Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules

Seller Policy

Etsy is a marketplace where you can sell your handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies directly to buyers around the world. We want to make sure that you and your buyers have a positive experience on Etsy. Please read on to find out more about your rights, as well as what is expected of you, as a seller.

This policy is a part of our Terms of Use. By opening an Etsy shop, you’re agreeing to this policy and our Terms of Use.

  1. Selling Basics
    a. What can be sold on Etsy
    b. What can't be sold on Etsy
    c. Managing your Etsy shop
    d. Seller Standards
    e. Selling Fees

  2. Being a Member of the Etsy Community
    a. Creating and Uploading Content
    b. Privacy and Protecting Personal Information
    c. Communication Standards
    i. Messages
    ii. Forums/Teams
    iii. Communicating Cancellations

  3. Feedback, Disputes, and Your Success
    a. Reviews
    b. Etsy’s Case System
    c. Your Seller Account and Etsy’s Terms
    d. Seller Protection

1. Selling Basics

Keeping in mind these basic requirements will set you up for success on Etsy.

a. What can be sold on Etsy

Etsy is a unique marketplace. Buyers come here to purchase items that they might not find anywhere else. Everything listed for sale on Etsy must be handmade, vintage or a craft supply.

Handmade items are items that are made and/or designed by you, the seller. Read our full Handmade Policy here.

If you sell handmade items, you agree that:

  1. All handmade items are made or designed by you. If you work with a production partner, you must disclose that production partner in your relevant listings.
  2. You accurately describe every person involved in the making of an item in your shop in your About section.
  3. You are using your own photographs or video content —not stock photos, artistic renderings, or photos used by other sellers or sites. Read more about using appropriate photographs in this Help article.

If you are selling personalised or made-to-order items in the Handmade category, you agree that:

  1. All listings are available for purchase at a set price.
  2. If you are using photographs of previous work with options for customisation (like colour choices) included in the listing, it is clear in your description that the photos shown are just examples.

For more information on how to list personalised items, please see this Help article.

Vintage items must be at least 20 years old. Click here to learn more about vintage items on Etsy.

Craft Supplies are tools, ingredients, or materials whose primary purpose is for use in the creation of an item or special occasion. Craft supplies may be handmade, commercial, or vintage. Party supplies may also be sold as craft supplies. Click here to learn more about what may be sold as a craft supply.

We encourage you to be transparent about how your craft supplies were made and where your materials come from. You can disclose whether your items have social or environmental attributes, such as organic or recycled. You can also select the location of manufacture. Learn more here.

b. What Cannot be Sold on Etsy

Even if they otherwise meet our marketplace criteria, prohibited items, services, and items that violate our intellectual property policies are not allowed to be sold on Etsy.

Reselling is not allowed in the handmade category on Etsy. Reselling refers to listing an item as handmade when you were not involved in designing or making that item.

Keep in mind that members may flag listings that appear to violate our policies for Etsy's review. Etsy may remove any listings that violate our policies. Note that listing fees are non-refundable. Etsy may also suspend or terminate your account for any violations. You’ll still be on the hook to pay any outstanding fees on your Etsy statement. You can find more information in our Fees & Payments Policy.

If you are raising money on behalf of a charity, you must obtain that charity’s consent. Please see this Help article for more information about donating any portion of your sales to charity.

c. Managing your Etsy Shop

Your shop represents you and your business to the Etsy community. It’s important that you, your items and your shop are honestly and accurately represented.

By selling on Etsy, you agree that you will:

  1. Provide honest, accurate information in your About section.
  2. Honour your Shop Policies.
  3. Ensure your shop content, such as any text, photos or videos used to represent yourself, your shop or your listings, abide by Etsy’s policies, including our Anti-Discrimination policy.
  4. Accurately represent your items in listings and listing photos.
  5. Respect the intellectual property of others. If you feel someone has violated your intellectual property rights, you can report it to Etsy.
  6. Not engage in fee avoidance.
  7. Not create duplicate shops or take any other action (such as manipulating clicks, baskets or sales) for the purpose of shilling, manipulating search or circumventing Etsy's policies.
  8. Not coordinate pricing with other sellers.

d. Seller Standards By listing a product for sale on Etsy you understand and agree that you are responsible for complying with all applicable laws and regulations for the products you list for sale, including any required labels and warnings. Etsy assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, labelling, or content of your listings.

Meeting Service Level Standards

As a seller, you must provide great customer service and maintain trust with your buyers. These requirements are called our Seller Service Level Standards. Etsy may reach out to you if your shop fails to meet Etsy's Seller Service Level Standards. Read more here.

