8 Tips for Buying and Selling Securely on Etsy

Etsy has become one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling products online. However, those who have never used this marketplace before may wonder if Etsy is a safe option. Below, we tackle eight best practices for ensuring that whenever a sale or purchase is made on Etsy, both buyer and seller are protected against theft or fraud.

1. Always double-check seller reviews.

A seller’s review can look legit, but how do you know when to trust it? One easy way to ensure that a product is trustworthy is to go over ALL of the reviews before making a commitment. Instead of just judging by the number of stars, buyers should look at comments about shipment methods and quality satisfaction.

Sellers who mass-produce their products will be lacking in top quality. Even though Etsy has guidelines against mass-production, buyers should be aware of this and always look for evidence of quality control.

2. Use the best payment methods.

Paypal is trusted worldwide. Merchandise should always be paid for using a credit card through Paypal in Etsy’s Direct Checkout setup. This secures both the buyer and the seller, as refunds can be easily handled and reported through the proper channels.

Any buyer who runs into questionable sellers or bad practices should immediately report it to Etsy. It’s also okay to first contact the seller when a bad sale is suspected before filing disputes. If a buyer has met the seller’s requirements, he or she is eligible for a refund.

3. Use Etsy Customer Service to check sellers.

Besides the seller’s reviews, buyers can also directly contact platform managers on Etsy. Before a purchase, Etsy allows buyers to have a conversation with sellers to verify purchases.

However, this is only possible with payments in Paypal or Etsy Payments—not with other bank transactions. Suspicious emails can also be reported directly to Etsy specialists via their customer service email.

4. Practice credit card safety.

There are a few universal rules to financial transaction safety online:

  • Never give away numbers, passwords, or card information on the phone
  • Regularly track online credit card spending and bank statements to be aware of any suspicious transactions
  • Always sign transactions, and ask for invoices and receipt of payments

Credit card charges that don’t show up on the Etsy account may be investigated by sending an email to [email protected]

5. Use secure online habits.

Passwords should be complex and changed regularly (every 30 days, according to security experts). This ensures better protection and safe transactions. The more complex a password is, the better you’re protected. Before multiple users get on a computer, the credit card owner should sign out of payment sites and seal their accounts with passwords.

Strong passwords usually meet the following criteria:

  • No less than eight characters long
  • No real names or usernames
  • No complete or obvious words
  • Inclusion of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers

6. Monitor forums and discussions wisely.

There are plenty of forums and discussions on Etsy, and buyers are smart to take advantage of the information here. It’s possible that a discussion about an issue you would like more insights on already has answers to the questions posed. It’s also a good place to pick up good buyer and seller tips.

However, remember that these are still public spaces. Personal information, financial details, home addresses, and other private matters should never be disclosed on public forums. If a seller has agreed to meet a buyer in person, they should let a family member or friend know their meetup and location plans.

7. Be aware of how scammers work.

Scammers will often use cashier’s checks and use luring lines that offer more services for extravagant amounts of money. Sellers should never fall for these kinds of schemes. Any weird or suspicious requests should be reported to law enforcement and dealt with properly. Any transactions made without the seller's knowledge must also be reported immediately to the financial institution or to Etsy.

8. Deal with negative people wisely.

Professional buyers and sellers should never air grievances on public forums, or in public spaces. The same goes for online markets. Anyone who has had a bad experience buying or selling should take their complaints to the right platform—this is the only way to get immediate help and security in the future.

Etsy is just one of many ecommerce solutions to look into when deciding to sell products online. Volusion is another quality ecommerce platform where all transactions are safely handled, and customers can expect complete satisfaction. Check out our main site for pricing, features, and secure marketplace options.