Why Is Etsy Shipping So Expensive: Reasons & 6 Ways To Make It Affordable

Compared to other global online marketplaces, Etsy shipping may come off as slightly expensive for a few reasons. The vintage marketplace is not entirely responsible for shipping costs; it only takes its cut-off for every order. So, why is shipping on Etsy expensive? 

The primary reason is that most sellers on the platform are small businesses or sole proprietors who base their pricing per order. As an avid shopper on Etsy, understanding this and other factors affecting shipping prices can help you take effective steps to save costs. 

This guide is a compilation of why shipping may be so expensive on Etsy and the steps you can take to save money.

Why is Shipping on Etsy Expensive?


Etsy shipping may come off as relatively high for the following reasons:

1. Small scale sellers 

Etsy comprises mostly small-scale sellers or businesses. Unlike big retailers, these individuals do not enjoy significant shipping discounts on orders. Due to this limitation, their shipping fee may be slightly expensive. 

2. Package size 

Etsy offers both standard and expedited shipping options. While the latter is usually the most expensive because it is faster, both can come off as expensive when a larger or heavier item is involved. Large items generally require additional postage and, hence, incur costs. 

3. Product type and packaging

Most products or items on Etsy are handmade or vintage. Packaging and handling them usually requires extra time and effort, unlike items that undergo mass production. 

For instance, if an item features quality packaging that ensures its safe arrival, you should expect the seller to include the cost of the material in the item’s price or shipping cost. 

4. Seller’s location 

If you are buying an item from a seller within your region, the shipping cost is usually affordable. However, when buying from a seller in another country, you have to pay customs fees and import duties. This contributes to the higher overall expenses for international shipments. 

5. Courier choice 

Since Etsy sellers are allowed to choose any shipping company that works with them, rates will vary. When a seller collaborates with a reliable carrier, especially those that provide tracking and insurance, you can expect their shipping fee to be high. 

The same applies when you choose an expedited or guaranteed-delivery shipping option. 

6. Etsy fees 

While Etsy gives its sellers free reign over their activities, it charges a default 6.5% from every purchase. Some sellers may factor this transaction fee into the price or shipping cost for items. 

How to Make Etsy Shipping Cheaper


1. Shop during promotions or target discounts 

If you are an avid Etsy shopper, you will agree with me that several sellers offer promotions and discounts regularly. You only need to keep an eye out for such offers to enjoy a free shipping or discounted price when you place an order. 

In addition, you can follow your favorite vendor on social media and switch on their notification or sign up for their newsletters. 

2. Choose slower but reliable shipping options 

Opting for standard delivery is another way to save costs if you do not need the item urgently. However, before making this decision, ensure that the seller has a strong reputation for delivering within the estimated delivery date or a few days later (if there is a delay).

3. Buy items from local sellers 

Prioritizing local sellers on Etsy eliminates extra costs like customs and duty payments associated with international shipments. In fact, with this option, you can choose to arrange or schedule a local pickup with the seller. 

You only need to contact the seller to know if the option works for them. Aside from reducing shipping costs, this shopping mode is a way to contribute positively or support local couriers. 

4. Buy several items from one seller 

There are different scales of sellers on Etsy. While some focus on a product, others sell different products. To save shipping costs, shopping from a seller with different products is advisable. 

This way, you can enjoy shipping discounts and other budget-friendly considerations from the seller. 

5. Prioritize sellers that predominantly offer free shipping 

While most Etsy sellers offer free shipping randomly or during promotions, it is a signature for other sellers. Such sellers usually offer free shipping for local deliveries every day of the year. Bookmarking such sellers can save you shipping costs. 

6. Consider sellers with flat-rate shipping options

For some orders, especially those that involve large items, sellers that offer flat-rate shipping boxes may be a cost-effective option. You only need to compare rates and choose the best one for your shipment. 


Why does Etsy charge for shipping?

Etsy charges for shipping because they need to cover the cost of their shipping labels. However, if you are in a region where you have no access to Etsy’s shipping labels or need to buy from a local post office, the shipping label fees go to the post office. 

Who pays for shipping on Etsy?

The buyer pays for shipping, while the seller is responsible for preparing and shipping the item. 

Can you use your shipping on Etsy?

While Etsy’s labels make shipping very convenient, sellers are free to use their labels as long as they allow them to ship their products. 

Do you sell more on Etsy with free shipping?

It depends on how you set up the offer. Fortunately, Etsy has a free “Smart Pricing Tool” that can help you offer more value with free shipping and increase traffic and sales. 


While shipping may seem expensive on Etsy, you need to consider the importance or value of your needs before making a decision. If what you are about to buy is unique, high-quality, and cannot be found just anywhere, you may need to choose Etsy. 

Conversely, you can choose to buy from other e-commerce platforms if the item is widely available, or you can easily compare prices. Overall, the decision to use Etsy is always down to your priority. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. For further reading, please see what to do if your Etsy order never arrives

Thanks for reading.