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EDIT: Since I posted this, I’ve received at least 50 emails and comments about the same situation for others. It seems that in some cases, Etsy even threatens their customers with legal action if they complain about a missing purchase. I have still not bought a single thing from my former favourite website. 

I attempted to buy myself a pair of boots for my birthday this year. I had a pair of leather boots from Peru that I loved in the past, and wore until the soles came off in Korea. I have been searching for a pair like this ever since (almost five years now).

What better way than to order custom-made boots on Etsy? I loved Etsy. I bought a huge amount of the things for our wedding there, including the materials to make my veil and our wedding goblets. I loved the community aspect, and the fact that Etsy actively promotes their both global and local maker community. I even wanted to open my own shop at some point to join in more. I trusted them.

I was apparently wrong.

My boots turned up in time for my birthday. They are made of leather, and of good quality. But they are also approximately seven sizes too small. They look like a comedy prop. This, after I had measured my feet and indicated that I wear a US 10 (Eur 41).

I contacted the seller, and they said that there were ‘some problems’ with their Etsy site. I found out upon checking that they had been removed from Etsy for what I can only assume were fraud reasons. Etsy never notified me of this, even though the website was removed during my transaction.

Oh yeah, and I paid $137 for those ‘custom boots.’ 

At no point did Etsy notify me (or anyone else who might be caught up in this) that they had removed the seller from the site. I attempted to file a claim about the case on Etsy. It was immediately ‘resolved’ by saying that the seller was no longer active/allowed, and that I would not be able to take any further action with Etsy. I had to go to Paypal directly and hope for the best.

This is the message I sent on 18th October after they ‘closed’ my case immediately. Subject line: ‘This is outrageous.’

I require that Etsy immediately issue a refund to my Paypal account for a purchase I made recently.

You apparently allowed a person who swindles people out of money to not only sell items on your website, but *did not notify or contact me when you closed their shop*. I had a purchase for a significant amount in process, and my birthday has been ruined as a result of Etsy‘s negligence.

I attempted to open a case directly, but received this ‘closure’ instead:

‘This is Etsy‘s Trust and Safety Team.

cmonroe1611, we are sorry to inform you that dreamgirl220220 no longer qualifies to sell on Etsy and will not be returning to the marketplace. While this case is unresolved, it is now closed.

Because this order was paid for using PayPal, your next step will be to open a separate claim for a refund with PayPal. As you may already know, PayPal’s policies state that buyers have a specified amount of time to file a claim for a refund. This eligibility window may differ depending on your location, so at this time we would recommend that you get in touch with PayPal directly for more information. Their contact information is as follows:

– PayPal Help Center: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/helpweb?cmd=_help
– PayPal Contact page: https://www.paypal.com/contactus
– PayPal # 1-888-221-1161 (US), 1-402-935-2050 (if calling from outside the US)

If the PayPal deadline passes, you might consider reaching out to your bank or credit card issuer. We apologize for the inconvenience.’

This, I’m afraid, is completely untenable. You have a responsibility as a site that hosts sellers to notify buyers of problems, especially when more than $100 is at stake. I don’t make very much money at all, and I chose to use your site to buy myself a nice pair of shoes (the only ones I will buy all year) for my own birthday.

Instead, I am stuck with shoes that are more than three sizes too small and you will do nothing about it. When you cancelled the store for the seller in question, why did you not immediately contact anyone with an outstanding order? You actively allowed this person to take my money and ruin my birthday.

I will never purchase anything from Etsy again, and will actively discourage others from doing so, if this is not immediately resolved. I simply cannot believe how bad your customer service is.

I am contacting Paypal directly, and expect your immediate and complete cooperation on this matter.

After several days, I received a response from Etsy’s ‘Trust and Safety’ team.

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. Before I address your concerns, I hope you’ll forgive our slow response time. We’re currently experiencing a high email volume, and are answering each email in the order that it comes to us.

I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t received your order from SmithHandmadeShoes. I’ve looked into this, and I see that this shop no longer qualifies to sell on Etsy and will not be returning to the marketplace. While this means we can’t ensure you will receive your order, I wanted to provide you with some suggestions for your next steps.

Although the seller can no longer be contacted on Etsy, you’re welcome to continue discussing your order with them via email. Here’s where you can reach them: dreamgirl220220@163.com

Taking a closer look at your order, I noticed that your payment was sent directly to the seller’s PayPal account. Some sellers opt to receive funds into their own PayPal account. This means that PayPal, not Etsy, is the only party that has access to those funds. As you may already know, PayPal’s policies state that buyers have a specified amount of time to file a claim for a refund. This eligibility window may differ depending on your location, so at this time we would recommend that you get in touch with PayPal directly for more information.

I’m including the contact information for PayPal below:

Additionally, PayPal may require the PayPal transaction ID, which is different from your Etsy transaction or order number. For your convenience, I wanted to provide this number for you: 0DX075027C305141B

If your date to file a claim with PayPal passes, we’d urge you to contact your credit card issuer or bank for further assistance in pursuing a refund.

You may also want to consider taking these steps to protect yourself and others:

  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
  • Contact a law enforcement agency in your location or the seller’s location

I’m sorry that you weren’t contacted when SmithHandmadeShoes was removed from the site. For privacy reasons, Etsy doesn’t currently notify buyers when a seller has been removed from the marketplace. More information on our Privacy Policy can be found here:https://www.etsy.com/legal/policy

I definitely understand your concerns, and we’ll consider this as we move forward with the site and the way that we handle these issues. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts — please be assured that we hear you and we will take your thoughts into consideration as we continue to work to improve the site.

