Etsy began operations in 2005 and currently has more than 2.3 million active sellers selling the company’s exclusive products. There are also 42.7million active buyers on the site, with more than 60 million items on sale. Etsy is one of the online shopping platforms that stand out from the crowd. You can search for any item on Etsy with its simple search tool. Like other websites, Etsy has its fair share of complaints, especially with financial transactions, and that is one reason people question its legitimacy.
So, Is Etsy Legit?
Yes, Etsy is legit, but you need to buy items from sellers who have positive reviews to avoid getting scammed.
What Is Etsy?
Etsy is a place dedicated to crafted goods and where sellers and buyers can connect to do business. The main focus of this website is the transaction of handmade and vintage items, including clothing, jewelry, cards, and home décor.
The company had described its site as the home to extraordinary items, and its main objective is to keep human interaction in the heart of e-commerce. They also help talented craftsmen and women turn their workpieces into successful businesses. Other cities where Etsy operates include; Paris, Dublin, London, and New Delhi.
A Brief History of Etsy
Etsy was established and launched in 2005, and its headquarters was located in Brooklyn, New York, USA. The company has since spread to several other locations within and outside of the United States of America.
What Are The Categories Of Products Available On Etsy?
There are multiple categories to shop from, and the major ones include the following;
- Clothing and shoes
- Jewelry and Accessories
- Home and Living
- Wedding and Party
- Arts and Collectibles
- Toys and Entertainment
- Crafts Supplies, and
Why Do Some People Think Etsy Is Not Legit?
Most complaints from buyers on Etsy were about poor product qualities, especially those that differ from the description put up by sellers. Other issues such as products not arriving at the promised time and the fact that most sellers operate a “No Refund” policy also put the question on the legitimacy of this site.
The reason for most of these complaints about Etsy is that just anyone can sell on it, and the company conducts very few checks before products are sold. While Etsy promotes creative individuals to earn income by selling their products, unscrupulous people have taken advantage of the platform to scam people. This is the reason why you must pay attention to sellers’ reviews.
Who Can Sell On Etsy?
Anyone can sell on Etsy, mainly if you can crochet, create handmade items like teacups, or build unique furniture items. Etsy offers an excellent way for all artisans to earn a living doing what they enjoy.
The presence of few scammers on this site should not discourage you from being a seller or buyer on one of the largest and most trusted eCommerce platforms on the internet.
Though Etsy administrators may not check thoroughly the profile of sellers who register on the platform, they, however, close down sellers who receive too many negative reviews. So, you must desist from being a scammer if you want to start selling here.
What You Should Know About The Etsy Customer Review System
One way to discover if a seller is genuine is to check out the reviews. Sellers have no power to delete customer reviews, and that is how Etsy stops scams. The following are the information you should know about Etsy reviews;
1. How do Buyers Leave Reviews on Etsy?
The Etsy review system encourages buyers to rate any transaction separately and based on the criteria below;
- Does the product quality match what was described or expected?
- Did the product arrive within the stipulated time frame?
- Would you consider doing business with this seller again?
As a buyer, you can use the 5-star Etsy ranking system that is available on the site and the mobile app to rate the closed deal. This means you can rank the seller on a scale of 1-5, and you can also leave further comments regarding your experience.
The Etsy review system automatically attaches the picture of the product you purchased, but you can equally leave your own picture when reviewing the product.
2. How Long After Purchase Can You Leave a Review?
Once your order has been marked “delivered” on its estimated delivery date, you can proceed to leave a review on the item. There is a maximum 100-day period within which you can edit a review, and you can do this several times. This flexibility, according to Etsy, is one sure way of promoting honest reviews from customers.
3. What Etsy Does with Customer Reviews
Etsy will normally check reviews of sellers in a 12-month period, and the website will display the average for potential buyers to consider. Etsy will automatically remove and ban sellers who get more negative reviews than positive ones.
Etsy’s buyers’ review process offers great benefits for both buyers and sellers. It will help sellers build a strong reputation by collecting positive customer reviews that will instill trust in prospective new shoppers.
For the buyers, it will be easier to buy an item knowing well that previous buyers of the same time had a positive experience.
4. Sellers Have the Chance to Address Issues Raised by Buyers
One may think that the Etsy review system favors the buyers more than the sellers, but this is not true. Sellers can address any review left by buyers in several ways. They can report any picture that might be in violation of Etsy’s policies. Sellers can also reply privately to the buyer and address their concerns privately. Sellers also have the opportunity to respond publicly if they get 3 stars or less. Sellers may request the removal of any review if they violate Etsy’s policies.
Keep in mind that when a seller responds to a review publicly, the buyer or reviewer may not have the chance to edit their reviews any longer, even if the seller deletes their reviews later.
Is Etsy Safe And Secure For Diverse Payment Methods?
Another way one can review Etsy’s legitimacy is the availability or non-availability of buyer’s payment protection. The security measures for secured payments are critical in deciding whether Etsy is secured, legit, or not.
Etsy offers several payment options for paying for items purchased on the site. The following are your payment options on Etsy;
- Debit/bank cards
- Credit cards
- Etsy credits and gift cards
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Klarna Invoice Payments (For German users only)
- iDeal (for users in the Netherlands)
- Sofort (For users in Austria and Germany)
Etsy’s Safe Payment Tips And Ideas
Etsy has provided some vital and helpful tips and ideas on buying safely on their sites; these are;
Check the seller’s review and shopping policies before making payments. This can help you become sure of whether they are genuine through their payment histories.
Notify Etsy immediately if you see any unauthorized charges on your credit card. You can send an email to email@example.com, especially if you detect a hidden charge that is not part of the transaction. Taking a screenshot of the payment issue can help facilitate the resolution of the issue.
Ensure you pay sellers on the Etsy payment user interface. Etsy will not be held responsible for issues generated if you pay a seller outside Etsy’s user interface.
Etsy also recommends that you use the PayPal checkout option, especially for optimum buyer payment protection.
The Etsy Buyer Protection And Return Policy
Etsy offers a return policy and a buyer protection policy that makes it safe for users. These return policies are left at the discretion of the buyers. The Etsy seller return policy covers the following basics;
- The time frame for the buyer to return an item
- Whether they will provide a partial or full refund
- The condition the purchased item must be returned in
- Fees (If there is any) to charge the buyer for the return
- How the return must be handled within the Etsy review of the seller.
For buyer protection, Etsy offers a number of tools to ease all transactions. Aside from checking each seller’s reviews before purchasing a product, buyers can also use the Etsy conversation options to contact a seller for any specific information that may not be included when a product is purchased. This information may not be disclosed even in the return policy of the seller.
You can also use the Etsy case system to settle a dispute with a seller. This is a system that Etsy uses to facilitate a common ground between sellers and buyers, especially if they can’t resolve disputes amicably.
From the information provided above, it is easy to conclude that Etsy is a safe and legit website to do business. It is important for all buyers to exercise necessary caution, especially when dealing with new sellers, to ensure their transactions go smoothly and they lose their money to scams.