ETSY! Free Shipping ISN'T FREE. Stop this campaign & support your small businesses.
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Etsy, for over ten years you have been the best place to purchase handmade and vintage items on the internet. And while no one has loved every change, most changes have been acceptable or defendable. Your campaign to push sellers into offering free shipping is not.
Free shipping IS NEVER FREE. If the customer is not paying for shipping, it means your small businesses must pay the cost, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in shipping per year. Most cannot afford this - they will have increase their product price to cover the cost. This means absorbing that shipping cost when an item is returned. And the practice may price some sellers out of their market. Free shipping has a high cost.
Shipping SHOULD NOT BE FREE for handmade pieces, custom work, vintage and antiques. It should not be free when the business shipping sells only 50, 100, 1,000 or 5,000 items a year. What about International sellers? What about sellers that carry heavier items? What happens to the potter? To the small furniture maker? To the seller of heavy winter coats or fragile, antique glass? These sellers will be disproportionately disadvantaged. They cannot offer even the illusion of free shipping.
Etsy customers understand that they are buying from small businesses. They respect us and say they are willing to pay for shipping. Your pressures using search result algorithms, the free shipping contest, and the obvious risk of exclusion from related holiday promotions feel aggressive and abusive. Free shipping should remain an option for sellers who wish to use it, but there should be no effect on the search algorithm, or on inclusion in promotions.
Prove you are still there to support and grow the small businesses that make up what Etsy is, and remove your campaign to create a site of Free Shipping. Your small businesses deserve better.
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