The truth behind Etsy’s sales and discounting push | Episode 118



Is Etsy an evil entity that doesn’t value sellers? Or are sellers asking the wrong questions? Let’s get to the bottom of Etsy’s sales and discounting push.

Attention Etsy curious folks and Etsy sellers! This is for you. Particularly if you feel “fed up” with Etsy because of their “incessant call to discount.”

Many sellers tell us that they feel that Etsy is forcing them to do things they don’t want to or simply cannot do.

The big ones right now are free shipping and discounts / sales.

If you sell on Etsy, you know that around holidays Etsy will put a little alert on your dashboard or send you an email encouraging you to run a sale.

I hear from sellers pretty regularly that they don’t like that Etsy promotes this.

It sounds like this: “Etsy wants me to run sales all the time.”

Or, “I need to offer free shipping in order to be visible on Etsy.” (We have already cleared that one up!)

Etsy doesn’t care whether you run a sale or not or if you offer free shipping.

What Etsy is doing is promoting the tools that they’ve developed for their sellers! It is hard for people who are newer on the platform to understand this because they don’t have the whole history to know and have witnessed this come to be. We didn’t just arrive at Etsy’s sales and discounting push.

A few years back, sellers couldn’t do much more than offer a coupon for their shop. This coupon was just a one size fits all general discount code. And sellers asked for more.

Sellers wanted more robust couponing and sales tools. Finally, Etsy responded with newer tools for promotions.

Now, we find ourselves in a place where sellers, new and old, are complaining about the tools that Etsy gave them by request. This could be because people simply forgot, or never knew that backstory. Or, it could be that sellers are placing the wrong responsibilities on Etsy.

Etsy’s job is to build up tools to help you be a successful eCommerce seller.

Their job to provide this eCommerce platform. Their job is NOT to provide a strategy for any single seller’s specific business.

Sellers need to know that Etsy isn’t promoting discounts and sales so much as promoting the tools they developed.

Etsy is basically saying, “hey, please use these tools that we developed.” And “this is how you would use these tools ” Etsy also regularly builds out content to incentivize or show you how to use these tools.

Anybody who spends any amount of time developing something wants people to engage with it and use it. That’s what Etsy is doing here.

It’s not Etsy behavior that’s the problem

It’s the seller reaction; that’s the problem. The sellers are looking at things too one-dimensionally. Sellers aren’t asking the right questions.

They’re just responding to what they believe Etsy is saying and they’re not looking at it deep enough to ask the right questions.

Instead of getting upset about Etsy’s sales and discounting push, what sellers should be doing is asking themselves the following questions:
“How can I make this work for me?” and
“Does this work for me?”
“At what point would this work for me?”
“To what extent should I use this tool, if at all?”

This approach would reduce the amount of frustration associated with seeing these messages come through from Etsy. It would also provide the seller with more control over their Etsy experience.

Sellers asked for these tools, and to this day, people would still be asking for those tools if they didn’t exist because it IS annoying to only be able to run a coupon without any parameters.

Once sellers begin seeing Etsy as a tool – and not some big bad entity out to destroy the little guy (i mean honestly, that doesn’t even make sense) they will be happier.

Sellers need to be able to identify the opportunities of Etsy and learn how to maximize them. (That’s what we cover in our free Etsy masterclass!)

Sales, coupons, and free shipping are opportunities. Maybe they apply to you, maybe they don’t! There are opportunities for every seller.

Etsy is not a one size fits all, there are many opportunities, and different sellers can play into different opportunities at different times.

Learn more about unlocking the unique power of Etsy during an upcoming session of our masterclass.

Free Masterclass | The 4 Part Process to Unlocking the Unique Power of Etsy

*This post is written and published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.


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Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) Thanks for stopping by.

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