While I don’t want to discount the difficulty you’ve experienced with this seller in any way, please know that these situations are rare. Most transactions on Etsy are completed without incident, and the average Etsy seller is a devoted and passionate individual who is willing to do their best to assist you with any order you place in their shop.

That being said, I hope you’ll consider this an isolated incident and give the Etsy Seller Community another chance again in the future. Should you have further concerns about this, please let me know.

Best,
Etsy Trust & Safety

So yeah. Apparently it was worse than I even thought.

Etsy’s official policy is that they never tell a buyer when the seller is removed. 

This means that for any purchase made on the site, there is no protection for the buyer. Etsy could remove a seller without letting anyone know, and close any cases that come up as a result. At one point last year, we were considering buying an Engagement Ring on Etsy!

I mean, Jesus Christ! Can you imagine if someone bought something that important, hoping to get outside the mainstream wedding industrial complex and support a small scale artisan, and Etsy just deleted the seller and made no attempt to contact the buyer?! You could be several hundred dollars in the hole and without the ring, and Etsy’s ‘Trust & Safety’ would just put up its hands and say, ‘I’m sorry that you weren’t contacted when EngagementRingsRUs was removed from the site. For privacy reasons, Etsy doesn’t currently notify buyers when a seller has been removed from the marketplace. More information on our Privacy Policy can be found here:https://www.etsy.com/legal/policy. Case closed.’ 

I could never make a significant purchase on Etsy again, after what’s happened. But worse still, they apparently are lying about what has happened in my case. They claim that I was issued a refund through Paypal. This is definitely NOT the case. The seller refunded some of the shipping fee because I am in China. I’m still out more than $100.

Screenshot from my former Etsy account

Screenshot from my former Etsy account

Let's zoom in on the problem...

Let’s zoom in on the problem…

Ah, there it is!

Ah, there it is!

That has not happened. The proof is in the Paypal.

From Paypal's Resolution Centre - clearly showing no refund issued.

From Paypal’s Resolution Centre – clearly showing no refund issued.

A consolidated list of the issues, then:

  1. Etsy allowed a fraudster to take more than $100 from me 
  2. Etsy’s policy is not to contact buyers if a fraudulent shop is removed, even mid-transaction
  3. Etsy closed my case without resolution 
  4. Etsy claims (falsely) that I have received a full refund via Paypal

As a result, Etsy’s team received this email from me today:

Dear Trust &Safety,

Thank you for getting back to me. I have filed a claim with Paypal but do not expect to receive a refund.
 
If Etsy‘s official policy is that buyers are never notified when a seller is removed from the site, I’m afraid I have no choice but to remove my account effective immediately. It appears that Etsy puts seller privacy ahead of buyers’ security, money, and peace of mind.
 
I will never purchase from Etsy again as a result of this transaction, and will actively discourage others from doing so.
 
I am so disappointed in this situation, and cannot believe that the official policy is designed to screw over buyers in situations like mine. I had hoped to open my own Etsy shop in the future and am so sad that I cannot use the services of this site anymore. I feel that I have been betrayed by Etsy and I am losing a significant online community, which I loved being a part of until now.
 
But I cannot now trust Etsy to treat me well as a customer, and I could never make a significant purchase on the site again without fear that my money and effort could be wasted.
 
I will be blogging about this situation and from now on will discourage everyone I know from using Etsy.
 
Best,
Coleen

And I have deleted my Etsy account as of 12:00 CST today. Their banner popped up afterward, seeming to mock me and this situation directly.

Definitely unsatisfied customer here. My seller was certainly passionate about ripping me off! And secure transactions? Please.

I will never purchase anything from Etsy again, and neither should you. 

EDIT: I received this email back from Etsy’s ‘Trust & Safety’ team. I publish it here to show just how much Etsy wanted to shift the blame for this situation onto me for this transaction.

Hi Coleen,

Thanks for writing back to me.

Again, I’m sorry there wasn’t more we could do for you regarding a refund. I’m here to help, and while I may not be able to lessen your frustration or ensure your satisfaction regarding your order, I want to do everything I can to provide you with the information that I hope will be most helpful to you.

Some sellers opt to receive funds into their own PayPal account. When you send payment directly to a seller’s PayPal account or send or a check or money order, you submit payment off-Etsy to the seller directly.

For this reason, Etsy does not have access to the funds you submitted, and we’re unable to issue a refund.

I am sorry to see you closed your account. Again, I would like to state that these situations are rare. While it is our hope that sellers will practice good customer service, but we regretfully cannot guarantee that this will be the case.

We hope you’ll return to the Etsy community. In the future, I recommend that you try contacting the seller directly before committing to a purchase.

You can do your part to help ensure a smooth transaction by following the best practices for buyers, which are outlined here:https://www.etsy.com/trust

Getting to know your seller can help you to make an informed decision. This article from our Help page explains how to send a message using Etsy Conversations: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/71

You may also wish to check the seller’s Shop Policies regarding shipping to see if they offer tracking information or insurance for their orders. To find their shop policies, go to the main page of the seller’s shop and click on the blue Policies link in the left-hand menu.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to thoroughly read the listing description for each item you’re interested in. I also suggest you take a look at the shop’s Reviews. To see reviews that have been left for a shop by other buyers, visit the seller’s shop and click on “Reviews” in the menu on the left. A shop’s star rating is the average from the last 12 months. The review count is the total number of reviews received. You can also see all of a shop’s written reviews on this page.

