I’m gonna vent. Is that ok with you? Here it comes.
My Monday, this day, started with a request for a quote on one of our etsy shop items (joy!) but after getting the quote on these boots, the person then said that wouldn’t do (like I pulled it from my arse)…instead of walking away, she proceeded to try to magically get the quote lower. Like we’re going to once again eat the cost for shipping (we don’t like to but the quotes sometimes aren’t accurate and we have to pitch in $1 to $5 more…sometimes higher for furniture). Like we’re some giant superstore who can offer free shipping. Like somehow I’ll look up the quote for the 4th time, calling the local store on top of calculating the cost online from 2 sources-UPS and USPS-and it will come back something different. Wha?! (I triple checked, like I do, and it’s the same.)
UPS and USPS because those are usually the 2 cheapest methods and our local store provides both services if I should happen not to ship it from our doorstep…which was the method we used until I realized the store is open until 5:30 and I, by that point, have our shared vehicle to run errands…one third of the time. No driving for Annie during the day. That means I don’t have to wait another day to get the package out. We ship pretty dang fast.
Furniture is expensive to ship and international shipping can be too. But we’ve never had someone not approve of the cost for one of our small shop items. I know it can be a shock followed by denial of the cost…but that’s not my problem. I have no control over it. You either agree to it or don’t but don’t haggle the cost of shipping, something out of the hands of small business owners.
To make it worse, she has a store that sells boots. Is she grabbing mine up to put in her own shop? No biggie with me if you’re willing to pay what I want until you factor in that she’s trying to get the cost down. It’s not craigslist, sweetheart, it’s etsy.
Which brings up something else that weighs heavy on my mind. I’ve repeatedly praised and shown my love for etsy. You can read about etsy here-it’s obviously a cherished marketplace for people like Greg and I who sell our creations that make up our small business (my full-time, his side business).
Not long ago they started a service called direct checkout. No relying on Paypal for payment (although you can still pay with Paypal if needed). That means we can directly accept credit cards from buyers in our shop. Sweet! Many people have paid this way in the last few months. I can’t say it’s brought more sales because the exact time we put direct payment in place, we started putting our smaller housewares, clothing and decor in our store which brings in a crowd not looking for (but appreciating) our furniture.
But getting paid is slow, well, not being paid but having access to the money. Sllllllooooooow. The first payment we were told to expect a slow payment, about 10 days, which was fine for a one time thing. Since then, it’s taken 7 to 10 days to see the money in our checking account for all the other purchases. Horribly slow, much slower than the few days it took Paypal to transfer and on top of that, we could pay for things through Paypal so no problem.
While I was writing this post, I sold an item. The customer used Paypal, I could pay for shipping with the payment immediately and then began the transfer of the remaining amount to our bank account-it’s going to beat etsy’s transfer from a purchase made 5 days ago. Kind of crazy. Most of our customers have their items before we see a dime. That’s difficult for flow. Part of that money is needed to continue getting supplies and since our shop is small compared to other etsy-ers, we’re not having a regular flow to cover expenses. It’s for legal purposes I’ve read, to cover refunds and whatnot, but that doesn’t cut it.
Greg and I are waiting now for a big payment. One that will pay the bills. It’s been a problem. We don’t like that etsy seems to assume we have other funds to pay for shipping-yeah, because you don’t even get the money for shipping until the lump sum comes your way 7 to 10 days later (to your bank account). Sure they say it’s in your etsy account but you can’t pay for things with that. I’m not worried about being paid. I’m worried about how long it will take to get to my checking where I can pay for things. And the option to schedule an earlier deposit has not been available to our shop yet even though the button sits underneath our shop account.
We recently sold a dresser to a lovely lady and had to put the $340 shipping charge on a credit card. We’re going to put the money back on there once we get paid…which looks like Friday at the earliest. That’s not cool. We could take direct payment off but we do believe we’d see a decline in sales.
Greg and I are hoping etsy gets something better together. It feels like we’ve been rooting for them, enjoying their growing success and achievements, but they took a fall and we’re all “you can do it, etsy, ” as in get something better worked out for direct payment/we still heart you. I think they are working on it. Maybe rumors.
I just don’t think it works well for people who sell large items with large shipping costs or items that cost more than $100 (or whatever amount you deem worthwhile enough to complain about not having in a timely manner). It seems that most of our orders come in together. We’ll have 3 or 4 at the same time then nothing then 3 or 4 more at the same time again. Those can add up and like I said before, the shipping can too. Without at least some of the money off the bat, it’s difficult to afford. You don’t want to disappoint or aggravate customers (which can equate to bad feedback and that’s no good for an online business).
People are definitely upset and confused with this direct payment option. I bought something, a supply we need to finish a project, and the seller didn’t ship it for 4 days. I assume they waited on the money to show in their etsy account which takes 3 days after you mark it shipped. So people are marking it as shipped when it’s not and slowing down the process. Which is not how it works and goes against etsy policy. It took forever for it to arrive. So long I wrote to the person trying to find it and I had to move on to another project. I still have to get back on that one now that the item arrived.
Another thing etsy added is the ability to print the shipping label. I went to use this feature and it said I had only $2.02 allotted for shipping expenses so if it was going to cost more (and it does), I had to use a different method which just means going to another website, UPS, USPS, whatever. Why offer that if it won’t work? I had over $300 in my etsy account so what the hey? When I pressed the info button on why, it said I had to pay my etsy fees…which I had just done 2 days before. But I was going to have to pay the new fees not due for almost a month in order to be able to use the print shipping label feature. That’s a head scratcher, etsy.
Have you had any issues as a buyer or seller on etsy? Have you had any shipping problems or ridiculous requests?
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