Is Etsy Legit And Safe? Full Buyer’s Guide

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Table of Contents

Is Etsy legit?

Yes, the Etsy platform is a legitimate online marketplace that has been operating since 2015.

When shopping online, it’s understandable to be wary of sites you’ve never encountered before. That’s the right attitude, as it saves you from potential risks and scams.

If you’re wondering, “is Etsy trustworthy?” I’ll help ease your worries.

I’ll discuss the safety and security aspects of the platform, including:

  • Marketplace review system
  • Personal information confidentiality
  • Purchase protection program
  • And more

Let’s get started.

Is Etsy Legit or Not?

Yes, Etsy is legit.

The Etsy website has been operating since 2005. It has since established itself as trusted platform for buying handmade, vintage, and artistic items.

Today, Etsy is a billion-dollar company that recorded 96.3 million active buyers in 2021.

The platform provides a range of security features and safeguards to protect both its sellers and buyers worldwide. In case of any issues, the customer support team takes action to resolve disputes.

Why Do Some People Think Etsy Is a Scam?

Many people ask, “Is Etsy a scam?”

While Etsy is a relatively safe platform, some consumers might still be hesitant to buy from the website.

It’s a popular marketplace, but it doesn’t have the same reputation as major players in the industry, such as Amazon and Walmart.

Some buyers worry about potential scams on the site, mostly about fake sellers. Anyone can join the platform as Etsy doesn’t have an approval process for sellers.

Is Etsy safe to buy from?

Yes, but you should still practice safe online shopping.

Although Etsy has security policies to maintain the integrity of the marketplace, scams and scammers can still exist. I’ll discuss this in more detail later, including some tips on how to protect yourself.

Nevertheless, the platform has good customer service. Etsy immediately tries to resolve issues, like a scam incident.

Is Etsy a trusted website, and is Etsy authentic?

I’ll let you decide for yourself, so I’ll cover the website’s features relating to safety and security next.

Etsy’s Buyer Protection Program

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Etsy recently launched the Purchase Protection Program, a $25 million yearly project that covers refunds.

The program aims to provide greater peace of mind for buyers, keeping Etsy’s existing customers happy and attracting more hesitant shoppers to the site.

With the Purchase Protection Program, you can request a full refund on items that:

  • Didn’t arrive
  • Received damage in transit
  • Doesn’t match the description and photos

This buyer protection program protects sellers, too. Etsy will pay for the refunds out of their own pockets, so sellers can keep their earnings for qualifying orders.

Etsy Review System

etsy review system

One of the most reliable ways to determine a seller’s legitimacy is to look at their Etsy reviews.

Etsy’s review system allows buyers to rate the product and experience from one star to five stars. They can also leave a detailed review.

This can help you assess the seller’s products, customer service, and overall performance.

An overwhelming amount of positive customer reviews indicates the seller is trustworthy and reliable. In contrast, negative reviews raise red flags.

Can You Trust Etsy Reviews?

Etsy reviews are generally trustworthy, but it’s better to also assess other factors. If you want more proof of a seller’s credibility, consider reading their bio and exploring their social media pages.

Moreover, Etsy takes fake reviews seriously If the platform finds out that a seller has been collecting positive customer reviews through unethical means, they will issue an applicable penalty.

Etsy Sellers

As previously mentioned, Etsy is an overall trusted website with reputable sellers. However, you can’t avoid the risk of encountering fraudulent sellers like in other online marketplaces.

Still, Etsy tries to maintain a safer marketplace with its comprehensive seller’s policy.

What Is the Etsy Seller Policy?

The Etsy Seller Policy is a set of guidelines that every seller on the platform must follow. It outlines the standards and expectations for sellers.

Here are its key aspects:

  • List of prohibited items, including counterfeits, regulated goods, and illegal items
  • Copyrights and trademarks
  • Product listing guidelines
  • Compliance with laws and regulations
  • Prohibited seller conduct, including fraud, spamming, and harassment

This set of rules helps sellers have a positive selling experience on the platform. More importantly, strict compliance means safer shopping for buyers.

