Does Etsy Sell Fake Stuff? How To Spot Fake Items

does etsy sell fake stuff
This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through our affiliate link at no extra cost to you. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Who has not bought handmade and one-of-a-kind products from Etsy?
With Etsy’s reputation built on trust and authenticity, many shoppers turn to Etsy in search of distinct, artisanal products.

But did you know that Etsy, the popular e-commerce platform known for its unique and handmade items, has been facing criticism for selling fake products?

From knockoff designer handbags to imitation vintage posters, some sellers are shamelessly exploiting the trust of the Etsy community for their own financial gain.

In this article, I have answered the question- “Does Etsy Sell Fake Stuff?” & “How To Spot and Avoid Fake Items” in detail.

Not only that I also have shared some tips which you can use to know whether an Etsy seller has authentic products.

But what to do if you still get scammed after being careful? well, I got you covered, keep reading to know everything.

Does Etsy Sell Fake Stuff?

First of all, let me clear one thing, Etsy doesn’t sell anything, it’s just a marketplace, so its the different sellers who sell items on Etsy.

So the short answer to the question “Does Etsy Sell Fake Stuff” is Yes & No.

As I said, sellers are responsible for all the products that are being sold on Etsy, which means it depends on the individual seller from where you are purchasing whether you will receive an original or a fake/counterfeit product.

If you are purchasing from a seller who sells fake & counterfeit products you cannot expect to receive an original item.

So does Etsy guarantee authenticity?

Not at all, according to Etsy’s buyer’s policy, “Etsy does not pre-screen any items that are sold on the marketplace and hence does not provide any guarantee or authenticity check for the items sold by various sellers”

Etsy Buyer's Policy
Etsy Buyer’s Policy

That clearly means that it’s your responsibility to do all the research before buying any item from the marketplace, if you get scammed by Etsy it’s not Etsy’s fault.

Does Etsy Allow Selling Fake & Counterfeit Items?

Definitely not, as per Etsy’s in-house policy, selling counterfeit and fake items is strictly prohibited.

Etsy has policies in place to prevent the sale of counterfeit or fake items, and the platform also takes a proactive approach to monitor its marketplace and remove items that violate its policies.

The company has strict rules regarding the sale of trademarked or copyrighted items, and it requires sellers to obtain permission from the trademark or copyright owner before listing these items for sale.

Additionally, the company has policies in place to prevent the sale of counterfeit items, and it allows brands and their teams to identify and remove fake items from the marketplace that are violating their copyrights.

Despite these efforts, it is still possible for fake goods to make their way onto the site.

In some cases, this is due to sellers who intentionally violate Etsy’s policies by listing counterfeit items to earn some quick cash.

In other cases, it may be due to the seller being unaware that they are selling fake products, or to a lack of understanding about the policies and procedures that govern what can be sold on Etsy.

How To Spot & Avoid Fake Items On Etsy

Etsy is a great place to find unique and handmade items, but it’s important to be aware of the possibility of counterfeit items being sold on the platform.

They are often made with poor-quality materials and their craftmanship is the worst you can ever have, and they may not meet safety standards too.

So the question is how we can avoid such fake and counterfeit items on Etsy?

Here are some tips on how to spot fake items on Etsy:

1. Check The Seller’s Reputation: Look for reviews and ratings from previous buyers. Read through the feedback to see if there are any complaints about counterfeit items.

2. Do some research on the product photos: You can reverse image search the item pics and see if there are other sellers using the same pic. If there are multiple sellers using the same item pic that means the item is not handmade and the sellers are getting it from a supplier.

For Eg

Look at the image below, the item is listed under the handmade category, but when I reverse-searched the item image using Google I found that the item is available on both Alibaba and Aliexpress.

That means this particular item is sourced from the wholesalers and directly drop shipped to customers.

That clearly means it’s not a handmade item.

3. Compare the price to other similar items on Etsy. If the price is significantly lower than other similar items, it’s likely a fake. Counterfeiters often sell their products at a lower price in order to attract buyers.

4. Check the seller’s feedback. If the seller has a lot of negative feedback, it’s best to avoid buying from them. Counterfeiters often have negative feedback from buyers who have received fake items.

5. Communicate with the seller: If you have any doubts or questions about the authenticity of the item, reach out to the seller. Ask for additional information, such as proof of authenticity or more detailed photos. Legitimate sellers are usually responsive and willing to provide clarification.

6. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Trust your instincts and consider finding a different seller or product if you have doubts about authenticity.

7. Check for shop policies: Look for clear return and refund policies, as well as any guarantees or certifications offered by the seller. Legitimate sellers usually provide transparent policies to protect buyers.

How Does Etsy Prevent The Sale Of Fake Items

Etsy has a team of employees who work to prevent the sale of counterfeit items on the platform. They use a variety of methods to identify and remove counterfeit listings, including:

  • Algorithm & Machine Learning
  • Manual review of listings
  • Copyright infringement reports from brands
  • User Feedback


Can you trust products on Etsy?

Generally, yes. Etsy is a marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, and it prohibits the sale of counterfeit items. However, there are some sellers who try to sell fake items on Etsy. If you see a listing that you think is fake, you can avoid it and report it to Etsy.

Is Etsy genuine or fake?

Etsy is genuine. It is a legitimate online marketplace that allows people to buy and sell handmade and vintage items.

How do I know if an Etsy seller is trustworthy?

There are a few things you can look for to help you determine if an Etsy seller is trustworthy. First, check the seller’s feedback.

If the seller has a lot of positive feedback, it’s a good sign. Second, look at the seller’s shop policies. If the seller has clear and concise policies, it’s a good sign.

Finally, read the seller’s description carefully. If the description is detailed and accurate, it’s a good sign.

I have written an entire article on how to tell if an Etsy seller is legit, go and have a look for more info.


By following the tips above, you can help to reduce the risk of being scammed when buying from Etsy.

However, it is important to remember that no online marketplace is completely safe from fraud. If you are ever unsure about an item, it is best to err on the side of caution and not buy it.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments