Etsy Revises Its Fee Structure So Merchants Don’t Pay for Unsold Inventory

Etsy sellers will do anything to escape extra fees. Some write personal notes like “don’t put this in your cart, it’s on hold for a bride,” while others list a lone bowl in what should be a set of six. Many will even encourage their frustrated shoppers to write in and ask if there are “more in the back.” That’s why Etsy has created a new fee structure that doesn’t punish sellers for unsold inventory.

Founded in 2005, the Brooklyn based e-commerce site is home to 875,000 active shops with more than 13 million listings. Etsy used to charge its merchants a flat listing fee of 20 cents per item and take a commission of 3.5 percent off all items sold, which made it an affordable choice for the sellers of handmade crafts and vintage finds.

On Monday the team revamped the fee schedule in response to requests from numerous sellers on Etsy’s discussion board to get rid of restocking fees. Under the new system, a fee of 20 cents per listing only applies to one item upfront, regardless of the quantity. The other fees only kick in when items are sold. Naturally, Etsy has a handmade drawing to explain how this works:

This should not only save a little cash for the seller, it will also smooth out the ordering process for the shoppers. “With the new system, sellers can add as many items as they have in stock or are able to make, and shoppers can check out easily and add their desired quantity to the order,” wrote Etsy’s Natalie Schwartz. “We hope this will be a time-saver for sellers: you’ll have to renew your items less often!”