Etsy Offsite Ads Notification: What Does It Mean?

If you don’t have Etsy offsite ads turned on, you might have been confused when you received a notification that told you how much you had made through offsite ads.

This is basically Etsy’s attempt to lure you into turning offsite ads on, but should you? Let’s look at what the notices mean.


Etsy Offsite Ads Notification: What Does It Mean?

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etsy offsite ads notification

What does revenue from offsite ads mean?

When Etsy reports revenue from offsite ads, it’s the total of the sales that were made in your shop from someone clicking on an offsite ad, then coming to Etsy to buy something. This is reported whether you use offsite ads or not, which can be confusing.

When someone clicks on an offsite ad then comes to Etsy, the ad fee is only paid if the customer buys something from the same shop whose ad they clicked.

So in other words, if they click on an ad for my shop, but they end up buying something from your shop, I don’t pay the offsite ad fee and neither do you.

Etsy would cover the entire cost of the ad in that case. The fee that we pay for offsite ads only covers about 40% of the cost of the ads, so Etsy pays for most of them even if we pay the fee.

If you think about it, Etsy probably isn’t making a profit on sales that come from offsite ads, because the seller fees aren’t going to cover the cost of the ad.

Etsy knows that, but they also know that it makes sense to advertise to get people to come to Etsy, then they can try to get them to come back again to buy more.




Why is Etsy sending these offsite ads notices out?

Since Etsy probably doesn’t make money on sales that come from offsite ads, it’s definitely in their best interest to try to get Etsy sellers to participate in the program so that they can offset some of the price they’re paying for the ads.

One way to persuade sellers to turn their offsite ads on is to show you how much you’re making through the program even if you’re not paying for the ads.

By sending out these notifications, Etsy is basically trying to get people to think that they would get a lot more traffic and sales if they turned the offsite ads on.

Some of the amounts they report are pretty impressive, like the picture above, but that can also make you wonder why they bothered to tell you that you made sales without paying for the ads.



On one hand, if you’re getting sales because of traffic from someone else’s ads, you might get more if you turn your offsite ads on.

On the other hand, if you’re making sales without having to pay the offsite ads fee, why would you turn them on?




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Should you turn on offsite ads or not?

If you get one of these notifications, don’t be too quick to think that turning your offsite ads on would be a good idea.

The members of the EShop Success program who received these notices commented that finding out that they got sales from offsite ads without having to pay the fee didn’t make them want to turn the ads on.

If you’re getting sales without having to pay the fees, that’s a bonus for you.

Since you only have the option to turn offsite ads on and off if you haven’t made $10,000 in the previous year, the ad fee you’d be paying would be 15%, which can take a chunk out of your profits.

Make sure that you can afford that before turning the ads on. If you can’t, or if the profit you’d be making would be too small, it probably isn’t worth turning offsite ads on even if it might bring you a few extra sales.

If you’re not sure about how to calculate your profit on Etsy (it’s not the number they tell you in your payment account,) read this article to learn how to do it accurately! How to price your products on Etsy.




Basically, don’t take the notifications from Etsy as evidence that you’ll get more sales from offsite ads if you turn them on. You might, but you might not, and you’ll be paying the fee for them if you do.

Always do your own calculations to see if it makes sense financially for you to turn offsite ads on or not, regardless of what Etsy tried to entice you into thinking.

Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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