Here’s our approach to Etsy affiliate program review:

On our journey of reviewing affiliate programs, we’ve covered a whole lot of affiliate programs.

We discovered one thing, however. They tend to be more affiliate programs on eCommerce sites.

That’s our view, though.

The problem I have is; how on earth will people place focus only on Amazon affiliate programs?

Yeah, it’s not bad. But it doesn’t really make sense. At least, follow the old saying “don’t place your eggs in one basket”.

But to think of it, there are a lot of eCommerce stores out there. But why the overemphasis on Amazon?

Just Joking, though…

In this article, I’m going to take a detailed review of the Etsy affiliate program.

What is Etsy?Etsy homepage

Founded way back in 2005, Etsy is just another eCommerce store based in America.

But this time around, Etsy focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.

Unlike Amazon, Etsy is actually a middleman standing between a buyer and a seller.

If you say Etsy is a Marketplace, then you’re likely right.

The company doesn’t really sell directly to customers, like Amazon. Rather, it basically starts and gives small businesses a platform to find customers.Etsy homepage

Sellers are in charge of producing or providing goods, managing orders, and even shipping.

You can say Etsy is “eBay V2”.

Etsy Affiliate Program – Overview

So here’s the question probably in your mind: Does Etsy have an affiliate program?Etsy affiliate program landing page

Well, Yes. Etsy has a well-established and funded affiliate program hosted officially on the Awin affiliate network.

Just as the norms, the Etsy affiliate program is a marketing strategy aimed at letting affiliate marketers earn while they market Etsy.Etsy affiliate program landing page

As said earlier, Etsy is officially hosted on the Awin affiliate network.  

In other words, Awin would handle everything from sales tracking to payment, in Etsy’s affiliate program.

So, if you’ve got an account on Awin, you can just search for Etsy on Awin, and then apply. But if not, you’ll need to get an account.

However, it’s worth noting that you can find the program on other affiliate networks. E.g Flexoffers.

So, should you get rejected, you can, as well, try applying through other affiliate networks.

The caveat here’s that there are, in most cases, variations in program details, from affiliate networks to affiliate networks.

Where one affiliate network has a commission rate of A, the other would be B or even C.

So, to stay on the safer side, you should stick with Awin.

The Etsy affiliate program also supports Deep linking. So, you can deep-link to any product or page available at Etsy.

Additionally, signing up for the program isn’t actually a big deal as you can just hop into the program’s landing page and click on the “apply” button.

Thank goodness the affiliate program’s landing page is a bit informative, unlike  H&M affiliate program.

Mind you, there’s a fee to join the Etsy affiliate program, however via Awin. You’ll need to pay a fee of $5 before applying

This appears to me, though, as a way to scare away spammers. But it’s irritating.

In addition, the company won’t accept your application if you plan on using Advertising networks or social media pages to market their products.

However, there are no really strict rules on whether to promote Etsy on social media or Advertising networks.

The emphasis was made on the application.

What Type of Products Can you Promote on the Etsy Affiliate Program?

So, how well does Etsy match up with our “3 P’s Analysis”?

In case you don’t get it, the 3 P’s Analysis is simply a short-term that refers to a company’s products’ variety, authenticity, and Relevance.

In short, it’s just by analyzing this…

Relatively, the question here is; what can you promote on Etsy? Are Etsy’s products authentic? and lastly, is it relevant to your industry?

Let’s see…

Product Variety –

Etsy is an eCommerce platform for handmade or vintage items and craft supplies, basically.

Jewelry, bags, apparel, home décor and furniture, toys, art, and craft supplies and equipment are just a few of the areas in which these things can be found.

So, as y’all should know, these are the primary products to promote.

However, the company is gradually breaking its rules to go beyond selling this, to more.

That aside…

Etsy’s products are arranged comprehensively in categories. In fact, there are only  8 categories.

Etsy homepage with underlined categories

These categories are; Jewelry and accessories, Clothing and shoes, Home and living, wedding and party, Today’s and entertainment, Art and collectives, craft supplies and tools, and Vintage 

Note that these categories are all also made of a list of multiple sub-categories.

Product Authenticity –

Actually, I’ve never heard of a store called Etsy, if not for this review.

In my research to create this article, there were a lot of variations to whether Etsy is authentic or not.

Basically, Etsy is kinda authentic.

But the thing here is that Etsy’s managers are not in any way involved in selling or even shipping orders.

These tasks are all handled by individual sellers – emphasis on “individuals”!

With these individual sellers, anything could go wrong. You can be fortunate to buy from a good seller, who wants a good reputation.

But, on the other hand, you can also find yourself struggling in the hands of a scammer, who calls himself a seller.

In other words, product quality, buying experience, price tag, etc, are on sellers’ ends.

However, as a buyer, if you can take sellers’ reviews seriously, then you possibly won’t get into trouble.

Additionally, there are a lot of bad reviews of Etsy on Trustpilot. 

There are a lot of negative stories about Etsy. From fake products to shipping issues to support systems, they’re just a lot of them.Trustpilot reviews of etsy

But again, all these are due to the number of incompetent and fraud sellers available on the website.

Product Relevance –

Is Etsy suitable for you and your audience? Is it in any way related to your industry?

These are questions you’d need to answer before joining the program.

Commission Rate of the Etsy Affiliate Program

So here’s the actual nitty-gritty of this article, you’ve all been waiting for.

Etsy affiliate program offers a 4% commission rate for basically every product eligible promotion.

According to authority hackers, you’d only earn a 4% commission for “standard publisher” referrals. 

While sales referral generated by user generated content (UGC) can only earn you a 2% commission rate.

