Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Prototype I have been waiting on....

Well I should say the prototype I have been looking forward to being a part of since the beginning of the year.

If you are not familiar, Etsy offers some "prototype" teams to test out new features. Those who join these prototypes are able to test and use the new features before other members of Etsy. Most of these prototypes I do not bother to join, since I do not consider them to be an immediate need for my store. But last year, I did find one prototype team that I gladly joined: the shipping prototype team.

If you are familiar with Etsy, you will know that Etsy only offers one shipping method for each listing. This means that there is no way to automatically offer shipping upgrades. If a customer requests an upgrade, a seller can adjust a listing to reflect that.

Some have worked around this by offering listings in their stores to upgrade shipping. Typically they charge the extra shipping costs for that listing. This can be risky for a store owner however, since offering a listing that is dependent upon the purchase of a second listing is prohibited by Etsy's terms of use.

So needless to say, as an Etsy seller, the ability to offer shipping upgrades to my customers is something that I jumped on when the prototype team was offered last year. Unfortunately, there were some major bugs and Etsy admin opted to scrap the prototype and go back to the drawing board with shipping upgrades. The prototype team was dismantled back around February, much to our disappointment.

So I was very excited the other day when I went browsing through the prototype teams and spotted a new shipping upgrades prototype team. That's right, in time for the Holiday season, a new shipping upgrades prototype team. So now, while they are testing and hopefully through the Holiday shipping rush, I once again have the ability to offer my customers shipping upgrades!

If you are interested in joining the prototype team you can find it here. But be warned, you will be a guinea pig to testing; which means your customers may or may not see the option. But if you wait to long, the team may be closed and you will have to wait until the shipping prototype becomes available to all of Etsy before you can try it out.

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