Etsy is a great place to pick up unique and one off items, but one of the biggest complaints I hear about it is “it costs too much” – and more specifically “why does the shipping cost so much?”.
It can be frustrating seeing that perfect gift only to find the shipping costs more than the item! When we have all got used to free next day delivery from the likes of Amazon, it can be jarring to have to even consider paying for shipping.
But before you go back to Amazon, stop and consider why shipping costs are so high. So, why does shipping cost so much? Lets have a look and find out.
Why Is Etsy Shipping So Expensive?
There are 3 main reasons why shipping costs so much on Etsy:
- Etsy sellers do less volume than big sellers. This means they pay higher costs for delivery
- Higher priced items. Items are usually more expensive on Etsy, therefore the insurance and the size of package can be bigger
- Tracking is now a “standard”. Most buyers won’t purchase unless they get the package tracked
Lets have a look at each one.
Like most things in business, the higher the volume you do, the cheaper you can get stuff. The same is for shipping.
If you sell 1000s of items a month you will be offered better shipping rates – if you’re a massive national brand, your shipping rates are cheaper still!
As most sellers only sell in the 10s of items a month, they don’t have the leverage to get a better price on shipping.
Also, unlike Amazon who have their own delivery network, Etsy sellers need to pay for shipping from couriers.
Higher Price Items
Items on Etsy are usually slightly higher priced – or at the very least handmade and possibly fragile.
These items require extra packaging, and also larger boxes to accommodate the extra padding. Both of which cost more.
Amazon will often send items unprotected in a small cardboard box. This is unlikely to be good enough to protect a handmade item.
The vast majority of buyers also expect tracking as standard, which will also increase the price – which in turn will need to be paid for by the customer.
Tracking is great, as it is beneficial to both the customer and the seller.
Customers love it as they can get a good idea on when their item will arrive, as they watch it to their front door – whereas sellers love it as it proves the item is real, and is on the way.
It can be frustrating for new buyers on Etsy when they see shipping costs. However, when you consider the issues faced by independent sellers, it becomes clear why shipping can cost so much.
Most sellers combine shipping costs into their sale price – this is better, as its less of a surprise when you add it to your basket!