As an avid online shopper, you probably want to explore other ecommerce sites. Perhaps some items you’re looking for aren’t listed on the sites you frequently visit.
In your quest to find another site to shop, you likely stumbled upon Etsy.
If you’re new to Etsy, you’re probably asking yourself questions like:
- Is Etsy legit?
- Is it safe to buy from Etsy?
In this post, I answer those questions and other questions you have about Etsy, including:
- Is Etsy reliable?
- Can I trust Etsy with my credit card number?
- Can you get scammed on Etsy?
- What are the signs of a reliable Etsy seller?
- What to do in case I get scammed?
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Yes, Etsy is legit.
If you’re planning to buy from Etsy, you can rest assured that Etsy generally sides with its customers in cases of problems with purchases.
For example, if you bought a faulty product or received an item that doesn’t match the production description from an Etsy seller, you can rely on Etsy to address the issue and provide buyer protection.
Etsy will only take the seller’s side if they can present proof that they’ve already shipped the item or that the buyer is planning a scam.
Yes! Etsy guarantees the safe purchase of products from its website.
However, you still need to use your best judgment before shopping online on Etsy. Generally, you should only buy from reputable Etsy sellers.
When talking to sellers, don’t read them your credit card information aloud. Don’t provide passwords, tax identification numbers, PIN codes, or other confidential information. Etsy sellers who ask for such information are likely scammers.
As stated above, Etsy is a trustworthy online marketplace with millions of sellers offering various products.
Just remember that there are still some sellers who aren’t legit. Nonetheless, if you’re having issues with any bad sellers, Etsy will intervene immediately. They are extremely trustworthy and aim to keep customers happy with their buyer protection policy.
If you’re looking for jewelry or food on Etsy, here’s how you can guarantee safety.
According to a 2020 report, jewelry was Etsy’s second best-selling item.
Since jewelry is a popular item, you may find it difficult to distinguish a legitimate seller from a scammer.
Always check the seller’s ratings and reviews to ensure that you buy authentic jewelry from a legitimate seller. You can even message the seller to ask about the product.
You need to ask sellers if they have a warranty or return policy for their jewelry.
You can now buy food items on Etsy.
However, not every Etsy seller can sell food items. If you want assurance that the seller is allowed to sell food items, check the Seller Handbook on Etsy, which contains more information about selling, making, and delivering food.
Using your credit card on Etsy is safe because sellers can’t view or access your credit card information.
If you’re worried about using your credit card on Etsy, you can use Etsy Payments or PayPal to pay for your purchases.
Both Etsy Payments and PayPal are safe and secure modes of payment.
Etsy Payments use Transport Layer Security Technology to encrypt your credit card information for every transaction you make.
Meanwhile, all credit card information submitted to PayPal is fully encrypted, which is why PayPal is the top payment service for online transactions.
There are always risks involved when buying from online marketplaces that allow individual sellers and established businesses to sell their products.
Remember that there’s always a risk of receiving a product that doesn’t meet your expectation.
Report to Etsy immediately if you encounter the following issues when buying from an Etsy shop:
- The item’s description doesn’t match the photo. For example, the seller wrote that the product is gold, but the picture clearly shows a bronze item.
- The item’s quality isn’t as good as what the seller guaranteed.
- The seller claims they’ve shipped the item you ordered from their shop, but it never arrived, or you received a damaged item.
You can get scammed by unreliable individual sellers on Etsy.
If you encounter a scammer on Etsy, the good thing is that the scammer won’t have access to your credit card information (unless you provided it).
Therefore, the scammer can’t use your credit card.
The best thing to do is to report the seller to Etsy and don’t purchase from the same seller again.
Take the following precautions to reduce the risk of encountering scammers on Etsy.
Sellers with refund policies allow you to return items if you change your mind about the purchase.
But not all Etsy sellers accept returns. Each Etsy seller also has a different refund policy which you can view in the seller’s shop or the product listing page.
If you tend to buy items online impulsively, it’s best to check if a seller has a refund policy before purchasing an item from them.
Etsy’s Messaging System allows you to interact directly with Etsy sellers. You can message sellers to ask for more information about their products or shipping details.
However, never share your credit card information because doing so will allow sellers to use your credit card.
You should only input your credit card information during Etsy’s checkout process, where you’ll select your payment method––Etsy Payments or PayPal.
Never push through with an order if the seller asks you to complete the purchase outside Etsy.
You can’t file a report on Etsy if you didn’t complete the transaction within the platform. If you completed the transaction outside the platform, Etsy can’t investigate the case.
If you experience an issue with a seller, the first step is to try and resolve the problem.
Only open a case with Etsy once you’ve tried everything to fix the issue and you’re sure the seller scammed you.
