Etsy Fees: How Much Is Etsy Really Taking From Your Sales?
This popular platform helps creators and makers make sales, but Etsy fees can take a serious chunk of the bottom line. Find out how much you can expect Etsy to take from each sale.
For many crafters looking to take their product offerings online, Etsy is an excellent first choice. You can get a shop up in 20 minutes, connect with 89.6 million active Etsy shoppers, and easily manage payment processing and shipping. However, with all the Etsy perks, you also get all the Etsy fees.
Seasoned Etsy sellers have noticed the way both overt and hidden Etsy fees eat into profits, and how Etsy seller fees change pretty often. If you’re on the fence about whether to sell (or continue selling) on this huge crafter marketplace or you’re considering alternatives to Etsy for selling online, keep reading.
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How Much Does Etsy Charge?
Etsy offers users two subscription options for seller accounts: the free Standard Plan and the for-purchase Plus Plan. Here’s what each plan offers.
Etsy Standard Plan Pricing
Etsy’s Standard Plan is a free seller account, complete with all the basic tools that allow users to list products on Etsy, buy and print discounted postage, and market their products with sales and coupons. The Standard Plan also gives you access to the Sell on Etsy App. You won’t pay a monthly subscription fee, but you can expect to pay for services and tools as you use them.
Etsy Plus Plan Pricing
The Plus Plan is available at $10/month. It includes all of the basic features of the Standard Plan, plus additional features such as advanced shop customization options (banner options, new layouts of featured listings, etc.) and restock requests for sold-out items.
The Plus Plan also offers credits and discounts on additional Etsy services. Note that credits must be used within the monthly period and do not roll over. Here’s a quick list:
- 15 listing credits every month (the equivalent of $3 in listings)
- $5 in Etsy Ads credits every month, which you can use to get found in places like Etsy Category pages and Etsy search results
- Free .store domains
- 50% off select domain extensions: .com, .net, and .ca
- Discounts on a custom web address
- Discounts on custom packaging and promotional materials
8 Types Of Etsy Fees
Etsy sellers must juggle a variety of other Etsy costs the platform charges, even if they’re on a monthly subscription plan. Etsy has a rather complicated fee structure, and it’s worth taking a look at their legal terms and policies to get a grasp on all the nitty-gritty elements of how taxes may or may not apply to fees in your region. For more digestible information on Etsy’s many different fees, take a look below.
Etsy Listing Fees
Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for each item you put up to sell on the platform. This fee applies to each product you sell.
For example, say you have 10 identical ceramic bowls that you are selling individually. You can list all of these identical bowls under the same product page, but after each one sells, you must pay another $0.20 to renew the listing. If you sell all of these bowls, you pay a total of $2.00 in listing fees.
If, however, you sold a pack of ten bowls as one product, you would pay only one $0.20 listing fee.
Listings expire after four months. After that, you must pay the listing fee again to renew. You can set products to renew automatically, so you don’t have to worry about products becoming unavailable for purchasing.
Etsy Transaction Fees
Etsy’s transaction fee (not to be confused with their payment processing fee) is a fee that Etsy charges to cover the cost of using their platform. Etsy’s transaction fee is 5% of the price you charge for your product, including the cost of product customization and gift wrapping.
For sellers in the US and Canada, Etsy does not charge transaction fees on sales tax (unless you include the cost of sales tax in your listing price). However, for sellers outside of the US and Canada, these transaction fees might include the cost of some applicable taxes.
Etsy Shipping Transaction Fees
In addition to charging a fee on each transaction, Etsy also collects a fee on the amount you charge for shipping. Etsy’s shipping transaction fee is 5% of the total cost your customers pay for shipping.
You may offer free shipping to your customers, but you typically build shipping into the cost of the product, so you’ll still be paying the 5% in the form of a transaction fee. Free shipping is a great marketing tactic, though, so definitely keep it in mind when you want to run a sale or pique potential buyers’ interest.
In order to accept online payments, all merchants must pay payment processing fees. Payment processors (such as PayPal and Square) typically offer their services at around 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Etsy Payments is Etsy’s own in-house payment processor, which sellers must use to accept payments if they are in one of the 36 eligible counties (which includes the US, UK, Australia, and Canada). If Etsy Payments is not available in your country, you can use PayPal to accept online payments.
Etsy Payments charges 3% + $0.25 per transaction. This allows you to accept payments by credit card, debit card, Etsy Gift Card, Etsy Credit, PayPal, some bank transfer services, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can also allow your customers to pay using their PayPal accounts. Etsy Payments rates will apply to these payments instead of PayPal rates.
In-Person Selling Fees
Etsy has partnered with Square to offer sellers an option for in-person selling. Etsy sellers may sync their Etsy store to their Square account for a holistic selling solution.
In order to accept in-person payments, you’ll need a Square card reader. When you accept payments in person for items that you have listed on your Etsy site, you’ll pay the usual listing fees as well as Square’s payment processing fees. You will not pay the 5% Etsy transaction fee.
