Etsy Review | Is Etsy Legit? Safe? Here’s Everything You Should Know
When it comes to online shopping, there are a few names that stand out. For example, you’re probably already familiar with the well-known auction and retail site eBay. Another popular online marketplace that you must have heard of is Etsy.
Many people that have only heard the name and haven’t shopped there may wonder what this site is about, how it works, and how safe it is to shop there.
With this Etsy review, AdvisoryHQ will answer the questions, “What is Etsy?” and “Is Etsy a legit site?”
AdvisoryHQ Etsy Review
In addition, we will provide a detailed overview of who uses Etsy and how you can use Etsy to find unique, handcrafted items — a key reason that those who shop there regularly love the site.
Many Etsy.com reviews mention Etsy scams and Etsy complaints in relation to sellers and payments, so we’ll get to the bottom of this.
Our goal for creating this Etsy review, is to provide answers to the questions, “Is Etsy safe?” and “Is Etsy legit?” so you can decide if Etsy is a website you would feel comfortable using and can benefit from the one-of-a-kind items there without getting scammed.
What Is Etsy?
What exactly is Etsy?
Etsy is essentially a marketplace of custom, crafted goods that facilitates the connection of sellers and buyers. The main focus of Etsy is handmade and vintage items, like clothing, jewelry, home decor, greeting cards, and more.
The company describes its global marketplace as “home to a universe of special, extraordinary items.” Their mission is to keep the human connection at the heart of e-commerce and to help talented sellers turn ideas into successful businesses.
Many Etsy.com reviews rave about vintage items and unique factory-made items sold on the site. Often you can find things on Etsy that aren’t sold anywhere else. You also will find multiple categories to shop from.
On Etsy’s website, you can browse popular categories, such as:
- Jewelry & Accessories
- Clothing & Shoes
- Home & Living
- Wedding & Party
- Toys & Entertainment
- Art & Collectibles
- Craft Supplies
You might be wondering, “Is Etsy legit?” or “Is Etsy safe?” since anyone can sell products on the site — meaning you’re buying from an individual rather a large company that’s mass manufacturing items.
Etsy.com has been on the web since 2005 and currently has 2.3 million active sellers and 42.7 million active buyers. The site offers over 60 million items for sale.
Its headquarters are located in Brooklyn, NY, but it also has offices in eight additional locations around the world, including the cities of San Francisco, Dublin, Paris, London, and New Delhi.
In answering the question, “Is Etsy legit?” the answer is, yes. Etsy is a legit website. The more important question should be, “Is Etsy safe?” and can you trust the sellers you’re doing business with there?
This Etsy review will take a close look at the Etsy sellers, who are often found at the center of Etsy scams.
Who Sells Products on Etsy?
Many negative Etsy reviews online stem from buyers with complaints about sellers. Several Etsy reviews mention products of poor quality that differ from the descriptions or photos provided on the site by the sellers.
Other Etsy complaints state that products did not arrive within the promised time frame. One theme is common among these Etsy complaints: the Etsy seller does not always deliver as promised and some of them have “no refund” policies, making it impossible to return an item.
So, why are Etsy sellers at the center of several Etsy complaints? It could be due to the fact that almost anyone can sell on Etsy.
Do you crochet? Do you create handmade teacups? Do you build unique furniture pieces? If your answer is “Yes” then, most likely, you can sell on Etsy. The site is meant to offer a way for artisans to earn money, but unscrupulous sellers can also take advantage of it.
Many Etsy sellers are honest entrepreneurs with their own businesses while others like to sell items as a hobby to make some extra cash. Many are exceptional craftsmen who find that selling through an online forum is the best way to expand their business.
Other Etsy sellers, unfortunately, create Etsy scams. These are often the ones who cause buyers to write negative Etsy.com reviews.
Many Etsy reviews claim that Etsy does not screen its sellers. This is true. To start selling on Etsy, you simply have to register as a seller.
