I have found recently that my bill with Etsy is on the high side, but you know what else I am noticing? My sales are going up too! It's true, you really do have to spend money to make money. I am nearing 300 items in my shop and yesterday I spent 1.20 in listing NEW items and I sold 10 items! Today I have spent 3.20 and sold 4 items and received a large wholesale order. I know that spending upwards of 3.00 a day can get tiresome and spendy for some, but try something smaller. Try doing 1.00 a day (5 listings) for AT LEAST 2 weeks. YOu will be amazed at the results. Remember, there need to be some NEW items in there too. I did a study where I just renewed OLD items and the success rate was VERY LOW. I take the weekends off from listing and usually just renew 1 or 2 items a day. In the months of October & November I also tested another theory.
In this study, I focused on pure renewals, as my time was tight and I did not have much free time to create. I would spend the entire day renewing ONLY 2 items throughout the day. (Usually each item was renewed 3 times). I did this only 3 times a week and on the other days just renewed items randomly. EACH AND EVERY TIME I did this, I sold 1 of the renewed items. I renewed 1 lower priced item (5-10.00) and 1 pricier item (15-40.00). You shouldn't have to worry about spending .60 to renew a 5.00 item, because renewals should be built into your advertising budget and the fees should come out of there as opposed to your profit margin.
I also pad the price of each item I make to cover 2-3 renewals as well. I keep track of each item I have listed in shop AND the dates of renewals. Now I know when an item sell with only 1 renewal or none, that I have a few extra renewals I can spread around :) It sounds more complicated than it really is! Hope this helps you guys!!!