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Etsy Sellers Strategize on How to Get Reviews

Etsy Sellers Strategize on How to Get Reviews

How in the world do you get buyers to leave you feedback once they receive your item? Etsy offered sellers advice on how to get 5-star reviews in a post on Tuesday, but sellers focused on how to get buyers to leave any feedback at all. One seller said only 10% of customers left her feedback, another said the number was 20%.

Etsy’s post, “How to Get 5-Star Reviews: Dazzle your customers and get glowing reviews with these tips based on Etsy’s research,” is another example of how the marketplace supports sellers with content in its “Seller Handbook.”

In the post, Etsy said its research showed that when shoppers wrote about their experience making a purchase in their reviews, they often mention the following three factors:

  • Quality: The item they received matched or exceeded their expectations. It was made from the materials they expected, its size was accurate, and the craftsmanship was just superb.
  • Customer service: Shoppers mention the great customer service they received—and the extra-special touches that they can only find on Etsy.
  • Shipping: When they make a purchase on Etsy, shoppers want to know that their orders will arrive on time. Shoppers frequently talk about shipping or delivery in their reviews.

The article then went on to describe tips such as, “Use your listing description to answer shoppers’ questions”; “Respond to messages quickly”; and “Let shoppers know when their item will be delivered.” It also included some tips some sellers may not have though of, such as “Surprise and delight with thoughtful touches,” and, “Send a thank-you coupon.”

Sellers may have found the comments by colleagues just as valuable as reading Etsy’s advice in the article. For example, several sellers pointed out that buyers who used “guest checkout” are unable to leave feedback. That information reassured one seller, who said she had blamed herself when a buyer who had been so excited about her item failed to leave feedback despite having done everything to please them.

One seller said it was understandable that guests can’t leave feedback because there is no account to associate with the sale. However, she noted, “With no account there is no easy way to reconnect them with their purchase after the item has been received.”

“I’d like to hear what Etsy is doing to convert the Guests into Accounts,” she continued. “Maybe Etsy could fund a site-wide sale or coupon for new Account signups, like we are encouraged to use.”

Another area that got sellers buzzing: delivery estimates. “Very good tips, except for the delivery estimates. That is one automated feature of Etsy that causes issues,” said one sellers. “It sets unrealistic expectations. Even the post office won’t stand by their delivery estimates. There are too many factors that can get in the way. And it is even more problematic to estimate international delivery. Setting an accurate expectation about shipping date is entirely within our control, and we that we should do. But not delivery date – definitely not delivery date.”

Some of the other challenges sellers pointed to (sometimes offering suggestions for Etsy as well) included the following:

“My customers ask me HOW to leave a review. There should be a separate icon on the top of the page called “Review” instead of clicking on “You” and going on “Purchases”. Most just leave a comment to me in “Conversations” even when I give them instructions.”

“Etsy please stop truncating (or shortening) the ITEM DESCRIPTIONS. Unfortunately many shoppers overlook the item description because majority of it is not visible. The MORE button is not highlighted enough for buyers to click on it.”

“Most of my questions pertain to things that are in the description. So people either don’t read them or it IS due to the truncated description. I’ve tried to shorten mine, leaving out opinions or unnecessary comments. The only given are measurements (selling clothing).”

“I agree! Providing descriptions is one thing, but to get buyers to READ them is a totally different ballgame. The only one star reviews that I received in the last year were from buyers who did not read the listing descriptions or my policies. Even my drop down menus (variations) have been useless.”

“The time they make buyers wait to be able to review is ridiculous. I generally ship out next day, so a lot of my buyers have it within a week of purchase. They can’t always review upon receipt because Etsy won’t let them. And trust me, 99% of people will not keep checking back for when they can leave the review. I’m a buyer myself, and I once had to wait 3 weeks to leave a review!! How crazy is that?”

Many sellers thanked Etsy for the tips. Getting buyers to leave leave 5-star reviews is challenging, and important to help them solidify their reputation as a reliable seller with good products.

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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/.

2 thoughts on “Etsy Sellers Strategize on How to Get Reviews”

  1. None of Etsy’s suggestion work because many buyers do not want to post a comment that identifies them. Until that changes, reviews will continue to be scarce.

  2. I buy a lot online – not only for my own use but also to resell. Most of the time I leave reviews in batches when I have the time. Im not bothered about fancy bows and frills – in fact they irritate me and go straight into the rubbish bin. I just want my item in one large attractive piece. Leaving reviews can be a bit of a burden especially on sites like Ebay where you get reminders. But woe betide any seller who pesters me for a review. They may not get what they were expecting.

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