Despite their best efforts to qualify for the Etsy Star Seller program, a number of sellers say the program is unattainable due to flaws in its design and implementation.
“Post-Christmas, many Etsy sellers are being hit with 1-3 star reviews due to late deliveries by postal carriers, even though items were dispatched on time and in some cases customers ordered after the last order date for delivery before Christmas,” a seller told EcommerceBytes.
“In Etsy’s Star seller admin under the reviews section it says “…Sometimes we can remove a negative review when it’s about something you couldn’t control, like a late delivery caused by a carrier…,” the seller said.
“Yet when a seller reports a 1-3 star listing that just complains that the item hasn’t been received yet or arrived late – Etsy refuse to remove the review. I am sure there are many sellers being affected by this.”
The Etsy discussion boards include similar sentiments from sellers who fail to qualify for the program for what they say are factors outside their control – including some reports that Etsy doesn’t include their latest sales within a review period.
Another factor: sellers say buyers who haven’t upgraded to the latest version of the Etsy mobile app are unable to leave a 5-star review (it only goes up to 4 stars). A seller suggested what they called a simple fix: Etsy could choose to stop weighing a 4-star review the same as a 1-star review.
Sellers are also expected to respond to all messages, which can lead to confusion. One seller whose buyer sent three rapid-fire messages quickly responded to the last one and learned they were penalized for not responding to all three. Others have issues with Etsy’s auto-responder system (which must be reset every 5 days). “How hard IS it to have a system whereby if you don’t respond in a certain time the auto response is sent should you choose to enable/use it?”
Another EcommerceBytes reader wrote to us to say their badge went missing:
“In December 2021, one of our Etsy shops met all of Etsy’s criteria for the Etsy Star Seller Badge, and we also got an email saying we are a star seller for December 2021. Still, to our surprise, the star seller badge that we worked hard to maintain was removed from our Etsy shop.”
The seller was told it was due to a technical issue and said, “As an avid reader of eCommerce bytes, we wanted to know if any other business owners were experiencing this same issue with the Etsy Star Seller Badge missing from their Etsy Shop? We have not heard back from Etsy regarding this issue since their last message to us, and we are still waiting to see if we will get our Etsy Star Seller Badge back on our Etsy shop for January 2022.”
A few sellers advised their colleagues in discussion board threads not to be so concerned about the program, but as one seller wrote, “I know people will say Star Seller Badge is trash anyway but we worked hard for it and earned it, answering messages at 2am….And we want to see for ourselves if the badge will increase sales or not.”
The point of the program is to highlight top sellers, and in September, Etsy promoted “Star Sellers” in an email marketing campaign. Its CEO said he has considered using the program to influence placement in search results, though it has not disclosed any plans to sellers.
Etsy launched the program in September to reward sellers who provide buyers with outstanding service, but it appears to be contributing to low morale among some sellers.