In Etsy’s defense, we did find some seller complaints about Etsy closing their shop after they’ve received too many negative customer reviews. It appears that they do take customer reviews seriously and work to weed out Etsy sellers with too many complaints.
The Etsy Review System
One way you can tell if a seller is safe to shop with is by looking at their Etsy reviews. The website has its own shop review system in place and this brings many advantages for both sellers and buyers.
This Etsy review will take a closer look at the review system to help answer the question, “Is Etsy a legit site?” A legit review system can be crucial to understanding the answer and providing more transparency to buyers before making a purchase.
How Does a Buyer Leave a Review on Etsy?
The Etsy review system encourages buyers to rate their transactions with sellers based on the following criteria:
- Does the product’s quality match what was described or expected?
- Did the product arrive within the stated time frame?
- Would you do business again with this seller?
A buyer can use the 5-star Etsy review system either on Etsy.com or the Etsy mobile app to award a star rating between 1 to 5 for the product and seller and also leave further comments regarding their experience.
While the Etsy review system will automatically attach a picture of the purchased item, customers also have the option to attach their own picture when leaving a 5-star review.
How Long After Purchase Can You Leave/Edit a Review?
Once your order is either marked as delivered or on its estimated delivery date, you can leave an Etsy item review. You can edit your review any number of times within a 100-day period. This flexibility in Etsy reviews from a buyer’s perspective is a great way to promote honest customer reviews.
Etsy Buyer Review Examples
Overall Etsy reviews average the ratings of a seller from the past 12 months. The average will be displayed for buyers to consider before deciding to purchase from that seller.
Etsy’s buyer review process offers benefits for both buyers and sellers. It helps sellers build a good reputation by collecting positive customer reviews that instill trust in new shoppers.
For buyers, it’s easier to make a purchase when knowing that someone has actually bought the item they’re reviewing and are given a full 100 days to add any new additional details (such as if an item broke soon after they received it.)
But how do sellers see the Etsy review process? We’ll discuss that next.
What About Etsy Reviews from a Seller’s Standpoint?
There are two sides to every coin — and sellers on Etsy have access to Etsy reviews left by their customers. This introduces the question, “Is Etsy safe to buy from with this Etsy review system in place?” That depends.
Sellers do have options available to address Etsy complaints put through the Etsy.com reviews system using the following methods:
- Hide photographs that the seller feels do not accurately reflect the product (
- Report photographs that the seller feels might be in violation of Etsy policies
- Reply privately to the reviewer to ask about their issue
- Respond publicly to an Etsy review of 3 stars or less on their reviews page
- Request removal of reviews if they violate Etsy’s policies
It’s important to note that when a seller responds to a buyer’s review publicly, the reviewer can no longer edit their review or rating, even if the seller deletes their response later, and the buyer can’t respond on the seller review page.
The Etsy reviews and ratings that are listed on a seller’s page are displayed from the past 12 months, and a star rating reflects the average over just that period. Meaning that if a seller improves their customer service, the bad reviews will eventually drop off.
What does this mean for buyers on Etsy? Does this mean that Etsy reviews shouldn’t be trusted? Is Etsy safe?
Let’s take a closer look at how Etsy sellers can access Etsy reviews from their customers.
Responding to Etsy Reviews
Although an Etsy seller has the ability to refute written reviews of 3 stars or less, and then stop the buyer from editing their original review, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Just like buyers, sellers should have the ability to address –and potentially resolve– a negative customer experience, both privately and publicly.
In this regard, Etsy does a good job at keeping multiple channels of communication open, both with private messaging and with the public Etsy review forum.
Sellers can only respond to a review once, so after that, any communication will have to be moved to their private messaging system. This promotes a thoughtful response and hopefully one aimed at resolving the buyer’s problem.