Etsy will review your experience with the seller in question once you open a case. Prepare to give Etsy more details about your interaction with the seller so they can make a ruling.
Here’s how to open a case on Etsy.
Sign in to Etsy and head to Your Account (“You”).
If you bought the item using a guest account, create an Etsy account to open a case.
Under “You,” click on “Purchases and Reviews.” Look for the particular order in question and click “Help with order.”
After being redirected to another page, click “Still need help?” then click “Open a case.”
Non-delivery or Not-as-described are the most common reasons sellers open a case.
- Non-delivery is when you didn’t receive the item, and the seller can’t present proof that they delivered it. Non-delivery can also be a situation wherein the seller sends the item to the wrong address.
- Not-as-described is when you receive an item different from the production description.
After selecting the appropriate reason, click “Next.”
When you open a case with Etsy, it’s your word against the seller’s.
If you want Etsy Support to side with you, provide them with proof, such as photographs, messages, or receipts.
If it’s clear the seller is at fault, Etsy will resolve your case quickly.
However, there are cases where Esty needs more information to make a ruling. In such cases, respond to Etsy’s requests promptly to move the case forward.
You can check the status of your case by clicking “Cases reported by you” under your account.
The best way to determine if you’re shopping from safe and legit Etsy sellers is to check their Etsy reviews.
Etsy’s five-star review system is a system that benefits both you and Etsy sellers.
You can check if a seller is safe and legit by looking at their reviews.
Etsy reviews are trustworthy. You can also read the seller’s bio and social media pages if you want more proof of the seller’s credibility.
Note that Etsy sellers buying fake reviews can face serious legal consequences.
Reviews play a crucial role in online shopping, so Etsy encourages all buyers to rate every transaction with a seller using the following criteria:
- Does the item’s quality match the description?
- Did the product arrive on time?
- Would you buy again from this seller?
You should leave feedback based on the criteria above. You should also rate the seller by using Etsy’s five-star rating system. One star is the lowest score you can give.
You can write or leave a review on the website or Etsy’s mobile app.
In addition to the star-rating system, you can provide more information about your experience by writing about it and including a photo of the item you got.
You’ll know an Etsy store is legit if you see these signs.
This badge under the shop name indicates that an Etsy shop is reliable. Etsy gives the Star Seller badge to sellers with a track record of providing an excellent customer experience.
Etsy buyers can give honest opinions and feedback about a shop, letting you know if the seller offers high-quality products.
Every time an Etsy buyer purchases an item from an Etsy seller, the former will receive an automatic email from Etsy reminding them to leave a review regarding their experience.
Reading these reviews lets you know what other customers think about the seller. Etsy shops with plenty of good reviews with 5-star ratings are legitimate sellers, whereas shops with tons of negative reviews should be avoided.
Etsy wants you to have a fantastic experience.
Etsy’s search engine will display shops with good track records whenever you’re looking for a product. Etsy’s search engine looks at a shop’s rating, age, number of sales, and other factors to identify which shop deserves to be at the top of the list.
As a result, the products you see on the first page come from legitimate shops.
Etsy shops with hundreds of sales are trustworthy.
The number of sales indicates that an Etsy shop delivers what it promises to buyers.
However, don’t automatically dismiss shops with few sales. There’s a chance that the Etsy shop just opened last month, yet it offers high-quality items.
If you go to an Etsy seller’s shop, scroll to the bottom until you find an “About” section.
The About section will tell you what year the seller started on Etsy. If an Etsy shop has been on Etsy for several years, it’s legit.
Remember that shops that just opened can also be legit—they just don’t have the track record yet to prove it.
If you’re buying an item from Etsy as a guest, you may not receive messages that Etsy sends. So, make sure to create an account.
Here are three ways to contact a seller.
- The seller’s homepage
Locate the message button on their shop’s homepage. After sending your message, it’ll appear in the shop’s dashboard first. The seller may not see your message immediately, so give them enough time to respond.
- The product listing
If you want to send a message via the product’s listing page, go to the particular listing and scroll down to find the message box.
Clicking on the message box will open a window wherein you can type your message.
- The Etsy shopping cart
If you’re on a desktop or laptop, you can send messages to the seller from the Etsy shopping cart by simply clicking the “contact shop” button.
- The mobile app
Go to a seller’s shop and tap the speech bubble symbol on the right side of the word “Shop.”
While Etsy has some risks and dangers, it can be a convenient and safe place to shop if you’re cautious and take the necessary precautions.
Hopefully, I’ve given all the information you need so you won’t face any problems whenever you’re looking for something to buy on Etsy.
So, if you’re excited to find unique pieces of jewelry, art, or vintage items, head to Etsy.com today!
You can also visit my blog for more Etsy tips.