Latest Update (April 22, 2020): The UK government recently extended its nationwide coronavirus lockdown until at least May 7th, 2020. At this point no restrictions apply to trade and cargo routes. We'll continue to monitor these restrictions and update you as new information is available.See prior updates.
The safety of the Etsy community is our priority. This article outlines tips for handling your shop if you're impacted by COVID-19, and what Etsy is doing to protect the marketplace.
If your business is affected by COVID-19, or you suspect it may be, we recommend you follow the best practices in this article to set yourself up for success during this time or when you return to your shop. You can also find additional tips in the Seller Handbook.
Set realistic expectations
It’s important to set healthy limits when your attention is required elsewhere. Make sure that you have the time and resources to manage your shop before making commitments to your buyers. Think about how many orders you can complete in a day or a week, the supplies you have, and how much time you can spend on your shop. This can help you determine how many orders you can realistically fulfill.
Consider the resources you have access to and what may be impacted in the near future. Take the time to look for alternative resources to help keep your shop running smoothly.
Ask friends or family for help
If you run your shop on your own, consider training a trusted friend or family member to help remotely.
Communicate with your buyers
If you anticipate that you won’t be able to fulfill orders within your processing times for any reason, be transparent with your buyers. You should provide your buyers with detailed updates as often as possible.
You can let your buyers know about delays and when you plan to ship their orders through Messages.
Here’s an example of a message you can share with your buyer if you think the order may not arrive on time:
I wanted to keep you updated on the status of your order. Due to disruptions from COVID-19 and potential shipping carrier delays, there’s a chance your package may not arrive on the originally estimated date. Rest assured I’ll keep you updated along the way as I get new information from the carrier. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions.
You can also edit your shop announcement with a general update to keep your current and potential buyers up to date. During COVID-19, we’ve temporarily moved this section to the top of your shop homepage.
If you’re in a position to continue accepting orders, edit your processing times to account for delays and accurately reflect the time you need to complete your orders.
You can check with your shipping carrier to see if and how their service is being affected so you can share this with your buyers. Here are some links to carrier service alerts:
- USPS: United States Postal Service
- USPS International
- Federal Express
- Canada Post
- Royal Mail
- La Poste, Colissimo
- German Deutsche Post
If you’re unable to meet a buyer’s deadline or if they don’t agree to the changed timeline, you can refund and cancel the order.
It’s a good idea to have clear return policies in place. Review what you have and consider revising them to account for any new buyers that may come to your shop.
Manage shipments from home
You may be experiencing restrictions in your area regarding trips outside of your home.
If you’re in the US, Australia, UK, or Canada, you can cut down on trips to printing centers and post offices by purchasing shipping labels on Etsy.com, printing them at home, and scheduling a pickup from the shipping carrier or bringing them to a shipping carrier drop-off location (if available). See the available options for your country below:
Turn on Vacation Mode
Putting your shop in Vacation Mode will remove items from public view and prevent buyers from placing new orders. Vacation Mode is a good option if you have limited or no access to your shop. Please keep in mind that any open orders should be either fulfilled or refunded.
With vacation mode, you can set up an auto-reply for people who send you a Message, and shoppers can sign up to get a message when you return. You can customize your shop banner or cover photo and update your shop announcement to let everyone know you’re taking a break.
COVID-19 government assistance programs and resources
Some national governments have passed legislation that Etsy sellers may benefit from. Here are summaries of what we know so far about assistance programs:
We’ll continue to update these country-specific pages as we learn more.
How we're supporting you
We're taking several steps to help the Etsy seller community.
We'll invest $5 million in Offsite Ads credits
We know the importance of maintaining your momentum, so to help keep buyers coming to your shop, we will invest $5,000,000 through the end of April on Offsite Ads, which will promote your products on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing at absolutely no cost to you.
Etsy is investing now in your growth, so you won't see any charges for Offsite Ads until at least May 1st. Meaning, you’ll only pay an advertising fee on orders you receive from Offsite Ads if the shopper clicks the ad on or after May 1.
If you've made less than $10,000 USD in the past 12 months, Offsite Ads is optional. However, we encourage you to give it a try during this time so you'll get the benefits of off-Etsy advertising and an opportunity to grow your business.
Extra time to pay your bills
We’re providing all sellers with a one month grace period, no questions asked, if they have an outstanding balance.
- Fees will be deducted from your payment account as usual, but if you have an outstanding balance for March on April 22, 2020, we won’t suspend your shop for an overdue payment and you won’t need to make a payment until the May 2020 billing cycle.
- You may still see overdue balance notifications in your account, but you can disregard them.
- If you’re enrolled in Autobilling, we won't charge your card on file until May 1, 2020.
- If you use standalone PayPal only and have either recently opened a shop, or have a shop that isn’t in good standing for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, the extension may not apply.
We have your back
If you’re having shipping challenges, delivery issues, or trouble meeting a deadline, let us know. Our dedicated team is here 24/7 and can provide you with resources to assist you in managing through these times, and to help your shop stay in good standing when challenges arise.
These are extraordinary circumstances, which means that the unexpected can happen. During this period, low reviews and cases beyond your control won’t affect your shop standing as it relates to Service Level Standards (ODR).
How we’re protecting the marketplace
Now more than ever, we’re focused on keeping the Etsy marketplace safe. Our Trust and Safety team will continue to review accounts and enforce policies. We want to help hardworking sellers continue to succeed on Etsy and that means making sure no one is taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and disrupting the safety and security of the marketplace.
Our Trust and Safety team has been actively monitoring and taking down listings related to COVID-19 that are against Etsy’s policies. This includes items that claim to protect against COVID-19/Coronavirus or otherwise make medical drug claims.
April 15, 2020 update: The French government recently announced an extension of its nationwide confinement and border closure until May 11. At this point no restrictions apply to trade and cargo routes. We'll continue to monitor these restrictions and update you as new information is available.
March 31, 2020 update: We’re deferring billing for all sellers in good standing. Your March 2020 balance will be rolled up into your April 2020 statement balance and you won’t need to make a payment until May 2020. Please see How we're supporting you for more details.
March 26, 2020 update: The UK government recently announced new social distancing restrictions for three weeks beginning the evening of March 23. At this point no restrictions apply to trade and cargo routes. We'll continue to monitor these restrictions and update you as new information is available.
March 25, 2020 update: The government of India announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days. This means that non-essential e-commerce deliveries will be restricted beginning March 25th, 2020. If you are a seller located in India, we recommend you turn on vacation mode for your shop and send a message to your buyers if you have any orders you can no longer fulfill.
March 18, 2020 update: The French government recently announced confinement for 15 days (renewable) and that borders will be closed for 30 days beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 12am GMT. At this point no restrictions apply to trade and cargo routes. We'll continue to monitor these restrictions and update you as new information is available.
March 12, 2020 update: The United States government recently announced that most travel will be suspended between many European countries and the US for 30 days beginning Friday, March 13 at 12 am US eastern time. These restrictions will not apply to trade and cargo routes. We'll continue to monitor these restrictions and update you as new information is available.