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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.
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.
Hi there! I've run my Etsy shop since October 31st, 2014. I have almost 15k sales and a 5-star rating. I understand that some of you have had bad experiences, and I am SO VERY SORRY for that, However most of the sellers on Etsy work incredibly hard to provide the BEST experience possible for buyers. Yes, there are scam artists on any site. If you have issues, you can file a claim with Etsy. If Etsy cannot help you, you can file a credit card chargeback. Paying with PayPal can also add an extra layer of protection. Sometimes credit card companies deny a chargeback, due to not understanding the full situation. Persistence in asking to speak to a manager through the credit card company can certainly help, as well as accounting out an issue and sending it via email and speaking to someone on the phone, after you submit a chargeback.
Just as much as there are scam sellers, shops also encounter scam buyers. So it's honestly a two-way street. (That's not to say that sellers should ever accuse buyers of scamming or treat them straight away as scammers.) It sucks when it happens on either side, especially because we'd like to believe Etsy as a whole, is about connecting people and celebrating handmade items.
I adore the platform and have only ever had the best buying and selling experiences. My customers are incredibly and normally when there is an issue with an order, I'm able to resolve it right away, without anyone getting upset. We just need to remember that there are people behind each computer and regardless of the situation, as an Etsy seller, it's our job and responsibility to help our customers, no matter the situation.
I hope this helps explain how Etsy works and how to help facilitate the best experience possible. IN terms of scam shops, a lot of shops selling Disney/Marvel and other copyrighted material, tend to be shops that either get shut down or scam customers. They are selling items with artwork that does not belong to them. If you try to avoid shops like that, it should also help ensure you won't be scammed.
As far as faking reviews or sales, it isn't very possible or something that would actually be cost effective. Etsy takes money from every sale, and they monitor sales/reviews to ensure people are not purchasing items from the same location. If a shop has hundreds/thousands of sales, there is a very high chance that those are legitimate sales and reviews. <3 <3 I hope this helps! <3 <3
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Gonna keep this short and sweet. If you have any remote interest in opening an Etsy shop as I did, ETSY IS NOT THE SITE FOR YOU!!!! I have been through the lengthy process of opening and listing my items over 3 times, each time the process is complete I receive an email that says "congratulations your shop is open!" When I refresh the page my account isn't even a shop... I have been in contact with Etsy over 10 times to which the customer support is no help and doesn't even respond. Every time I try to reopen it I HAVE TO INPUT MY PERSONAL INFORMATION. Suspicious??? Yeah, I think so. I have to input my information and my shop won't even open??? I just logged on today to check the progress and now my account is suspended! ** you Etsy. I hope nobody else wastes your time.
On July 29, I ordered a make your own garden flag for my Rv site, I included in notes to Alejandro specific details of what I wanted the flag to say and my phone number. I was given an order number and was informed I would be informed when it shipped. On 12 August I received an email that they cancelled my order, I was not contacted prior to this, giving me other options. They claimed that they did not want in in the system for a longer time. They could have let me made that decision, as to say go ahead even if it takes longer for it to be made. They are not customer oriented, as they made their decision without consulting the customer! Beware. If they don't want to do it they will cancel your order!
I tried Etsy for selling and found is much worse than eBay. I got many buyers who said their accounts were hacked and wanted a refund. Then when I went to refund them their money and Etsy wanted to double dip and charge my credit card a 5% commission for a canceled order even though they already deducted 5% from the original order. There were buyers who paid for an item but Etsy payments didn't go through after 5 days. Perhaps these buyers were paying through their bank account but it's annoying to have your item off the market. Etsy's policy is you can only sell items over 20 years old unless they are handmade. Etsy's main competitor doesn't have this policy and gets much more traffic.
Etsy has thousands of amazing artisans, crafters and resellers from around the world. Some amazing vintage and antiques can be found on the site but you'd never know it from Etsy emails to subscribers or any of their advertising. We pay the same as everyone else, but get very little support. Moderators and staff know nothing about these categories or items unfortunately. Vintage to them is a style and not a time period with very specific characteristics and terms used to describe items.
Since going public it's more about cash grabs from sellers to make shareholders happy, i.e.: raising fees and charging the same 5% on the damn shipping right off the top. Then there's the processing fee on top of that. The cost of doing business there has dramatically gone up. Etsy doesn't realize that without sellers and their shops, they would cease to exist, but recently their CEO described the 'churn' that as disgruntled shops close, they are easily replaced so all the people that helped build the site, made them tons of money are worthless trash that can be replaced. Nice isn't it!!
The latest is the 'free shipping' scam that is not just a scam, it's illegal. A scam to make some quick money for Etsy that will cost buyers more money because people have to raise their prices to offer free. IF you buy more than one of anything, you're paying a helluva lot more than you would if you bought two and paid shipping. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE... people have to pay for it and small shops with small margins can't afford to eat that money, especially since doing business on Etsy has gone up so much like I said before, and most will agree that postal and courier rates are insane. Buyers also will be paying more taxes in their state because the shipping is rolled into the price as Etsy suggested shops do, and they normally wouldn't have to pay on their shipping.
Who makes out like a bandit? Etsy of course taking more money from sellers and buyers. It's outrageous and many have reported them to the FTC for questionable business practices. SO a great place to shop with high quality but getting to the point where it's not so good to be a shop owner and lots of people are baling and finding other options where they can actually make themselves money for their hard work and time.
They do not care about their sellers at all. Someone wrote a review that goes against their own policies yet they have continued to keep up the review. They refuse to talk about it over the phone or email. They treat their sellers horribly and do not give them any type of respect. When I tried to call and talk to a manager she hung up on me. Very unprofessional company.
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