Etsy's new "free shipping" policy
Lightning Bug Crafts is a relatively new business. Like many shops that are just starting off, we have been using Etsy to complete our sales and to increase our visibility. Recently Etsy sent a letter to all shops using their platform, "encouraging" them to offer free shipping to customers in the United States. We say "encouraging" in quotes because, in reality, Etsy is engaging in coercive tactics to force sellers to comply with this policy. Those who don't will be penalized by being placed far down in Etsy's search results so that their sales suffer.
Etsy has advised sellers to make up for this "free" shipping by raising their prices. We believe that such tactics are unprincipled and dishonest, not to mention possibly illegal. However, we have no choice but to comply with Etsy's demands, for now. Please note that we do not claim to have free shipping on our website or in our Etsy product descriptions (the "free shipping" tag placed on our Etsy pages is put there by Etsy, not us). Instead we use the term "shipping included" to indicate that shipping costs are rolled into the prices of our products.
Please understand that we have not raised our prices. The increases that you see are simply the cost that we pay for shipping. We can also no longer offer variable rate shipping depending on the buyer's location. This is especially hard on customers outside of the United States, since they are now charged the U.S. shipping costs that are rolled into the Etsy prices on top of international shipping costs. If you are an international customer, please contact us so that we can refund the extra shipping costs to you.
As many unhappy Etsy sellers have noted on Etsy chat boards, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites, shipping is never free. Costs that sellers must pay to ship products are always included in the sales price.
Over time we hope to add a shopping cart to the Lightning Bug Crafts store and ultimately to be able to sell from our own website exclusively. These recent developments have encouraged us to prioritize being able to do that as soon as possible. Until then please understand that these changes have only been made because we were given no choice by Etsy. Please contact us through the links on our website if you would like to arrange to purchase through PayPal or other options.
Posted July 26, 2019
Please excuse our mess!
We have just returned from a great trip to Penguicon in Southfield, Michigan. Now we are in the process of cleaning up our website. Over the next several days we will be adding new products, so please check back often. In addition, we will be moving all of our products from Amazon to Etsy and closing our Amazon store (we'll post more information on the reason for this soon). Thanks for your patience as we make this transition!