Because you paid with a different method than using a credit card on Etsy, such as through PayPal, you may wish to familiarize yourself with PayPal’s process for reporting a problematic transaction as well as Etsy’s process.

I’m sorry there wasn’t more I could do for you. If you have any further questions about this matter please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m always here to help.

So in short, make sure that you contact everyone that has ever viewed a shop, and contact them privately outside the normal Etsy process of messaging and listing it for sale, which is totally not what we do as a company. They clearly have no care at all for people who buy on their site. Instead, let me patronise you about how you should have been more careful when using our ‘secure’ site.

My response says it all:

I’m glad that you’re happy to shift the blame onto me for this situation. If Etsy had any modicum of respect for buyers on its site, this situation would never have happened. Rest assured that everyone I know will know about how badly Etsy treated me, and that you have lost a customer for life.

64 comments on “Goodbye, Etsy: Why I Will Never Purchase Through Etsy Again (And Neither Should You)

  1. Angela says:

    This is so much unacceptable. This sort of problems with etsy are on a rise. I myself went through a very bad experience with etsy. I ordered two items and the first one was delivered in time. But the item was very different from the one posted in the website. And the second item never got delivered! I tried to contact etsy help and the seller but neither of them replied nor did they refund. Very disappointing. I have now bought quite a few items with itshandicraft.com and I am happy with the items I got. Reasonable prices too. Try it.

    1. jo says:

      Im going through it too. Bad times

  2. jo says:

    Im going through this now bought of seller didn’t receive items & shop dissappeared. after a month a package turned up with 1 wrong item one missing in the case centre the attaching images didn’t work but is fine in conversations seller replied in case once but has since stopped, etsy are trying tosay if tthey decide in my favour i will get my money off them im not convinced. I did however at the same time i opened a case with etsy open one with PayPal that has 2days to go so im hoping seller didn’t respond to that and i just get my money bk

  3. Tracey Edwards says:

    I am having a bad time with Etsy too. The product I ordered was nothing like the picture, was damaged and poor quality. I spoke to the seller and she was extremely rude, told me the conversation was over and said she looked forward to Etsy getting involved. To me this speaks volumes about this site. The sellers know there will be no recourse so they can rip people off. After complaining to Etsy, they closed my case. This is a disgusting site. I cannot believe this is allowed, where are my rights? So angry!

  4. Hamish Donaldson says:

    I could not agree more. Etry refuse to take any responsibility when you encounter a problem.

    I no longer buy from them either.

  5. Valencia says:

    I wish I had seen this before I purchased from Esty! I’m going through the exact same thing! This will be my last time purchasing on Esty! That’s why I’ve been a faithful long standing customer of Ebay!

  6. Coleen says:

    Paypal sorted the issue due to their excellent customer service policies, no problem. The issue was that Etsy were such dicks about the situation.

  7. Ellen says:

    I’ve had a very similar situation with undelivered items. The only reason I got a refund was because the seller made a ‘mistake’ and I paid directly through paypal and so received my refund directly from paypal, not etsy. Etsy customer services wipes their hands of you, removes your ability to write a review, and tells you to sort the issue out with the seller, but in the same breath says, we are monitoring the seller.

    1. Julia says:

      I’ve closed my Etsy account because their policy for refunding is terrible and you’re right Ellen that they completely remove the right to leave a review and if you leave a review before making a complaint they then remove the review anyway so all the apparent good reviews are a complete and utter nonsense.

  8. Lucy says:

    If you make a purchase on Etsy and pay with PayPal, Etsy never sees your money, not a dime of it, so they literally cannot refund your money. They can’t give you money that they didn’t get. There’s no guarantee that the store was closed due to fraud. You were sent a product, after all, and people commiting fraud wouldn’t typically send you anything. Store on Etsy are usually closed for violating copywrite, so if they so much as mentioned another designer’s work, that’s why they closed. Etsy sucks for sellers and buyers. They give us sellers the same kind of runaround responses to issues that you received. I’ll give them this, at least they’re consistent. But don’t vilify all good Etsy sellers because you had a bad experience with Etsy. That seller should have worked with you privately, but if your store is closed with no warning, honestly I can’t say I blame them for being bitter. The vast majority Etsy store closings have nothing to do with fraud.

    1. Coleen says:

      For me, it wasn’t about the money necessarily. It was about the fact that Etsy’s team were not interested in helping at all. They were downright rude in some interactions, and in my opinion very unprofessional. That’s to crux of problem for me.

  9. mubeen says:

    I purchased mali form etsy. Item was not what was described on website. Material was off and item was shorter, we ended up not using it at all. Attempt to contact anyone or help on website is nightmare. We gave up. After spending hours on website to just give feed back. never again from etsy. never.

    1. Coleen says:

      Try to get money from Paypal if you can!

  10. Theressa Baker says:

    I too , am so frustrated with Etsy! I’ve been ripped off for 198.00 from an Etsy seller for 12 yards of fabric that she never sent out! Seller promised me a refund and then crickets……NO REFUND and cut off all further correspondence!!! I have all the documented conversations via Etsy messenger. In result, I have opened a claim via PayPal . I messaged and also phoned Etsy to let them know about the seller and Etsy’s response was to let me know that if I share or send ANY copies of my Etsy Convos to PayPal to help me in my case, I could be sued by Etsy for privacy violations .!!!!! WOW!!! Disgusting!!! All I can hope is that Paypal sees what’s really going on here and I get my refund! NEVER USING ETSY AGAIN for ANYTHING!!!

