Buying online is always a little worrisome for customers. You are not always sure that you know what you are going to get!
This goes the same for Etsy.com. Even though Etsy is one of the biggest eCommerce sites out there, it too struggles from those who would use their platform to scam or overcharge customers for things that may be low-quality.
Are Etsy products good quality?
Etsy allows anyone to become a seller on their site. There are no background checks that are done to prevent someone with a bad history or reputation from selling to unwitting customers through Etsy.com. This means that there is a potential for their goods or services to be suspect or bad quality.
This isn’t a guarantee, however!
There are plenty of great Etsy sellers and shops on Etsy that provide quick, quality work every day to thousands of customers all over the world!
Finding which store is the right store to buy from is up to you, so doing your research is crucial.
What Quality Can I Expect from Etsy Stores?
Most shoppers online expect Etsy products to be handmade.
While some handmade products are better than others, they all generally have that handcrafted feel, and some have very good quality materials that go into them.
For example, if you were looking to buy prints of watercolor art someone had done online, some Etsy shops will use better-quality paper and printing services than others.
What Can I Generally Expect?
When shopping on Etsy, keep your expectations realistic.
Most sellers will do all that they can to provide you with a fantastic product, but there are a few ways that Etsy stores fall flat:
- Low-Grade Materials (yarn, paint, ink, paper, beads, gems, etc.)
- Rushed or Unfinished Products
- Bad Packaging that Results in Broken Items
- Blurry Images or Badly Rendered Prints
- Fraying or Threadbare Clothes & Rugs
- Chipped Paint or Clay
Some customers aren’t looking for perfection on Etsy, and instead would rather support a small business owner and artist than buy from major superstores and retail brands.
However, if you’re looking for your product to be absolutely perfect, you may want to lower your expectations a bit and read reviews from customers who have had bad experiences.
Does Etsy Enforce Guidelines About Quality on Sellers?
Etsy does enforce all their guidelines on both customers and sellers when an issue is brought to their attention.
The problem is that there are millions of customers and sellers on Etsy every single year. It is impossible for Etsy employees and administrators to keep up with that kind of traffic and connections every single day.
This means that customers and sellers alike have to hold each other responsible for the guidelines and rules that Etsy lays out. Furthermore, many problems on Etsy don’t get fixed if no one reports it or says anything about it to an Etsy administrator.
This is where ratings and reviews come in – as well as Buyer Protection, which we will cover later in this article. When enough people complain and lower the rating of an Etsy shop, Etsy tends to take notice. If enough people report a shop or seller to Etsy, you are more likely to get a resolution quickly.
Etsy then will review the cases brought to them against the seller or customer and take appropriate action in accordance with their rules and guidelines.
What About Jewelry on Etsy?
There is a lot of debate and discussion about jewelry listings and advertising “real” gold, silver, and gemstones on Etsy products, and whether or not those products are legitimated in their design.
Although Etsy does punish those sites that break the rules, customers don’t like to be misled.
If you don’t have a legitimate ring, consider leaving a truthful review on the Etsy shop and even try to get a refund for it.
What Should I Look for on Etsy Stores When it Comes to Quality?
Being responsible for finding the right item at great quality is really hard on Etsy for customers.
There are thousands of shops to sift through for every single keyword you search. This means that there are thousands of good and bad sellers out there – finding the good ones seems nearly impossible.
Well, that’s not the case! It is possible, and we’re going to show you how:
Ratings and Reviews
Anyone who has been on Etsy for a long time will tell you to read ratings and reviews with a grain of salt.
There are good customer reviews out there that accurately depict a positive or negative transaction with a seller. They tend to give a lot of detail as well as stay level-headed and practical in their review. They will also give a lot of facts and information, and end with helpful advice for future sellers if the interaction was poor.
Bad customer reviews – whether positive or negative – will tend to be very emotional and lack a lot of evidence to make their case. They will usually come across as incredibly angry or frustrated with the seller, and in bold letters tell other customers never to buy from the shop again.
While both types of reviews have truth to them, keeping an eye out for level-headed reviewers who give a lot of details and evidence is going to help you make better choices on who to buy from.
Emotional reviews may be customers trying to get back at sellers to prevent them from keeping their good name.
Listing Descriptions and Materials Used
Trusted sellers and creators know how to advertise their products, and they usually know the ins-and-outs of their craft.
This means that they will accurately describe each part of their product in the product description, and usually include a few answers to their FAQs.
For example, if you are really into knitting and looking to buy a hat, you will want to buy from a shop owner who is listing high-quality knitting material brands in their product description, such as Red Heart knitting materials.
If you are buying from someone who uses cheap, acrylic brands instead of wool or high-quality yarn, you may be running into trouble. Furthermore, if the shop doesn’t list its materials at all, you should just head in the opposite direction.
Being transparent about how your buying process works, what goes into your product, and what the customer is likely to expect is a crucial ‘must’ for Etsy shop owners.
Photo Quality Vs. Customer Photos
One way that customers can leave reviews is to post pictures of them wearing or using the product!
This is a great way to show a seller that you really love and appreciate their stuff – and that you’re happy with your purchase!
This is also a way for customers to show proof that something came damaged in the mail or wasn’t exactly like the product description photo that was advertised.
Now you have more information on whether or not you should trust that shop, and you have proof or evidence to make you feel more confident in that decision!
Keep in mind, though, that shop owners do have the power to remove a photo from a customer review, just in case, it is inappropriate or offensive. This means that customers may no longer be able to see that evidence of a bad sale if a shop owner removed it.
Make sure to keep an eye on what customers are saying, and whether or not the shop owner is responding in kind and accommodating way.
Can I Trust the Reviews on Etsy?
As we mentioned before in this article, there are both good and bad Etsy reviewers out there. Knowing who to trust can be hard, but once you find a shop with a general star rating on the site, you could probably get an idea of who has a good shop and who does not.
Three-star shops are not going to be as good as five-star ones, hands-down – but how do you know if you can trust those star-ratings?
Etsy ratings and reviews only affect a shop’s overall star-rating for up to one year – or twelve months. This means that bad reviews will no longer shift the star-rating one way or another.
However, those reviews still remain, regardless if they stop affecting the rating. The same is true for good reviews, which will inevitably drop off your public star-rating.
Therefore, it is hard to trust the star-rating that an Etsy shop has overall, but it is good news for shop owners who genuinely work hard to improve their business.
Finally, one of the biggest things to watch out for on Etsy’s comments and reviews is the participation of the shop owner. If they are working hard to answer questions and apologize for damaged goods or a bad sale, you may be able to trust them more than a silent seller.
What Are My Rights When it Comes to Refunding and Returning Items?
Every purchase on Etsy comes with “Seller Protection,” meaning that you have the right to request a refund for a purchase.
This is usually the case if something went wrong or if your product arrived damaged.
These are the guidelines in which you can request a refund:
- Not Delivered
- Material or Product is Not as Described
- Unsatisfied with Purchase
- The item that Arrived was Not the Item Purchased
- Arrived Damaged or in Bad Condition
Under these specific categories are many different case-by-case basis things that the Etsy company and website administrators will review when you request a refund.
If you are found to be in the right – as most customers tend to be – the refund process will start, and you should receive your money back promptly.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that accidents do happen and that problems can occur without the seller knowing about it. If that’s the case, try to speak to them first before requesting a refund.
Also, keep in mind that seller protection (your ability to open a case) from Etsy is good for 100 days from your original delivery date.
This means that you need to make sure everything is in order immediately once you get the item. If you don’t inspect it and find something wrong with it after those 100 days, you may not get your refund back at all.