If you're a seller on Etsy, this past week you were also on the receiving end of those lovely little, HERE'S HOW WE PLAN TO RUIN EVERYTHING emails. First, Etsy announced it was saying "SEE YA!" to Etsy Wholesale. While we were only a part of EW for a year and a half, it was definitely a big help in getting us paired with boutiques both near and far. We love the partnerships we've made, and we will make it even easier and personalized for them to continue to work with us.
But if you're another shop owner saying WHAT THE HELL here's my advice. We joined Indigo Fair a few months ago, and we love it. While we haven't gotten a ton of traffic (yet), we are very very hopeful and love what we've seen so far. It's worth applying, and reapplying if they say no the first time. They try to keep their marketplace balanced between buyers and sellers so that everyone can make money. And there's no hidden fees. They don't make money unless you make money. And it's not shady. (Looking right back at you, Etsy, my dear.)
Other than that, our biggest success in acquiring new retail partners has honestly been "cold-emailing." We have a fun, personalized email that I tailor to each store I approach. And I do a ton of research *ahem* stalking before I even reach out. It's time consuming, but it has a higher success rate than anything I've ever done before, including Etsy Wholesale. Just sayin, it's worth a shot if you haven't tried it before. And the worst that will happen is they won't respond. Coming from someone who used to actually cold call for a living, that's way better than getting a physical door shoved in your face.
After the EW announcement, I think we all assumed the announcements were over. BUT WAIT, NOPE. Etsy then announced they were increased their fees from 3.5% to 5% AND including shipping in that fee structure. I think we were all expecting a fee increase. After all, Etsy hasn't increased their fees for 13 years and 3.5% is pretty low. But the announcement of including shipping in the new fees was more than a little baffling to me and the Twitterverse. I don't understand how Etsy feels like they should attach a fee onto shipping, as most of us aren't actually making money on shipping/processing fees. And the fact that you don't even technically have to use Etsy to ship, yet will still pay the fee, well, it's kind of shitty.
Finally, Etsy announced the new monthly subscription plans. When I first saw that section of the email, I misread and thought Etsy was actually starting to charge in general. So when I went back and saw that it was optional, it was a little less of a blow. I think the obvious concern is that those who opt in will be more likely to be featured and show up in search results. That being said, I thought the same thing when Etsy started offering paid advertising, and it never affected my placement even though I stopped advertising through the platform pretty quickly. I also thought the same thing with the introduction of Pattern, the platform that allows you to make your own "custom" site. Again, I haven't seen any unusual changes in Knotty Cards turning up in search. Sometimes I'm high, sometimes I'm not. And I'm generally okay with it. I like to think this entire thing will work the same way, even if it's a little wonky in the beginning. I'm willing to chance it, and unless I hear something amazing, I will not be participating in the subscription services.
So what does all of this mean? Is everyone going to raise their prices? I think to a degree, some sort of price raising is going to have to occur to keep up with the fee increase. Is that going to be drastic? No I don't think so. Will I be participating? If I do, the price increase will only affect the Knotty Cards' Etsy shop. You'll still be able to shop here at the normal prices. Annnnd I'll probably say that on each of my listings to send a big EFF YOU to Etsy. Why should my customers (aka: you) have to spend more just because some asshat who used to work for Ebay is coming in and trying to mess everything up? The answer is: you shouldn't. So if you're looking for Knotty Cards, just be sure to shop here instead :) I think many other handmade businesses will also follow that same practice.
And to my fellow Etsy sellers...don't freak out. This isn't the first time Etsy has introduced something, and it definitely won't be the last. Sure, I had a freakout yesterday about it. I'm sure most people did. But we're all in this together, and we'll be okay. Etsy, on the other hand, they may not be. 💁🏻