Sellers who violate Etsy’s policies can get suspended or banned for life.

How To Tell if an Etsy Seller Is Legit?

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When assessing the seller’s legitimacy and credibility, look for these key indicators.

  • Star Seller Badge

Look for a badge under the shop name, which indicates that an Etsy shop is reliable. Etsy gives this badge to sellers with a track record of providing an excellent customer experience.

  • Five-Star Rating

Etsy buyers can give honest opinions and feedback about a shop, giving you an idea of the product’s quality and the seller’s customer service.

Etsy shops with plenty of good reviews and five-star ratings legitimately provide exceptional products and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, shops with tons of negative reviews are red flags.

  • Search Results Ranking

Etsy’s search engine ranks shops based on their rating, age, number of sales, and other factors.

Sellers ranking high on the search results page are typically trustworthy and have good track records.

  • Number of Sales

Consider how many sales a seller has. A high number indicates that they consistently deliver their 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.

  • Years on Etsy

If you go to an Etsy seller’s shop, scroll to the bottom until you find the About section.

This 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 newer shops can also be legit, but they don’t have the track record yet to prove it yet.

Etsy Payment System

etsy payment system

The platform employs strict security measures and advanced encryption methods to ensure the safety of your transactions and payment information. As long as you keep all your transactions within the platform, you can be confident that your information is safe.

Sellers and buyers both benefit from the secure payment system, avoiding fraud or theft.

What Payment Options Are Available?

Through Etsy Payments, you can pay for purchases using:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Etsy gift cards
  • Etsy credit
  • Etsy coupon
  • Select bank transfer services

Additionally, Etsy partners with secure payment solutions, such as:

  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Etsy Payments and these trusted third-party services help create a more secure buying experience.

Etsy Privacy Policy & Information Collection

When signing up, you agree to the platform’s Terms of Use, which outlines what data they collect and for what purposes.

Etsy collects your name and email address when you create an account. You may also need to provide more information when you buy on the marketplace, such as:

  • Billing information
  • Address
  • Telephone number

Sellers opting to use Etsy Payments would need to verify their identity and comply with the applicable laws with the following requirements:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Government ID
  • Bank account information
  • Credit card information

These types of information are voluntarily provided, but Etsy may also obtain more data as you continue to use their services, including:

  • Browser information
  • Device information
  • Location information
  • Shipping information from vendors

If you’re worried about any personal or financial information misuse, read the fine print carefully.

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What Does Etsy Do with Your Information?

Etsy requires this information to continue providing services. For example, it needs your physical postal address when you’re buying from the site for delivery.

The platform also automatically receives data about your browser and device, such as IP address and cookies. Etsy may use this information to prevent fraud and keep its services secure.

Etsy values privacy, so it won’t use your information outside the stipulated purposes in its Terms of Use.

Can Etsy Be Trusted with Your Credit Card Details?

Yes. Etsy uses encryption technology, such as TLS (transport layer security) to protect your credit card number. Any credit card information submitted during and after the transaction is safe.

Other users won’t be able to view your credit card information on the platform (unless you specifically provided it to them).

Can Sellers See Your Shipping Address?

Yes, sellers can see your address. They need this information to create a shipping label and book a courier.

Etsy Customer Support

Etsy has a helpful customer support team that provides assistance to both buyers and sellers. Its main objective is to ensure a positive experience for all the platform’s users.

Here are some of their key responsibilities:

  • Resolves issues related to orders, transactions, and shipping
  • Make rulings on cases based on the evidence provided, relevant policies, and careful assessment
  • Help with technical issues
  • Provides guidance on Etsy’s policies, including refunds, returns, intellectual property, etc.
  • Supports users with account-related inquiries and problems
  • Offers educational resources for Etsy sellers
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Is Etsy Reliable With Its Customer Service?

