Etsy Free Shipping Does Work - Not for me.

Handmade Wood Spider Puzzle sitting on my Black & Decker Workmate in my Toymakers Shop

I don't have a noncopyrighted Etsy photo to add to this post, so here is a spider puzzle almost completed and will be added to my Etsy shop soon.

My Etsy Shop

Etsy free shipping does not work for my shop. I lost money and could not detect any measurable difference in views or sales. Since there is no way to know that the sales from the Etsy ads are not sales, I would have got it anyway. I see no benefit to turning it on.
Less than 28% of my shop views come from Etsy. 

I had the ads turned on for a while. I lost money. For example, customers would buy a $30 item and a $6 item. The $6 item was essentially free. But it gets worse. Most of my items ship USPS First Class Mail, If someone buys two items and the weight goes over 16 ounces, I have to ship USPS Priority Mail. Now the shipping cost that was $5 is $10. Doing a little math, I figure that once I subtract all the fees and shipping costs, my share is now around $20. I turned it off.

Does it help sales? 

I collected data in a spreadsheet for a year for this and other reasons. Now I have actual numbers to look at and turn free shipping back on. It had no measurable effect on page views or listing views. I had free shipping turned on for a couple of months, and the same thing started happening, and since I don't have an Etsy Shop to give things away, I turned it off.

I set up several listings where I included the shipping cost and added a shipping profile for free shipping. I tracked this for several months. Free shipping made no measurable difference, so I removed it. 

The only way I could get Etsy-style free shipping to work for me is to raise all my prices to greater than $35 and include the shipping cost in the price. I would also have to drop listings that I can't sell for these kinds of prices. Most of my best-sellers are in this category.

Less than 5% are from Etsy ads. I think it is less than this because I think Etsy takes credit for views that do not come for their ads. They take credit for all the hits from Google, for example. Turning on the free shipping option made no measurable change in this number.

At this point, I asked myself, do I want to deal with customers that believe shipping is free? My answer is no.


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