From terrible origami (I’m not even kidding) and the creepiest stuffed toys on the planet (again, not kidding), to really cool art prints (I just bought this one and I LOVE it), you can find just about anything handmade or vintage on Etsy!
There’s just one question: Is Etsy Safe to Order From?
If you’re asking yourself this question, then you’re in the right place. In this post, I answer some of the most common questions new Etsy buyers have.
Is Etsy Safe for Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and Paypal?
* Please Note: I’m not a financial advisor. I’m just a super cautious online shopper who loves Etsy with a passion.
Buyers have several ways to pay for items on Etsy, but sellers choose which payment methods they will accept.
The most popular ways to pay for items on Etsy are by using credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, and Etsy gift cards. All of these payment options use Etsy’s checkout system, commonly called Etsy Payments. This system makes sure that your payment is received by the seller, without giving your payment information like your card number or other financial information.
The best part about Etsy Payments:
You can pay for multiple items from different Etsy shops at the same time.
The Safest Way to Pay Online
I recommend using a credit card, PayPal, or Etsy gift cards to pay for online purchases. And it’s always best to pay for items using Etsy’s checkout system, just in case you need further assistance from Etsy’s customer service team in the future.
My opinion is that debit cards should not be used to shop online. These are two reasons why I think this way:
- You’re not as protected against fraud when you use a debit card as compared to a credit card or PayPal. And getting that money back into your bank account can be a slow process.
- If somebody uses your card number to make fraudulent purchases, money will be taken directly out of your bank account. That means you might get stuck without being able to pay for expenses like food or rent for a while.
Tips for Buying Anything on Etsy
- Make sure to never give your credit 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 Etsy Payments 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.
- If you see an unauthorized charge from Etsy on your credit card statement, contact Etsy right away and do the following steps:
- Select Issues with an order from the first drop-down menu.
- Select Not seeing your issue? from the second drop-down menu.
- Click on the orange button that reads Contact Us by Email.
- Write “Attn: Risk” in the subject line for quicker service.
SSL, Keeping Your Information Safe
Private and sensitive information sent to Etsy is encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Put simply, SSL protects payment and personal information submitted to Etsy, both during and after a transaction.
Etsy’s Additional Security Features
Etsy provides additional levels of protection if you have an Etsy account. To register for an account, just go to Etsy.com and click on Register in the top, right corner. It’s fast, easy, and 100% free.
To access your Security Settings, sign in and go to You > Account settings > Security. (You must be signed into your Etsy account to view your security settings.)
I recommend turning the two-factor authentication on. This will add an extra layer of protection to your account by sending you an authentication code via phone call, text, or through Etsy’s Authenticator App.
Sign in History
Your Etsy account’s Sign in History* shows you the last 10 times you signed in to your Etsy account. It also gives you the time, location, IP address, and browser information of each session.
* You must be signed in to your Etsy account to view your Sign in History.
Viewing your Sign in History is particularly helpful if you signed in to Etsy on a public computer and forgot to sign out. You can easily sign out of any sessions that were left open by going to your Sign-in History and clicking Sign Out next to the open session.
Tips for Choosing a Strong Password
When picking out a password, don’t use:
- Your username
- A password you’ve used before
- A password you used on another site
- A complete word or a combination of words
- Names such as those of your relatives, pets, or business
- Your age or birthday
- use a minimum of 8 characters
- use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols
I use a password generator every time I want to quickly create a random, secure password.
If you share your computer or device, sign out of your Etsy account before letting others use it.
How to Tell If an Etsy Seller Is Trustworthy
If you’ve been researching Etsy reviews online, you’ll soon find out that many negative reviews come from buyers with complaints about a seller.
The truth is:
Etsy does not screen its sellers. All you have to do to start selling on Etsy is register for an account. So make sure to check a seller’s reviews and shop policies before buying an item.
Most Etsy sellers are amazing and kind artisans of some kind. I used to be an Etsy seller myself, for 9 years. But, unfortunately, some Etsy sellers are scam artists.
But there’s a way to tell if an Etsy seller is trustworthy:
The Etsy 5-star review system.
The Etsy Review System
And 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.
Reading reviews is a good way to find out if a seller is reliable in many categories, such as:
- product quality
- shipping and delivery times
- customer service: including the handling of returns, replacements, and refunds.
As a super cautious online shopper, my personal rule of thumb is to not buy from Etsy sellers with less than a 4-star rating and at least 20 reviews. Yet, the more reviews I get to read, the better.
Returns and Exchanges
Honest and reliable Etsy sellers will want to make their customers happy. Usually, part of making customers happy is to have a detailed Returns and Exchanges policy available before any purchase is made.* You can check their policies by looking to the right of any Etsy item, and clicking on See return policy, under the Shipping & Returns section.
* Etsy leaves return and exchange policies up to the sellers.