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Etsy Sellers Worry after Another Bot Shop Attack

Etsy sellers were worried and discouraged after another bot shop attack on Wednesday following an attack that occurred over the recent long weekend. Users again reported the attack on the boards and helped the company’s Marketplace Integrity team identify the shops.

On Wednesday afternoon, a user posted a warning in a thread she titled, “INTEGRITY – They’re Back! .99, 2 items, No shipping charges.” An Etsy moderator posted 2 hours later that the company was aware of the issue and thanked the poster.

As EcommerceBytes reported on Monday, scammers opened hundreds of shops on Etsy containing listings copied from other sellers. One seller termed the attack, “invasion of the listing snatchers.”

It appeared the perpetrators were taking orders (and presumably payments) with no intention of fulfilling them.

How are sellers finding the scam shops? Here’s how users describe the process:

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Click the search button (leave the field blank), then filter by price on the left column entering .99 as both minimum and maximum price. Look for strange shop names, and items that look like they are worth much more than 99 cents.

Some users say the listings have a quantity of 999, even for unique or vintage items, and offer free shipping worldwide.

Etsy seemed better prepared, taking less time to shut down the recent rash of bot shops on Wednesday than over the holiday weekend. Nevertheless, sellers expressed grave concern over the ability of scammers to perpetrate another attack.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.