Etsy under fire for how it treats sellers

By Dan Wilson September 19, 2017 - 6:30 am

Calling all Etsy sellers. There’s plenty of chat and controversy right now about how eBay treats its sellers. Here on Tamebay we’ve written about various problems that sellers have had of late when it comes, specifically, to the exchange of contact details between buyers and sellers via the eBay My Messages system.

Our most recent post called: £50k per week seller shut down over eBay messages told the story of how a high-level seller has been sanctioned for trying to help a buyer judge which cable it was best to buy for his TV. Indeed, when you consider this tale, dear readers, you couldn’t make it up.

But eBay may very well not be the only culprit when it comes to ill-judged hasty decisions largely decided by automated processes and sellers. Etsy also seems that it has a case to answer.

A recent article in the Guardian called: You thought eBay is unfair to sellers? It’s got nothing on Etsy explains all.

An Etsy seller says in the article: “I have read with interest your cases when eBay was unfair to its sellers, but eBay is a picnic compared to what Etsy sellers have to endure. Many, like me, depend on it for making a living, but we are powerless against its often arbitrary decisions.

I have opened six Etsy shops since 2007 and it has closed all of them on two occasions. The first was when we were mistakenly linked to a seller in Portugal who’d had a complaint filed against them. Although Etsy admitted the error within hours, it took five days to reinstate them.”

The article doesn’t entirely clarify the situation, and that’s to be expected because we can only report what we know. But it’s clear that even Etsy sellers are under the cosh too. Are you an Etsy seller who has had similar experiences?

Perhaps the key insight relevant to all marketplace sellers must be that they all your businesses can be halted immediately by the marketplaces and that’s potentially a real problem. Have you recently been affected?

  • Anton cardew
    4 years ago

    I opened an Etsy shop and they closed it down within an hour stating that I was a professional business. yes my shop was professional looking, but everything is designed and handmade by me in my shed. The e-mail they sent was nasty and told me never to darken their doorstep again. They would not listen to me.

  • TheGster
    4 years ago

    We sell on Etsy and in all honesty we’ve never had an issue at all on there. Buyers are more grateful, never had issues with their customer service. I’ve only ever cancelled one order prior to shipping where a foreign buyer mouthed off thinking they’d been skanked on checkout but they didn’t see it was GBP not USD and they were sent on their way. Other than that I prefer to deal with people on there than eBay and Amazon. There does seem to be a little more common sense on there over the others sometimes in my experience

  • 4 years ago

    I am a small time Etsy seller and totally free with the guardian person – they wholesale shut me down because I was ‘linked with another seller who has been suspended’. Clearly I wasn’t!!! I couldn’t even defend myself against the accusation as that’s all they would say!!! Their ‘algorithm’ was top secret and pointed the finger at me. I had to list every dealing my address had ever had with etsy and they wouldn’t restate my account. They even wanted my husbands as he has bought stuff for me on there before for presents!!!! It was utter faceless: computer says NO kind of stuff. When I was found totally innocent they didn’t even apologise but said I was a casualty of keepythe marketplace a safe place!!! Etsy can Do One.

  • 4 years ago

    Amazon, Ebay now Etsy. Hey guys do you want good sellers or not. How about picking up the telephone to talk to honest good sellers to explain WHY you have just decided to suspend a seller whos lively hood depends on your platform. All three of you treat sellers like we have committed a major crime . If we treated our customers like this then our little businesses would fold within weeks. All three of you use your dominance to control sellers. Of course AMAZON are the demons in the treatment of sellers, followed (or copied) by Ebay who are aspiring to be a duplicate of Amazon. Now Etsy, you know that cute company giving artisans a chance. Yes, I too have been suspended by Etsy, claiming I was not selling hand made items… Not true, they seem to think so and will not move on the issue. Arrogance is all that comes to mind.

  • Paul
    4 years ago

    amazon are worse , they badgered us to sell on there for a couple of years ,after seeing our successful ebay shop we kept telling them that we did not want to increase our workload. In the end they said they would have a person in India copy over all our inventory and set everything up. Ok I agreed, invested in more stock and space and staff and all went well for a couple of years and then out of the blue with all of our metrics inside there allowed limits they suspended us with no reasons given except the flimsiest of customer complaints. One a guy in the far outskirts of highlands of Scotland received a picture frame that had a pierced hole through caused it by the courier ,he rang amazon as he didn’t understand he could contact the seller direct. We replaced the item of course ,another person recieved an incorrect item very similar but slightly wrong,we allowed them to keep it and send the correct…… They also kept ten thousand pounds that were due to us in sales for over 100 days , sales that had already been fulfilled ,this alone nearly broke us with cash flow. Had to lay off staff etc…….then a year after this I got a call off them saying would I consider going back ……I thought well maybe I should have it open as an option so agreed…. one of their people said ok this is how to structure an appeal and I wrote out an appeal along those lines jumping through all the hoops she outlined and she said ok that is a really strong appeal I will submit that to the department that deals with this ……. a few days later ..sorry they won’t reinsteate your account………………..I have noticed nearly everything we sold /sell had been now stocked and fulfilled by themselves which makes me think they just wanted the SKU product ID’s ………. when/ if they suspend you ,you cannot communicate with their suspension team by phone AT ALL . You are left totally high and dry .They are a disgusting company and surely this kind of thing should be illegal? I literally had my great little business lured in used and spat out by them and several months of worry and distress and only just about survived

  • Jo
    4 years ago

    Heaps of problems with eBay … some with Amazon … no problems with Etsy so far.

  • Mark
    4 years ago

    They are all happy to take your money and when they crap on you they know you will all keep coming back since moving a lot of our inventory onto the new site we have been a lot better and much calmer not having to deal with idiots.

  • Maggie
    4 years ago

    Horrible, Etsy suspended my account and they wouldn’t bother to help me reinstate it. Just simply ignored me constantly. Etsy makes up a large portion of my income, for them to just ignore me like that especially a 3 year member is horrible.

    Has anyone tried to get back successfully? I came across the eBay incognito guide by Auction Essistance, but unsure if anyone has used it for Etsy?

  • 4 years ago

    I had a thriving etsy shop, open for close to a year earning $2k a week.
    A few days ago they shut me down for too many negative cases, I calculated that it was 1% of all cases turned negative. Now I’m human, its just me, I accept my mistakes and fixed every single one of those cases.
    They are now ignoring all contact from me. Ive sent daily emails, and daily contact with nothing in return. So much for their 24 hour response policy.
    They are also holding hostage over $5k of my money until March next YEAR!
    I’m just greatful I already had my stand alone running before hand.

Featured in this article from the Tamebay Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Etsy is well known and a major player in the handmade and vintage arena with a marketplace that offers curated collections and suggestions.


eBay’s mission is to be the world’s favourite destination for discovering great value and unique selection

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