Square’s payment processing fees include a 2.6% fee on the sale price, plus a $0.10 flat fee, for every swiped card payment. For manually entered payments, you are charged a fee of 3.5% of the sale price plus $0.15.
If you sell an item via Square that is not synced with your Etsy seller account, Etsy charges a $0.20 “Square manual” transaction fee.
Etsy Pattern Fees
If you’re looking to build a more personalized website to sell your products, Etsy has a solution for you. Pattern is web-building software that allows you to develop your own store that is still connected to your Etsy seller account. Pattern is available for a 30-day free trial. After that, you are charged $15/month, plus tax where applicable.
Pattern can be worth the monthly fee when you consider the Etsy seller fees you no longer have to pay. For items listed only on your Pattern site, you do not have to pay the $0.20 listing fee or the 5% Etsy transaction fee.
If you already had a product listed on Etsy, and you also want to list it on Pattern, you do not need to pay an additional listing fee (you have already paid one to Etsy). Pattern listings do not expire, so you don’t have to pay renewal fees, either.
You still have to pay payment processing fees, but Etsy’s payment processing fees are pretty comparable to other payment processors.
Etsy’s Currency Conversion Fees
Etsy recommends that sellers list their pricing in the same currency as their payment account currency. This will allow sellers to avoid foreign exchange charges. Customers are able to select the currency in which they view listings, so listing your products in one particular currency shouldn’t impact your sales at all. However, if you do not do this, and you list your products in a different currency than your payment account, you will be charged a 2.5% currency conversion fee.
You can avoid Etsy’s currency conversion fees by receiving payments via PayPal.
Etsy’s Ad Fees
Over the past few years, Etsy has rolled out some marketing tools for users. These include onsite and offsite ads, which of course come with their own fees. Here’s a rundown of these fees:
Etsy Ad Fees
Etsy allows sellers the option of marketing their products within the marketplace via Etsy Ads. These ads are available with pay-per-click pricing, and the cost of each click will vary depending on demand. You can set a budget that limits the amount you’re willing to pay for on-site ads daily, and Etsy will list your ads until you reach that daily maximum.
Offsite Ads Fees
Etsy’s Offsite Ads are the newest development in Etsy’s advertising. All users are currently enrolled for Offsite Ads, with the option to opt-out available to sellers who have made less than $10,000 in sales in the past year. Fees are incurred only when you make a sale linked to one of these ads.
With the new Offsite Ads program, Etsy will market your products on major sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing. When someone clicks an ad that includes one of your products and then purchases from your Etsy shop within 30 days, you are charged an advertising fee on that order total.
This fee is either 12% or 15% depending on your annual sales (in addition to the other fees listed above). For those who make under $10,000 in sales in the past year, Offsite Ads is an optional service, and the rate is 15%.
However, for those who made over $10,000 in sales in the past year, Offsite Ads are mandatory for the lifetime of your shop, even if you later fall below the $10,000 threshold. Etsy charges sellers who make over $10,000 per year a discounted rate of 12% on purchases made through the ads.
If a buyer clicks on an offsite ad and makes multiple purchases within 30 days of clicking it, all those purchases are subject to offsite ad fees, even if their purchases are not for items listed in offsite ads. This is because Etsy “attributes all sales” to the ad within that 30-day timeframe.
How To Offset What Etsy Takes In Seller Fees
To make a profit on Etsy, you have to pay close attention to your cost of doing business on the platform. Here are a few ways you can make sure to stay on top of Etsy Seller Fees:
- Increase Prices: The most obvious way to protect your profits is to increase product pricing. Sellers often worry that increasing the cost of their goods will make them less competitive. While this is sometimes the case, some Etsy sellers report that their sales did not decrease after they raised prices. This could be because buyers often view higher-priced items as higher quality.
- Cut Production & Shipping Costs: This is the next obvious step. Rethink the way you handle both production and shipping. Is there any way you can make your products more quickly or more affordably without significantly impacting quality? And when it comes to shipping, are you comparing options from multiple shipping carriers to make the most cost-effective decisions possible? If there’s an area where you can lessen your expenses, do so.
- Weigh The Pros & Cons Of Ads: If you have the ability to choose whether or not to use Offsite Ads, consider this very carefully. If you opt-in, you’ll likely get a number of one-off sales and long-term customers that you wouldn’t otherwise, but you will also need to leave space in your profit margins for the additional 12% or 15% fee.
- Advertise On Other Platforms: Advertising to a social media following, starting a blog, and guest posting on other platforms are easy, free eCommerce marketing strategies to increase web traffic and get people to your Etsy storefront.
- Show Up To In-Person Events: In-person Square fees are much cheaper than Etsy transaction and payment processing fees. So, instead of just redirecting people directly to your Etsy store, sell at in-person craft shows or host your own events to get those in-person customers.
- Don’t Keep Stale Listings: Because your listings renew every four months (at an additional $0.20 fee each time), make sure the products you list on your store move within four months. Etsy’s new search engine algorithm prioritizes more recent listings, and if you want to rank higher in Etsy search results, you need to have fresh listings. Plus, if you keep paying for items that don’t sell, you might end up paying more in fees than the product is actually worth.
