What to Do if You Receive a Negative Review

Quick answer

While you can report a review that violates Etsy’s policies, if the review doesn’t break Etsy’s policies, it can’t be removed.

Receiving a negative review can be unexpected. 

First, consider if there’s anything you can do to change the buyer’s experience to a positive one. The buyer is able to edit their review within 100 days of the estimated delivery date if they choose to do so, and if you haven’t responded to the review. The buyer may also choose to ask Etsy Support to remove the review. Communicate with the buyer in Messages.

If you and your buyer are unable to resolve the issue, consider whether it's possible to view this as a learning opportunity. Strive to solve the issues that lead to the negative review when possible. But it may be impossible and even unrealistic to please absolutely everyone all the time. Learn about providing great customer service to buyers.

Jump to a section:

When will Etsy remove a review?

Etsy will remove a review only if we determine it 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 identifying private information
  2. Contain obscene, racist, or harassing language or imagery
  3. Violate our Anti-Discrimination Policy
  4. Contain prohibited medical drug claims
  5. Are solely 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

When is Etsy unable to remove a review?

Etsy is unable to remove review that complies with our policies, even if a seller disagrees with the buyer’s opinion of the item and the service they received. Etsy isn’t in a position to judge the accuracy of a buyer’s statement about things like an item’s quality, craftsmanship, materials, description, or your communication. Etsy can’t determine how reasonable buyers’ complaints are.

Etsy also can't judge whether a buyer received an item even if tracking seems to indicate it was delivered.

A review can be removed if it’s solely about the actions of a third party, but a review that mentions a third party alongside a review of the item or service provided may not qualify for removal.

In these cases, we recommend you continue to do your best to give great service, and strive to earn more positive reviews in the future.

Etsy Support cannot remove a review at a seller's request. Report the review if you feel it violates Etsy policies. 

How do I respond privately to a review?

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

  1. On Etsy.com, open Shop Manager.
  2. Choose Orders & Shipping.
  3. Find the order that the review is referencing and choose the mail icon.
  4. Type your message and select 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 do I 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 have 100 days to respond from the date the buyer last edited their review.

Your response will be public and viewable by other shoppers in the Reviews section of listing pages and on your Shop Reviews page. You can only respond to each review once.

Choose your wording carefully. Although you can delete your response at any time, you can’t edit it or leave another response.

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. Buyers can’t leave a response to your response.

To respond publicly to a review:

  1. On Etsy.com, open Shop Manager.
  2. Select your shop name under Sales Channels.
  3. Choose Reviews.
  4. Find the review and select Post a public response.

Here are some tips for responding:

  • Remember you’re writing this reply not just for this one reviewer, but all future visitors to your shop.
  • 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

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.

Read more about receiving a negative review.

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

  1. On Etsy.com, open Shop Manager.
  2. Select Orders & Shipping.
  3. Find the order that the review is referencing and choose the mail icon.
  4. Type your message and select 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 report the review. To report a review:

  1. From your Shop Manager, choose 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.

Etsy is unable to remove review that complies with our policies, even if a seller disagrees with the buyer’s opinion of the item and the service they received. Etsy isn’t in a position to judge the accuracy of a buyer’s statement about things like an item’s quality, craftsmanship, materials, description, or your communication. Etsy can’t determine how reasonable buyers’ complaints are.

Etsy also can't judge whether a buyer received an item even if tracking seems to indicate it was delivered.

A review can be removed if it’s solely about the actions of a third party, but a review that mentions a third party alongside a review of the item or service provided may not qualify for removal.

Etsy Support can't remove a review at a seller's request. Please report the review if you feel it violates Etsy policies. 

 

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, choose your shop name under Sales Channels.
  2. Select Reviews.
  3. Find the review and choose 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.

You may delete your response, but it can't be reinstated, and you can't leave another response. 

 

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