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Etsy bad review?: How to deal with bad reviews on Etsy

Received your first bad review on Etsy? 

Having bad reviews on your Etsy shop is a dreadful feeling, especially if it is a one-star review. Trust me, I’ve been there before. Kept me thinking about it for days. 

Having a store with 5-star reviews is very ideal, however, even if your products are good, some unexpected things happen and will ruin a customer’s expectations. 

For example, some customers would complain your products are overpriced, or shipping may screw up your packaging and damage the item. 

Receiving bad reviews on Etsy can be unexpected and disappointing and cause setbacks that make you lose clarity on your goals. But, dealing with bad reviews is easier than you think. 

The first thing that you can do as a seller is to see if the review violates Etsy Policy; if it doesn’t violate the policy, then this is a perfect time for you to address the customer’s concern and offer a solution that can fix the issue. 

It’s that easy! But I want you to dig deeper into our strategies on how to deal with a bad review professionally and effectively. 

What is a bad review on Etsy?

5-stars is the Highest review we can get, and this is what we all wanted, anything less than 3-stars is deemed to be less perfect. 

Etsy shows the average review rating just under our shop’s name, and most of the time, customers may find shops with high average reviews trustworthy, and it won’t look good if your store has a low average review count for the past 12 months. 

How to avoid bad reviews on Etsy

It doesn’t matter if you make $10,000 or as little as $50 a month, take note that your Etsy shop is a business, so make sure that every review counts as every penny counts.

 A shop with excellent reviews will appeal to customers more and make them want to buy more.

Here are some ways you can avoid having bad reviews: 

  1. Manage buyer’s expectations – Ensure that your product description is as accurate as it can be, with no tricks, and no lies. What they see is what they get. 
  1. Delivery Times –  If your product is going to take additional days to ship, be honest, apologize, and manage their expectations. 
  1. Listen to your Customers – Make your shop customer-centered, with their wants and needs in mind. 
  1. Use previous feedback for improvement – Make improvements to your product based on the feedback, if you don’t, this will make sure you waste your time making products no one is interested in buying. 
  1. Build rapport with your customers – Build a connection and accommodate all their requests, this will give them positive vibes from you and will likely leave a positive review. 
  1. Self Control – Having a bad review can be upsetting.  Just take a deep breath, control yourself, and don’t let anger take you in. Replying straight away can make your angry words go public and turn off potential customers. 

Can you dispute a negative review on Etsy?

Yes, that is if the bad review violates Etsy policies and rules. You can contact Etsy Support and ask them to remove the review with a valid reason, not just because “they don’t like me, or it’s not true”. 

 Here are some of the valid reasons to remove a bad review:

  1. Mentions violent acts or involve violence.
  2. Anything that contains private or personal information. 
  3. Involves racism. 
  4. Obscene, threatening, harassing statements. 
  5. A review that contains spam or advertising. 
  6. Involves another seller, like a seller who bought from your store and intends to ruin your store’s reputation through a bad review (this is difficult to prove). 
  7. A bad review that is mistakenly directed at you or your shop. 

Note:  Make sure the review is within the first 100 days upon estimated delivery time, and provide a solid reason as well as a request to remove it.

However, upon researching various forums and Reddit, most of them state that a bad review has very little chance of getting removed. So, it’s better to try and find ways to deal with it aside from reporting it to Etsy. 

How to respond to an Etsy bad review

Don’t respond right away if your shop received a bad review. Instead, try to regain your composure and think about your next actions. 

There are proven ways and tactics that you can use to communicate with your customers. 

  1. Reach out 
  2. Be apologetic and empathize
  3. Offer options to fix the issue. 
  4. Fulfill the promise.
  5. Do some follow-ups. 

Reach out 

Approach customers in a private message, and let them know you are open to communication and negotiation and are willing to fix the issue. 

Keep your responses light and cheerful. 

Be apologetic and empathize

You might be thinking, “but it’s not my fault”.

I know, no one wanted this. Chances are your customers only wanted to get heard and love it when their frustrations are acknowledged. 

Keep in mind that most of the bad reviews are not about you, but about their frustration. Trust me, being apologetic and knowing how to empathize with your customers always do wonders. 

And after an apology don’t you ever say “but”. 

Offer options to fix the issue

As a seller, you must reassure them that you are willing to do your best just to make things right. 

This doesn’t mean that you are giving in, but only offering solutions to fix a bad review and potentially build a positive rapport with the customer. 

Always be clear and generous with your offer, you may offer some discounts, a bad review refund, or send another same item or a freebie. Be firm and not get threatened to send the customers items that they did not offer just to change their minds.

Fulfill the promise

If your customer agreed with your offered solution, it’s time to reassure your customer and fulfill that promise. 

Say something like “Thank you for letting me fix the situation, I’ll send you a new piece right away, thank you for your understanding and patience”  or whatever you both have agreed on. 

Sometimes, the Customer won’t leave a reply with your offer. Try to send a final reminder message to your customer and if there’s no reply, then you can move on. 

Do some follow-ups

Follow up with your customer after a few days, and reassure them that if any concerns should arise, you are happy to help. 

Asking for an improved review

Most of the time, the customer will change their negative review to a positive one, usually into a 4-star review. 

If they don’t change their negative review, you can ask them to change it. However, you have to be very careful with this one, you should not ask the customer explicitly to change their review as this will violate the Etsy rules of review extortion. 

A customer may say “the seller offers compensation in exchange for a positive review”… No,  we don’t want that. 

Instead, you can start by saying that you are a small, family-owned business and that customer satisfaction is your utmost concern. 

For example: 

“Thank you for letting me fix the issue, as a small, family-owned business, your satisfaction and feedback are very important and if you are happy with the solution I have provided, a revision of your feedback would be greatly appreciated.”

Negative Etsy Review FAQs

How can I remove negative reviews from my Etsy shop?

You can click the “Report this review” flag underneath the review in your shop. Etsy will have it removed if it goes against Etsy policies.

Will Etsy close my shop for bad reviews?

They can, if it is just one bad review, it will not affect your shop at all, and if it resulted in a case, Etsy will send a warning first, and will re-evaluate your store for the next 90 days.

How long do negative reviews stay on Etsy?

Etsy reviews stay on Etsy forever, however, they only affect your overall star rating for a year, and once a year is up, it will no longer reflect on your overall star rating.

Is a 3-star review on Etsy bad?

A 3-star review means it is fairly neutral, below 3-stars is considered a bad review, and 4 and 5 stars are considered good.

Does opening a case hurt an Etsy Seller?

Yes, cases do hurt an Etsy seller, even if the seller win, they are still penalized for having an open case, and this can hurt the shop’s visibility in searches.

Final thoughts on Etsy bad reviews

Please do remember to always respond to reviews with a cheerful, polite, and with business attitude. 

Treat every review as a lesson to learn from, a means to improve your current situation or your products, and not something to deal with. 

And remember, use these Jadeshoot tips that we have provided in this article to keep your customers happy, help your store and maintain a healthy average review.