Discovering that your Etsy shop has been suspended can feel like a punch in the gut. You’ve poured time, effort, and passion into your shop, and suddenly, it feels like everything’s on hold. But why does this happen? Understanding the reasons behind suspensions is crucial, as is knowing the next steps to take. In this post, we’ll explore common suspension triggers, how to address them, and strategies to prevent future hiccups. Let’s get started.
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Reasons for getting your Etsy account suspended
Etsy account suspensions can occur for a variety of reasons. While it’s challenging to cover every single cause, we’ll focus on the most frequently encountered ones. Below, we’ll walk through the primary reasons sellers often face suspensions, aiming to shed light on this important aspect of having an Etsy shop.
1. Selling prohibited items
Etsy has a specific set of guidelines detailing products that aren’t permissible on its platform. From weapons and alcohol to drugs, hate-related items, and explicit content, there’s a defined boundary of what can and cannot be sold. You can reference a comprehensive list in our essential rules for selling on Etsy. While, in some cases, sellers might only see certain listings deactivated, there’s a real risk of the entire shop being shuttered due to these violations. It’s essential to be aware and cautious.
2. Breaching intellectual property rights
The allure of selling popular branded items, like a Disney logo t-shirt or a Marvel sweater, might seem tempting. However, using intellectual property without permission is a fast track to account suspension on Etsy.
It’s worth noting that many sellers unintentionally find themselves in copyright hot water. While it’s common knowledge that big names like Disney are trademarked, lesser-known infringements can be just as risky. For instance, printing a seemingly harmless phrase like “Just Do It” on a t-shirt without Nike’s permission can land you in trouble. Being well-informed is key to avoiding such pitfalls.
3. Sending unsolicited messages and promotions
Building relationships with your customers is crucial, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it on Etsy. Reaching out directly to Etsy users to pitch your products is a clear violation of the platform’s rules. Additionally, utilizing your customers’ emails for direct email marketing post-purchase is off-limits. It’s essential to respect boundaries and adhere to Etsy’s guidelines to maintain a healthy shop standing.
4. Association with a previously suspended account
Starting afresh on Etsy after a prior suspension may seem like a clean slate, but it’s not that simple. If you’ve had an account suspended in the past, any new accounts you create are at risk of facing the same fate. Etsy employs various methods to identify repeat offenders, from email addresses and bank account details to identity documents and even IP addresses. If you’ve had a suspended account in the past, most likely you will never be able to sell on the platform again.
5. Delivering low quality products or service
Etsy’s reputation rests on the quality of its sellers and their offerings. Consistent underperformance, be it due to low reviews, frequent complaints, unresolved cases, or shipping delays, can put your shop in jeopardy. Etsy aims to ensure its users have a positive experience, and to achieve this, they might close shops that continually fail to meet the platform’s standards. Prioritizing customer satisfaction is not only beneficial for buyers but also vital for sellers to thrive on Etsy.
6. Failing to pay your Etsy bill
Etsy sellers are expected to settle any outstanding payments to the platform within a reasonable timeframe. Failing to do so will certainly lead directly to account suspension. It’s crucial to address these dues promptly to maintain a seamless selling experience.
7. Having incorrect or incomplete shop details
Etsy emphasizes the importance of providing accurate and comprehensive shop information. Depending on your country, the platform might require details such as location, contact information, tax specifics, and payment methods. Etsy will clearly outline what’s needed from you, making it essential to heed their guidelines closely. Overlooking these instructions or neglecting to verify your account can lead to unwanted interruptions in your selling journey.
8. Having your account hacked
An unfortunate reality for online platforms, including Etsy, is the occasional security breach where hackers gain unauthorized access to sellers’ shops. Etsy is vigilant in detecting such anomalies, often leading to the account being closed for safety reasons. As a preventative measure, sellers are strongly encouraged to bolster their account security, with two-factor authentication being a recommended step.
9. Simply opening a new shop
Starting fresh on Etsy? Brace yourself, as sometimes new shops face temporary closures shortly after their launch. Due to a rising tide of scammers and questionable shops, Etsy has instated a cautious approach for newcomers. This means that many new shops undergo a manual verification process by Etsy staff before being granted full selling privileges. It’s an added step, but it’s in place to ensure the platform’s integrity and trustworthiness.