By selling on Etsy, you agree to:

  1. Honour your dispatch and processing times. Sellers are obligated to dispatch an item or otherwise complete a transaction with a buyer in a prompt manner, unless there is an exceptional circumstance. Please be aware that legal requirements for dispatch times vary by country. Read more in our Delivery Policy.
  2. Respond to Messages in a timely manner.
  3. Honour the commitments you make in your shop policies.
  4. Resolve disagreements or disputes directly with the buyer. In the unlikely event that you can’t reach a resolution, Etsy can help through our case system. Read about your rights and responsibilities regarding cases here.
  5. If you are unable to complete an order, you must notify the buyer and cancel the order. Read about how to cancel an order in this Help article.

e. Selling Fees

Sellers may be charged for using some of Etsy’s services. There are fees associated with listing, selling, advertising, and certain other Etsy products and features. You can find information on fees in the Fees and Payments Policy.

2. Being a Member of the Etsy Community

At Etsy, everyone is expected to treat fellow members of the Etsy community with respect. As a seller, you have additional responsibilities to safeguard personal information and communicate promptly with buyers in order to provide a great customer experience.

a. Creating and Uploading Content

As a member of Etsy, you have the opportunity to create and upload a variety of content, like listings, Messages, text, photos, and videos. In order to keep our community safe and respectful, you agree that you will not upload content that is:

  1. Abusive, threatening, defamatory, harassing, or otherwise in violation of our Anti-Discrimination Policy;
  2. Obscene or vulgar;
  3. In violation of someone else’s privacy or intellectual property rights; or
  4. False, deceptive, or misleading.

Read more about how Etsy search works, what factors impact search ranking, and how you can help optimise your listings and shop here and in The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search.

b. Privacy and Protecting Personal Information

You are responsible for protecting members’ personal information you receive or process, and you must comply with all relevant legal requirements. This includes applicable data protection and privacy laws that govern the ways in which you can use Etsy user information. These laws may require that you post and comply with your own privacy policy, which must be accessible to Etsy users with whom you interact. Your privacy policy must be compatible with this policy and Etsy’s Terms of Use.

In particular, when you sell using our Services (subject to this Policy) or use Etsy’s API (also subject to the Etsy API Terms of Use), you may receive and determine what to do with certain personal information, such as when communicating with users and entering into transactions with buyers. This means you process personal information (for example, buyer name, email address, and delivery address) and, to the extent you do so, under EU law, you are an independent controller of data relating to other users that you may have obtained through the Services.For more information on the General Data Protection Regulation, see more resources at https://gdpr-info.eu and http://gdprandyou.ie. As a data controller (that is someone who decides what personal data is collected and the purpose you’ll use the data for) to the extent that you process user personal information outside of the Services, you may be required under applicable data protection and privacy laws to honour requests received from such users for data access, portability, correction, deletion, and objections to processing. Also, if you disclose personal information without the buyer’s proper consent, you are responsible for that unauthorised disclosure. This includes, for example, disclosures you make or unintentional data breaches. For example, you may receive a buyer’s email address or other information as a result of entering into a transaction with that buyer. This information may only be used for Etsy-related communications or for Etsy-facilitated transactions. You may not use this information for unsolicited commercial messages or unauthorised transactions. Without the buyer’s consent, and subject to other applicable Etsy policies and laws, you may not add any Etsy member to your email or physical mailing list, use that buyer’s identity for marketing, or obtain or retain any payment information. Please bear in mind that you're responsible for knowing the standard of consent required in any given instance. If Etsy and you are found to be joint data controllers of personal information, and if Etsy is sued, fined, or otherwise incurs expenses because of something that you did in your capacity as a joint data controller of buyer personal information, you agree to indemnify Etsy for the expenses it occurs in connection with your processing of buyer personal information.

For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

c. Communication Standards

i. Messages

With Etsy Messages, you have the ability to communicate directly with your buyers or other Etsy members. Messages are a great way for buyers to ask you questions about an item or an order.

Messages may not be used for the following activities:

  1. Sending unsolicited advertising or promotions, requests for donations or spam;
  2. Harassing or abusing another member or violating our Anti-Discrimination Policy;
  3. Contacting someone after they have explicitly asked you not to; or
  4. Interfering with a transaction or the business of another member.

Interference Interference occurs when a member intentionally interferes with another member’s shop in order to drive away their business. Interference is strictly prohibited on Etsy. Examples of interference include:

  1. Contacting another member via Etsy Messages to warn them away from a particular member, shop, or item;
  2. Posting in public areas to demonstrate or discuss a dispute with another member;
  3. Purchasing from a seller for the sole purpose of leaving a negative review;
  4. Maliciously clicking on a competitor's Promoted Listings ads in order to drain that member's advertising budget, also known as 'click fraud'.
  5. Creating or using an independent buyer account to maliciously up-vote another shop’s negative reviews in order to position those reviews more prominently.