Flagging Etsy Reviews
Both Etsy sellers and buyers can flag a review, seller shop, or photograph. Sellers can also request review removal, but only if it meets one of these criteria:
- It violates your privacy
- It is obscene, racist, or harassing
- It contains advertising or spam
- The review is about Etsy or a third party, and not about the transaction/seller/buyer
Etsy makes it fairly clear that a review is an opinion and that Etsy sellers should not expect to have to ability to just report and have legitimate Etsy product reviews removed. On its own, a negative review does not warrant removal.
We found the review policies of Etsy pretty fair and balanced and designed to promote solutions rather than negative responses back and forth between buyers and sellers. Each is given the opportunity to voice their side.
For buyers, they can feel well assured that reviews are legitimate and that a seller isn’t simply deleting reviews that they don’t like because Etsy doesn’t give them that authority. If someone mentions posting a photo and it’s not there, then that’s a heads up the seller has chosen to hide the image for some reason.
For sellers, they have a few tools at their disposal to combat reviews they feel violate Etsy’s policies by reporting them, and even to remove photos that they feel don’t properly reflect their products.
Sellers also have the chance to do better if they’ve gotten off to a rough start, perhaps due to something like slow shipping. If they work hard on their customer support and garner good reviews, then they know that the bad reviews won’t plague them forever.
Responding to Photographs in Etsy Reviews
For many buyers, the gray area comes from giving Etsy sellers the ability to hide photographs within a review. Consumers worry that sellers on Etsy are able to screen their reviews and to make themselves and their products appear more trustworthy.
If someone stated that the product they received was not the same quality as was advertised on the Etsy seller’s shop and they posted of photo of what they received, if the seller hides that photo, then potential buyers might not be well served.
The curious thing is that Etsy only allows reviewers to post photos on 5-star reviews, therefore sellers can only hide photos from 5-star reviews, which one assumes be a positive overall review.
It’s worth noting Etsy’s seller policy regarding hiding review photos:
“If a buyer includes a photograph of their purchase alongside a five-star review, this photo will be visible to anyone who looks at your reviews. If you feel as though this photo does not accurately represent your brand or aesthetic, you may hide the photograph.”
Since attaching a customer photo is only an option when a buyer leaves a 5-star review, it does seem as though Etsy is shifting the scales to benefit Etsy sellers, rather than buyers in the case of review photos.
After all, if a customer is truly not happy with their product, it stands to reason that they wouldn’t be leaving a 5-star review– and therefore would not be able to attach a photograph to illustrate a discrepancy or defect.
In these types of instances, buyers are suggested to forgo the public Etsy review system, and open a private “Item Isn’t As Described” case directly with Etsy instead.
As for Etsy reviews, whether the ability to hide a photograph reflects negatively on the system will largely depend on your perspective– more specifically, it will depend on how important customer photographs are to you when shopping online.
Even if an Etsy seller does have the ability to make the photograph private, buyers can rest assured that the rest of the review, including the buyer’s comments, regardless of whether they are negative or positive, will remain in place for 12 months.
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Is Etsy Safe and Secure for Payments?
When questioning, “Is Etsy safe?” or “Is Etsy legit?” our Etsy review takes into consideration the ways in which a buyer can make a payment and if there is buyer protection in place.
Buyers do not want to get caught in Etsy scams with their money, so we will take a look at the security of buying through Etsy.
Etsy buyers have several ways to pay for an item through Etsy, but the methods are at the discretion of the Etsy seller. Some of the most popular payment methods are PayPal, credit/debit card, and Etsy gift cards.
Here are all the options that sellers can choose for payments in their Etsy shop:
- Credit cards
- Debit/bank cards
- Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Klarna Invoice payments (Germany)
- iDEAL (the Netherlands)
- Sofort (Austria and Germany)
But is Etsy safe to trust with your money?
These payment methods all fall under Etsy Payments (the new version of what used to be called Etsy Direct Checkout), which provides a safe and secure way to pay the seller.
Etsy provides tips for buying safely on their site, which include:
- Checking a seller’s reviews and shop policies before you buy
- Notifying Etsy at [email protected] if you see an unauthorized credit card charge
- Ensuring you pay sellers within the Etsy interface, because they can’t help if you’ve paid the seller outside of Etsy or PayPal
For those still wondering “Is Etsy safe?” our Etsy review recommends using PayPal as a checkout option whenever shopping online for optimum levels of payment card buyer protection.
