Understanding Etsy’s New $15 Setup Fee

Publication date: May 21, 2024

Reading time: 4 minutes

In February 2024, Etsy announced a significant change to its fee structure. The introduction of a $15 setup fee for new shops sparked discussions and raised questions among the Etsy community. Learn what this new setup fee entails, how it impacts sellers, and what steps sellers can take to adapt to this change.

What is the $15 Setup Fee?

The $15 Setup Fee is an onboarding fee for new shops opening on the Etsy platform. The fee helps to offset the cost of Etsy’s new enhanced security checks and allow for continued support for new shops per the information added to Etsy’s Seller Handbook. The fee also provides a way for Etsy to help ensure that the seller behind the new shop is committed to running their business on their marketplace. Currently, however, the fee is not being charged to every new shop. If a new shop is to be charged the $15 fee, it is communicated to the seller during their shop set-up process. Etsy is gradually rolling out the nonrefundable fee for new shops opening. Sellers should consider the fee as an upfront investment.

Reasons Behind the Change

Etsy stated that the introduction of the setup fee is aimed at improving the overall experience for both sellers and buyers on the platform. By implementing this fee, Etsy hopes to deter inactive or uncommitted sellers from opening shops and flooding the marketplace with low-quality listings. This, in turn, is expected to enhance the quality of products available on Etsy, leading to a better shopping experience for buyers.

Impact on Sellers

For new sellers considering opening a shop on Etsy, the $15 setup fee represents an initial investment. Some sellers may view this as a barrier to entry, especially those who are hesitant to commit upfront funds without a guaranteed return. Additionally, sellers who previously relied on Etsy’s free-to-open model may need to adjust their budgeting and financial planning to accommodate this new fee.

Adapting to the Change

While the $15 setup fee may present challenges for some sellers, there are several steps that sellers can take to adapt to this change and maximize their success on Etsy.

Create a business plan

Before opening a shop on Etsy, take the time to carefully create a business plan to include what products to sell, your target market, and your pricing strategy. Consider whether Etsy is the right platform for your business and whether the potential benefits outweigh the setup fee.

Plan your listings

To make the most of your investment in Etsy, plan your listings strategically. Take high-quality photos of your products, write detailed and engaging descriptions, and research relevant keywords with eRank’s Keyword Tool to optimize your listings for search visibility.

Invest time in marketing

Investing in your own marketing and promotion is important. Do not simply rely on Etsy’s organic traffic. Explore different marketing channels such as social media, email newsletters, and influencer collaborations to drive traffic to your Etsy shop and increase sales.

Focus on customer experience

Provide excellent customer service and foster positive interactions with buyers to help you to build a loyal customer base and generate repeat business. Respond promptly to messages, address any issues or concerns, and strive to exceed customer expectations with every transaction.

Opportunity of Etsy’s Setup Fee 

While Etsy’s new $15 setup fee represents a significant change for sellers, it also presents an opportunity for Etsy to improve the types of shops on their platforms and for you as a seller to reassess and refine your business strategy. By adapting to this change, investing in your shop, and prioritizing the customer experience, you can position yourself for success on Etsy and thrive in the competitive online marketplace.