EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2499 - March 15, 2011     1 of 6

Etsy to Hide Buyer Feedback, Reacts to Privacy Concerns

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Etsy will hide feedback that sellers leave for buyers, according to an announcement posted by the founder on Monday evening. Rob Kalin wrote that since Etsy began using PayPal Express Checkout in November, it now requires payment to be sent before a purchase can be completed. "This means that the buyer's primary responsibility (making the payment) is now taken care of up front. As such, it is now much less important for a buyer's feedback to be public." The feedback score itself will remain public.

Kalin also said Etsy was working on a feature to allow buyers to make their purchases private. His post comes after AuctionBytes and ArsTechnica wrote about users' concerns over privacy relating to Etsy's new "People search."

"People have often asked for the ability to make some of their purchases private, and this feature is on our product roadmap." Kalin also said, "We strongly believe in the value of public discussion around a purchase. We have plans for making this discussion more meaningful, and will continue to improve the feedback system."

However, Etsy issued a message to developers in which it said Etsy members have had the option of making their purchases private, and as of March 14, all Etsy members' purchases would be treated as if privacy were in effect.

Etsy also issued an announcement that it would begin adding context to conversations. "Starting today, when you're viewing a Conversation initiated from a listing page, we'll show a picture and a link to that item in the sidebar. Additionally, if your Conversation is about an order, we'll display all the items in the order, including a link to previous Conversations you may have had about various items in the order."

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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