What to do if your Etsy account gets suspended
Suspensions on Etsy can take various forms, each corresponding to the gravity of the infraction. Sellers might encounter an initial, temporary, or even permanent suspension. The type of suspension you face is closely tied to the nature and severity of the underlying issue.
If you are opening a new Etsy shop, you might come across what’s known as an initial suspension. Often, this pause is the result of an automated Etsy system detecting a minor concern. In most cases, there’s no immediate action required on your end. Though it may take days or even a few weeks, Etsy personnel will conduct a manual assessment of your account. Once reviewed, they’ll typically lift the suspension, giving you the green light to continue your selling journey. Patience is key during this initial phase.
Facing a temporary suspension often stems from a range of issues, be it neglecting your Etsy bill or having gaps in your shop details. When this happens, Etsy provides clarity, pinpointing the exact issue with your shop. Your role is straightforward: tackle the problem head-on. After making the necessary corrections, it’s a matter of waiting for Etsy’s review. Once they verify the issue is resolved, they’ll typically restore your shop’s active status. Addressing issues promptly is essential during such suspensions.
When Etsy deems a violation as particularly severe – be it copyright infringement, excessive spamming, or the operation of multiple problematic accounts – you might face a permanent suspension. In such instances, Etsy ensures you’re informed via email. Mistakes can happen, and if you believe Etsy’s judgment was in error, there’s a pathway to contest the decision. While the odds might feel daunting, genuine errors do get rectified. To navigate the appeal process, refer to the instructions provided in Etsy’s official guide.
How to avoid getting your Etsy account suspended
At its core, ensuring your Etsy account remains in good standing boils down to two fundamental tenets: adhering to Etsy’s guidelines and delivering quality products to your products. When these principles are front and center in your operations, the likelihood of facing an unjust suspension diminishes significantly.
Diving deeper, let’s unpack specific actions and precautions you should keep in mind.
1. Follow Etsy’s rules and terms and conditions
It’s essential to stay updated with Etsy’s rules and adhere to them rigorously. This includes keeping an eye out for any updates. A prime example of a change of rules that lead to thousands of shops getting some listings deactivated, is the time when Etsy began suspending listings for including the word “amber”. Read more about this discussion in Etsy’s community.
2. Fill in your policies and About section
Ensuring your shop contains comprehensive information is pivotal. While the ‘About’ section might be optional, it’s key to enhancing your shop’s credibility. After all, it’s not just customers you’re aiming to impress; gaining Etsy’s trust is equally vital.
3. Disclose your other Etsy shops
It’s a requirement by Etsy that all your additional shops are clearly listed. Ensure you adhere to this rule by transparently declaring any other stores you operate on the platform.
4. Don’t use VPN
While the use of a VPN isn’t outright banned, it can raise red flags with Etsy, potentially giving the impression of suspicious activity. To avoid undue scrutiny or landing on a watch list, it’s best to steer clear of VPNs when accessing your shop.
5. Finalize the shop verification process
For those launching a new shop, aim to complete the initial setup swiftly and list a few items promptly. A well-structured shop with clear listings reinforces your credibility, reducing the likelihood of Etsy perceiving your business as potentially fraudulent.
6. Don’t spam your customers
Refrain from reaching out to random Etsy users with unsolicited sales pitches or promotions. Additionally, it’s imperative to use your customers’ email addresses responsibly, avoiding any unwarranted marketing outreach.
7. Enable two-factor authentication
For added security, activate two-factor authentication on your Etsy account. It will provide you with an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access to your Etsy shop.
Navigating the Etsy platform successfully requires a keen awareness of its rules and a commitment to providing top-notch products and services to your customers. By staying informed, following the rules, being proactive in maintaining security, and upholding a standard of excellence in your interactions, you can significantly reduce the risk of account suspension. Remember, Etsy aims to foster a marketplace that’s safe and reliable for both sellers and buyers. Aligning your shop with these goals not only safeguards your account but also paves the way for sustained success on the platform.