How to Resolve a Case from a Buyer

Cases are how a buyer indicates they have an unresolved issue with their order, and do not negatively impact your shop. Cases are just a signal for Etsy to step in and help both parties reach a fair resolution. 

If you believe your buyer's issue qualifies for Etsy Purchase Protection, encourage them to open a case for Etsy to review. 

For a majority of cases, information available from the order’s shipping status and Etsy Purchase Protection eligibility criteria is used to determine an outcome. If more information is needed, you’ll be notified in the case log and you’ll receive an email from Etsy.

What can a buyer open a case for?

Buyers can only open a case for these reasons:

  • A non-delivery case: the order didn’t arrive
  • A not-as-described case: the item(s) the buyer received weren’t what was described in the Etsy listing(s)
  • Item arrived damaged
  • Item arrived after its estimated delivery date window.

Learn more about what constitutes a reason for a case.

When can a buyer open a case? 

The order's estimated delivery date (if applicable) or processing time and/or “ship by” date must have passed, and it must be at least 48 hours after the buyer contacts you about the problem. Once eligible, buyers have 100 days to open a case.

Learn more about when a buyer can open a case.

How to resolve a case

Etsy will review the order and make a resolution. If the order is eligible for Etsy Purchase Protection, Etsy will refund the buyer, and you’ll keep your earnings from the sale. Orders above $250 USD are not eligible for Etsy Purchase Protection, so it is recommended to package items carefully and purchase shipping insurance when fulfilling those orders.

In some cases, Etsy will investigate further in order to help resolve the case. If Etsy reaches out to you to provide more information on any open case, you must respond. Once the case is closed, you and the buyer will receive an email letting you know a resolution has been reached.

The Etsy Purchase Protection program for sellers is not an insurance policy, a warranty, nor a guarantee. Etsy will decide, in its sole discretion, if a transaction is granted protection under the Etsy Purchase Protection program or not.

Etsy reserves the right to change, suspend, or discontinue the program at any time, for any reason, and we will not be liable to you for the effect that any changes to the program may have on you. In addition, Etsy reserves the right to resolve the case on your behalf if necessary, which can include issuing a refund to the buyer and recouping funds from your Payment account. 

How do I work with my buyer to resolve the case? 

If the case is open, work with the buyer through Cases in your Shop Manager:

  1. Sign in to Etsy.com and go to Shop Manager.
  2. Go to Help and then Cases.
  3. Go to the Cases reported about your shop tab and then select the applicable case ID number.
  4. Use the Add Your Comment box to communicate with the buyer. Depending on the transaction, you can also take other actions, such as refunding the buyer or updating the shipping information.

Use the Cases page for all comments and information relating to your case. Upload screenshots or photos directly to the case page by selecting Attach Image under the text box.

Learn more about what is required from you during a case.

Qualifying orders placed between November 1 at 12am EST through December 31st at 11:59pm EST will have the amount of Etsy Purchase Protection coverage doubled from $250 USD to $500 USD. This coverage amount is based on the date the order was placed, and not when the buyer opened the case. 

As a seller, you must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for Etsy Purchase Protection for Etsy to cover qualifying orders. 

If you and the buyer can’t resolve the problem through Messages, the buyer may open a case. A case is a formal report of a problem. As a seller, you must work with the buyer to resolve the case.

To add information to your case, comment on the case. You must keep all information about a case in the case log.

Etsy reserves the right to resolve the case on your behalf if necessary, which can include issuing a refund to the buyer and recouping funds from your Payment account. 

We need to see proof the item was shipped to the address on the Etsy receipt or the address agreed upon in Etsy Messages. Please make sure that you provide a valid tracking number when shipping out your orders to ensure we have the proof of shipping needed.

We rely on our sellers to provide exceptional customer service. Comment in the case log and acknowledge the customer’s concern so they feel heard. Be patient and understanding in your communication with the customer and most importantly, focus on doing what you can to make it right.

A case agent will review the case and make a determination. If you have questions about the ruling, comment in the case log and ask the case agent to clarify their determination and/or your next steps.

Usually, cases close automatically once the issue is resolved. 

Cases may be closed automatically in the following circumstances:

  • You issue the buyer a full refund through Etsy Payments.

  • For non-delivery cases, there’s no tracking information provided or the order’s tracking information shows that the package was delivered to the address on the Etsy receipt. 
  • The buyer closes the case if they are satisfied with the resolution.

In some cases, Etsy may need to investigate further in order to resolve the case. If Etsy reaches out to you to provide more information on any open case, you must respond. 

If the buyer paid through their own PayPal account and not through Etsy Payments, you may need to provide Etsy with proof of a PayPal refund before the case can be closed. 

Etsy reserves the right to resolve the case on your behalf if necessary, which can include issuing a refund to the buyer and recouping funds from your Payment account. 

If you have concerns about the resolution for a closed “Item different than described” or “Item arrived damaged” case specifically, contact us and we’ll take a look. Our goal is to ensure the case resolution aligns with Etsy’s policies and Etsy’s Purchase Protection program.

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