Etsy Shocks Sellers with Fee Updates

Posted by on Jun 15, 2018 in Copywriting | 3 comments

Etsy Shocks Sellers with Fee Updates

Yesterday, a collective sigh (and in some cases, scream) went up from the Etsy community. When I opened my email, I wasn’t expecting an update from Etsy and I certainly wasn’t expecting such a large reaction when I shared the direct links on my Facebook page and VIP coaching group. Long story short, Etsy is rolling out some updated fee schedules in an attempt to convince sellers that they will be getting more robust seller tools. While I am refraining from commenting with my opinion until more information is known, the opinions of my followers came through loud and clear.




Some sellers went so far as to say they were up and leaving Etsy right then and there! If you follow my blog with any regularity, then you know I am of the mindset to watch and wait before changing any recommendations or setting anything in stone. Like most things with Etsy, we don’t have the full story quite yet and it’s barely been 24 hours since that polarizing email went out to the two million sellers. So, the purpose of today’s blog is not to stoke the fires of confusion or anger, but rather to isolate the main changes set forth by Etsy and to encourage you to move forward with an open mind and an open heart. For now, at least.

Here are some of the statistics that Etsy shared on its site yesterday:

More than 34 million people who love to shop for something special

Every day, we bring shoppers to Etsy who are looking for something they can’t find anywhere else: something special. More than 34 million* of them have made a purchase in the past 12 months. This year, we’re working to bring sellers like you even more.

Spending big on online advertising

Last year, we invested $78 million in marketing to bring buyers to Etsy, the most we’ve ever spent. We plan to increase that investment by at least 40% to more than $110 million in 2018.

Etsy is making its primetime debut

Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson will be introducing our global marketplace to a primetime television audience as a judge on Making It, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s new crafting competition show on NBC, which premieres July 31. And don’t touch that dial! We plan to have our first television ads in the United States air nationally during the show.

Building buzz and bringing you buyers with sales events

With online sales events like the World of Etsy in April and Etsy’s 13th Birthday, which starts on June 18, we’re helping more shoppers discover the creative products that make our marketplace unique.

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? These are some of the reasons why they feel that it’s now time to push forward with increased prices. I can’t say I blame them entirely. If they really are going to be upping the marketing on behalf of the website, that means the potential for more traffic to you. Whether or not that will be the reality is yet to be seen. Now what about these fee schedules? What can you expect in the coming months?


That’s the big one. At first glance, I don’t consider a 1.5% increase to be that dramatic. After all, we all have to update our own prices as sellers as the market changes and grows. What is a big deal, however, is that this increased fee will also apply to shipping charges. For sellers outside of the domestic US or for sellers who have expensive shipping charges, this has the potential to eat into profits in a very real way.


Subscription packages are also being introduced as early as July! The Plus subscription will start at $10/month but will bump up to $20/month in January 2019 whereas the pricing for the Premium subscription hasn’t been made public yet.

While there is much more to go into, I am suggesting sellers simply watch as the updates are rolled out while considering how Etsy fits into their marketing scheme. This is the perfect time to reevaluate your business strategies and consider other places you can position your brand. The value of a website is immeasurable and you can still sell on social media channels so don’t give up quite yet.  To round out your education on what we know now, I would highly encourage all sellers to inform themselves of the latest changes and review the original article directly from Etsy here:

In summary, we still have much to learn about these new updates. If you can weather these changes, you’ll be in a much stronger position as your competitors fade away but if you submit to the fear of uncertainty, you’ll be powerless to adapt to the changing business landscape.


  1. 11-27-2018

    What I’m seeing, 2 sales in to the new fee structure, is that I’m being charged both the old rate of 2.5 on Etsy Payment sales AND a 5% “transaction” fee on the sales price AND shipping, not to mention that they’re automatically deducting fees that once were billed separately. So I’m barely making anything.

    It’s actually a lot more complicated than Etsy initially let on. They’ve really soft-pedaled the truth of the real effects on sellers financially. A lot of news reports have said the fee changes aren’t really awful; they’re just charging 5% and rolling in shipping, INSTEAD of 3.5, but they’re actually stacking the two, not merely substituting one for the other. I was as shocked as anyone & thought it was a mistake, but cust support stands by the 2 charges & only says in effect, we warned you. They made a mess of the rollout in my opinion & that’s their weak response.

    I’ve gone through & raised all the prices in my shop by at least 5-10%. I guess the moral of the story is that we’re going to be forced to raise our prices to preposterous levels and then run a lot of faux sales to make customers think they’re getting a deal, like every other retailer now. It’s not a model I chose to follow starting out.

  2. 6-15-2018

    I come from retail and weathered, as an employee, many changes. Some felt like an idiot in the ivory tower needed to make their mark, others were actually brilliant. I am very excited about the advertising, so I will be watching to see how their efforts go. I’ve also done my research and tried other markets … without having a large loyal customer base I believe Etsy is still the best option. So take heart all Etsy sellers! Changes are normal in retail and I think your advice is spot on(I was one who wasn’t really that concerned so I’m trying to be comforting haha)

  3. 6-15-2018

    I agree with you, the 1.5% isn’t what is so bad. What bugs me most is they are doing just like eBay and feeing the shipping, which to me doesn’t even sound legal although I’m sure it is or the 2 biggies wouldn’t be doing it. But for anyone charging exact shipping by weight, it’s taking money away from us so this is definitely not encouraging people to lower shipping rates, imho. I never went to weight-based on Etsy but I will be revisiting my shipping prices due to this change. Thanks for any coming updates or insights, always appreciate your posts even though I don’t think I’ve ever replied.

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