How to Use Etsy’s Seller Protection Program

Try as you might, not every transaction will be as smooth as Mick Jagger with the ladies. Fortunately, Etsy offers Seller Protection. Seller Protection guarantees that your account status will remain unaffected if a buyer reports a problem with a transaction with your shop.

To be eligible for Seller Protection, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Publish your policies with regard to returns, exchanges, and custom orders on your shop’s Policies page.

  • Communicate with buyers via convos (rather than, say, e-mail or carrier pigeon).

  • Accurately photograph and describe the items you list. Descriptions should include such details as color, size, materials, conditions, and the like. In the case of custom orders, it’s critical that you confirm the details of the order via convos. (You’ll learn about photographing your wares and writing good descriptions in Part III.)

  • Using the tools supplied by Etsy, provide buyers with a “ships-by” date — that is, the date by which the item(s) will ship, or the amount of time you need to process the order — and ship the item(s) as promised.

  • Ship your item to the address listed on the Etsy receipt (or to a different address, as agreed upon with the buyer via convos).

  • After the item is sent, mark it as such on Etsy.

  • Provide proof of shipping and, for items shipped within the United States, proof of delivery.

  • If your item is priced above $250, use a trackable shipping method that allows for signature confirmation at delivery.

  • Respond to dispute cases and to correspondence from the buyer involved in the case within seven calendar days. In addition, you must respond to requests from Etsy for more information about the case within seven calendar days.

As an added bonus, Etsy’s Seller Protection program fully covers items purchased via Etsy’s Direct Checkout tool (that is, via credit card or gift card), up to $1,000. So, if a good transaction goes bad, you’ll be in the clear.

Note that Seller Protection doesn’t apply across the board. For example, it isn’t available for transactions that involve digital goods or other items delivered electronically. The same goes for items that aren’t shipped — for example, items delivered in person or workshops or classes.

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