For those who don't know, whenever I receive payment through PayPal, a processing fee is automatically deducted. This is how PayPal gets paid to process orders for sellers.
In the past, PayPal has refunded their fees - fully when seller makes a full refund and partially when seller makes a partial refund. Recently, PayPal has announced they will no longer refund any of these fees whenever a seller makes a refund to a customer.
"If you agree to these changes, you don’t have to do anything. If you don’t agree with these changes, you may close your account....
...We’re changing how we treat refunds. If you refund (partially or fully) a transaction to a buyer or a donation to a donor, there are no fees to make the refund, but the fees you originally paid as the seller will not be returned to you."
It's like PayPal doesn't even care anymore.
I rarely need to make a refund to a customer. In the few times I have needed to do so, it has usually been because a customer made a mistake on their order (for example, a customer ordered a pattern package and also ordered a single pattern that was included in the package). Or, the checkout system has a glitch and charged State sales tax from a customer who does not live in my state. In these cases, I make a partial refund to the customer. In the past, PayPal would then make a partial refund of the fees to me. No more. Sigh.
As far as I know Etsy does not refund any seller fees either...although I could not find any information about this on their help site. I found all kinds of information on how to make a refund, but nothing about Etsy refunding seller fees. I will keep looking.
So, after spending the past several days researching alternatives and calming down a bit, I have decided to sit back and think about how I want to move forward. I really don't want to let go of my Etsy shop - I've been there for 12 years and have a small following...and all that positive feedback from customers. Etsy has name recognition and is trusted by consumers. I would have to start over with any new shop I might open and a lot of people are hesitant to order from a platform they are not familiar with.
I really don't want 2 shops either, because reasons.
Unrelated, but coinciding with the above quandary, the cost of international shipping has skyrocketed while Etsy is pushing (not forcing, yet) sellers to offer free shipping. Part of my strategy for moving forward will be how I handle shipping charges in the future. I am leaning towards free domestic shipping, but still charging for international orders (as opposed to not shipping overseas at all).