t think we went
full-on pitchfork but thanks for sticking with us yeah ultimately I don’t
know what I’ll decide to do and I think whatever we choose as individuals is
fine but one thing that I could not do was sit quietly and take it let’s see
what did you become the man right when did this happen
at she’s back there with a cardboard mustache like so you guys please leave
your comments in the comment section below thank you so much you guys you
guys are absolutely awesome Rafi and I as always totally adore you and if you
liked this and you want to watch more like this click right over here to
subscribe and that’s it say goodbye Rafi ah good

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