Weekly Blog and Video Digest 7/22/19: Etsy Struggles – There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (Or Free Shipping)

Hey guys! It’s Monday again and that means that I, Taylor, am duty bound to update you on all the projects I’m working on, things I’m loving (or struggling with), and…that Etsy exposé I promised you. I know a lot of you are here for just that, so in the interest of not frustrating too many people, I’m going to just start with that exposé.

I’m not sharing this to “get back at” Etsy, nor am I doing it for the views. I’m sharing this information because I truly feel that when an online marketplace like Etsy changes something as drastically as they are doing now, and especially when that affects how honest I can be with my customers…well, that’s the time for shop owners to speak up and let you know what’s going on in the seller world.

For a long time, Etsy has allowed shop owners to choose whether to charge for shipping or offer free shipping. It’s always been true that humans like a free lunch, so people are more drawn to listings that ship for free – but Etsy has been pretty fair about treating sellers and listings equally and letting you, the shoppers, decide whether non-free shipping is a dealbreaker for you.

However, at this point, Etsy has decided that they’re going to REALLY pressure ALL of us to offer free shipping. They’ve been putting up notices all over saying how great this is going to be and how we should all offer free shipping. To incentivize it, they’ve been saying “Coming soon, listings and shops that offer free shipping will rank higher in search results!”

But what does this mean in the inverse? It really just means that if you DON’T offer free shipping, you’re going to take a hit – possibly a serious one – in the algorithm game. Search engine algorithms change all the time, but this could be a really big change, and a difficult one for some shops. It could also make it really difficult for people to find what they’re looking for – if the algorithm is skewed enough, instead of finding the item you actually want, you’ll be led to a bunch of semi-related items that SHIP FREE!!!! but aren’t what you were looking for.

Now, here’s the thing about free shipping: It’s like a free lunch – rarely actually free, and when it is free, it’s usually low quality or has strings attached. Free shipping is just the same.

See, being a seller – on Etsy or anywhere else – does not qualify you for some magical Free Shipping Account at the post office. Nobody pays for our shipping for us. WE are the ones who swipe a card or hand over cash for postage. Yes, large companies like Amazon have enough overhead that they can invest it back into their shipping costs, and offer Prime members free shipping.

But for most small sellers (and that means most sellers on Etsy), the only way to offer “Free Shipping” is to charge for it elsewhere. This usually means lumping the shipping cost back into the item list price. Etsy even has a “tool” on their website where it will AUTOMATICALLY do this for you, going through your whole shop and incorporating shipping costs into list prices, and then slapping a “FREE SHIPPING” sticker on everything.

Great, right?

Not so much.

Personally, when I shop, I like to know how much I’m spending on shipping. I don’t want everything to just say “Free Shipping” but have a weirdly high price. I also want to understand clearly how much of a discount on shipping I may get if I buy more than one item. I just value that kind of transparency.

But Etsy is pretty much disallowing any kind of transparency about shipping costs at this point. Not cool, Etsy.

I guess what bothers me the most is that I feel like I’m being forced to essentially lie to you about shipping. If they can make me say “free shipping,” they can make me say other things. And I don’t play those games. I like to be as open and honest as possible with my customers, and whether you’re someone who’s been following me since day 1 or whether you stumbled across a single item of mine on Etsy, I value your trust above all.

So please know this: I will always be as honest as I can be with you on Etsy, and if you ever have questions, I will be MORE than happy to answer them! Just contact me on Etsy, or here using the contact form on this site. Heck, DM me on Instagram if you want. Questions are always welcome.

But for the foreseeable future, I may have to be less than clear about my “free shipping” on Etsy. I did go ahead and change the shipping profiles to “Free,” but I plan to draft up a little disclaimer to go on each listing to explain the shipping situation.

And Etsy, if you’re reading this: Kick me off your platform if you want, but know that sellers like me will always show up to share the truth with our shoppers. You may silence me, but you will never silence those like me. Ideas are bulletproof and all that.

WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID: I’m going to stop ranting about Etsy now and move on to the video digest, a summary of all the videos I posted on my YouTube channel this week!

July 15, 2019: Mid-July Check-In Card Reading 

In this video I do a card reading with Tarot, oracle, and angel cards to get an idea of what kind of energies we can expect to face for the second half of July, 2019.

