What to Do If You Receive a Negative Review

Receiving a negative review can be an unexpected disappointment. However, negative reviews are also an opportunity to learn how you can improve your shoppers’ experiences.

Reviews are people’s opinions and you can't please everyone all of the time. Unless a review violates Etsy’s policies, or the member requests to have their account permanently deleted, it can’t be removed. The best way to deal with a negative review that is in line with our policies is to learn from the experience and strive to solve the issues the buyer presented the next time you sell an item.

If the issue that your buyer mentions is one you believe you can improve, consider responding to them in Messages first. If the issue isn’t one you can meaningfully improve upon for this buyer, letting it go and moving on can be the best option.

Learn more about providing great customer service to buyers.

If the review violates Etsy’s policies

If you believe that a review violates Etsy’s policies, you can report it. Reviews that are negative, but that comply with Etsy’s policies won’t be removed.

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 our 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, we can’t remove it.

How to respond privately to a review

To respond privately to a review, contact the buyer through Messages:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon.
  2. Click Shop Manager.
  3. Click Orders & Shipping.
  4. Find the order that the review is referencing and click the mail icon.
  5. Type your message and click Send.

If you understand what led your buyer to leave a negative review, offer a solution that helps address the issues raised in the review.

If you’re unsure what caused a negative review, remain professional and courteous. It’s best to ask open questions that help you understand what caused the buyer’s negative experience. Then, focus on whether you can solve their problem and clear up any misunderstandings. Responding quickly and showing that you’re willing to address the issue may lead a buyer to edit their review.

How to respond publicly to a review

If you’re unable to work out a solution with the buyer privately, you may want to respond to a review publicly. You can respond publicly to reviews with ratings of three or less stars only. You can only respond to each review once.

To respond publicly to a review:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon.
  2. Click Shop Manager.
  3. Click your shop name under Sales Channels.
  4. Click Reviews.
  5. Find the review and click Post a public response.

Since your response will be public and viewable by other shoppers, here are some tips for responding:

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Respond in a positive and professional way that reflects well on you, your shop, and your customer service.
  • Address the specific concerns from the review and any changes you made as a result.
  • Focus on your product and service, not the reviewer.
  • Make sure your response meets our review policies, or it will be removed. Do not include:
    • Tracking numbers
    • External links
    • Private information

Your response will appear in the Reviews section of listing pages and on your Shop Reviews page. You have 100 days to respond from the date the buyer last edited their review. You can delete your response at any time.

Once you respond to a review the buyer will no longer be able to edit their original review or rating, even if you delete your response. The buyer can’t respond on your reviews page.

While we know that an unexpected review can be disheartening and it might feel like this one review will stand out and hurt your reputation, in our experience, buyers really do understand that not every transaction will go as planned. 

The best way to deal with a negative review is to respond to your buyer quickly in Messages. Showing that you hear their concerns and are willing to address the issue may lead a buyer to edit their review.

To respond privately to a review, contact the buyer through Messages:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon.
  2. Click Shop Manager.
  3. Click Orders & Shipping.
  4. Find the order that the review is referencing and click the mail icon.
  5. Type your message and click Send.

If you understand what led your buyer to leave a negative review, offer a solution that helps address the issues raised in the review.

If you’re unsure what caused a negative review, remain professional and courteous. Ask open questions to understand what caused the buyer’s negative experience. Then, focus on whether you can solve their problem and clear up any misunderstandings. Learn more about providing great customer service to buyers.

Unless a review violates Etsy’s policies, it can’t be removed. We are prevented by laws in various markets from interfering with consumer opinion regarding the item or service received.

If you think that a review might violate Etsy’s policies, you can flag the review, then we can take a look. You have 100 days from the order’s delivery date, or estimated delivery date to flag a review. To flag a review:

  1. From your Shop Manager, click your shop name under Sales Channels.
  2. Scroll down to your Reviews section.
  3. Find the review and choose Report.
  4. Provide any additional info you think we might need and Submit.

From there, we'll be able to review your buyer's feedback and will get back to you. 

If you have already flagged a review but don’t agree with the decision: our decision is final. Once we've decided not to remove a review the decision is final - it verifies that the review does not violate our policies. 

If you received a review that was three stars or less, you have 100 days from the date the buyer last edited their review to respond to the review publicly. Visitors to your shop can see your response. This allows you the opportunity to explain what happened from your point of view. A public response can make future buyers feel at ease about the customer service you provide.

To respond publicly to a review:

  1. From your Shop Manager, click your shop name under Sales Channels.
  2. Click Reviews.
  3. Find the review and click Post a public response.

Once you respond to a review, the buyer will no longer be able to edit their review. 

We recommend responding to reviews in a positive and professional way that reflects well on you, your shop, and your customer service - be sure to address any specific concerns from the review and any changes you made as a result. We also suggest focusing on your product and service and not the reviewer.

If you delete your response it will be permanent.

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