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I hear a lot of complaining about what is wrong with Etsy. I've been a seller for over 10 years - a reputable seller with thousands of positive feedback addressing the quality of product, responsible shipping and responsive customer service. I have a few things to say in defense of the many wonderful buyers and sellers on Etsy. Then I'll honestly review Etsy itself.
FOR SELLERS: If you are going to sell on any site you had better prepare yourself. I studied business in college and have years of experience but you don't need a degree. There are a myriad of ways to study the market, make a business plan and perfect your skills. Start with your local library if you are into DIY or take a course online. I draw on lots of information to make certain I know what the market is for my product, pursue advertising, fair pricing and to make certain I am 100% transparent in my transactions.
I also apply those same goals as a buyer. While no business is perfect, what you put into it is what you get out of it so I work on my relationship with Etsy. There are shops on Etsy who are sloppy in presentation, don't give enough information, are not informative nor transparent in their listings, post terrible photos and absolutely nothing is done professionally. Etsy makes its process for opening a shop easy to follow but there is so very much more to it than just filling in forms.
If you want an honest review of your shop and have a desire to fulfill its potential, hire someone who can assess your plan before opening and give helpful feedback. It should be your goal to seek education. Before opening my shop I sought advice from an attorney, financial planner and other professionals. I wanted to be the best I could be and they helped me achieve that. Also, if you have never drawn up a business plan, it is a free service through the Small Business Administration. Finally, be prepared to have losses. That is what the Profit and Loss portion of your business taxes is for. You are not going to win every time. If your time is worth more than the loss, it really is not a loss to make the choice to move on. Keep good records so you can back up any claims you make to the IRS.
FOR BUYERS: Every buyer has a responsibility to take the time to read a shop's policies, convey any questions to the seller and thoroughly assess the shop and product. I know there are legitimate buyer concerns and many have had bad experiences, even so many have had positive experiences but why do the complaints seem louder than the positive feedback? Informed buyers need to look for informed sellers. Hold the seller responsible for delivering what they say they will deliver and let them know you are a savvy, serious, informed buyer. If the seller has any interest in their shop, they will respond immediately to fulfill what they promised you. Speak with authority but don't be aggressive; be kind with your words and politely address the problem after having thoroughly thought through your response. Don't speak off-the-cuff - not many people are successful at speaking impulsively.
Treat the seller as you want to be treated, with respect. I have cancelled orders and processed refunds to people who are rude and disrespectful. I politely tell them I can't fulfill their order and then I immediately process a refund. If you are buying from an artist ask LOTS of questions and be certain you listen carefully to their answers. If your gut tells you there is reason to distrust, move on. Most reputable artists will have lots of information to back up their ability to deliver. Ask what their turnaround time is, read all feedback, bring your expectations to their attention. If you are buying collectibles or supplies know your product. Many are the times people have made impulsive choices only to regret them later. Most shops are small and can't offer refunds so be sure to read the refund policy. If it does not suit you, move on.
RE: ETSY: I identified Etsy's shortcomings years ago, some have been eliminated while others remain and I work around them. No business, no buyer, no seller is perfect. Etsy still stands as the most innovative online venue in the U.S. There are plenty of other venues but they are not as successful nor do they have the customer base. So it is in any seller's best interest to learn what they can and cannot expect from Etsy. Their customer service department is not good at responding to individual questions or complaints but to be fair, a lot of those complaints could be alleviated if buyers and sellers would just treat each other as they want to be treated and if they both took their respective aims seriously. That means preparing to be a wise consumer and a responsible seller. It is ridiculous to expect Etsy to field a lot of complaints.
Ask yourself first if there is something you could have done better. Etsy could do a better job of servicing sellers but if you are a seller you'd better be prepared to operate independent of Etsy's involvement. Let's face it, they have a huge investment in growth, innovation and investors. So perhaps they don't focus as much growth and innovation in the area of customer service. Instead, they have succinct directives for finding your way through the mazes within Etsy. Read them, study them, apply them. Then there is the Etsy community. It works when people put their heads together and share information on how to fix things. Etsy reads the community forums and keeps a finger on the pulse of both the buying and selling communities. As I stated before, it is not a perfect system, but it is a workable if you apply yourself.
