Etsy Pulls Plug on Free Listings Giveaway - EcommerceBytes

Summary

Etsy appears to have ended the chance for sellers to take advantage of a free-listing promotion, and some who had already opted in to the promotion said their remaining free listings vanished.

Etsy appears to have ended the chance for sellers to take advantage of a free-listing promotion, and some who had already opted in to the promotion said their remaining free listings vanished.

Etsy had shared a code (100newforetsy) as part of an invitation to take a survey. Recipients could use the code to activate a promotion to receive 100 free listings, as long as they were new listings.

Some recipients of the invitation shared the code, and it went viral over the long holiday weekend. By Wednesday, sellers who had not received the code directly from Etsy but had added it to their account began seeing their remaining free-listing credits vanish.

"I redeemed the code over the weekend but didn't do any new listings until today," a seller told EcommerceBytes on Wednesday. "I did two without incident (98 listings left) and then after the third it just went poof and told me I had used them all."

The seller reached out to Etsy Help and was told the promotion was only available to certain countries, the US not being one of them (which does not appear to be accurate).

"I am in the US. I don't know why it let me redeem them in the first place (and neither did Etsy). I suspect they will be getting a lot of Help requests due to this," the seller said.

Strangely, some of the sellers discussing the vanishing free listings reported they reappeared in their accounts - it's not clear if they were the original intended recipients of the promotion.

In the comments section of our Newsflash article about the promotion, a seller wrote on Wednesday, "If you were able to sign up, any unused listings have disappeared. Supposedly they have sent out new links to those who they were originally intended for."

On the Etsy discussion boards one seller wrote, "If you were actually entitled to the 100 free listings then you will receive a message from Etsy asking you your shop name/link/email. I did this 30 mins ago and already have the remainder of my 100 listings back. If you used the promotion without being entitled to it then you will not receive this email and they will not be reinstated." (Note that sellers who took advantage of the code had no way of knowing they weren't "entitled" to it, since it worked.)

We asked Etsy on Wednesday afternoon who could take advantage of the promotion (and until when) and about the post-promotion disappearing credits, but did not receive a response by the time of this posting.

In a Facebook group, a seller said the inability for Etsy to limit who could use its code was the same problem sellers experience with Etsy coupon codes.

"The inability to limit who can use a code, or how many times it can be used, frustrates us and costs us money. I frequently hear about sellers who've created a code for a specific customer, or for a bounce back promotion, only to have first-time customers use the code."

If that's the case, maybe Etsy will seek a solution now that it's apparently experienced the problem for itself.

The incident also highlights how situations that occur on marketplaces over a holiday weekend are often neglected until 9-to-5 employees return to work

Sellers are also quick to point out that most incidents or glitches favor the marketplace to the detriment of sellers. This appears to have been the exception that proves the rule.

Etsy Pulls Plug on Free Listings Giveaway - EcommerceBytes
Photo Credit: EcommerceBytes

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