You’ve just realized that Etsy has closed your shop… Now what?
As it turns out, this is a problem that happens occasionally.
You can read plenty of horror stories online from people with thriving Etsy shops who suddenly have their stores closed down. This can be quite a shock, and makes you wonder if all the work you’ve put into your Etsy shop was worth it… setting up a business, launching your store, investing in promotion, and making sales, just to have your hard work and income disappear overnight!
Personally, it is one of the main reasons I encourage people to have their own website when starting any type of online business in addition to being on marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay. I don’t like having my livelihood at someone else’s mercy.
As mentioned previously, this does not mean you should avoid selling platforms such as Etsy. Millions of craft shoppers use Etsy to find all sorts of products; the marketplace is huge!
Using these selling platforms also makes it easier to get exposure. Additionally, the promotion tools offered by Etsy, such as promoted listings, can be very useful to drive you more sales. Building a name for yourself when you’re starting can be difficult with just a website.
Now that you understand how Etsy can be beneficial for your business, you should figure out why your shop was closed down and if there is anything you can do to get it back online.
While the reasons people get their stores shut down is usually due to a mistake of their own, plenty of people have had their shop closed even if it wasn’t entirely their fault.
This article will help you understand why Etsy may have closed your shop, as well as provide some possible solutions to the problem.
Why would Etsy close my shop?
If you read some of the stories posted online about people’s bad experiences with Etsy, you may be discouraged from wanting to be on Etsy at all anymore! Although you may have this feeling, Etsy is still a great place to get more exposure, especially when you are just starting out. For this reason, it is important to try to figure out why Etsy may have closed your shop.
The main reason why Etsy may have closed your shop is because you violated one of their rules.
When you opened your store, you agreed to their terms and conditions. These terms and conditions contain rules that you must abide by to sell on their platform. It is important to be aware of these rules so you don’t end up violating them. If you haven’t read them yet, check out Etsy’s Seller Policy to see these rules.
To get a better understanding of why Etsy closed your shop, I will list and explain the most common reasons why Etsy shops get shut down. In most cases, you will also receive an email informing you of why your Etsy shop was closed, but some people report not receiving this email.
When you are selling your own products, Etsy expects what you are selling to be original work. This means that “piggybacking” off of popular culture designs and items is a bad idea. This is also illegal and a breach of intellectual property. Even though you may see other people doing it, this does not mean it is allowed! Eventually, Etsy will catch onto with these sellers and close their shops too.
You could also break intellectual property rules by buying a pattern from another Etsy seller and selling the finished product, despite the seller specifically mentioning that you cannot do that. Should that seller file a complaint, you may end up with a suspended account. So follow the rules before creating any item that may not entirely be completely yours.
2. You didn’t pay your bills
It may be surprising for some to hear, but some people will ignore, whether intentionally or unintentionally, paying their Etsy dues. Etsy charges 0.2$ per listing and the total bill is sent at the end of the month for settlement. Make sure your payment method is always active and ready to settle especially if you’re adding promotion costs! Failing to pay your Etsy bills will surely get your shop closed.
3. You sold prohibited products
As with every online selling platform, Etsy has a list of prohibited items that are clearly specified on their website. Selling a prohibited item on Etsy will lead to an immediate shut down of a store once it is reported. For example. selling items such as alcohol/drug-related items or items made from animal parts (especially endangered species) can land you in hot water.
You should also be aware that some items loosely related to prohibited products may be allowed. For example, they mention in their Prohibited Items Policy page, while selling actual alcohol is forbidden, selling a beer brewing kit is allowed.
4. It was by mistake
With the huge number of Etsy stores at the moment (approximately 2.5 million sellers in 2019), occasionally stores are shut down on accident without the seller breaking any rules.
Some sellers have suddenly found their income to be gone, even though they have been abiding by Etsy’s rules. This is scary and frustrating, especially because most sellers spend many hours of work taking pictures, preparing products, working on their shop. For all your hard work to disappear without explanation, it can be very disappointing.
While your initial reaction may be to move your business elsewhere, some sellers have been successful in getting that suspension overturned. This is especially true when the shop closure was due to an automated detection system rather than a manual action taken by a human.
Can I Re-Open my Shop? Filing an appeal
Now that you have some sort of idea why your Etsy store was closed, you should consider filing an appeal if you believe it was a genuine mistake and that you haven’t broken any rules.
Appeals can be successful and decisions are sometimes overruled, which means it may be possible to get your shop back.
Keep in mind that it may take a while before you get your store back since your request must go through the appeals process.
The appeal process is pretty straightforward and detailed and you are allowed to file one except for suspension due to copyright infringement.
To appeal a suspended Etsy account, follow these steps:
- Head over to the contact page
- Click “Selling on Etsy”
- Click “Your Etsy Account”
- Click “Reopening or closing account”
- Click “Reopening or unsuspending your account”
- Click “I still need help”
- Choose a support option to contact Etsy
Be sure to give as much information as possible while petitioning your case to an Etsy team member. They will review your store to make sure you are indeed in compliance with their rules and regulations.
Be honest and do not provide any false information. Also, make sure that you’ve taken care of any issues with your shop or Etsy account, such as unpaid balances, before filing your claim.
Etsy will then review your appeal and either reinstate your store or reject it depending on the severity of the problem. Sometimes mistakes happen!
My appeal was rejected, now what?
In some cases, your appeal may be rejected and you may feel devastated at first. Although you may be angry, you will realize this is not the end of your business. There’s no point in wallowing forever about your closed down Etsy store. It may not be easy, but you have to keep on moving forward.
There are other marketplaces that allow you to sell your products other than Etsy. Make sure to follow their guidelines before joining. Use this experience as a learning opportunity so you can push forward and become more successful. This is also a great opportunity to create your own website so you are in full control of your business.
On the plus side, Etsy will allow you to export all your information from it even if your store is no longer visible to potential buyers. Although you won’t have access to some data, such as reviews, you’ll still be able to most of the information you need, such as your order history or your listings. You will have enough information to recreate your store elsewhere.
Etsy stores are rarely suspended without any reason. Usually, if you’re at fault, you will receive a notice of the issues you need to address along with a deadline to resolve the issue (often about five days).
If your store was accidentally closed down, you can still file an appeal and get it reinstated. Mistakes occasionally happen, even on the most sophisticated platforms, so remember to not take it personally.
It is very important to have multiple income streams and to be in as much control as possible of your business. Consider setting up up your own store on your own website hosting.
Remember, selling platforms such as Etsy are still important to be apart of. When using these marketplaces, pay attention to their rules and regulations to prevent getting shut down. Even if you see others violating the rules, you should not follow in their footsteps. Eventually, the selling platform will shut down these accounts.
If even you’ve developed a negative opinion about Etsy because of all this trouble, try not to worry about it too much. Etsy is still a great platform that can be beneficial for your business when it is used properly. Etsy can give you a huge boost in sales and allow you to quickly build a name for yourself, especially as a new seller.
Etsy is the go-to online marketplace for crafts and handmade/vintage products. This means there are millions of potential customers at your fingertips!
Obstacles are bound to happen. It’s how you deal with and overcome them that define how successful you will be on your online business journey as a crafts maker.
You will always encounter obstacles when doing any type of business. How you deal with and overcome them will definite how successful you will be during your online business journey as a crafts-maker.