Etsy’s customer support team is generally reliable. However, depending on the urgency, it can take a few days to respond to your messages.

You can get help on the platform in three ways:

  • Help Center
    The help center hosts various resources, from articles to FAQs, to quickly provide answers.
  • Chat and Messaging
    If you have a specific inquiry or issue, you can contact their support team through chat and the Contact Support button.
  • Resolution Center
    The resolution center provides a space to allow sellers and buyers to work through an issue together. The support team helps oversee the dispute.

Risks When Buying From an Etsy Shop

While Etsy strives to provide a secure and reliable platform, it still contains potential risks. It’s an online marketplace that allows individual sellers and businesses, so the services and product quality vary.

When shopping on the platform, remember the following risks you may encounter:

1 – Quality and Accuracy Discrepancies
Sometimes, the product you receive may differ from the description and what was promised. The color might be off, or the material used is not what was described in the product description.

2 – Seller Integrity
As stated earlier, there’s a small risk of encountering dishonest sellers.

3 – Shipping and Delivery Issues
Etsy shipping and delivery depend on the seller. It may take longer for some, and some options might not be available.
Other issues, such as delayed delivery, damaged item, or lost packages can be attributed to the courier service.

4 – Fake or Infringing Items
Etsy prohibits selling fake branded items or products that infringe on someone else’s intellectual property. However, you may still encounter such items on the site.

Awareness of these risks allows you to take proactive measures when using Etsy’s services. Make sure to research sellers, scrutinize the product description and photos, and communicate with the seller for a positive buying experience.

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Can You Get Scammed on Etsy?

Yes, there’s a small chance of encountering an Etsy scam, whether you’re an Etsy buyer or seller.

Aside from the risks above, these types of scams also exist on the platform:

  • Fake tracking information and non-delivery of items
  • Counterfeit items
  • Phishing scams
  • Misrepresentation of mass-produced products
  • Overpriced items

How To Avoid Scams on Etsy

Ensure a secure shopping experience on Etsy by following my safety tips below.

Examine the Product Description and Photos.

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Carefully review the product description to clearly understand what you’re getting. Check the material, specifications, dimensions, and customization options. Note any guarantees and certifications, especially for jewelry and other high-ticket items.

Examine the product photos, as well as, to ensure they match the product description. Look for high-quality images, and check for signs of generic quality.

If you need any clarification, contact sellers through Etsy’s messaging system.

Research the Sellers.

Make sure the seller is legitimate and reliable using our previous tips. Examine the seller’s ratings, positive reviews, and transaction history.

Check the Seller’s Returns Policy.

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Sellers may allow you to return items if you change your mind about the purchase.

However, not all Etsy sellers accept returns. Each Etsy seller also has a different refund policy, which you can view on their Etsy store or the product listing page.

If you’re someone to buy items online impulsively, it’s best to check if a seller has a refund policy before purchasing an item.

Keep Transactions Inside the Platform.

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. Etsy can’t investigate the case if you completed the transaction outside the platform.

Protect Your Credit Card Information.

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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 with sellers or other users on the platform. They don’t need your payment details for any purpose, as Etsy regulates transactions and payments.

When you’re on the phone, don’t read your credit card information aloud.

You should only input your credit card information during Etsy’s checkout process.

Trust Your Instincts.

If something feels off while communicating with the seller or anytime during the buying process, cancel the transaction. Consider reporting the issue to Etsy if there are obvious red flags.

What To Do if You Get Scammed on Etsy

If you experience an issue, the first step is to try and resolve the problem with the same seller.

If they’re unresponsive or generally unhelpful, that’s when you open a case so Etsy can step in.

Open a case on Etsy with these steps.

1 – Go to Your Etsy Account Page.

Sign in to Etsy and head to Your Account.

If you bought the item using a guest account, create an Etsy account to open a case.

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2 – Find the Purchase.

Click on Purchases and Reviews. Look for the particular order in question and click Help with order.

