Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY) recently announced a fee increase which for the first time will also include shipping costs. But the blow might be somewhat softened by the announcement of two new features designed to help small businesses market their products on the platform.
Etsy Raises Sellers Fees Per Transaction
The increase takes  the transaction charged on sales from 3.5% to 5% — but importantly the percentage will no longer be calculated just from the amount customers pay for your product. The cost you charge customers for shipping your product will now also be part of the equation making the overall cost being paid by sellers even higher.
On the bright side, the company says it will also introduce two new Plus and Premium subscription levels with advanced tools to help shop owners grow and increase their visibility.
The vast majority of Etsy sellers  are small businesses who use the platform to supplement their physical stores or other eCommerce channels. With around 2 million sellers, Etsy has become an industry in itself and the premiere go-to platform for handmade crafters and vintage buyers and sellers.
So how many small businesses are likely to jump ship with the new 1.5% transaction fee hike? The reaction so far seems to be mixed.
As to how shop owners on Etsy are taking the news, it depends who you ask. While some sellers told  USA Today they were likely to seek better opportunities or need to raise prices to compensate, others say they will wait and see what happens.
The one issue which might get unanimous disagreement is why Etsy decided to add the shipping fee to the total price. Before this change, the shipping cost and the price of the item were separate, so the transaction fee would be based just on the price of the item. By adding the shipping price to the total, the transaction percentage will be higher, especially now because it stands at 5%.
In justifying the increase, Etsy first pointed out it represents the company’s first-ever fee change. But in a post on the official Etsy News blog, Kruti Patel Goyal, General Manager of Seller Services also made the case for the change, explaining :
“This new fee structure, which will now also apply to the cost of shipping, will allow us to further invest in key areas while maintaining what we believe is the best value for creative entrepreneurs. This will enable us to drive more buyers to Etsy through increased marketing, better customer support, and an enhanced the product experience. For example, we plan to significantly increase our spend in marketing this year so we can attract new buyers to our marketplace and remind past buyers of what it means to shop special.”
Goyal also highlighted the company’s plans to revamp community spaces, add new support channels, provide advanced analytics and insights for sellers and improve shipping tools.
New Subscription Levels
While Etsy announced two new subscription levels aimed at providing more tools to market your Etsy business, these will not be free. In addition to the Standard free package, a Plus and Premium subscription level have been added.
Etsy Plus launches in mid-July with marketing, advertising and branding tools at a cost of $10 per month. But this price will go up to $20 by January 2019.
Meanwhile, Etsy plans a 2019 release for its Premium tier with a full set of advanced tools and premium support. However, sellers need to wait until then to get an idea on price.
Using a Proven Platform to Grow Your Business
Etsy’s proven platform brings together buyers and sellers with unique handcrafted and vintage products. The company also provides a wide range of tools  to market your products like a pro.
Whether an established business or just starting out, crafters open a shop on Etsy to potentially place their products before tens of millions of active buyers. Though this could save you considerable amounts on marketing, advertising and all of the growing pains associated with going at it alone, with the latest increase, sellers may want to look around for better options.