If you care to know, the so-called “standard publishers” is when a product referred, is done directly from the Etsy Affiliate link.

Sales created by content shared on social media platforms, such as photographs, videos, and other media, are referred to as “UGC” sales.

Payment Structure of the Etsy Affiliate Program

Just like what most affiliate programs, like Adidas, do, you can’t just make sales and receive your payment at a goal.

In fact, Etsy needs to verify all sales before qualifying its commission.

Verifying of sales before qualifying for the commission is done by most e-commerce affiliate programs that support refunds. 

This is to make sure your referrals don’t end up canceling orders or making requests for refunds.

To keep things on a safer side and avoid paying an affiliate a commission that does worth it, most programs tend to employ this strategy.

Usually, this takes a month or two. But in rare cases like Walmart, it can take up to 3 months.

Actually, Etsy has no fixed date for this. But it, however, stated it.

So, just bear it in mind that it should take about a month or two before you start earning.

So what about their payment schedule?

Etsy has a routine of paying affiliates either on the 1st or the 15th of a month.

Unlike ConvertKit’s affiliate, the “twice in a month schedule” gives Etsy an edge.

Additionally, there are a variety of ways you can use to receive payments on the Etsy affiliate program.

  • International wire
  • Check
  • Payment to bank account via ACH

Note that there are no options to receive payments via PayPal or even Cryptocurrencies, at the time of writing this article.

You’re also given a minimum threshold of $20 to reach before payment can be made.

Policies of Etsy’s Affiliate Program

One major thing I dislike about the Etsy Affiliate Program is its level of strictness.

When it comes to promotion platforms,  Etsy is deeply selective. The program wants you to stick to a particular platform.

According to Etsy, you can only promote your affiliate links on the platform you presented to them. 

Otherwise, you’d need to get Etsy’s approval for the other platforms.

In essence, you can’t just post your affiliate links randomly on any platform. It must be authorized by Etsy.

Before having to spend your $5 on applying for the program, make sure your site doesn’t fall under the Etsy program’s prohibited sites.

These are;

  • Coupons/Voucher sites
  • Price comparison sites
  • Ad networks or platform
  • All websites that make use of “pop-unders” or “pop-ups”.
  • Dropshipping sites
  • Social media pages below 
  • Membership sites or any password protected sites
  • Websites with adult, political, religious, or any other sensitive content.
  • Websites that exist solely to promote Etsy.

Etsy doesn’t seem to approve social media sites, pages, forums, etc. However, according to the company, they’d accept Instagram accounts only if there are more than 10,000 followers.

As you can see, Etsy is actually after serious-minded Publishers who are ready to pump on traffic to Esty’s with their already established platforms.

The driving point of Etsy is that you should have an established website.

I dunno, perhaps they feel social media can’t help matters…Or would possibly increase spamming.

Cookie Duration of the Etsy Affiliate Program

The Etsy affiliate program has a cookie duration of 30 days. This is pretty much the standard for affiliate marketing

Other than that, this is way better than what most e-commerce Affiliate Program offer.

For instance; Amazon and Sephora’s affiliate cookies only last for 24 hours!

The caveat, however, is that Etsy operates on a last-click attribution model. 

This is somewhat favorable to most affiliate marketers. However, it’s one-sided.

The last-click attribution model simply means that the affiliate who would be rewarded for a referral purchase is the owner of the last affiliate link, the prospective buyer clicked on before purchasing.

This is favorable in some way…

But in a situation where such products are being promoted massively by a crowd of affiliates.

Your chances of being the “last click” would be pretty low.

On the other hand, a “first-click attribution model” would favor the first affiliate to get a click within the cookie duration.

So what actually is Cookies or their duration?

Well, cookies are simply sets of data packets contained in a web browser.

These cookies tend to contain sensitive information, shared between users and websites.

By sensitive, I mean information like Logins, products in Carts (without being logged in), and even affiliate referrals.

Usually, when someone clicks on an affiliate link, referral data is stored on their browser.

With the cookies in place, using a third-party network, affiliates can track their referrals, sales, and impressions.

While users can deliberately remove this cookie, affiliate providers do add a period they can last on browsers.

This period, they call cookie duration (referral period).

So, Take, for instance, someone clicks on your affiliate link and loses interest in buying the product.

Even if the person doesn’t buy the product at the time, there’s still the potential for you to earn. 

Because they subsequently return to buy the product, even without having to click on your link again, you’d earn for a valid purchase.

Pros And Cons Of the Etsy Affiliate ProgramPros and cons of Etsy affiliate program

So, what are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Market Leader Etsy might not sound like that eCommerce store you’ve always heard of, but they’re actually a market leader in their expertise. So you know, Etsy is the leading brand in the vintage and craft industry.
  • Lots of Creatives – Etsy doesn’t just bring you out to the river, it gives you tools to catch the Fish.
  • Standard Cookie duration – Just like Ulta, Etsy gives you a pretty standard cookie duration.
  • Unique Products – There isn’t really that viable alternative to Etsy, talk more of their products. There are a lot of products you can only find on Etsy.

Cons

  • Overly Strict – In my opinion, Esty is really obsessed with spammers, affiliate frauds, and massive earnings from affiliate marketers. And this called for unnecessarily strict rules
  • Poor Commission Rate – The program’s 4% commission rate isn’t just helping matters.

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself in the right niche for Etsy and you have a suitable audience for the program, then you can go on, joining.

But if you’re looking for an alternative for an eCommerce affiliate program or something similar, then I don’t think Etsy is the right choice.

The 4% commission rate isn’t just favorable. Moreover, their policies are something else.

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