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Etsy Deactivates 10-Year-Old Shops in Error

Etsy sellers were in panic mode on Thursday after reports surfaced that Etsy had shut down shops. A reader reported, “Etsy is shutting down shops that have been open for 10 years. Looks like a major bug, but even the most prominent shops (i.e. The Black Apple) has been shut down.”

In a discussion thread about the problem, the only sellers who reported experiencing the problem had all opened their shops in 2005, while others were unaffected.

Etsy spokesperson Nikki Summer confirmed the incident, writing, “A relatively small number of shops were inadvertently deactivated, and they have all been reinstated after a thorough investigation. We are very sorry for any inconvenience or concern to our sellers and buyers who put their trust in us. We don’t take that trust for granted and are committed to keeping our marketplace reliable and secure for our members.”

The problem started on Wednesday evening, and sellers said they had no way to reach Etsy to get help. A moderator came on after midnight to respond, and shops were reactivated several hours later.

One seller was relieved to be back, but said her shop lost all if its social media followers and linked accounts. A moderator returned to the thread with an update on Thursday afternoon and said Etsy was restoring the follower counts to users affected.

He also apologized for the incident:

We wanted to offer a little more context regarding what happened last night. There was an issue in which the use of one of our internal tools resulted in the inadvertent closure of accounts held by some community members. Once we were alerted to the issue by some of those members, we looked into the matter, isolated the issue and restored the accounts of those affected. We’re in the process of reaching out to affected members directly to let them know. Additionally, we see that some of you have mentioned that this has affected those accounts’ follower counts and we’re currently in the process of restoring that information.

We’re taking steps to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future, because we know that it’s both scary and inconvenient for the members affected. We really appreciate the trust that you put in us and in the Etsy marketplace, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to keep Etsy reliable and secure for all of our community members.

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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.