ETSY

The Truth About Etsy Offsite Ads – Are They Really Worth It?

January 16, 2024 by Alex Tooby
1 comments 
The Truth About Etsy Offsite Ads - Are They Really Worth It?

Just opened an Etsy shop, thrilled with your first sales… only to discover a chunk disappearing to ‘Offsite Ads’? You’re not alone! This controversial program sparks fiery debates, with sellers split between “ban Offsite Ads!” and “they work for me!”

Some see Etsy Offsite Ads as a golden ticket to wider reach and booming sales, while others loathe the forced participation and hefty bite out of their profits.

Before you join the “ban Offsite Ads” camp or sing their praises, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. This blog will demystify the topic and provide you with clarity on how they work, how much they’ll cost you and most importantly, are Offsite Ads worth it for your Etsy shop?

What are Etsy Offsite Ads?

Etsy Offsite Ads are a semi-mandatory (more on that below) form of advertising that all Etsy Sellers are enrolled in, when they create an Etsy Shop.

Offsite Ads allow Etsy to promote your listings beyond the marketplace on platforms like Google, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Bing and more and are managed completely by Etsy. They choose the platforms and put in all the work to target potential buyers for you.

Sounds great, right?

Yes, and no.

Etsy Offsite Ads come at a price. You’ll be charged a 12-15% fee on any purchase made through the Offsite Ad, which, coupled with Etsy’s already higher-than-average operating and processing fees, can sting quite a bit!

But – Offsite Ads are put in place to help you make sales. Etsy fronts the cost of the advertisement and gives you the benefit of having your listings seen by a much wider range of potential buyers. Should they be successful, they take their cut. Should your profit margins be healthy enough, you should be in the green too!

However, not everyone is happy about Etsy Offsite Ads..

Etsy Offsite Ads - Complaints from Sellers

Why are Sellers Furious about Etsy Offsite Ads?

Etsy Offsite Ads are far from straightforward, and for many sellers, their forced implementation sparks a fiery rage. While increased sales might seem like a no-brainer, the reality is far more nuanced, and seller distaste stems from a few factors:

  1. Mandatory Participation: If you have generated more than $10,000 USD in sales in the last 365 days you CANNOT opt out of Offsite Ads. This forced participation rubs many sellers the wrong way, feeling more like a forced tax than a genuine opportunity.
  2. Hefty Fees: Sales made through Etsy Offsite Ads are subject to a 12-15% fee which can add up to nearly 30% when considering all other applicable Etsy fees, and not to mention – the cost to ship your item! For some, these hefty fees can make selling on Etsy unprofitable.
  3. No Control: Etsy controls every aspect of Offsite Ads, leaving sellers in the dark about where their ads appear and who is seeing them. This lack of control breeds frustration and oftentimes suspicion about how it all actually works.

Despite these common qualms against Offsite Ads, they aren’t all bad and shouldn’t exactly be exiled. It really depends on your business’ profit margins.

Keep reading to find out if Etsy Offsite Ads are right for you!

How to Sell on Etsy - Free PDF

Unlock your shop's potential with my

FREE 5-DAY ETSY™ CHALLENGE!

Proven strategies to optimize your shop, increase profits and boost sales in just 5 days!

How Much Does it Cost to Use Etsy Offsite Ads?

Etsy Offsite Ad fees are either 12% or 15% depending on how much revenue you’ve made on Etsy in the past 365 days.

  • If you’ve sold less than $10,000 USD you will be charged 15%.
  • If you’ve sold more than $10,000 USD you will be charged 12%.

This percentage is taken off the top of the entire order amount (including all extras like shipping, taxes, personalization fees etc). That means, if you make a sale of $100, you’ll either be charged a fee of $12 (12%) or $15 (15%).

Keep in mind, you will also be charged all other applicable Etsy fees you typically incur on a regular sale, including listing fees, processing fees, transactions fees etc, on the full order amount. This means the total % Etsy takes on an Offsite Ad sale could be up to 30%! 

