Avoid getting scammed on Etsy February 13, 2019 – Posted in: Advice – Tags: , ,

Shopping on Etsy is secure and safe most of the time, but like everywhere, there are some bad eggs present. Luckily there are ways of finding out who’s the real deal and which shop does not have good intentions. We have been present on Etsy for several years and have seen a few cases where certain shops were not selling their own handmade products. Here are the few basic steps you should consider, before completing your purchase:

Feedback

First thing is to check the shop’s ratings. Each buyer can leave feedback after purchasing and receiving the ordered product. See how many items had already been sold and what is the total feedback. New stores will not have many sold items and even fewer reviews. This does not mean you should avoid them, but you should read the rest of this post, to learn more on how to avoid getting scammed.¬†Read each negative review carefully, skip the positive ones. This way you can see what kind of problems previous customers had with the shop. Avoid shops that don’t have at least a 4-star review.

Return policy

What happens if you don’t like the item you purchased? Maybe it does not look like the one you ordered, it’s possible that it was damaged during delivery, your item could get stolen before being delivered etc. A good shop will have a detailed return policy that covers all of these possibilities. Our shop has a no questions asked refund policy for items that are not custom made and uses DHL delivery service to make sure items get delivered safe and on time.

Item description

You’ve probably seen that most of the items have extremely long names. The reason behind this is search optimization, those long keywords increase the chance of being seen. These titles could be misleading, they might say that the item in question is made of gold but it’s actually only gold plated. That is why it’s necessary to carefully read the item description. Make sure that it says 14k, 18k or Sterling silver. Costume jewelry probably won’t mention gold purity.

Social media presence

Being present on social media today is a must for almost any company. Do some digging on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter. See if they are active and if their posts are relevant. Read what other people have to say about them, how satisfied they were with their products etc. Do not put too much trust into the number of their followers, because these can be easily bought. A quick Google search will tell you that a thousand new followers on Facebook cost only 15$!

Reverse image search

Etsy is meant for people that do handmade stuff. Reselling items purchased elsewhere is against their terms and shops that violate this are quickly shut down. Sadly, this does not stop certain people from buying cheap things from China and reselling them on their Etsy shop. Lots of them just download the pictures from Alibaba and use them as their own! Luckily, those are the easiest to catch by using Google image reverse search. Simply download the product image from Etsy and upload it to Google. Press search and see what happens. If the item appears on sites like Alibaba, Aliexpress or eBay that could be a major problem!

Message the seller

If you’re still not sure about certain aspects – simply message the seller. They will be glad to respond to your inquiry. These messages will then be kept for reference. In case of foul play, Etsy team can read them and act accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want. If you won’t get clear and direct replies, that’s a major red flag and you should definitively avoid such a seller. Do keep in mind, that it can take a few hours to get a reply, though. Lots of sellers are not in your timezone and could be busy or asleep.