Sometimes working online isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Between scammers, inappropriate content, and a seemingly endless stream of people crowding into your personal messages, working online will wear down even the most seasoned small business owner without help managing;
Especially when you are confronted with antagonistic or inappropriate people online.
Blocking a user is a great tool to use. You can hide the individual from your sight, prevent them from sending messages and make it clear that the content or conversations they provided were not appropriate or up to your shop’s standards.
Can you block someone on Etsy?
Etsy does allow you to block users. You must visit the person’s profile page and click on the link that says, “Block.” Once you block a user, they are unable to see your activity or product announcements.
If you decide to unblock someone, you simply have to reverse the process.
The user will not know that you’ve blocked them and won’t be notified as well.
Keep in mind, though, that blocking does NOT prevent a person from messaging you.
How Do You Block a User on Etsy?
Blocking a user on Etsy is a very simple process.
It is also safe, too, since the user will not be notified that you blocked them and therefore won’t have an opportunity to be mad at you for it.
While some users may get the hint that they’ve been blocked, mostly, it will have been much later that they realize this fact.
How to Block Someone:
To block someone on Etsy start by visiting their profile.
Once you get to the users’ profile, you will need to find the “Block” button – a small button that allows you to block that user.
As soon as you click on it, the user will be blocked by you!
What Exactly Does Blocking a Person on Etsy Do?
Blocking a user on Etsy is a tricky topic for a lot of sellers.
Once a seller blocks a user, they expect to never hear from that user again. The problem is that that is not the case.
Blocking a user on Etsy prevents the Etsy user from viewing your activity in their feed. Basically, the user will not be updated by what you’re doing.
However, the user can still message you and purchase items from your shop; they just can’t follow you anymore.
Can You Block Someone From Messaging You on Etsy?
Blocking someone from messaging you on Etsy is a difficult task, and mostly is impossible in the traditional sense.
Blocking a user doesn’t prevent them from buying from you or sending you messages. They can also still favorite your shop items and view your shop whenever they want.
The problem with this is that blocking someone online is supposed to prevent you from having to see their information, messages, or have to interact with them.
How to Stop Someone from Messaging You?
The only real way to get someone to stop is to either ask them to stop their communications with you or to report their messages as “Spam.”
If you consider and report all communications between you and the inappropriate buyer as spam, Etsy will take notice. If it is reported enough as spam, you may get emails or inquiries from Etsy asking what the matter is. Etsy may also choose to approach the buyer and ask them to stop.
However, reporting as spam can only get you so far. If the person is finding ways to contact you, you may need to consider reporting them.
Reporting them has a much bigger impact but can also be a lengthier process and require more information.
Related Article: Can Etsy Sellers Delete Reviews & Negative Feedback?
Can You Report a Buyer on Etsy?
There is no “Report” button on a buyer’s profile page that you can click, not like a “Block” button.
Instead, you will have to contact Etsy support or Seller Support directly.
If you take this route, you will need to explain the entire situation to them, your concern about contact with this buyer, and your wish that communication stops.
Furthermore, it is always important to keep any communications or screenshots of anything inappropriate or hazardous that the seller may be sending you.
Etsy Seller Support will contact the buyer on your behalf and ask that they stop contacting you. If the buyer contacts you again, their account is likely to be removed from the site completely.
Now, there are always ways to make new accounts on Etsy if a buyer is removed, but hopefully, they will get the hint enough to leave your shop alone and go elsewhere to shop.
When Should You Block a Buyer on Etsy?
Blocking a Buyer on Etsy is a really difficult decision to make.
As a small business owner, your first priority is to your customers. Offering your 100% best customer service at all times and making sure each customer has a great experience is how you get to be a five-star shop.
However, this isn’t always the case and should not always be the case for your own personal and emotional health.
Negative buyer experiences can include:
- Inappropriate language or photos
- Aggressive or threatening messages
- Constant purchase and requests that you refund them without returning the item
- Slander or lies told about you and your shop to other future customers
If your shop is accosted by a difficult buyer to the point where you are considering blocking them, it’s probably a good idea.
However, you will also want to make it clear to your customers that you don’t appreciate their behavior and that you would wish they stop contacting you. Speaking to your customers directly can sometimes have a positive effect and prevent you from losing a long-time buyer.
Often, customers don’t understand how they sound when chatting online, and they don’t consider the implications of how they sound. If you speak to them, sometimes they will back off or correct their behavior.
Finally, if you have tried to speak to the customer and they only become more inappropriate or aggressive, take time to block or report them.
It will help you move on from them and continue to focus on your shop.
How Can Buyers Bypass the Blocking Feature on Etsy?
As we mentioned above, blocking a customer doesn’t always mean that you can get them to leave you alone.
Often they will continue to harass you through private messaging, and some have even gone so far as to buy products and purposefully leave negative or harmful reviews about your shop.
Instead, buyers will no longer be able to follow you and receive updates on your shop. While this can help you fly under their radar, mostly it doesn’t solve the problem.
Instead, reporting or speaking to those customers and making it clear that they are inappropriate can help you get your message across.
Furthermore, reporting their messages as spam and getting Etsy Seller Support’s attention is a better way to get them removed or banned. This ultimately stops the problem for you, but for any other shop owners suffering from this buyer’s behavior.
Why This Is a Problem
Etsy could be doing more to protect its sellers from inappropriate or aggressive buyers.
In the end, Etsy is a business and prefers to make sure that purchases are happening – regardless of how the buyer is treating sellers.
Because of this, purchasing and messaging are constantly enabled, even after a seller has blocked someone. While it is understandable that Etsy would like to be fair and to still allow customers to make purchases if a seller decided to block them, it continues to put the seller at risk of physical or emotional distress.
This topic is widely discussed on Etsy forums and in the community. Many sellers are unhappy with the way that this problem is approached by the Etsy site as a whole, and can be one of the many reasons that Etsy sellers quit or leave the site.
While there are no current updates or changes to fixing this issue in the works, hopefully, there will be a future update or change to the issue that allows Sellers a little more protection from their customers.
The first and foremost priority of Etsy should be the safety of its customers and shopowners.
At this time, there isn’t much that a shop owner can do in regards to a nasty or inappropriate buyer besides “block” them or report them as spam.
While this can help a little bit, the overall result may just be more and more angry messages from a slighted customer who feels wronged in some way by the seller.
Since this is such a widely debated topic in the Etsy community, hopefully, there will be improvements to the system in the future or alternative ways for sellers to voice their concerns and block bad buyers.
If not, there may be a drop off in small Etsy shops who would rather start their own website or use a different platform to host their store.