Making sure you’re aware of these aspects can help you better manage your existing Etsy business. Or, if you’re still deciding where to plant the seed of a business, this info can help you decide if Etsy is the right choice for you.
Finding the Info You Need
Many choose Etsy for the first place they open their small business, and for good reason. Etsy has been wildly growing in popularity and has proved itself to be a wonderful place to find quality handcrafted items. Sellers take advantage of an established customer base, a great community of sellers, access to niche markets, and the ability to create and check in on new listings quickly.
As with any great online platform, there must be standardized policies so that all business is fair, and no seller or buyer is treated differently. Since there are many different circumstances to cover, the rules can be lengthy and tough to understand at a glance.
Although Etsy has been a pioneer in allowing thousands of small businesses a central hub with an incredibly easy setup, some valuable information may be a bit tougher to locate. It can sometimes require lengthy internet searches through outdated user experiences to find a vague understanding of what you really need to be answered. That is why we have compiled a quick, easy, and updated list so that you can focus on what is most important: growing your online business in 2021.
Important Facts About Etsy
Etsy has many standards in place but both sellers and buyers do have some options. With a quick read of these common questions listed below, you can quickly solve any concerns.
Can Etsy Remove a Review?
Etsy will only remove a review if it violates its policies. Etsy’s exact policies are listed below. They will remove a review only if it:
- Contains private information;
- Contains obscene, racist, or harassing language or imagery;
- Violates our Anti-Discrimination Policy;
- Contains prohibited medical drug claims;
- Contains advertising or spam;
- Be about things outside the seller’s control, such as a shipping carrier, Etsy or a third party;
- Contain threats or extortion;
- Include shilling or otherwise falsely inflate a shop’s review score; or
- Undermine the integrity of the Reviews system.
To have Etsy look at a review you believe may have violated its policies, simply hit report this review under the review you’d like to report. Note that you can only report a review if it is within 100 days after the delivery date for that order.
You can also contact Etsy Support directly to notify them through this link.
In relation to reviews, Etsy’s third-party policy has been in the limelight due to the covid-19 shipping delays over the last year. This would be a good example of a review that could be removed by Etsy because it does not apply to the seller. The seller has no control over the shipping time and all shipping is done by a separate shipping carrier. Check out this related Etsy community post.
Even if Etsy does not end up removing the review, as a seller you can always reach out to that customer and explain the situation privately or leave a public reply to the review explaining the circumstances. The options you have as a seller in regard to replying to a negative review are explained further in the “can Etsy sellers delete reviews” section.
Can Etsy Force a Refund?
Etsy can force a refund or partial refund for a variety of reasons including fraud, the item being not as described, non-delivery, or a return. A buyer can contact Etsy to report one of these situations.
However, Etsy highly recommends that both buyers and sellers communicate first to try to sort out any issues. Here are some steps that a seller can take to resolve an issue:
- First explain the situation as factually and straightforward as possible.
- Staying calm is the most important thing. Make sure that your phrasing and word choice is not accusatory, defensive, or offensive.
- If the buyer is still not satisfied, and it was an honest mistake on the seller’s part, make up for it.
- Consider an exchange or partial refund.
- Sometimes, the only way to conclude a complaint is to just give the buyer exactly what they’re requesting.
- This could be a full refund, shipping out a new item, or a refund on shipping costs.
- Be sure to not let these interactions discourage you from selling on Etsy. Every single business deals with difficult customers and the important thing is to look at the big picture. You’ll likely have many positive customer experiences to come.
Etsy can also force a refund if a chargeback is filed, and proper documentation is not shown to combat it. A chargeback is when a customer disputes the Etsy transaction on their bank statement, usually for one of the reasons listed above. The goal is to get any money refunded. PayPal or the customers bank will then require information to see if the chargeback is valid. As a Seller, you’ll need to provide ample evidence that you have upheld your end of the bargain and delivered everything as expected. Some evidence that you can provide to help combat a chargeback includes:
- Tracking information and/or a delivery confirmation
- Any messages or correspondence with the customer relating to the dispute
- Receipts of the transaction
- A letter written by the seller explaining that everything was fulfilled as agreed upon
Can Etsy sellers delete reviews?
No, Sellers and Buyers alike are unable to remove reviews. Buyers can only edit their previous reviews within 100 days of their delivery date if the issue is resolved.
The only real way that a seller could have a hand in removing a review is if they report it to Etsy due to a violation of Etsy’s policy as listed above.
Making sure that sellers cannot delete reviews makes it so that stores are authentic and provide quality products.
If you receive a bad review, there are two different ways that you can respond.
- We recommend reaching out to the seller to resolve the issue if possible. You can do so privately by simply messaging the buyer and offering a fix to their issue. If the issue is resolved, and they’re satisfied, the buyer can edit their review.
- Another option is to respond publicly to a review if it cannot be resolved privately. You can reply to the review and explain the circumstances. This makes it so that other potential buyers checking out the reviews on your product can get the full picture of why that individual left their poor review and may increase the likelihood of them placing an order.
Etsy states that you can respond to reviews that are 3 stars or less.
However, if you do decide to publicly respond to a bad review, be sure to do so carefully as a defensive response to a bad review may look even worse for your business. Stay as factual and pleasant as possible. This can be a great opportunity to stay positive and have others gain more respect for your business through these interactions.
Can Etsy Sellers Block Buyers?
Yes. If you’d like to block a buyer, simply go to their profile, and hit the “block” button on the bottom left. The buyer will not be notified that you have blocked them. The only thing that blocking a buyer does is it results in the buyer not receiving updates from you.
The downside is that the blocked buyer can still visit and purchase from your store and message you.
If a buyer is causing trouble messaging you repeatedly or sending inappropriate messages, you can report the messages as spam and Etsy will investigate them.
However, if the situation is still not settled, or is getting worse and is posing a threat to your business, you can report the buyer. You’ll need to contact Etsy support to do so. You’ll need clear reasoning and evidence for why you are reporting the buyer. Be sure to collect as much evidence as possible if you are looking to take this route.
Can Etsy Sellers See Your Personal Address?
Yes. This is required information to share with the seller so that buyers can have their item accurately shipped to them. If you’d like to keep your personal address private, we recommend investing in a PO box, especially if you do a lot of online buying. The benefits of a PO box include:
- You do not need to worry about packages finding the correct address if you move, since your PO box will stay the same.
- USPS states that PO box mail is usually delivered earlier in the day than regular mail.
- Privacy, convenience, and ease of use.
Buyer’s billing info or other payment information will not be viewable by a seller.
Eventually interacting with an unruly customer is unavoidable when selling on such a widely used platform. When this interaction does occur, however, you are not left without some options. The important thing is that sellers know how they can protect their business and continue to grow a quality, lucrative shop. Likewise, if a buyer has purchased from a store that is not delivering on their promises, the buyer can recoup any losses.
Etsy can provide success and an occupation that many people absolutely love. As with any platform that is used to sell goods or services, there can be some downsides and challenging situations. Despite some downsides, there is an overwhelming number of positive experiences and life changing freedom that many experience when selling on Etsy. A great place to check out all the incredible success stories is the 100/1,000/10,000/100,000 sales tag on Reddit. There are also lots of great tips that successful sellers share there as well. Check it out here!
Although some buyers and sellers disagree with Etsy’s rules, it is important that there are standards and upkept rules to maintain the integrity of this incredible online market. Both buyers and sellers benefit from being aware of these rules and regulations as they can then have better communications and relationships throughout the platform.