    1. Coleen says:

      They are actually a terrible platform all around. It makes me very sad, because I am a crafty person who would love to share my creations with the world, and Etsy has basically made it so that the only other option is Amazon (nah, I’m good, thanks).

      How did this turn out in the end? Did they sue you?

  11. heather says:

    This is unreal. I ordered something months ago, with the agreement that it would be delivered this week. The seller wrote me today to say “Oops, sorry, I can’t actually send you the item.” There was a vague promise to refund my money “soon.” And now it turns out she has deleted her Etsy account! I have opened a dispute, but I have no idea whether they will help me, since she is no longer an Etsy seller. I didn’t pay through PayPal. Fingers crossed, but your blog post is definitely making me re-think my Etsy usage.

    1. Coleen says:

      Etsy will most likely tell you that they cannot help you in any way. That’s exactly the situation that I was in.

  12. Dorothy Smigal says:

    Wow, I did not think I could find any where to make a negative review on Etsy. They make getting in touch with them impossible!! I purchased an expensive “Grackle & Squirrel” proof feeder from them. The design was so bad that no birds at all were able to figure it out. It was made from two stainless steel mixing bowels, some chicken wire, a few nuts and bolts and a upside down plastic jar, junk. I returned it and now they will not answer my emails. What a nightmare. Dorothy

    1. Emily says:

      You would need to leave a negative review on the seller’s store, not Etsy. You have a limited amount of time to review your order after it has been received.

      1. Julia says:

        I disagree, I can’t find any negative feedback on Etsy and in my experience they remove them. Negative feedback cannot be left before a complaint, once a complaint is made feedback cannot be left.

  13. Great they were paid with a VISA debit card and gave me a refund in a Pay Pal account I don’t have and I am so upset, I wish I never did business with these people. All they had to do was credit my VISA!

    1. mdaley7 says:

      Hey, I dont know if you’re still having this issue, but sign up for PayPal using the same email address associated with your Etsy account.

      It’s free to sign up.

      When you log in, your funds should be there since it’s associated with your email address.

  14. Emily says:

    Always check the reviews. Reviews cannot be posted unless the buyer receives the item. There are a lot of wonderful and talented sellers on Etsy that do not deserve to be lumped into the same heap as the frauds. Unfortunately Etsy doesn’t handle things the way that we would like for them to.

  15. Annukka Pasi says:

    I too will never purchase from Etsy again. I made an order, but a bug in Etsy site messed up the order confirmation phase so that my card was charged but the sellers did not receive the order. A customer support person at Etsy told me to try ordering again, which I did – and now my card has been charged twice but the sellers still don’t see my order and have not received the money, and I have no order confirmation. No reply from Etsy customer support for 24 hours.

  16. Jake says:

    While I do see their point about not having control over the funds since it was thru PayPal and not Direct Checkout (Etsy Credit Card Processing), this is still just more fuel adding to a growing fire that will soon take Etsy, and their entire team of hipsters back to Hell. I’ve heard it said a few times before: Etsy will cower, cheat, deflect and threaten legalities at all costs while hiding behind their iron curtain. I’ll laugh at the day it all comes falling down. Excuse my French but _ _ _ _ Etsy. #@&K ’em hard.

  17. MP says:

    While I understand your irritation with the situation, they did help you with what they could help you with. Since the seller used PayPal and not Etsy’s payment processing, they did not have the money to give you back. I understand your outrage is not solely with their lack of ability to refund you (but it does seem like a large part in your frustration), and is partially due to their closure of a shop without notification to customers. I just wanted to come to their defense and maybe help you understand that they did their part. They’re the interceder in your buyer/seller relationship. They are there to provide the platform for the seller to reach buyers and do not receive the money you spent–PayPal received the money. So, when they told you to contact PayPal the first time, you should have contacted PayPal and you wouldn’t have had such a drawn out process to recoup funds (which you DID recoup, but conveniently left out of your blog post).

    Just a thought for you as you seemed pretty upset at your loss of funds but did not want to take the appropriate next step to get them back.

    1. MP says:

      Also, I DID have an issue with a seller sending me an item that was not as described. The seller agreed to send a new item and I returned my original item. When the seller did not send the new item, Etsy did refund me my money as it was a transaction through their processing.

    2. Lee Davis says:

      Please you sound like a bs etsy seller or you work for the site we can see what your up too!

  18. Lee Davis says:

    Yap its happed twice to me in one month i beg two different companies to send a gift to a address i gave them then not 5 min later i saw that i made a mistake and to change the address by one number from 325 to 324 long stroy short i spent 180.00 and both gifts wore lost in mail thay both told me wtf ….. Lost in mail so i am out and thay promise me thay would make sure to change address # before shipping this is bullshit ……

  19. Coleen says:

    Wrong on both. I still haven’t used them since this was written. I was honestly just pissed

  20. Sandra says:

    Etsy policies truly suck. I’m glad it only cost me eleven dollars and thirty six cents to find out. Ultimately, that’s not such a huge amount to be finished with them.

  21. I view Etsy as the internet equivalent of a mall. I don’t expect the mall to refund for shoddy goods I bought from a cart in the mall that was vending during the holiday season. I would complain that the cart sold shoddy goods, and hope mall management would kick them out and not host them again. If the mall gave me a discount coupon or a gift certificate that would go a long way to making up for the problem. Etsy could try to make you happy by giving you something else, even if not a refund for goods you bought in their “mall,” but they don’t bother. Here is where they are not doing their job. IMO.

