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How to Handle Bad Reviews on Etsy

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

So you've created something beautiful, put your time and money into your customer's order, mailed it out with a huge smile on your face, and three weeks later...you got a negative review. Although it's a bad feeling, it's almost impossible to avoid at some point in your Etsy career. So what now?

First thing is first: no matter what you sell, no matter how much energy you put into your listings, and no matter how much love and care you put into filling your orders, bad reviews happens to everyone. Instead of beating yourself up, let's focus on what to do next.


1. Read the review, and take it into consideration

No one loves to hear negative feedback about their work - it's uncomfortable and can make you feel sad and guilty. Try to take a few deep breaths and consider what the negative review says. Was the review about your work? An untrue listing description? Processing time? By taking the negative review into consideration, it allows you to address that problem and work to improve it in the future. A negative review now can ensure that future customers are happier, which is always a good thing! Write down the negative review on a sheet of paper, and then list 3 ways that you can improve on that in the future.


Try to remember that people tend to be harsher on the internet than they are in person. If it's a review that's just downright mean, try not to take it too personally.


2. Respond to the review, both privately and publicly

Respond to the review, just as you would expect to hear back from a company that you had a negative experience with. It's important that your customer feels validated - when someone spends their money on something you're selling, then you have the responsibility to respond to their feedback. Answer their review in an honest, communicative, and professional way, and be sure to address their concerns. If you can (and the buyer is interested), then try to make it right with a replacement item or full refund.


3. Learn from the review

Is the customer upset about a color discrepancy from the listing photos? Make sure to add language in your description that explains how colors may vary from order to order.

Did they expect the processing time to be quicker? Be as truthful as possible when detailing your shipping and processing time on each listing. Don't claim that it will be quicker than it is just to try to entice shoppers to buy.


Ultimately, negative reviews give us a chance to learn and grow. Think of the negative review as an opportunity to improve your shop and add details to your descriptions.



4. If the review violates Etsy's policies, you can report it

But ONLY if it violates Etsy's policies. You cannot report a negative review just because you don't want it on your page or for others to see it - they won't take that down anyway.


Reviews and your response to reviews violate Etsy’s policies if they:

  1. Contain private information

  2. Contain obscene, racist, or harassing language or imagery

  3. Violate Etsy's Anti-Discrimination Policy

  4. Contain prohibited medical drug claims

  5. Contain advertising or spam

  6. Are only about things outside the seller’s control, such as a shipping carrier (mentioned by name), Etsy, or a third party

  7. Contain threats or extortion

  8. Include shilling or otherwise falsely inflate a shop’s review score

Unless a review violates one of these rules, they can’t remove it. With that being said, it's definitely in your best interest to report any review that violates any of the above


5. Most of all, remember:



All content is created by Bella Consulting Studio, LLC. Any reproduction or copying of this content is strictly prohibited.

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