What Is Etsy? Esty Review
Etsy’s Return Policy and Buyer Protection
Another point to consider when asking “Is Etsy safe to buy from?” is Etsy’s return policy and other buyer protection policies in place. Etsy itself does not have a blanket return policy; instead, it leaves return policies to the discretion of individual shop owners.
What is Etsy sellers’ return policy like? Most legit shop owners will cover the following basics within their return policies:
- The time frame you have to return the item
- Whether a full or partial refund will be provided
- Condition the item needs to be returned in
- Fees, if any, to be charged to the buyer for return
- How the return should be handled in an Etsy review of the seller
Legitimate shop owners will want to make customers happy and should detail return policies that allow for full or partial refunds if a customer is not satisfied.
Be vigilant of Etsy scams by sellers who have no return policy or who beg you to not leave a negative Etsy review even after a negative transaction takes place.
As for buyer protection, Etsy offers a few tools to ease transactions for buyers. Aside from checking Etsy.com reviews about a seller, buyers can also:
- Use Etsy Conversations to contact a seller for any specific information that may not be included in the product description or return policy
- Use Etsy’s case system to settle disputes between themselves and sellers
Using buyer protection methods in place by Etsy can help buyers avoid Etsy scams.
AdvisoryHQ’s Review | Is Etsy a Legit Site?
We hope that this review has, so far, confirmed that the answer to “Is Etsy a legit site?” is, yes. Etsy itself is a legit site.
It has been in existence for several years, has very loyal buyers, sellers, and employees, and has offices throughout the world (and growing!). So, why are there so many Etsy complaints of Etsy scams?
As loved as Etsy is by those seeking the most unique products, it has quite a distance to go to slow down the flow of negative Etsy.com reviews.
Etsy simply does not do enough to screen its sellers to ensure the best experience possible for buyers. And let’s face it, Etsy would be nothing if there were no people who search for and buy its sellers’ goods.
The fact remains that an Etsy seller can choose to hide a buyer’s photo of the product if the seller believes that it does not do the product justice.
What if there was a hole in a knit blanket, or a handmade purse looked nothing like the seller’s photos? Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter for public Etsy reviews, because a seller can choose to remove the Etsy review photo.
Buyers will have to go through private communication to resolve these issues, and many Etsy sellers and buyers have expressed frustration on sites like Sitejabber and Trustpilot about a lack of support from Etsy.
Is Etsy legit? Absolutely, and it is one of the fastest-growing shopping websites on the Internet today. Is Etsy safe? Yes, in terms of payment security and buyer protection tools.
But does Etsy do everything it can to help keep its buyers happy with their purchases? No, this is where the company is lacking. Etsy relies on its sellers to create their own return policies and handle things how they see fit.
Unfortunately, this creates a great deal of stress, both for Etsy sellers and buyers alike. Buyers are frustrated with changing return policies, unreliable terms, and no guarantee of quality, all shifting from one seller to the next.
From the seller perspective, there are several negative Etsy reviews from Etsy sellers that state growing issues with copyright infringement, an influx of non-handmade goods, and a general lack of support from Etsy as a company.
AdvisoryHQ’s Conclusion: Is Etsy Safe? What You Should Know about Etsy.com Reviews
There’s no doubt that Etsy can be a wonderful site to find one-of-a-kind, handmade items from artisans across the globe. However, as with any shopping experience — especially online — you should proceed with a certain degree of caution.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of negative Etsy.com reviews that give both buyers and sellers reason to be cautious and do their research before committing to buying or selling on the platform.
If the site wants to see a decrease in negative Etsy.com reviews, it should work toward creating a blanket return policy, reconsider its review system, and focus on supporting both Etsy sellers and buyers to generate a more positive shopping experience.
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