Etsy is a trustworthy site that fascinates us into buying fancy things that may or may not be available elsewhere online, but can we trust every seller there?
The simple answer would be no! You can get scammed there since the sellers aren’t required to have a business license. The website allows one to sell handmade products leaving sellers with good income as a side hustle (or even full-time work).
This advantage of disregarding sellers’ accessibility to sell can easily be turned into a major disadvantage for the buyers.
There several red flags that are easy to identify to recognize the scammers. The following signs will help you identify these fake sellers.
How To Tell If An Etsy Seller Is Legit
If there are genuine and timely (in over a healthy span) reviews given, the consensus will indicate the seller to be legitimate. Many (if not most) people do give a review after receiving their ordered product.
This is a major giveaway for the quality of service that is expected from the seller. No review is also not a very good sign while making the online purchase from the respective seller.
The seller may add positive reviews themselves from other fake accounts to make their accounts look real.
If the timeline of all the reviews is very similar this may be the case.
However, assumptions about the product and seller from the review section are never 100% accurate.
There’s a chance that the seller is a beginner which could be the reason for no reviews. Several people can never be satisfied which might become the reason for negative comments.
Such people would not leave a single chance to complain about the slightest of the problems.
In times of confusion, feel free to contact them directly about their services!
The Behavior Of The Seller
There are many scam artists on Etsy. They may act as a sweet talker to make you buy their product and stop responding as soon as you start making queries after placing an order.
There have been instances where the order isn’t shipped for days while the seller is ignoring the messages for the buyer.
Such unfortunate scenarios cause anxieties among the consumer. But it’s not the end of the world!
Etsy will and would intervene in such matters and act as a mediator. Most of the problems are solved in this stage.
Although if the situation worsens I.e. the seller continues to ignore the customer, the buyer is eligible to open a case under Etsy’s Issue Resolution. Usually, the seller would not let the case reach this extent.
Quality Of The Product
Ideally, the quality of the product should match the description given for the product. When the seller is not able to deliver the promised quality of the product, they are still scammers.
It is understood if there are a couple of minute scratches especially in second-hand goods but items that do not work or are of very cheap quality are completely unacceptable.
For example, one should complain as well as ask for a refund/exchange if they bought a digital camera and it was delivered with a cracked screen.
In short: the seller must make sure that the displayed and described product is similar to the actual product.
Asking For Credit/Debit Card Details
Etsy accepts all popular methods of payment such as PayPal, Etsy gift cards, debit and credit cards for the (comfort) of its customers. As accepting as it is for forms of making payments, it is completely secure.
As a result, it is strictly advised to not make payment to the seller outside the official website. In that case, Etsy won’t be able to help the customer. There’s no control or accountability beyond the website.
Never give out your credit or debit card information to anyone! If the seller asks for such information, run away. They are on the website to scam you and steal the hard-earned money.
Immediately, contact the customer of Etsy if you see any unknown transaction made from your account.
Credit V/S Debit Card
All methods accepted on the website is safe along with debit card but a credit card can be safer. The first obvious reason is that the money (in reality) doesn’t credit right away. So, fraud transactions are easier to reverse.
Secondly, Most credit cards come with protection against fraud and have a zero-liability policy. This means you don’t have to pay for any purchases you did not make.
Returns, Replacement, And Refund
After successfully getting through the initial process of buying a product from a scammer, this part can be challenging since he/she has gotten your money already and has lost interest in your account.
They might try to get off the grid or make flimsy excuses.
They may ignore your messages, so are eligible to take help from Etsy’s customer service providing the necessary evidence (chat screenshots and transaction receipts).
Too Good To Be True
Fraud sellers will try their best to make profits out of scamming customers. The easiest way for them to do this is through giving irresistible deals online.
They will try their best to trap you through luring by heavy discounts.
Now, it is not wrong to hate discounts but only reasonable discounts can be trusted. In process of saving money, some people end up losing more through situations like these.
Remember if it’s “too good to be true”, it probably isn’t true!
Q1) Can I help in preventing scammers?
Yes, you absolutely can! By providing insightful reviews about the seller in Etsy as well as common opinion sharing platforms like Quora, Reddit, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
Immediately report them of being fake sellers and make everyone aware of their scam, especially, Etsy to take strict action against such people.
This will help other customers being prevented from being robbed.
Q2) In the worst-case scenario, what should I do if I get robbed?
There can be cheaters on the website but Etsy itself is a trustworthy website. Hence, you can always file a complaint to get just an immediate action from their side.
Etsy is an online platform and like any other website, there are good and bad people present. No one ever knows who’s behind the screen. It is only our wit and mindfulness that can prevent us from facing huge losses during the buying process.
So do your complete research before buying anything from not only Etsy but from any other online ecommerce store.
Thankyou so much for reading.
Author : Khushi Tokas