  22. Barbara Rosa says:

    I will not shop Etsy again either since a two, Danielle solved my dispute issue in less than 24 hours. She was apparently bias and unable to see the difference in what I agreed to and what Ibreceived. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on this site and most sellers were cordial and friendly. I wasted $66 on 2 crummy tee shirts and am unable to respond to the rep who decided against me. BAD BUSINESS & THEY HAVE LOST A BUYER!

  23. Annonymous says:

    I’m a little confused about the paypal part? If you filed a claim with paypal about this issue within ( 3 months I think is what they give you if not longer but it is a very reasonable amount of time to file an issue with them) it will take 1-2 months to receive your refund but you will receive one, why is etsy saying you received a refund through paypal when you didn’t? I personally have only had issues in years past with paypal where a claim went denied but recently have been very good with dealing with refunds with issues like these. You never said if or when you filed a claim with paypal about the transaction. It seems like you did not know that the transaction was through paypal even though it takes you right to paypal and tells you if you purchase through them. Etsy is right that these things are rare and if the seller was removed from selling on etsy it wasn’t necessarily because they were fradulent, etsy can remove any shop without reason and they come up with some crazy ones, one time I heard they removed a shop because of using the same computer as their roomate who was kicked off etsy….. which makes NO SENSE whatsoever because what about sold computers? Etsy has some pretty crazy rules and has done some crazy things but I would have to say its seller protection is a little worse than their buyer protection but both have fateful flaws to them unfortunately.. hopefully they are improving with time I personally think some things have improved…. I personally purchase off etsy all the time and have for the past decade, I have had my share of issues with buying but never did any go unresolved nore did any of them make me not want to purchase on etsy anymore…. I however was scammed in over $350 worth of jewelry from a Canadian buyer on etsy which was NEVER RESOLVED and etsy failed dreadfully im fixing the issue…. it made me never want to sell or buy on etsy again. Etsy however does have some very good hard working artists on there just trying to make a living and or share their beautiful hand crafted creations with the world. The antiques they sell are ok but the handmade community holds a special place in my heart.

    1. Coleen says:

      I got a refund from Paypal, but the point is that Etsy’s customer service was so bad as to make me a little crazy.

      It shouldn’t come down to Paypal to do the refund for a site that purports to be a marketplace.

      1. NPD says:

        I seriously think you’re being ridiculous. You’re harming all of the honest Etsy sellers because you wanted Etsy to kiss your ass when they explained to you that your purchase was completed using paypal. They even stated they didn’t have access to your funds. You even stated you did, indeed, receive a refund from Paypal. You’re a narcissistic ahole. JMHO

      2. Coleen says:

        So, this is an article from three years ago, and I think you’re a pro-Etsy shill.

  24. Zazie says:

    I have been lucky so far – only 2 orders were not up to standards and I got a refund on both occasions including for the shipments. But I found another problem with Etsy: One cannot trust the positive reviews. For example, I wanted to buy from a seller and decided to read all the 150 positive reviews only to find out that these reviews were written by about 5 reviewers one of them wrote about 70 reviews around the same time. So I think I figured out how sellers game the system: A seller asks one or more friends to purchase from the seller site, then the buyers requests a refund from the seller without alerting Etsy, then the seller does a refund, and the ghost buyer write a great review. So a seller may have not sold anything but still have a huge amount of positive reviews that give false confidence to a buyer. Etsy does not track refund between sellers and buyers. So one has to be very vigilant to ensure that the buyer is trustworthy. Today an Amazon sellers scam was in the news, what some Etsy buyers do is very similar.

  25. Richard DeLorme says:

    Glad I found this site, and see that I’m not alone with etsy problems. I’ve been communicating with etsy “help” desk people and been stone-walled every step of the way in trying to get a refund for jeans that didn’t fit. Sellers stated in their site that they “gladly” accept returns. I contacted seller 3 times for processing return/refund. No response. Contacted etsy and its been a fiasco from the get-go. I can’t determine whether they are so “programmed” to peel off the rote responses from their 3-inch binder of excuses and obfuscation, or they are just plain dumb. One etsy “helper” told me to click on the “not as described” option on the review page. When I told him that it was a fitting issue, not a description issue, he told me to click on it anyway. The only other option for returning is “item not received”. Then I was deluged with a litany of emails telling me first of all, they are not involved in etsy seller’s refund policies. OK, then why do they have a help desk to help “resolution between members”? Then received host of obstacles I have to go through to return the item. First had to send photos. I don’t know how to do that, for which got a page with instructions. Then told I have to do screenshots with how-to links to MORE Big Fat Overblown Instructions. I asked how was I supposed to do that? Take pictures of them on my body showing they are too big? What the? It boiled down to me having to say NUMEROUS times that I SIMPLY WANT TO RETURN THE JEANS AS THEY ARE TOO BIG and the seller states they accept refunds. What is hard to understand about this? They ignored that, and sent me yet another page from the “customer help” manual, 367 words long, with links to more sites. I was told my “Google chrome” needed to be updated, and that I should use a mobile device. Really? What does that have to do with returning jeans that don’t fit? Finally, I asked etsy to name me one other internet marketplace or physical store that requires these sorts of idiotic jumping through hoops to return an item that the SELLER ALREADY SAID THEY GLADLY ACCEPT? If etsy isn’t involved in seller’s refund policy (as they stated at the outset), why do they throw up roadblocks to negotiation? In spite of my best efforts to make this SIMPLE, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Told them I have perfect etsy and ebay ratings, and its their loss, I’m so done.

