How To Tell if an Etsy Seller Is Legit (5 Ways To Determine Whether Sellers Are Trustworthy or Scammers)

Can You Get Scammed on Etsy?

In the era of online shopping, it’s easy to be scammed. You may think that because an item is being sold online, through a site like Etsy, it must be legitimate. But this isn’t always the case.

There are plenty of scams going on in the online world, and Etsy is no exception. In fact, because Etsy is seen as a more trustworthy site than some of the other options out there, scammers may specifically target users of the site.

So how do you protect yourself from being scammed on Etsy?

Below are a few tips on how to protect yourself from being scammed on Etsy.

How To Avoid Getting Scammed on Etsy

With over 1.5 million sellers on Etsy’s site, it can be hard to know which sellers are legitimate and which ones to avoid. Here are a few methods of verifying a seller’s legitimacy on Etsy.

1. Feedback

One way to verify a seller is legitimate is by checking their feedback score. All sellers on Etsy are given a feedback score in the form of a 5-star rating based on the number of positive ratings they have received from buyers.

2. Reviews

Another way to verify a seller’s legitimacy is to check for customer reviews.

If you scroll down on any product page on Etsy.com, you’ll see reviews written by Etsy shoppers. Buyer reviews are a good way to find out if a seller is trustworthy in many categories, such as:

  • Product quality
  • Shipping and delivery times
  • Customer service
  • Handling of returns, replacements, and refunds

An Etsy buyer has 100 days to write a review after the estimated delivery date of their order. They can also edit their review as many times as they want during this 100 day period.

Good sellers will have many positive reviews from happy customers. If there are no reviews or if the reviews are negative, it may be best to find a different seller.

3. Return Policy

Another way to judge a seller’s legitimacy is by their return policy. A good return policy shows that the seller is confident in their product and willing to stand behind it.

4. Send an Etsy Message

When in doubt, it’s best to send an Etsy Message to a seller before buying the item(s) you’re interested in. Communicating with the seller will be the best way to ensure that you are buying from a reputable seller who takes customer service seriously. If you are not satisfied with a response from the seller, don’t buy from them!

5. Etsy’s Star Sellers

Check to see if the seller is labeled as a “Star Seller” by Etsy. (This information can be found by visiting an Etsy shop and looking under their header image.)

Star Sellers have an outstanding track record for providing a great customer experience for the past 3 months. They repeatedly earned 5-star customer reviews, shipped their orders in a timely manner, and answered any questions promptly.

Do Etsy Sellers Charge Sales Tax or Are They Scams?

Don’t automatically assume you’re getting scammed if a seller is asking you to pay sales tax.

Many legit Etsy sellers are required by law to collect sales tax on eligible purchases (depending on both of your locations).

This is quite common on Etsy.

For more up-to-date information on this topic, check out Etsy’s article: Why Am I Being Charged State Sales Tax on My Etsy Order?

Fake vs Real: Are All Products on Etsy Legit?

Unfortunately, not all items sold on Etsy are authentic or genuine.

Throughout the years, I’ve definitely found some scams where sellers were selling “fake stuff” (counterfeit products) on Etsy like imitation jewelry, watches, and handbags.

But, this is why I don’t buy from sellers with less than a 4-star rating or without many reviews (sorry, but I’ll let other buyers risk it).

Fortunately, you can usually find out if products being sold on Etsy are fake by carefully reading through the sellers’ reviews.

One of the biggest concerns for most people shopping anywhere online is whether or not it’s safe to give a website their credit or debit card information.

On Etsy, buyers have several ways to pay for products, but sellers choose which payment methods they will accept.

The most popular ways to pay for items on Etsy are via credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and Etsy gift cards.

All of these payment options use Etsy’s secure checkout system, commonly called Etsy Payments.

In a nutshell, Etsy keeps records associated with transactions on Etsy Payments and does not give any secure data to the sellers.

This means that your credit card or debit card numbers, or any other financial information, are kept safe and away from sellers.

Etsy sellers will only receive shipping information and a few other necessary pieces of information they need to complete an order (including product info, any instructions for customizable products, the total amount paid, the buyer’s preferred delivery method, etc).

Tips on How to Stay Safe When Shopping on Etsy

  • Make sure to never give your card number or password over the phone, in an email, or any messaging system.
  • Etsy can’t confirm or help with payments made outside of their own online checkout system or PayPal. This is why it’s better if you can pay for items through Etsy’s site, instead of sending payments like cheques or money orders directly to the seller.
  • If you see an unauthorized charge from Etsy on your credit card statement, contact Etsy’s customer service right away.
What To Do if I Get Scammed on Etsy?

If an Etsy seller doesn’t respond to your messages or doesn’t ship your order, Etsy also offers additional protection for buyers.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. If you’ve noticed that your order hasn’t been shipped, the first thing to do is contact the seller.
  2. If you and the seller can’t resolve a problem with your order or they are not responding to your messages, open a case with Etsy’s Issue Resolution.
  3. Once a case is open, Etsy can become a mediator, working with you and the seller on whatever issues you may have.
Will Etsy Refund Money if Scammed?

If you have been scammed by an Etsy seller, you may be wondering if you are eligible for a refund. Fortunately, Etsy does offer refunds for scams or fraudulent purchases in most cases. You may also be able to get your money back through your credit card company or PayPal. Be sure to contact them as soon as possible to start the process.

In many cases, order issues can be resolved directly with the seller, or items can be returned according to the seller’s return policy. However, we believe that you should always get the item you ordered or get your money back, so when those expectations aren’t met, Etsy will step in to support you. Buyers may receive a full refund for purchases that never arrive, arrive damaged, or do not match the listing description.

https://www.etsy.com/legal/buyers/

For more up-to-date information about Etsy’s Purchase Protection Program, check out Etsy’s Buyer Policy.

Unfortunately, some Etsy shoppers have been victims of scammers in the past. However, if you’ve checked the seller’s reviews and shop stats, and have read their policies and terms of sales, then you should be able to recognize when an Etsy seller is legit or a scammer.

And if a seller’s Etsy shop is brand new, be cautious! I personally never buy from an Etsy shop that has less than 20 positive reviews already. It might sound selfish, but I’d rather other buyers find out whether an Etsy seller is trustworthy or not.

So go ahead and find handmade or vintage items that are uniquely you, support small and legit business owners, and (most importantly) HAVE FUN shopping!