I was watching yet another video on YouTube today, decrying the changes Etsy is making to its shipping and shop ranking policies - which are not good.

If you're not aware, Etsy has decided that it's going to offer free shipping on any orders from within the US that are $35 or more. It doesn't matter whether or not you're shipping FROM the US either. If your shop is somewhere else where the shipping costs TO the US are high, any order from your shop that's $35 or more is covered by the free shipping.

Etsy expects anyone who would be affected by this simply to roll these shipping costs into their prices - regardless of distance, actual shipping costs, or anything. This means that you could end up paying more for an item than it's actually worth, because the rolled in shipping fees would have to compensate for shipping to an entire planet worth of possible locations.

If you choose to opt out of this shipping program, then your shop items will no longer receive high placement in search rankings. So, you can either choose to play their game, or get punished for not playing. I believe that's called coercion, and that's not any more legal than hiding shipping fees in an item price.

In fact, even now, when you do a search for things on Etsy, shop names are no longer listed along with the items. It's like Etsy's stripped any personal flavour from search results.

It's under debate as to whether or not this expectation to roll shipping into item costs is even legal under US law. It isn't, by the way. It is not legal to add hidden fees while claiming that something is free.

A lot of Etsy sellers are jumping ship, and rightly so. One of the more "curious" reactions, though, was someone who told one of the Etsy sellers who's leaving, that they should just "grow up" and roll the shipping fees into their item costs.

Grow up. Yep. Right there is the problem with late stage capitalism and conservative politics - dressing greed (and thereby intentionally screwing people) up as adulthood, and vice versa. The whole idea of that, of giving over to that manner of thinking because that's "what you're supposed to do as you get older", is a lazy mindset that continues to feed the very system that's going to bleed you dry and give you nothing in return. They want you to think that way, because it perpetuates their agenda.

Pardon me for using the term agenda. I should only ever use it when talking about day planners.

I never did buy anything from Etsy, and now I definitely won't, nor ever set up a shop there. There are other commerce sites you can use, ones that don't cost as much, and also give you a lot more autonomy.


Oh, and as regards the rolling shipping into item costs and its illegality, Etsy is claiming no responsibility at all for it. If you participate in this, and it's determined you're doing something illegal, you're the one getting screwed. Etsy has washed its hands of complicity in that matter - even though they're 'encouraging' you to do it.

It's all part of the fun world of internet gentrification - of which YouTube and Patreon are also part - whereby they are trying to weed out the small-scale sellers so they can concentrate on the influencers whom they can more easily control, and from whom they can extract larger slices of their earnings pies.

July 29th, 2019: Not that I ever used it or anything, but I did remember that I had an account on Etsy which I have now closed.

2019 07 27 - 15:15

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