Etsy has changed my life for the better. I am now selling on Etsy full time and making more than many of my peers are. It's only a good site for sellers IF you fully read the seller handbook and work hard at running your shop. It isn't a "list and get rich" website - you need to put a lot of work into making your shop appealing for customers. However, Etsy provides buyers that wouldn't otherwise find me on another site or my own. Their search tool, commercials/marketing, and reputation attracts buyers and makes it easy for them to find items like mine! If you have had a bad experience as a seller, I would suggest doing more research into SEO, marketing, photography, and more. Also, their fees are unlike any other platform that offers just as big as a customer base. I am so thankful to be an Etsy seller and will continue to be for years to come!
5 stars for a job well done in customer service via disputes. After a grueling 6 month investigation Etsy removed a Seller who was falsely attacking my store and items by posting false statements. This egregious Seller believes that the rules of good and fair business behavior do not apply to them. I blocked the Seller on both Etsy and eBay and hoped that they would leave me alone. The Seller was buying my items on eBay and re-selling them on Etsy at triple the price which is the reason I blocked the Seller before selling on Etsy. When I started selling on Etsy the Seller attacked me for being a competitor with many predatory tactics to have me removed but it all backfired on the Seller. Interesting how my items were not fake until I started selling on Etsy. The Seller had their spouse/family and friends cyber bully me because I was competition to Seller's inferior items and yes those people (spouse/family and friends) were removed off Etsy as well.
Had it not been for the honesty of a buyer who reported the Seller's misdeeds to me I would have been blindsided. The Seller went after the buyer who reported the Seller by messaging and calling the buyer vicious names. The Seller was removed for selling fake merchandise and misuse of campaigning misrepresentations. The Seller is as phony as their fake items. Unfortunately, the Seller has now moved onto eBay where they changed their store name the day they were booted off Etsy which looks very suspicious and I see it as a RED flag. If you do buy any Disney charms on eBay from this Seller just give them the soap and water test and if the patina washes away then it is recast/painted/inked and it's FAKE.
The audacity to project their lies onto me was very scary and to accuse Etsy of removing them without warning is ridiculous. Etsy did give fair warning and guidance and I believe they would never just kick anyone off without provocation which the Seller repeatedly did daily for 6 months which was strange. I never attacked the Seller but I defended myself and I believed that blocking them would prevent an ugly situation but the Seller was constantly stalking me which was more tax strange and very creepy. It's so laughable the way the Seller falsely claims that they were the victim. The blocking feature on Etsy needs to be more ironclad to prevent this awful situation from happening ever again. I wonder how many other sellers this Seller had booted off Etsy and eBay because of their lies? Justice was served by Etsy.
Etsy is a really great venue for purchasing hand-made or vintage items. I have literally made thousands of purchases on Etsy. However, you have to be smart about it. Do NOT rely on Etsy's case system when things go wrong. Always pay via PayPal or use a credit card (preferably both). Etsy may tell you they can't help if an item is lost in the mail, but PayPal will require the seller to provide proof of delivery (not proof of shipping, which is useless). I actually won't buy from shops that do not accept PayPal, as I consider credit card chargebacks a last resort. Using PayPal funded by a credit card gives you two layers of protection against items not received or items not as described. If you bear this in mind, Etsy is a safe venue to buy from and you can find really great, unique and creative items there.
It was a bit depressing to read all 1 star reviews and I wonder if anyone writes positive reviews here... I am 5 star Etsy seller and buyer also on occasions when something really unusual catches my eye. ** Etsy store which I represent isn't the old one and I am working very hard to get more customers (I can guarantee your 100% satisfaction) and take pride of what I make and sell as it's a solid ground to my mission to revival of Victorian afternoon tea ceremony tradition and it's centerpiece - tiered bone china cake stand. Etsy in this case is a selling platform where my voice could be heard and what I make could be seen and bought around the Globe. That is a very positive point and important one as well.
When so many people had bad experiences with Etsy I would think that many of you actually had bad experiences with so many bad sellers. But trust me there are so many creative, talented and really dedicated to their art and craft people among Etsy sellers who will melt your heart with unusual things they make and rely on YOU - their customers to support their craft by buying it and allow them to create even better things. You, possibly, were not lucky enough yet to come across them.
As on any selling site, you have to look at seller's previous reviews which reflects their selling experience and their personal customer service as well as customer's satisfaction. I can't comment on official Etsy responses and dealing with every individual cases (and not going to try that) but seller is the person who has to be contacted first and trust me we do care about our shops brand and make everything possible to solve the problems which occur between us and our customers. If third party is involved into the caused problems, every Etsy shop has POLICIES about third party involvement. AS a CUSTOMER you have to just read them and understand what sellers base their actions on.