  26. gail Berman says:

    Wow, so glad to see I am not the only one who absolutely abhors ETSY and will NEVER shop on their site again. The sellers are clearly protected and the buyers are hung to try. I was sold an absolutely putrid smelling set of fur collar and cuffs that were so awful I could not even take them out of the bag. The seller claimed they were in excellent condition. I couldnt even be in the same room, let alone wear around my neck. They offered to take it back if I shipped it back to Canada at my expense. Why would i incur that if they were defective? I reached out to Etsy and was advised to open a dispute and I would have 60 days. Well, wouldnt you know that now the seller won’t take it back because the 30 days have passed and Etsy dispute resolution says that clearly the issue happened during shipping so they are not responsibe. Really? A mildewy, moldy smell of fur sitting in a puddle of water that clearly took years to accumulate happened in shipping? So now I am out $200 and the Etsy people whose advise I followed from the day I received the packaging are washing their hands and slamming the door in my face.
    I do live in NYC and intend to take Etsy to small claims court to recoup my money. What insanity

    1. Coleen says:

      You can go through PayPal if they won’t pay.

  27. Not Art School says:

    I opened my first shop just last week and a friend immediately made an order without telling me to support me. Then the order was canceled by Etsy and I finally received an email that says it was because they suspect that I am using 2 accounts to falsely boost my sales. I told them that 1 I wouldn’t do that (what do they care) and 2 I live in SPAIN and my friend lives in OKLAHOMA. What the hell? We have never lived together, I have been here 8 years and lived in TX before. I got a second email saying they have evidence that we are the same person. Ugghhhh It took me a lot of nerve to start a shop and all for nothing.

    1. Coleen says:

      Sounds like maybe Etsy just sucks for all involved.

  28. Danusia Mazzone says:

    I just ordered a Tea Kettle from Etsy and received it and its A Used Dirty Tea Kettle!!!
    Not to mention I was NOT INFORMED that it was USED!!
    I HAVE BEEN READING MANY POSTS HERE THAT THERE ARE MANY UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS!
    I DID PURCHASE FROM ETSY BEFORE AND ALL WAS GOOD!
    TJIS WAS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO MY MOM AND QUITE EMBARRASSED WHEN SHE ASKED WHY IS THIS USED ?

  29. A bought a item from Debbie Leather on Etsy. It was not like the product picture. It was a custom made object and I thought I was buying it through Etsy but was sent a direct link to pay by paypal. The product had poor craftmanship, bad leather, and came apart after first use. It was clear I had been scammed. Etsy said they could do nothing because I never made a transaction. I pointed out to Etsy that although Debbie Leather had hundreds of great reviews that her bad reviews were contradicting. From amazing craftmanship to a 5 year old can do better. Note paypal does not offer buyer protection for custom made objects. I feel etsy should do more to protect customers. See the difference between the product I received and the product promised. http://debbie-leather-review.blogspot.co.uk/

  30. Coleen says:

    Yeah, whatever man. It’s clear that others had similar experiences to mine and that you are defending them because you’re biased. You’re also rude, which is not a good thing for you or your arguments.

    I’ll leave this comment up for a couple days, but I’ll remove it in time.

    Please find something more constructive to pour your efforts into than going after someone online for a two-year-old post.

  31. Coleen says:

    You know what, I re-read your comment and you can fuck off.

  32. Ingrid S. says:

    I’m sort of launching an online selling venture, mostly second hand, vintage and a few antiques so I thought that I’d give Etsy a try although most of what I sell is second hand during the last 20 years so it is not acceptable as “vintage” on Etsy, but some of it is… Well I was doing ok with eBay , not all their advice works , but they at least seem to have my best interests in mind. I noticed that the handful of items I’d listed on Etsy were not getting any hits AT ALL, even though I know that some should have been of some sort of interest to someone out there. I won’t go into details, but items that got 30 hits on eBay in the first 24 hours got NO HITS on Etsy in over two weeks. But that’s ok, maybe not my scene. I have personally purchased two items from the same seller on Etsy before I became part of their “community” and it went ok. Well, I noticed that on Etsy you have to do this social media thing of leaving comments and liking things, so I thought I’d try that just to sort of break in, maybe that was my problem… I thought. So I specifically looked for sellers I could get excited about and I happen to be really into paper collage so I liked someone’s artwork ONCE (!!!!) a week ago… Suddenly that collage is IN MY SHOPPING CART, and there is a message from Etsy saying, and I quote, “You did it!” and then telling me what I had to pay next plus shipping to acquire the collage I had liked, never bid on, never put in my cart. I panicked a bit but then figured out I could just click on “REMOVE” from cart and that was that… but WTF??? So even though I’m mostly a seller, and sometimes also a buyer, this is just very strange, and seemed intentional! It happens to be the case that if you actually bid on something on eBay and your bid is accepted you are obliged to complete the purchase or you can’t do any more business on eBay. To me it seems like Etsy is taking advantage of people’s knowledge and apprehension towards this eBay policy in order to trick people into making purchases they absolutely had no intention to make. Maybe I’m wrong and my case was just a very strange mistake, but to me at this point it looks like there is some sort of deliberate underhanded manipulation involved.