Harassment Any use of Etsy Messages to harass other members is strictly prohibited. Similarly, Messages may not be used to support or glorify hatred or otherwise violate our Anti-Discrimination Policy. If you receive a Message that violates this policy, please let us know right away.

ii. Forums and Teams

High level overview that Forums and Teams are public spaces provided by Etsy where sellers can connect, but there are communication standards that must be followed. More information can be found in the Etsy Community Policy.

iii. Communicating Cancellations

If you are unable to complete a transaction, you must notify the buyer via Etsy Messages and cancel the transaction. If the buyer already submitted payment, you must issue a full refund. You are encouraged to keep proof of any refunds in the event a dispute arises. All cancellations are subject to our Cancellation Policy.

European Union Right of Withdrawal Buyers in the European Union (EU) may be entitled to a 14-day “right of withdrawal” after receiving an item, during which they may return an item for any reason. The details of this right vary by EU member state. The right of withdrawal may not apply to certain items like custom items or perishable goods. Rights with respect to digital items vary by EU member state. Read more about the EU Right of Withdrawal in this Help article.

Please be aware that in addition to this policy, each country has its own laws surrounding delivery, cancellations, returns and exchanges. Please familiarise yourself with the laws of your own country and those of your buyers’ countries.

3. Feedback, Disputes and Your Success

a. Reviews

Reviews are a great way for you to build a reputation on Etsy. Buyers can leave a review, including a one to five star rating and a photograph of their purchase, within 100 days after their item’s estimated delivery date. If an estimated delivery date is not available, the review window opens after the order’s processing time and delivery time have elapsed. Buyers can edit their review, including the photograph, any number of times during that 100 day period.

On the rare occasion you receive an unfavourable review, you can reach out to the buyer or, if the review is less than 3 stars, leave a response.

Reviews and your response to reviews may not:

  1. Contain private information;
  2. Contain obscene, racist, or harassing language or imagery;
  3. Violate our Anti-Discrimination Policy;
  4. Contain prohibited medical drug claims;
  5. Contain advertising or spam;
  6. Be about things outside the seller’s control, such as a delivery carrier, Etsy or a third party;
  7. Contain threats or extortion;
  8. Include shilling or otherwise falsely inflate a shop’s review score; or
  9. Undermine the integrity of the Reviews system.

b. Etsy’s Case System

The Case system is how order disputes are resolved at Etsy. We ask buyers to contact sellers directly and attempt to resolve any outstanding issues before opening a case on Etsy. For this reason, it is important that you fill out your shop policies and regularly respond to Messages from your buyers. However, sometimes a case may be necessary, and Etsy will work with you and the buyer to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Buyers may file a case for a non-delivery or a not-as-described item (for more information on how we define these terms, click here). You must respond to any open cases within three days or the time frame noted by Etsy in the case. Etsy may request your assistance in resolving a case opened against your shop. Etsy reserves the right to escalate a case early for circumstances such as seller inactivity, harassment, refusal of service, case manipulation, and undermining the integrity of the case system.

By using Etsy’s case system, you understand that Etsy may use your personal information for the purpose of resolving disputes with other members. For more information on cases and when an order might qualify for a case, please see this Help article. If Etsy determines that an item is not as described, you will be required to refund the order, including original postage and return postage.

c. Your Seller Account and Etsy’s Terms

In order to keep Etsy safe and improve our Services, we may take actions that limit the visibility of your shop, listings or ads, or that impact your payment account. In the event a shop sees unusual order activity, or we otherwise believe that your actions or shop may result in buyer disputes, chargebacks, increased risk of fraud, counterfeiting, or other claims, Etsy may take actions such as limiting visibility of your account, or placing restrictions or reserves on your payments account, in accordance with our Terms of Service, including this Policy and our Etsy Payments Policy. When appropriate and permitted by law, Etsy will communicate information to the affected seller about the issue.

In the event a shop sees an unusual spike in orders, particularly in a high demand category, a shop may see an increase or decrease in its search ranking. Often, if a shop sees an increase in fulfilled orders and good reviews, this may result in higher visibility and search rank. However, sometimes a rapid increase in orders can reduce visibility. Read more about how Etsy search works, and what factors impact search ranking, and how you can help optimise your listings and shop hereand in The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search.

In addition, we may limit the visibility of listings or ads in the interest of keeping Etsy safe, and improving our Services. For example, listings or ads may have decreased visibility because they include terms that represent a prohibited item or based on third party policies. These listings or ads may also be restricted from appearing in one or more features of the Etsy Services. While these listings or ads may have limited visibility, they are still discoverable in search.

If Etsy has reason to believe you, Your Content, or your use of the Services violate our Terms, including this Seller Policy, we may deactivate Your Content or suspend or terminate your account (and any accounts Etsy determines is related to your account) and your access to the Services. Sellers in the European Union can see more information here. Generally, Etsy will notify you that Your Content or account has been suspended or terminated, unless you’ve repeatedly violated our Terms or we have legal or regulatory reasons preventing us from notifying you.

d. Seller Protection

Etsy also provides limited protection to sellers who meet the requirements of our Seller Protection Programme. Read more about Etsy’s Seller Protection Programme here.

Last updated on 27 Nov, 2020