Today, Etsy announced a whole new set of changes. Not only will they increase their fees from 3.5% to 5% (including fee increases on shipping), they will be charging $10 to $20 per month for "Etsy Plus" which shall include 4 features.
But are these 4 features worth the cost? Here are the Pros & Cons about each feature Etsy will be adding to Etsy Plus:
Feature 1: Advanced shop customization
Stand out from the crowd with new customizable options for your banner and featured listing area on your shop home.
Pro: Sometimes customization is a good thing because it helps you optimize your layout to help increase sales.
Con: You'll still be limited in what you can do with this. A website is 100% customize-able, but with Etsy, you must always work within their framework. And, who knows, their shop customizations may not be anything that actually helps your business get more sales.
Feature 2: Restock requests
Let shoppers who visit sold out listings sign up to be notified when the item is back in stock
Pro: I particularly like this feature idea because, if I discontinue an item (which I do frequently), a customer can request to make it come back in stock. This
Con: Etsy will most likely no give you access to customer email addresses. Instead, they will notify Etsy Customers automatically without your knowledge, which means you have no control on how this will work and no way to truly optimize and grow your business.
Feature 3: Custom packaging and promotional materials
Get discounts from our partners, just for Etsy Plus and Etsy Premium subscribers
Pro: Not sure
Con: This feature makes no sense. People can purchase promotional materials from places like Vista Print, Uprinting.com or Moo.com and do it the way they want. This seems like something Etsy is throwing together.
Feature 4: Custom web address
Save on a custom URL that redirects to your Etsy shop and gives your business cards a personal touch
Pro: Good if you only sell on Etsy and are too lazy to figure out how to forward a custom domain to your Etsy Shop from a place like GoDaddy or Google Domains.
Con: This feature isn't impressive at all. And you should have your own website that you customize to match your business needs. You can already purchase a domain from another company and forward it to your Etsy Shop.
Overall, Etsy Plus doesn't sound like an impressive upgrade. I will still be trying it out, as I always try to figure out all the tools Etsy does. But with their failures of Etsy Studio, Etsy Pattern, Etsy Wholesale and a whole bunch of other useless marketing tools, we can't be too hopeful that these changes are going to be doing much.
Features 1 & 2 sounds valuable, but that should be available to all Etsy Shops, and there's no reason they should be charging Etsy Sellers for those tools. Features 3 & 4 sound like they just thought of some things to throw in there.