Free Shipping, Paid, or Free over $35?

Just wondering if anyone has opinions on paid shipping, free shipping or free over $35.

Over the past few months I’ve tested with my own shop and compared to my competition. My impression is that full free doesn’t really make any difference at all with sales volume. I see others in my category who do well with lower prices + higher shipping costs.

Right now I’m set to Free. I might go back to maybe a $3 shipping, free over $35. But I’m free on Amazon so that’s always a concern - that someone will find it there and be angry. I suppose I could always explain that away as an error though.

Anyway, rambling…

I only currently sell on Amazon and eBay, so not sure if this is relevant to Etsy, but I would probably go with ‘free over $35’.

I’ve only encountered 2 customers on Amazon who’ve told me - I only buy things with free shipping. My casual, completely unofficial observations, say it doesn’t matter to most people all that much, unless, possibly, you have a lot of competition and you’re trying to gain an edge.

My impression is that full free doesn’t really make any difference at all with sales volume.

I would agree. What matters more is if people want what you’re selling. I have a small item on which I charge shipping. I’ve had many customers who place two orders back-to-back, either to buy more or add a variation they forgot, it’s unclear.

But when they do this, they pay shipping twice, once on each order, and they never seem to notice. It happens often enough that I wonder if they don’t notice there’s a shipping fee, or just don’t care? This happens primarily on Amazon.

I have a couple ‘free shipping over $xx’ promotions on eBay and they only attract occasional interest. Most of the time, it seems, people just buy what they want, and pay whatever the price is. eBay shoppers often seem to miss the (big, obvious, IMO) red text on the page that says - PROMOTION!! Spend $xx and get free shipping. :laughing:

Sometimes, I get messages asking if I combine shipping, and I’m like yes, but - did you notice that it’s free if you spend $x? Of course, they never noticed. People are strange.

If free vs paid doesn’t impact your sales volume, then free over $xx might benefit you most, as it might encourage a few people to spend a little bit more to get the free shipping.

But I’m free on Amazon so that’s always a concern - that someone will find it there and be angry.

Do you get many customers that shop for the same product on both sites? Even if they do, it seems unlikely they’d notice. Everyone seems in such a rush these days, and rarely slows down long enough to pay close attention to anything.

Good input, thank you. And that matches my observations. I know that Etsy definitely bumps you in search if you have either free or over $35 free, so it’s worth it to have one or the other. I just didn’t notice any difference at all in sales volume with one vs. the other. I have my smaller things priced under $35 and Etsy is pretty good at pushing the “Buy this with that and get free shipping.” So I think I’ll change it back.

I honestly have no idea. What I DO have are customers who come to my own website after buying on Amazon (yay!) which has me thinking about lowering my prices there by even a dollar - to make it more attractive. :wink:


Just my own anecdotal experience, free shipping, always free shipping. Years ago, naive me focused on lowest possible price for my customers. This meant thinking the guy 10 miles away, would appreciate significant savings by paying actual shipping costs, instead of subsidizing the guy 3,000 miles aways shipping. I had some wise mentors advise (and also observed that the successful people), all offered Free Shipping, so I did some A/B testing with listings (I think today, I would have been suspended on Amazon, for such actions, but things were different then). Hands down, the Free Shipping won, and won out big. Irrationally so, even when the price of the exact same product with free shipping was 450% above the same product offered at cost, with true freight cost (or even slightly subsidized).

I admit, times were different, and Amazon’s level of result manipulation is unknown. But it convinced me that when selling online, always ‘free shipping’.


I don’t sell on Etsy.

People are bad at math.
People are lazy.
People don’t like “fees” or “charges.”

I find that giving a fixed total price up front leads to fewer complaints later. It also helps people who can’t or won’t add compare my prices to other sellers.

It also simplifies my life to just factor shipping into every price up front rather than try to juggle some items with shipping included and others with charged shipping…

I offer free shipping on everything. If buyers want to pay more for other shipping options, that is up to them, and I am happy to deliver.


So I added a $3 charge for under $35 yesterday and got 4 orders right after that include it. So I’m going to let it ride for a bit.

On Amazon (and my website) I’m Free all the way. On Etsy, they actually do a very good job of “Buy these two and get shipping for free.” The other issue with my category (on Etsy) is I’m competing with stupid digital downloads for $7.50 so the upfront price shown on the search pages is key.

I think I’ll leave it for a week or so and see if I notice any change. I do track my competition and they all charge a fee higher than mine for under $35 and do quite well. So we shall see!

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Results are going to vary based on Niche and market BUT…
For many things Free shipping or an up front price with shipping included is likely to capture more sales from a quick search.
If people need to go all the way through your checkout process to find out what the shipping charge is going to be, there are many people who will go elsewhere unless we are taking about small inexpensive things where the shipping charge is nominal anyway.

I know for the stuff I sell on Amazon, it is easier to simply price to provide the free economy shipping on everything. That way my price for FBA and my Merchant fulfilled price can be the same and I generally make just about the same on the stuff either way. It works well for the stuff I sell on Amazon/Ebay at least.

I know when I’m shopping around for things, I like when I know a site is offering free shipping just because it makes my math easier when comparing to another source. But there are times/situations when I find that a different supplier that charges separate shipping actually comes out as a better deal even after I do the math.

So, pricing and if you should bother including shipping in your pricing will really depend on your market and products as to if it will make a difference.