*To learn exactly what fees Etsy charges their sellers, read this blog: Etsy Seller Fees – The Complete Guide For 2024

*Note: the 12-15% Etsy Offsite Ad fee applies to any purchases made within 30 days of a click. That means the following:

  1. If John sees an ad for your product on January 1st and decides not to purchase, but goes back to your Etsy shop on January 20th and makes a purchase you will be charged the Offsite Ad fee.
  2. If Susan sees an ad for your product on January 1st and makes a purchase you are charged the Offsite Ad fee. If Susan returns to your store (not through an ad) on January 29th and makes an additional purchase you will be charged the Offsite Ad fee AGAIN.

Can You Opt Out of Etsy Offsite Ads?

YES, you can opt out of Etsy Offsite Ads if your store has sold less than $10,000 USD in the last 365 days.

To opt out follow these steps:

  1. Log onto Etsy.com
  2. Click the Shop Manager icon on the top right
  3. Click ‘Settings’ from the left sidebar
  4. Click ‘Offsite Ads’
  5. Click the ‘Stop Promoting my Products’ button
Opting Out of Etsy Offsite Ads

If your store has sold more than $10,000 USD in the last 365 days you CANNOT opt-out of Etsy Offsite Ads.

*Remember: if you are forced to participate in Etsy Offsite Ads based on your sales revenue, you do get the benefit of only be charged 12% instead of 15%.

How Do I Accurately Track My Etsy Offsite Ad Fees & Revenue?

While Etsy doesn’t provide detailed analytics about their Offsite Ads like you’d find in the Facebook Ads Manager, they do share with you a few interesting statistics:

1. The total amount of clicks your listings received from Offsite Ads and how many orders that resulted in.

Etsy Offsite Ads - Analytics

2. The total dollar amount of Offsite Ad orders and the total amount of Offsite Ad fees paid on those orders.

3. A detailed look at which listings were advertised, the date and time they were clicked on, where the click took place (ex Google or Bing), the item(s) the shopper ended up purchasing after clicking the ad, the date and time of the sale (note this may be different than the original date of the click due to Etsy’s 30 day ‘attribution window’) and finally, the sale value and Offsite Ad fee for that particular sale.

Etsy Offsite Ads - Order Details

To view these statistics follow these steps:

  1. Log onto Etsy.com
  2. Click the Shop Manager icon on the top right
  3. Click ‘Settings’ from the left sidebar
  4. Click ‘Offsite Ads’
  5. Click the ‘See Offsite Ad Stats’ button

From here you can select the date range of our choice and Etsy will populate your offsite ad statistics.

These statistics are really helpful to see the buyer journey behind the ad. Lots of times a buyer will purchase the exact item they clicked on, but other times the ad may lead the buyer to a totally different product which is a huge plus!

Are Etsy Offsite Ads Worth it?

At the end of the day, Etsy Offsite Ads may or may not be worth it to you, depending on your business’ profit margin. If you have a product that costs you a lot to make, is expensive to ship or doesn’t sell for a very high price, you may be selling at a loss, after Etsy collects all its fees.

If that’s the case, Etsy Offsite Ads are definitely not worth it for you and I would opt out if you can.

Having said that, if you have a healthy profit margin that leaves you in the green after Etsy has taken ALL of their fees, Offsite Ads are totally worth it!

Last year Etsy Offsite Ads brought me nearly $11,000 in orders and the Offsite Ad fees for those sales were just $1,320.

If I consider the additional 11% those sales incurred from other Etsy fees ($1,210), the total profit on the $11k would be $8,470 which is 235% return on investment! Not to mention I only needed to pay these fees after Etsy generated me the sales!

Unlike other forms of advertising, I normally would need to pay that $2,530 upfront before I saw any sales so.. In my case (and the case of many others with healthy profit margins), Etsy Offsite Ads are absolutely worth it!

How to Sell on Etsy - Free PDF

Unlock your shop's potential with my

FREE 5-DAY ETSY™ CHALLENGE!

Proven strategies to optimize your shop, increase profits and boost sales in just 5 days!

Enjoyed this blog? You may also like these posts:

Subscribe
Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

WOW..EXCELLENT CONTENT AND INFORMATION ..LEARNED SOMETHING COOL THANKS TO YOU.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

FAST-TRACK YOUR COURSE SUCCESS

15 MISTAKES COURSE CREATORS MAKE (AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD!)

Skip the costly mistakes. Save time, money and launch your course successfully, the first time!