I’ve had my Etsy Shop since 2016 and I’ve been selling digital products from Day 1. I don’t usually run into problems, but 2 nights ago I got an email notification that I sold a digital product, and then 48 minutes later I received an email entitled “Etsy has issued a refund on your behalf.”
I thought, ‘That’s odd. Someone must have accidentally made the purchase.’ So I go to check the order and it shows that the file has already been downloaded! Okay, wait… This is where Etsy’s Seller Protection should kick in. They allowed a sketchy, possibly fraudulent purchase to go through and so they’re going to issue the refund from their end, right? Wrong. And I can’t find any reason for the refund except that it looks like a fraudulent transaction. The email is bizarre. the account looks fake… So why didn’t Etsy issue the refund on their end?
To make matters worse I am on a loop in Etsy’s “Contact Support” portal that does not seem to cover how to find out why after they allowed the purchase and download of my item, they didn’t cover the cost, themselves.
This isn’t the first issue with Etsy, either. A few years ago Etsy decided to opt-in shops that generate over a certain amount of money and randomly ding sellers for offsite ads. And no, you can’t opt-out. It cuts deeply into my digital downloads because I don’t charge a lot for these items. Nothing is over $8 and most are under $3. Last month I received an email that read, “Your funds of $0.05 USD are on the way!”
Let’s not even go into how they’ve allowed non-handmade items to be sold, which overshadows the crafter, the crafter’s art and defeats the purpose of a place for unique items.
I know Etsy is convenient, but I do believe if you are serious about your craft, you should have a website where you sell these things yourself. WordPress sites are very easy to build and configure, and with Stripe as a payment gateway, it’s also very easy to add e-commerce functionality. And there are tons of YouTube tutorials on every aspect of building a website, as well as inexpensive hosting options.
I have decided to let all my listings expire on Etsy. It was an okay run. I’ve made lots of happy sales with great feedback, but they really don’t care about the seller.