How to Offer Great Customer Service on Etsy

The Etsy community relies on its sellers to provide consistently excellent customer service. As a business owner, creating strong relationships with your customers is key to the success of your shop. Putting in the effort to connect with your clients can have a powerful impact on your positive reviews, repeat sales, and exposure on Etsy.com.

As a seller on Etsy, you’re expected to follow our Service Level Standards, as outlined in our Seller Policy page.

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Create a great customer experience in your Etsy shop

Customer service starts the moment a shopper first chooses your listing. Your product alone isn’t enough to help a shopper decide to make a purchase. Shoppers also want to know key information like product specifications (size, color, material, etc.), how long it will take to ship, and if they can return or exchange products. Clear listings and policies build trust with potential buyers. 

Including product specifications in your listing descriptions can help shoppers make informed decisions about purchasing from a shop. To edit your listing details:

  1. On Etsy.com, choose Shop Manager.
  2. Select Listings.
  3. Choose the thumbnail of the listing you want to edit or select Edit from the gear menu.

Make sure your policies are clear and consistent, and that you can fulfill them, especially if you allow returns or exchanges. To edit your shop policies:

  1. On Etsy.com, choose Shop Manager.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose Policy Settings.

Your shop policies have several sections. Each section is a template and you can select the options that you want for your shop.

  • Shipping
  • Payment options
  • Returns & exchanges
  • Privacy policy
  • More information

You can edit your shop policies from the Etsy Seller app. However, you need to set them up on Etsy.com.

Learn more about creating great product listings.

Communicating with buyers

Communication between sellers and buyers is one of the most important factors in a successful transaction. Shoppers may message you with questions before they purchase a product, after they order with questions about shipping timelines or issues with their order, or with questions or concerns after they receive their order.

Responding to the majority of your Messages within 24 hours can also increase your chances of becoming a Star Seller.

  • Use an inviting and polite tone to establish trust, even when dealing with a difficult situation.
  • Be consistent and quick to get customers the information they need.
  • Address questions or concerns with clear, concise answers.
  • Be honest and set expectations you can realistically meet.
  • Create Saved Replies for your most frequently asked questions.
  • Use the Etsy Seller app to answer Messages on the go.
  • If you plan to be away, use auto-responses with info about when you will respond.

To reply to a Message:

  1. On Etsy.com, choose Shop Manager.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Select a message with a buyer.
  4. Type your response in the text box.
  5. Choose Send.

To start a Message with a buyer:

  1. In Shop Manager, choose Orders & Shipping.
  2. Find the order you want to contact a buyer about.
  3. Select the Message button on that order.
  4. Type your message in the textbox.
  5. Choose Send.

Resolving customer service issues

Whether it’s a lost package, delayed production, or a customer is not happy with a product they purchased, sometimes things go wrong. By acknowledging the problem and taking practical steps to resolve the issue, you can often alleviate a frustrating situation and build customer loyalty. 

We know some orders won’t go as expected despite your best efforts. Etsy's Purchase Protection Program offers support to eligible sellers as they manage difficult transactions.

  • Acknowledge the customer’s concern so they feel heard.
  • Instead of placing blame, focus on doing what you can to make it right.
  • Be patient and understanding in your communication with the customer.
  • Work with the customer to find a solution swiftly, even if the order qualifies for Etsy Purchase Protection.
  • If a product is lost in shipping or a customer requests changes to a custom product, consider taking a small loss for the return of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • If you receive a negative review, try and propose a resolution to the customer’s issue that works for both of you.
  • When working with a customer, keep our extortion policies in mind and remember that a review should never be used as leverage, a contingency, or a demand.

Learn more about resolving disputes with buyers.

Building relationships

Customer service doesn’t stop after the transaction has ended. Many customers become repeat buyers so keeping in touch can go a long way to build those relationships.

Before reaching out to customers, be sure that you have the buyer’s consent to message them and are complying with applicable local marketing laws. Learn more in our seller policy.

  • Follow up after a purchase to make sure the customer is satisfied. 
  • Consider sending past buyers special discount codes to entice past buyers to purchase again. 
  • Stay in touch with loyal buyers to let them know about special offers, new products, or shop announcements. 

  1. On Etsy.com, choose Shop Manager.
  2. Select Marketing.
  3. Select Sales and discounts.
  4. Select Run a sale or Create a promo code
  5. Fill out the information on the type of discount you're running.

Resources for providing excellent customer service

We encourage you to utilize the tools Etsy provides to support your shop’s success and growth. These features were created to save you time and make managing your shop easier. 

  • Etsy Shipping Labels. If Etsy Shipping Labels are available in your region, you can buy and print shipping labels from the comfort of your home. You’ll also have access to postage discounts from retail rates through our partnerships with certain shipping carriers. Learn more about Etsy Shipping Labels here.
  • Saved Replies. Saved Replies are pre-written messages you can use to answer common questions or send standard information to buyers. Learn more about Saved Replies here.
  • Shipping Profiles. Shipping Profiles allow you to set up shipping and processing information in one place so you can update the processing times on multiple listings at once.  Learn more about Shipping Profiles here.
  • Custom listings. You can create private listings in your Etsy shop to allow buyers to purchase made-to-order items, choosing a custom processing time based on the job. Learn more about custom listings here.
  • Estimated Delivery Dates. When listing an item, you can set your own transit time to account for potential carrier delays. Learn more about Estimated Delivery Dates here.
  • Vacation Mode. You can place your shop on hold if you need to catch up on orders or aren’t able to run your shop for a period of time. Learn more about Vacation Mode here.

What happens if my shop doesn’t meet Etsy’s Service Level Standards?

We monitor shops for patterns that may lead to negative experiences for buyers, such as potentially unmanageable surges in order volume, late shipping, or lack of communication, and account for the possibility of isolated situations that may impact your shop.

If we determine your customer service is resulting - or likely to result - in negative experiences for buyers, we’ll be in touch via email. We may provide informational guidance or limit access to your account, depending on the urgency of the situation. These limitations can include Etsy removing your listings from search or other site features, placing your shop on pause, delaying disbursements to your Payment Account, and/or suspending your selling and buying privileges.

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