  33. Suvi says:

    Thank you for posting this!

    I am also closing my Etsy account as soon as I have finally received a refund that I’ve been waiting for 60 days! 60 D-A-Y-S. According to the seller, Etsy holds the money, according to Etsy, I should contact the seller again. No one seems to know where exactly my refund is.

  34. Lindsay says:

    Oh great. I just ordered a prom dress on Etsy, and when I went to look at it today the shop and shop owner didn’t exist! I was so scared that I got scammed that I looked around and found this. Etsy also did not contact me that this shop went off the market. So, I may be out of $155 and a prom dress? That’s just perfect. Can’t wait to never use Etsy again.

    1. Coleen says:

      Did you pay with Paypal?

  35. Tasha says:

    It sounds like you (and others who posted here) just did not hear what Etsy was trying to tell you over and over for some reason. Its really not very hard to file a dispute with Paypal and retrieve all monies you spent on a problem purchase. For some reason you expected Etsy to do this for you? They can’t gain access to your Paypal account so why expect this? You expect them to seriously contact all buyers from a users account? This is totally unheard of in any marketplace and will not happen anywhere you purchase an item.

    Instead of complaining about Etsy and making this long and dreadful vent post that makes you look hard headed and ignorant you should have just closed your account if you wanted to and done as you were told to get your money back via Paypal or your credit card issuer. You would have achieved the results you wanted without the extra scrutiny to yourself and time wasted being angry about something that is extremely simple to fix. Your post surely has had no effect on people using Etsy as their business is still going very strong.

    Do you not know how to shop on the internet? The same thing happens on Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Bonanza, Buy.com and other marketplaces so why expect Etsy to have some sort of magical access to YOUR Paypal account? You have a responsibility to follow through when you make any purchase online that extends beyond the scope of the marketplace you used. Paying via Paypal is a great way to ensure you have a way to retrieve funds for bad purchases in addition to your credit card companies own policies. You should contact Paypal directly any time there is any problem with any purchase paid for through them online that is not handled asap by the marketplace itself. Most of the time they will put money back in your account in a few days but usually within 30 days is the norm.

    Since this article is old I hope you have long since retrieved the funds taken from your account and returned the item you were dissatisfied with to the original seller. If you did not return the items and only sought a refund for yourself you are more guilty than Etsy ever could have been and should feel ashamed for stealing the items instead of returning them after you received a refund. That is the sort of dishonesty that will come back around to haunt you someday. I hope you have since learned how to be a responsible buyer and not expect a marketplace to seek out refunds for you for purchases that didn’t work out.

    Its a good thing you closed your Etsy account or else one day we may have had to deal with your unrealistic expectations and blame games as a buyer. Perhaps we still will on another marketplace, but I certainly hope not. If you hadn’t closed your Etsy account yourself this long post would have surely gotten you banned anyway.

    1. Julia says:

      What on earth are you ranting about?

      Do you think anybody has bothered to read your huge temper tantrum?

      My account has most certainly not been blocked and neither has anybody else’s but it certainly sounds that yours should be.

      Go away child and move along.

    2. Coleen says:

      Is this blog linked somehow? Like, it’s really old but you guys keep getting on here and writing me these long treatises and insulting me. How did you find my corner of the internet?

      1. Nancy says:

        I just clicked on the google directory, intrigued by the subject line about why you’d never buy from etsy again and why no one else should either. I haven’t bought anything yet; probably never will now…

  36. Connor says:

    I have had some sort of the same problem, as I am a seller, and my VERY FIRST ORDER has just been ripped off me, and I am so NOT HAPPY. Etsy has sent me a cool & calm email saying that I need to do nothing, but the order has been removed.

    A friend of mine has done everything she can to register and start an Etsy account & Shop, but to no avail. She has tried A THOUSAND times over trying to register, has sent Etsy at least A DOZEN emails, and no kidding, no response but 1 automated email. We’ve started a discussion on my Etsy account, but, zilch, nothing, nada.

    Before we came across these two problems, neither of us had an \y grudge against Etsy, but, now? This is soooo frustrating.

    1. Coleen says:

      That sounds awful. I think Etsy was a good idea that just totally went south.

  37. Sarah says:

    I sell on Etsy and have heard of people buying items but then the seller closes shop. The buyer is left wondering what to do if the item never arrives or if they want to return it. HOWEVER, it is NOT just Etsy. You take chances anywhere you buy online. I have had this happen many times on Ebay as well. JS.

    1. Connor says:

      I would like to add my apologies.

      Etsy is not responsible for the problem I had, and In the end, in a rather round-a-bout way I found a way to register. I went back to the customer, apologied, and I got my sale, when another came soon. None of it was Etsy’s problem, and they actually helped me find the problem, and told me how to fix it. YAY!!

      Where the problem lies is definetly in the seller, not Etsy, and I feel for you that you did not receive the item that you wanted. Yes, there are dodgy sellers out there that trick people, and Etsy says that anyone to go against the policies will be removed. Its as simple as that. Be glad that the seller WAS removed.

      But don’t be discouraged, becasue Etsy is not trying to be deceitful. They are doing their best to make a safe, friendly market place. Things are going to happen, and you need to pick yourself up and move on.

