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Etsy Tweaks Its New Star Seller Program for Top Sellers

Etsy Tweaks Its New Star Seller Program for Top Sellers

Etsy is making changes to its brand-new Star Seller program that it launched to make it easy for buyers to identify sellers who have a “proven record of offering an excellent customer experience.” The program evaluates sellers by looking at their performance in the following areas: responding to messages, shipping, 5-star ratings, sales, and orders.

On August 6th, it answered frequently asked questions and let sellers know that in the months after launch, it would experiment with a few placements for the Star Seller badge, “including testing into showing the badge in search results, on a seller’s listing page, shop home, and in buyer marketing (like email) as a few examples.”

In order to be eligible for the Star Seller badge to display showing they are a member of the program, sellers must respond to 95% or more of initial messages from buyers within 24 hours. This week, Etsy announced that it would no longer count messages from Etsy staff in sellers’ overall message response rate.

Another requirement of the program: sellers must ship 95% or more of their orders within their stated processing time and with tracking (digital orders do not require tracking information).

Etsy said this week that any second label associated with an order, such as a return or replacement label, would no longer be counted in sellers’ on-time shipping and tracking calculation.

Etsy also said that it became aware that some tracked orders shipped using Royal Mail were not counted as having tracking in Etsy’s system, which was negatively impacting sellers’ shipping performance. “We looked into this issue for sellers in the UK who use Royal Mail, and we now have a fix in place, so this should be resolved moving forward.”

Etsy also said it would soon allow sellers to download a CSV file with more details about their message response rate so they could better understand which messages were being counted as late.

In the thread set up to answer sellers’ questions on August 6th, sellers expressed concern about the response rate required of them – one seller wrote in part, “You all really expect us to respond to every single message in 24 hours? Am I not allowed to take a day off?”

In response to such concerns, Etsy advised sellers to set up an auto-responder. “We fully understand you can’t and shouldn’t be tied to a computer 24/7,” a moderator replied. “If you are taking any time off, we highly recommend setting an auto-reply up so that you let your buyers know you might not get back to them immediately, which will also ensure your Messages score isn’t negatively impacted. Also, Etsy only counts initial buyer messages in your score, so responding to follow ups from the same thread in under 24h is not required to be a Star Seller.”

Moderators linked to this page with instructions on how to set up autoresponder.

There were also questions about how Etsy would measure sellers’ performance when it came to sales of digital goods rather than physical goods.

“We are aware of the need custom digital sellers have, and that our existing digital product is not fully serving you,” an Etsy moderator wrote on the August 6th Q&A forum. “We are exploring this as an area of improvement, but in the meantime, I’d recommend listing your digital items as digital downloads, and letting your buyers know via the listing description or in the placeholder/download itself to reach out to your with customization choices.”

You can also find sellers discussing the program on this August 5th AuctionBytes Blog post.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

5 thoughts on “Etsy Tweaks Its New Star Seller Program for Top Sellers”

  1. Etsy BLAH.
    Closed my shop.
    Nobody needs this.
    Meanwhile : Etsy can’t lay a hand on MY SALES :o)
    They busy – body’d themselves right out of my life.

    1. I totally agree, I will be closing my shop too. I had 90% on the reply-rate, took a week holidays, set an auto-responder and although I have received zero messages during this time, after holidays my rating felt down to 60 %, what a bull….

  2. I had 100% on the reply-rate.

    Exchanged a few messages with 1 customer. His last message didn’t need any reply (it was a thank you for your time….) My rating felt down to 50 %…..

    Also when we ship, upload the tracking number, but as an exemple, UPS can take 1-2 business days to pick up the packages and they don’t scan the package at pickup time so it lower our rating in the ship-on-time…..UPS is out of our control….and they have the best rate on the market (easily 30-50% lower than the other main carriers)

    Clearly Etsy didn’t hire a statistician or math expert to build this program !!!

    as I said, the should apply this progran to their own business, and be transparent and show us the results!!!!!

    Etsy should apply these 3 ratings to them…..we can wait days, not to say weeks before getting a reply from them !!!

  3. Over 40+yrs in business including good reviews for 23 yrs of online selling says a lot more than this muddled program! Etsy is wasting our precious energy of running a business

  4. I can’t tell you the headaches this program has brought me. I have customers who will message several times, each in a new thread. Or they ask an additional question in a new thread. I feel completely stupid writing “I have answered this question in the other message you sent.” This happens ALL THE TIME. And having to turn on the auto reply every Friday, and turn it off every Monday. It may not seem like a big deal, but week after week after week after week. . . .

    And I agree about Etsy getting back to us in a reasonable amount of time when there is an issue – it’s a complete joke. So many times either no one ever gets back to me, or weeks have gone by.

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