- Get Help From The Etsy Community: The Etsy community comprises a strong bunch of sellers. Ask the Etsy community forum for ways others are handling Etsy’s fees and to gain specific advice on how to run your own store.
Etsy Seller Reviews Regarding Fees
Etsy sellers have mixed opinions regarding fees. Some sellers say that Etsy fees are worth it to produce more sales, while others are highly disappointed by how much Etsy charges sellers on the platform. One chagrined user said:
…This is the first year I’ve been actually making sales, I’m so proud of myself, been hustling hard….But out of the 2k that I made this year so far, Etsy ended up taking almost $500 in fees. I am so disappointed and that’s just NOT right. Feeling kind of stuck- Anyone else feeling like this?
Another took a more favorable view:
I see Etsy as a fancy business card, or a stand on a business fair. My expenses are high on Etsy as well, but I consider those costs all as marketing costs…Etsy brings in the customer, without me having to jump through hoops and some of them come directly to my other shop after they purchased on Etsy with me. It’s a bit of trading energy. Etsy does the work, I pay them for that. I have left over energy to focus on my own website.
More recently, Etsy caused a stir with its announcement about automatic enrollment in Offsite Ads for sellers, with some users unable to opt out of the program. Some users have expressed confusion and outrage over the new policy, while others say that could be a good investment. There are several comments from the community forum in 2021 that represent the conversation about this new policy. One user said:
This is how most marketing works and it has proven to be successful. I’m learning how to work with it. So, hopefully over time these ads can be more profitable.
Another Etsy user commented:
I just had a sale for a hard to find vintage item… without ANY hesitation I just KNEW it would have NO PROBLEM selling on it’s own WITHOUT the help of Etsy offsite ads. Every time I have a significant sale I check my dashboard breathing a sigh of relief the sale wasn’t due to an offsite ad. It just shows my SEO is working not to mention my number of sales and reviews speak for themselves through hard work and dedication. And, I’m in no rush to sell; in other words I can wait. It just proves to me when listing a popular or hard to find item a higher selling price will be taken into consideration to make up for the the real potential and painful loss of an additional 12% out of pocket expense through forced participation by Etsy. I don’t know how many times this needs to be repeated but Etsy SHOULD GIVE ALL SELLERS THE OPTION TO OPT OUT. Shoulda coulda have listed it on Ebay. Thanks.
How To Evaluate If Etsy Is Worth It For You
So, are Etsy costs worth the expense for your business? That depends on a few factors: your profit margins, and the value you derive from the marketplace. Here are two example cases, one from a high volume seller and one from a low volume seller.
In the first example, let’s imagine that you make bracelets that cost you $5 to produce, and you sell them on your platform for $10 each. You also charge a $5 flat fee for shipping. Here’s a breakdown of what the associated costs and fees would be.
- Shipping costs: $5.00
- 5% transaction fee: $0.50
- 5% shipping transaction fee: $0.25
- 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee: $0.70
- Listing fee: $0.20
- Total expenses (including shipping): $6.65
When we subtract the cost of making the product and the expenses related to fees, we end up with a $3.35 profit margin. In this example, you’d likely need to raise your pricing in order to increase your profit margins and better account for Etsy’s seller fees.
In the second example, let’s say that you make custom tables from upcycled wood, which cost $150 to make. A buyer sees an ad on Google Shopping for one of your tables and buys it for $449, with free shipping. It costs you $50 to ship the table, though. Your store also makes over $10,000 per year, so you are charged a 12% offsite ad fee. The total cost to make and sell this table would break down like this:
- Cost of production: $150
- Shipping cost for you (which you built into the product’s sale price): $50
- 5% transaction fee: $22.45
- Listing fee: $0.20
- 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee: $13.72
- 12% offsite ad fee: $53.88
- Total Expenses: $290.25
You end up paying around $290.25 to create your product, list it on Etsy, and ship it to your customer, leaving you with a $158.75 profit on a table you probably worked hard on for weeks.
In this example, it would be worth it to consider either creating your own website with Pattern, or migrating to another eCommerce platform altogether and directing your customers there. Read our post, Find The Best eCommerce Platform To Create Your Store In 2022, if you’re considering building your own independent online store.
Exploring Alternatives If Etsy Is Too Expensive
While some merchants choose to navigate Etsy’s ever-shifting fees and guidelines, many sellers are tired of constantly adjusting their prices to reflect new fees. First-time sellers might not want to pay listing or transaction fees to begin with.
If you fall into one of these categories, check out our guide to the best Etsy alternatives for creators. For advice on leaving the Etsy platform, read our article 8 Signs You’re Ready To Leave Etsy (And How To Do It).
Keep making great products, and keep a close eye on your profit margins. Whether you choose to stick with Etsy or switch to something else, we wish you the best of luck.
- Related: If you do stick with Etsy, here are our top tips on making sales and growing your business on Etsy.