Sellers Growing Increasingly Unhappy With Lack Of Professionalism At Etsy calls itself “your place to buy and sell things handmade” and is a pretty cool website that we personally enjoy. The sellers who use the site, however, are getting all riled up after several stores were shut down without notice due to simple, easily-resolved complaints from buyers.

Reader Elizabeth writes:

Over at, there have recently been a rash of insanely unprofessional events, most importantly, the closing of several stores without notice and for no reason given, but clearly violating Etsy’s own written standards about the very stringent requirements in place before such a drastic thing should happen

She pointed us to a thread where Etsy store closures were being discussed. One seller with 15,000 positive feedback comments was banned after a single complaint:

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am trying to find out why my shop is gone. I have tried to contact Etsy about it and they sent me an abuse report from a customer who says they never received their order. Funny thing is I can’t find any record of the order in my PayPal account. So it appears they may have shut me down over an order that was never paid for. To all of my loyal customers I will continue to get all of your orders out from the invoices in my PayPal account until I can get this resolved. I am in shock that Etsy would shut me down considering I have almost 15,000 positive feedback. It appears there has been a BIG misunderstanding. I have sent several more emails to Etsy and have not received any response. Please be patient…I am still around!

The sellers are eventually able to get their accounts reinstated, but not without possibly being reported to the FBI’s cybercrime’s division:

A seller DID complain about me – a week & a half after the purchase date for not receiving their parcel, & I’m in Australia & he’s in the US! Instead of referring the buyer to me, giving me the benefit of the doubt or explaining on my behalf that assuming non-delivery was premature, Etsy banned me & issued the buyer with an FBI cyber-crime form to complain about me!

Forwarding routine complaints (or threatening to forward them) to the FBI seems to be a theme at Etsy:

This actually happened to me around Christmas time. I had a customer request a Custom Order & then Subsequently change her mind. I refunded her payment & never marked the item as shipped. About 2 months later I got an email from Etsy saying I did not ship an item and the Customer was furnished with the FBI Cyber Crime thing & my account would be suspended if I did not respond. I responded to the email explaining that she changed her mind & the Payment was refunded. About 2 days later I got the same email & responded agian explaining what happened. I even contacted the buyer (nicely – & asked if she was unhappy in any way with the way the transaction had been concluded & to doublecheck that she had received her refund).She said she had received her refund promptly & was very satisfied since it was she who had backed out of the transaction. She said she had not reported the transaction to Etsy in any way. In fact, she had left me Pos. feedback previously.

We can appreciate that Etsy wants to remain vigilant about fraud (obviously), but not every consumer complaint is “fraud.” Telling consumers to forward basic complaints about refunds and slow shipping to the FBI is inappropriate and a waste of the FBI’s time. Billing errors happen. Things get lost in the mail. If every customer service snafu warranted closing down the business, people would be asking “Verizon? What’s that?”

We wish Etsy and its sellers the best of luck sorting this out.

More shop closures – including a Top Seller [Unofficial Etsy News]
Two Seller Accounts Deleted Under Strange Circumstances [Unofficial Etsy News]
Unwarranted Accidental Shop Suspensions [Unofficial Etsy News]
Another Case Of An Erroneous Shop Suspension [Unofficial Etsy News]