On the redirected page, click “Still need help?” then click “Open a case.”

3 – Give the Reason for Opening a Case.

Choose between these two options:

  • Non-delivery: if you didn’t receive the item and the seller doesn’t have proof of delivery or delivered it to the wrong address.
  • Not-as-described: if you received an item different from the production description.

After selecting the appropriate reason, click Next.

4 – Provide Relevant Details To Etsy Support.

Provide all the relevant details, including your whole experience and your interactions with the seller. Thoroughly explain the issue and include any supporting evidence.

You can attach photos, screenshots, and receipts to help Etsy make an informed ruling.

5 – Wait for Etsy’s Ruling.

Etsy will make a ruling based on the information you provided. If it’s clear the seller is at fault, the platform will resolve your case quickly.

However, Etsy might reach out to ask for additional information before they reach a decision. In such cases, respond to Etsy’s requests promptly to move the case forward.

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6 – Monitor Your Case Status.

You can check the status of your case by clicking Cases reported by you under your account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is an online marketplace launched in 2005, focusing on handmade items, unique crafts, and vintage items. It has since expanded to include jewelry, home decor, clothing, accessories, craft supplies, and more.

Is Legit?

Yes, is the legitimate web address of the marketplace. Make sure to do all your transactions within the website to protect your information.

Will Etsy Refund Money if Scammed?

Etsy’s purchase protection program has refund policies that cover scams and fraudulent transactions. If you encounter such an incident, all you have to do is open a case with Etsy’s customer support and provide evidence. Etsy refunds the money based on their assessment and take any appropriate action.

How Do I Know if an Etsy Seller Is Legit?

To ensure the reputability of an individual seller, follow these tips:

  1. Look for the star seller badge.
  2. Check the seller’s reviews and customer feedback.
  3. Communicate with the seller.
  4. Examine their selling history.

Where Is Etsy Located?

Etsy has its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. However, the marketplace is a global platform catering to international sellers and buyers.

Is Etsy Safe To Sell On?

Yes, it’s a generally safe platform to sell on. Etsy also has protections in place for sellers, such as secure transaction methods and buyer reviews. However, no platform is ever 100% risk-free, so you should still follow the guidelines to protect your personal information.

Is My Credit Card Safe on Etsy?

Yes. Etsy uses trusted payment processors and employs industry-standard encryption to protect your credit card information. However, you shouldn’t share your details to sellers. It’s still good practice to check your credit card statements often for discrepancies.

Is Etsy Legit for Shoes?

Yes, you can buy personalized footwear, handmade shoes, authentic shoes, and other types on Etsy. However, make sure you buy from a legitimate seller. Review the product description thoroughly to set the right expectations.

Why Is Etsy So Cheap?

Pricing on Etsy can vary greatly as it depends on the seller’s business model, production costs, and strategy. If some products are cheaper on Etsy, it can be due to reduced overhead costs, direct-to-consumer sales, and lower small-scale production expenses.

Is Etsy Jewelry Real?

Etsy jewelry can be authentic, depending on the product and seller. All kinds of jewelry is available on the marketplace, including handmade, personalized, vintage, and commercial ones. Review the product description to see the material, certifications, and guarantees.

Is Etsy a Reputable Company Like Amazon?

Yes, both are reputable e-commerce websites. However, they have different policies and systems that create varying shopping experiences.

Can I Track My Etsy Purchases?

Yes, the seller should provide tracking information so you can track your Etsy order.

The Bottom Line

Is Etsy safe to order from?

Now that you know the answer to this question, you can comfortably buy from the site. Remember our tips above to ensure a safe online shopping experience.

While Etsy has some risks, it can be a convenient and safe place to shop if you take the necessary precautions.

Overall, the marketplace is a good way to find unique, handcrafted items from small business owners and artists. It’s also a safe place for sellers, so you can start an Etsy shop if you want to monetize your skills and talents.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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