Last week, Etsy launched a new initiative for sellers called Share & Save. The program essentially works as a rebate for sellers who share their listing links outside of Etsy. By opting in, Etsy sellers can use their Share & Save URL and if a customer clicks through and makes a purchase from their shop within 30 days, that seller will get 4% of the total purchase back as a rebate on their Etsy fees.
The initiative appears to be an effort by Etsy to mobilize sellers to drive traffic to the marketplace. Etsy is encouraging sellers to share their Etsy shop links on social media, in text messages, in newsletters, and on blogs in order to earn the rebate.
In an example provided by Etsy, if a buyer clicks on and buys a $100 product from a shop using a Share & Save link, the seller would get a 4%, or $4, refund on their 6.5% fees (paying a total of $2.50 in transaction fees rather than $6.50).
Less like an affiliate program and more like a rebate
Although at first glance Share & Save may appear to be similar to an affiliate program, it’s actually more like a rebate. The 4% back is only earned on purchases from that seller’s shop, not all of Etsy. In fact, sellers can’t participate in Etsy’s affiliate program (now called Creator Co) and the Share & Save program simultaneously – they must choose one or the other.
Several sellers have pointed out that the program doesn’t generate unique links the way an affiliate program would. Instead, it’s a subdomain format that some sellers have already been using: shopname.etsy.com. Seller MoonlightHavensDen said in a forum post, “What puzzles me is that this format has been around since well maybe forever. It’s what I’ve often used in the 8 years I’ve been on Etsy because I find it fairly intuitive and easy to remember.”
Unlike the FTC disclosure requirements for sharing an affiliate link, sellers aren’t required to disclose that they are sharing a Share & Save link. (See the full terms and conditions for the Share & Save program here.)
Getting started with Share & Save
Signing up for Share & Save is free and as simple as a single click with the Shop Manager. Once enrolled, sellers can share their shop’s homepage, sections, listings, and promotions using the shareable link which is in the format shopname.etsy.com (sharing sections and promotions can only be done through the Etsy Seller app). Sellers will be able to track their Share & Save orders in their Payments account. The rebate will come in the form of an instant refund of transaction fees.
According to Etsy, choosing to not participate in the Share & Save program, or opting out of it entirely, will not impact a shop’s search ranking and there will be no other penalties.
Who is Share & Save best for?
For sellers who are already working to drive traffic to their Etsy shops, Share & Save feels like a reward for the work they’re already doing. Jewelry designer Emily Hubel said, “It sounds similar to being an affiliate, but it feels like a great way for them to keep some of us who have considered leaving Etsy. I certainly will take advantage of it. I get sales from the traffic I bring in often so having a refund from some fees will be really nice.”
But for other sellers, the ultimate goal in building their business is to send traffic to their own website instead. “Very sorry to be the one to say this,” wrote seller CustomWorksofGenius on the Etsy Forum thread, “But I’m afraid I use Etsy so I don’t have to do my own marketing. If I have to do that part as well, I’ll send the traffic to my own website and pay 0% fees.”
Etsy seller Sibo Yanke posted on an Etsy forum thread about the new program, “This campaign does not offer anything interesting to sellers, it is only interesting for Etsy. Etsy should do its own work to earn its commission and find its own buyers instead of using our social networks.”
There are a few other caveats to the Share & Save program that sellers should be aware of. Tracking is based on the last link a buyer clicked before purchasing so if a buyer clicks through via one of Etsy’s Offsite Ads, the seller won’t earn the 4% back from that purchase and will still have to pay the full 12% Offsite Ad fee (even if that ad was generated by retargeting the buyer after they’ve clicked your Share & Save link).
In addition, links within a seller’s own listing descriptions, or within Etsy messages, are also not eligible for the 4% rebate. And if a customer clicks a seller’s Share & Save link, but ends up making a purchase from a different shop, the seller who shared the link won’t earn the 4% back.
Updating links on social posts
Now that there’s the possibility of earning a rebate for sharing links, many sellers have begun updating their Pinterest pins with the new Share & Save links. Updating many pins in a row, though, triggers Pinterest’s spam filter and some sellers found their Pinterest accounts temporarily deactivated late last week while attempting to make these updates this week.
So if you’re an Etsy seller, should you enroll in Share & Save? Etsy coach, Kara Buntin, summed up the program this way. “If you’re an Etsy seller who is not already an affiliate, and who drives their own traffic to their Etsy shop, it makes complete sense to use the Share and Save links to get a little bit back on your listing fees.”
Abby co-founded Craft Industry Alliance and now serves as its president. She’s a sewing pattern designer, teacher, and journalist. She’s dedicated to creating an outstanding trade association for the crafts industry. Abby lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.