I hope this review will bring a bit of brightness among gloomy negative reviews. Pursue your rights as a customer (that is paramount) but don't make your final opinion and leave it negative one based on one bad shopping experience with one not very professional seller. You've tried the rest... Now try the best. ** Etsy store will give you warm homely welcome as it says on a tin. Put your feet back and enjoy nice cup of tea and let me do the work.
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I used Etsy for years, basically since they launched. We even ordered our engagement ring on Etsy. I had no idea their protection policy was so poor. Supporting small vendors is a PLUS, but when you get a bogus vendor Etsy does not have your back. Long story short, I asked for a refund for an item 5 weeks after it didn't arrive, and no communication from vendor. Then it was rushed to me and Etsy closes the case on account of the vendor, NOT me (the buyer). I communicated dissatisfaction bc the item was not cheap, and arrived much too late for what I ordered it for. And Etsy remains incommunicado on the issue. Case closed. Unfortunately, consumers of Etsy, you are NOT BACKED, or prioritized. Doesn't matter how loyal you are. Such a shame. Never ordering from them again with my hard earned money, they're not trustworthy and their policies to back the buyer FAIL.
I opened an Etsy shop because I have a store that sells nothing but handmade items made by local artisans. I had two sales and all the sudden Etsy shut down my shop with no warning. Luckily those sales were completed delivered and Etsy has kept my money. They're telling me they will not reimburse my money until March of 2020 (6 months later). They State their reason is because the sale may not go through even though there's a 30-day return policy that has already passed. I have filed a report with the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately I still can't get my money even though I paid the artist and I paid for shipping. The consumer has the product and Etsy has my money. Horrible place. Do not do business with them and do not buy from them anymore.
Etsy charged me 1,000 of dollars setting up a store, then terminated my store stating that they linked my store to some other store. They gave me know information or anyway of solving the issue. This in my opinion is corporate fraud at its worst. I wish Etsy could be held accountable for this fraud...
Extremely disappointed in both Etsy and Northshire. I ordered a $135 home decor and got nothing in return. Will never purchase from either company again. After numerous emails back and forth with seller, they said there's nothing they can do. Buyers beware!
I sold on Etsy for 3.5 years and 1 day woke up to my shop being closed permanently due to only a handful of open cases. Most of them due to the fact that no one read through listing details and disregarded the fact that I had a 4-week processing timeframe right on my shops message board. Etsy cares nothing about sellers who actually handmake their items and need adequate time to make those items properly. They claim to be the #1 site for unique and handmade items yet they boost the shops selling cheap overseas knockoffs for a fraction of the cost and time it takes a true "handmade" artist to create the same item. They say you can have your own shop policies yet slap you on the wrist if you don't bend or break those rules to accommodate the most demanding of customers regardless if you did EVERYTHING right.
They refunded customers on my behalf even though the items were shipped on time. When I asked the customers to return, they basically said too bad, Etsy says we don't have to return. I had a customer put in a "not as described" claim for a custom dress because it wasn't an "exact" replica of the $200 dress she wanted me to replicate when I told her from the beginning I don't copy other artists and she said it was fine. I then sent another dress to her, which was double the cost of the original just to close the claim against me. 6 months later after sending photos of the child wearing the dress, she opens another claim that it was yet again "not as described" and told Etsy support I didn't even make it, she did! I provided a ton of proof and Etsy refunded her anyways and let her keep both of my dresses. I was out the items and all shipping, material and labor costs.
I asked Etsy for a reason why they refunded her and basically got told it was none of my business and that would be the last of the communication. Ya, that's really how they speak to their sellers. Sellers who repeatedly bring them in income. Disgusting in my opinion! They treat their sellers like garbage. Do not sell on Etsy if you're a legitimate handmade artist. You'll waste so much time and money. You will be ripped off by buyers, for Etsy will side with them every time. And if you don't maintain a perfect track record they will close you down no matter how many 5 star reviews you have.
If you don't want customers controlling tour business and dictating your policies, then don't even think about selling on Etsy. You will be overrun by all the trademark and cheap overseas goods sold in 99% of the shops. And all the ** "unique" craft items that are simply purchased from Joann and Hobby Lobby and resold as "one of a kind" on Etsy. It's all **!!!
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