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Etsy's "Free" Adverts

Alex McLean
February 1, 2021

Did you know that Etsy advertise your products on Social Media for you, sounds great right? Read on to find out why not

Here's some shocking news for you,
On 26th February this year, Etsy launched its new 'risk-free offsite ads' service. ⁣⁣When you begin to read about it, it sounds fantastic. Etsy uses their “budget and expertise to promote your items on multiple high-traffic sites including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing.” Sounds great, right? What sounds even better is that you don't even pay for this service! Unless you get a sale directly from one of these ads that Etsy have set up for you, it’s completely free.⁣⁣
Here's where it starts to get interesting though.⁣⁣ When reading the information available on Etsy’s website page titled ‘How Etsy’s Offsite Ads Work’, they inform you that you will be charged between 12-15% for each sale you make via a ‘free’ advert they’ve put up for you - ON TOP of your normal 9% + 20p transaction rate for each sale. That’s a whopping 24% + 20p fee you’ll be charged when someone places an order through an Etsy advert. ⁣⁣
Now, when you think about it - it’s quite good. You get free adverts and only pay when you make a sale from an advert. If you’re someone that can afford adverts and want them, rather than relying on your Instagram feed to drive traffic, then this is fantastic. The shocking part though is that… “For most sellers, Offsite Ads is optional, but it’s a great opportunity to grow your business, so all sellers will be automatically enrolled.”
So as of February 2020, all of you that sell on Etsy were automatically enrolled to a ‘risk-free’ advert service that results in you paying Etsy 24% + 20p of your product price when you make a sale from an advert that you weren’t even aware of… whether you wanted it or not. ⁣⁣
That’s the shocking part.⁣⁣

To make it even clearer. I run another company called Ethical Joy, where I sell eco-friendly Gift boxes, now if sold Ethical Joy's £40 Winter Gift Box on Etsy via an advert, Etsy would charge me £9.80 for that sale.⁣
Did you know about this? I didn't, not until recently, but thankfully you can turn off these "free" adverts, here's how you do it.

  • Log into your Etsy account and click 'Shop Manager'
  • Click 'Settings'
  • Click 'Offsite Ads'
  • Click 'Stop Promoting my products'
  • Confirm 'Stop promoting my products'

Once you have followed these steps your products will no longer be advertised by Etsy offsite, and you will no longer be charged the extra 12-15%.