Was Etsy Too Good To Be True?

by MR Magazine Staff

As a stockholder, Jeni Sandberg loves Etsy. As a vintage homegoods purveyor selling midcentury glassware and linens on Etsy’s platform, she can’t help but feel like she’s being played. In July, the company announced it would be encouraging sellers to offer free US shipping on all orders over $35. Or rather, it announced that sellers who didn’t offer free shipping would be de-prioritized by the site’s highly competitive search algorithm, which — on a platform with more than 60 million things to buy — can be the difference between regular sales and functional invisibility. There was a good argument for the new policy on the company’s end: Right now, customers add things to their cart and balk at shipping costs, then bounce from the site for good. We, as a consuming public, do not like to be forced to reconsider. We don’t stand for being disappointed even for a moment. We are, frankly, skittish. And people who make lightweight products — jewelry, pins, embroideries, T-shirts — can afford to eat a couple of dollars in shipping cost if it’s going to boost their sales overall. Read more at Vox.