Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Etsy Venture - This order is only flying national!

My Etsy basket is always a bit on the full side, but that's ok. This girl needs time to make up her mind before she hits the order button. Being more of a prudent buyer than a spur of the moment kind of shopper has its advantages too. You'd be surprise how often I've been rewarded with unexpected sales on items I've been eyeing for a while. Lately though I came to realize that maybe, in some cases, I should have decided sooner. Preferably before the price hike in postage rates in the US.

I've already read about the new and astronomical rates on other blogs, and I also noticed that many sellers have adjusted their shipping rates accordingly. Now imagine my surprise when I revisited my basket and saw that some of the pieces there were suddenly not available anymore. At least not for international shipping. Now why would a US-based sellers decide to only ship nationally from one day to the next? I dare blame it on those high rates, which in some cases practically doubled.

Not as though these sudden restrictions make all that much sense. After all, many buyers will pay those higher shipping rates, because they really want to own a certain handmade piece they've laid eyes on. So maybe my assumption is wrong, then again it seems like a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

Apart from my basket having been emptied of some seriously cute stuff, the point is that this makes the lives of US Etsy sellers a whole lot tougher. I mean how to go on about it? You can't just swallow part of the costs you pay for shipping simply because you're scared of loosing customers. There is no easy way out here. Especially uninformed buyers will complain, I'm sure of that.

Now is there a way around those dreaded shipping fees? Not really. But on a more positive note - I am obviously one step ahead with my own shop plans (despite not living in the US, trust me, shipping fees in Austria are even worse) - selling image file downloads instead of sending actual art prints. Let's face it, it's cheaper (and faster) to have your photo of choice printed conveniently at home, or in lack of a decent printer, at your local print shop.

That said, there's still a lot of preparation ahead of me, so my shop may open in April, probably on April 1st. And that, my dear readers, is not a joke!


  1. I did not raise my shipping fees even though postage rates went up. In most cases, it's not a problem. But I shipped some blankets to a cousin in Canada, and since she's family I covered shipping- it was almost as much as what she paid for the blankets! EEP!

    1. If shipping to Canada is that bad, you better not check rates for sending stuff overseas. On a different note, I read in the Etsy forums that you even have different shipping rates within the US. Someone mentioned that sending something to California would be a lot more expensive than to any of the other states which I find pretty weird.