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Etsy sellers concerned over ‘unrealistic’ delivery review expectations

By Sasha Fedorenko February 15, 2019 - 11:00 am

Some Etsy sellers are struggling to get five-star reviews claiming that the marketplace set unrealistic delivery expectations.

The sellers are complaining that they told always ship on time. In a post on how to get 5-star reviews in their seller handbook, Etsy said that merchants should set clear delivery expectations.

Etsy’s advice-piece on getting 5-star reviews cites their own research which found three key factors shoppers say are important on their purchase.

  • Quality: The item they received matched or exceeded their expectations. It was made from the materials they expected, its size was accurate, and the craftsmanship was just superb.
  • Customer service: Shoppers mention the great customer service they received — and the extra-special touches that they can only find on Etsy.
  • Shipping: When they make a purchase on Etsy, shoppers want to know that their orders will arrive on time. Shoppers frequently talk about shipping or delivery in their reviews.

One merchant said that the marketplace sets unrealistic expectations as it’s an automated feature of Etsy that causes issues.

Even the post office won’t stand by their delivery estimates. There are too many factors that can get in the way. And it is even more problematic to estimate international delivery. Setting an accurate expectation about shipping date is entirely within our control and we that we should do. But not delivery date – definitely not delivery date.”
– Etsy seller

Other sellers have “100% agreed” on facing issues with Etsy’s estimated delivery times. The marketplace’s delivery estimated time is “off the mark,” said another Etsy merchant, as shipping in rural areas is “double” the time of what Etsy and shipping suppliers suggest. As a result, the seller said, customers “ask for a refund over something that is out of [merchants’] control.” Challenging the system, the merchant simply said, “setting our own delivery estimates is much more practical.” Perhaps Etsy should delay sending the automated email and wait for the customers to receive the goods?

Estimated delivery date reviews are another problem say some Etsy sellers. Etsy sends shoppers automated emails as a reminder to review an item. A seller who trades internationally on Etsy said that this causes customer confusion.

It happens very, very often to me that a customer tells ‘I received an email to review the item, but the package did not respect that estimated delivery date.’ Lots of customers have confusions with estimated delivery times and automatic emails sent to review an item because they think that this reminder coincides with the date within they should have received their order.”
-Etsy seller

eBay merchants report a similar problem, telling Tamebay, that many items which were despatched on time don’t receive a scan on the day of posting. If the carrier scans your shipments for the first time at a later date, then everything you sent that day appears to have shipped late. We hear that this is often the case with Royal Mail Tracked 24/48, some delivery depots (according to our readers) don’t scan parcels, and it’s only when they get to a regional delivery centre that the first scan occurs.

While sellers don’t have total control over their delivery promise, the only solution is to have good communication with your shoppers so you can update them if the parcel ought to be late.

  • Anna
    1 month ago

    I allow plenty of time for despatch (as I have to prepare the items), never had any delivery issues/complaints on Etsy … only one non-5 star review (4 starts). I may have Etsy grumbles, but this isn’t one of them.

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