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Etsy Clarifies Offsite Linking Policies

Can a seller link to his or her store or third-party website on an online marketplace? It depends on the marketplace, many of which are concerned about off-market transactions where merchants drive shoppers off-site to avoid paying commission fees. Marketplaces may also be concerned about scam artists who take transactions off-site in order to perpetrate fraud.

On Monday, Etsy clarified its policy through an announcement post written by Eliza on the Etsy Marketplace Integrity team. Etsy is “always happy to learn that our sellers are creating their own websites, selling at Craft Fairs, or selling their items in brick-and-mortar shops,” Eliza wrote.

As long as sellers aren’t actively diverting buyers away from Etsy to make a purchase, sellers can include links, including to other online venues. And while sellers can include such links in their shop, item descriptions or profiles, there’s only one page where the links will be clickable: the seller’s About page.

“We also want to ensure the fairness and safety of the marketplace, and so we ask that sellers don’t use their Etsy shops as a way to direct buyers to purchase items outside of Etsy. This is so that all parties to a transaction that begins on Etsy are covered by our Buyer and Seller protection policies if anything goes wrong.”

She also wrote:

“As long as you’re not urging or suggesting that your buyers leave Etsy to make a purchase, you’re welcome to include any links you want in your shop – to your personal website, your blog, other online venues, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The only place these links will be clickable is in your About page…, but you can also post this information elsewhere (your shop announcement, item descriptions, or your profile).”

Not surprisingly, sellers wanted reassurance about the exact wording they could use. One seller presented the following list asking and asked for feedback if it would be acceptable:

You can also find me online at:

An Etsy “admin” responded, “These links are perfectly fine! Please do include them in your shop. 🙂 We want you to promote yourself and your business!”

Some sellers said they had been under the impression that they had been able to send shoppers to their own websites as long as it linked to items for sale that they didn’t offer on Etsy and were concerned they’d have to change the wording on their descriptions and shop pages. See more information on the Etsy website.

See today’s Letter to the Editor written in reaction to this article.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.