July 17, 2019: Millennial Mystic Tarot – FULL Flip & Compare with RWS

This video is a full, high-resolution flip through of the Millennial Mystic Tarot, my self-published, self-illustrated Tarot deck, with a RWS deck beside it for reference.

July 19, 2019: How Planners Changed My Life

This was a fun video to make, and it just sort of explores how planners and paper planning have changed my life (for the better!).

I don’t really have much else to report, and this post is already over 1000 words, so it’s high time I wrap it up. Thank you all for reading along, watching along, and being along on this crazy journey with me. And until next time, I hope that you are having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk you again very very soon.

Bye!

-Taylor

Weekly Blog & Video Digest 7/8/19 | New Oracle Cards, New Etsy Listings, and New Videos!

[CC: An oracle card, the Goddess of the Moon card from the Energy Oracle, on top of a pile of scattered, face-down Energy Oracle cards. The moon in the card seems to glow in a supernatural way. END CC]

Hey guys! Taylor here. It’s time for the weekly blog here on taylorjohnson.art, where I check in every week and let you know what I’ve been up to and what’s new!

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[CC: the same image of the same card from the Energy Oracle. END CC]

The first thing I want to talk about is that I’ve invested in a few new decks. And by a few, I actually mean about 8 decks this summer. I know it sounds like a lot, and I don’t usually invest in so many at once…but I do enjoy working with them, and I’ll definitely use them. And, after years and years of pretty much being a Tarot purist, I think I am FINALLY ready to start learning about oracle cards. I could write the five new decks off as research for my upcoming oracle, the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, but honestly, it’s not just research. I bought them to use them, and to advance my understanding of oracle cards. Oracle cards are not something I’ve always been super positive about, and I want to change that. They help many people, and recently I’ve just felt inspired to open up and try them.

So. Yeah. New oracle card decks coming soon – Wisdom of the Oracle, The Enchanted Map, Kuan Yin Oracle, Gospel of Aradia Oracle, and more. I may review them, and if I do, would you all like written reviews here on the blog, or YouTube video reviews? Let me know.

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[CC: A photo of several small, colorful, hand-stitched Tarot deck bags. They all have different patterns and different color stitching. END CC]

In other news: New things are coming to my Etsy shop shortly! There will be new deck bags, suitable for tarot/oracle/angel cards of all kinds, AND new notebooks…in new sizes!! I will soon carry Pocket and B6 inserts, as well as B6 Traveler’s Notebooks. I’m so excited to be able to offer these to you.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been shopping with me lately. It honestly makes me so happy to pack up items and send them out to people. It’s about more than just the money; I enjoy providing a service or product that people can treasure and even benefit from spiritually.

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[CC: A grid of photographs of a hand holding up various cards from the Millennial Mystic Tarot. END CC]

Oh, and the Tarot decks! Yes, the Millennial Mystic Tarot decks will be shipping out soon.

Like, this week. Like, Tuesday. If you haven’t ordered one yet, click here to see the listing, and order yours now.

Without further ado, let’s get on to what videos I posted this week.

July 2019 Card Reading | OWN YOUR TRUTH, PROCESS CHANGE

This is the monthly card reading for July 2019. As usual, I’ve done a reading for the collective using tarot, oracle, and angel cards to read the energies of the coming month and give us all a bit of a heads-up on what we can expect!

FAVORITES Summer 2019!

It’s a favorites video, yes. I just have so much stuff to show…it’s a little embarrassing, but eh, these are fun videos to make.

I Don’t Know What’s In These Boxes?? | Random Unboxing

OK, so I exaggerated a little: I knew most of what was in these boxes. I just didn’t know precisely which box was going to contain which of the TOO MANY items I ordered in June. It was pretty fun, though, to open up boxes and not entirely know what I’d find.

So, I guess that’s about it, guys. I hope you’re doing really well. I’m mostly doing awesome, though my anxiety has been really, really bad…But what else is new. I’ll be okay. Always am.

If you’d like to support this whole operation financially, please do head over to my Etsy shop and find yourself something. If you’d rather support through social media boosting, please follow this blog and my Instagram and subscribe to me on YouTube for more videos about art, Tarot, and stationery.

And with all that being said…I hope that you are having a TRULY excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very very soon.

Bye!
-Taylor