      Have you ever been back to the website? I’d suggest giving it a second chance. A tree isn’t bad because of the bugs or insects it attracts, is it? Don’t judge too harshly. 🙂

      Thanks

  38. NC says:

    I bought a scarf from an Etsy shop based in Poland. The seller received payment in her bank account then refunded the payment then canceled my order. She said she has the right to cancel an order anytime she wishes without breaching any Etsy policies. The scarf is still for sale. Refusing to sell a coffee to a customer can land you in court in any real-life situation. The problem with Etsy is that they have no complaint dispute channel. Bottom line is they absolutely do not care about their customers. When Etsy starts caring about the bad reviews it is getting it will be too late. I had positive experiences with Etsy sellers but the Etsy Admin is absolutely useless when you have a negative experience.

  39. Nev says:

    I just recently had a horrible experience with Etsy.com too – I purchased a large amount of lavender, and unfortunately had to cancel it. I did this not even 12 hours after the purchase on June 27th (the seller said estimated time of shipment will be July 4th), and she responded with “I have already begun processing your order.” If anyone knows anything about lavender, they know you cannot de-bud 15 lbs of lavender within 12 hours, she obviously had it ready. I asked her again to cancel it, and Etsy advised her to not ship and she did anyway, ignoring all my messages. There was no common courtesy and no respect between buyer and seller – and what does Etsy do? Not much if. They responded initially but I have had to take this up with BBB. This is so disappointing to know that there is no protection, absolutely none at all. I would advise against shopping on Etsy – but particularly at Atelier Emma Rose. What a horrible and expensive waste of an experience.

  40. Ellie says:

    Etsy’s indifference towards issues experienced by the buyer is unacceptable. They basically try to shrug off the blame and put it on anyone else except THEIR sellers on THEIR platform.

    I ordered something on Etsy and after almost two months of waiting I realized I hadn’t received anything from the seller. I messaged them saying I’d waited long enough and that it appears my item was lost and I’d like a refund. On her page it stated the longest it could take was a month but for my country it should’ve been maximum 14 days. I felt I’d waited long enough and should contact her.

    She said she didn’t know why I didn’t get it and that this happens to a lot of her other buyers and that basically the only thing I can do is wait for a package that’s obviously never going to come. Any other seller would easily send a replacement or issue a refund. She simply said it wasn’t her problem and according to her “rules” her obligation has been fulfilled.

    THESE SELLERS SET THEIR OWN RULES. THEY DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEIR PRODUCT OR NEVER RECEIVE IT. Because of this Etsy doesn’t have to do a damn thing.

    If you absolutely HAVE to buy something from Etsy use PayPal. They actually offer protection unlike Etsy who DGAF…

  41. Alanna says:

    I hear you! I’ve chosen to leave too. I had been both a buyer and seller at different points(with a separate account for each)for almost 13 years. For the most part, my transactions have all
    been very good, however, with this last purchase, it showed me exactly why I can’t trust not only the shop that I bought from, but also Etsy. The willingness to close cases without investigating it and asking us both questions was it for me. I knew that they would favor the seller, which is why I didn’t allow any more time to go by and took it up with Paypal(we’ll see how it goes.). Fortunately for me, it was only $20, though for me it’s all about the principle than the money. The seller showed no honesty or integrity and Etsy let him get away with it, refusing to look at their shop nor hold them accountable in any way, despite them receiving similiar feedback.
    Even with many of the 4/5 star “positive” feedbacks, people still complain about the SLOW shipping/no communication. I should have been leery with comments and not paid so much attention to the stars. Why people would complain about things, but then leave him full stars was beyond me.
    Anyway, the listing stated a 1-2 week turn around, so I figured I was in safe range to purchase a gift for a friend. WRONG! On my receipt, the seller marked my item as “shipped” about 2 weeks after the purchase. 2 weeks after that, I go to check on the status as my item still isn’t here. I come to find out that the status REALLY is this:
    “USPS is still awaiting item to ship” (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing). What??? Immediately, I send asking the seller what does that mean as the item was marked as “shipped” nearly 2 weeks ago? NO response.
    That’s when I opened the case. Knowing full well how this would go, I also covered myself by contacting Paypal and opening a dispute. Etsy closed it 3 days later stating that I was in the process of a chargeback. That was a LIE as it hadn’t become a CLAIM yet at that point. I figured the seller was avoiding me and most likely lying to Etsy, which escalated closing my case despite KNOWING by the receipt I had(with the “USPS awaiting item shipment” message, my own complaint to them, and our convos, which would prove he had offered me a refund(which I accepted)instead of the item since he obviously hadn’t shipped it yet.
    They didn’t care at all. I can imagine him in his arrogance, laughing at how all of my grumbling and complaining was all in “vain.” And I’m laughing at the fact that a man who prides himself on “never wanting an unhappy customer” and has religious/Christian-themed items in his shop is actually fighting to dink another Christian out of product or a refund as he offered.
    He won’t respond to me because a.)he knows I’m angry b.)he now has a PP case against him and c.)out of hurt ego, he’s not going to let me “win” even though this wasn’t a game/competition for me. I PAID for product that wasn’t shipped and lost, but one that hasn’t shipped YET. He doesn’t deny that fact either, he just believes Etsy won’t do anything about it and he’s protected. Sadly, Etsy doesn’t care as long as they are getting paid.

    What Etsy(and it’s sellers) don’t understand? They NEED their BUYERS(esp. those who rely on it FT to make a living.). And though there are A LOT of neat and cool things, there really isn’t anything that I NEED. Yes newsflash to Etsy and it’s sellers: We buyers do NOT need YOU!

    NO BUYERS=NO ETSY!!!!

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