Sponsored Link
Email This Post Email This Post

Etsy Lowers the Bar for the Star Seller Program

Etsy Lowers the Bar for the Star Seller Program

Sellers who don’t qualify for Etsy’s Star Seller program will have a better chance of doing so thanks to new criteria the company will put in place this summer.

Etsy announced three changes to the program that is designed to showcase its best sellers. The company said in an announcement on Tuesday that the changes were based on seller feedback and were designed to “directly address key pain points and make Star Seller more achievable for sellers who provide excellent customer service.”

Etsy explained the first change as follows:

Simplifying the ratings criteria
We heard your feedback that the ratings criteria made it hard to achieve Star Seller because it only considered 5-star reviews. We’re updating the criteria to a 4.8 rating average in the three-month review period so that 4 star ratings count more positively toward your eligibility for Star Seller.

We’ll add up your ratings from the review period and divide that by the number of reviews you’ve received to calculate your ratings average.

This makes Star Seller more achievable for sellers with great reviews: 85% of shops with a review in the past 3 months have a ratings average of 4.8 or higher!

This update will be reflected on your Star Seller dashboard in June and will take effect on July 1.

There was some confusion among sellers about how the 4.8 average would be calculated. One seller pointed out that five 5-star reviews equals 25 divided by 5 is 5 average, while four 5-star reviews and one 4-star review equals = 24 divided by 5 = 4.8 average.

Etsy explained the second change as follows:

Streamlining Messages
Responding quickly to customers’ messages creates a better shopping experience and ensures your customers get quick answers to their questions. That’s why responding to initial messages within 24 hours is one of the criteria for earning your Star Seller badge. But, we heard your feedback about how hard it can be to stay on top of all the messages you receive on Etsy.

In June, we’ll introduce a new-and-improved Messages experience that will start to combine messages from the same buyer into a single thread. To earn your Star Seller badge you’ll need to respond to initial messages from buyers within 24 hours in fewer threads than before, since you told us it was difficult to stay on top of your messages. Not only will this change make it easier to qualify for Star Seller, it will also make managing all your messages much more streamlined.

We’ve also heard your feedback about the message response rate criteria adding extra stress to managing your messages. We’re exploring tools that would give you more flexibility to decide when to respond to messages. Remember that you can always turn on an auto-reply to ensure your customers receive a response to their initial message.

There was some trepidation about whether the combined messaging would be confusing for sellers. One seller said Etsy had placed her in a test a few months ago “where all messages from each buyer were lumped together in one long string,” which they found confusing. “That being said, who knows if that was the version they decided to implement.”

Etsy explained the third change as follows:

Lowering the order minimum
To earn a Star Seller badge, shops need to meet orders and sales minimums in the review period. We’re lowering the order minimum to help lower volume sellers who provide great customer service earn a Star Seller badge.

Starting in July, shops will need to have at least 5 orders (down from 10) within the three month review period to qualify for Star Seller. Those orders will still need to total $300 before shipping and taxes.

You still need to have been on Etsy’s platform for 90 days since your first sale (that criteria hasn’t changed). You’ll start to see this new criteria reflected on your Star Seller dashboard in July and badges will be awarded using these new minimums on August 1.

There was a sense from some sellers that the change would only help shops with high-priced items, and one seller said: “I’m sure many sellers will be happy with the changes. For my shop, still not there. I sell lower priced items and even though I get 50+ orders, I never seem to get to the $300!”

Etsy invited sellers to take a survey about the changes. One question asked sellers, “In your opinion, what is the impact of the Star Seller program on you and your shop,” and they were asked to select an answer ranging from very negative to very positive.

Etsy also asked sellers, “How does the Star Seller program influence your plans to invest (e.g., time, effort, money) into your Etsy shop?”

You can find more information about the changes to the Star Seller Program rolling out over the next three months on the Etsy Seller Handbook.

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/.

10 thoughts on “Etsy Lowers the Bar for the Star Seller Program”

  1. agree! This program has been crap since day one. All it does is cause unnecessary stress on sellers.

  2. I knew they would…but not for the reasons most believe.

    Since e-commerce sales have significantly decreased this year, I believe that Etsy doesn’t want a site filled with sellers that are losing their “Star Seller” badge due to slow consumer spending. So, for Etsy’s sake, they’ve reduced their Star Seller requirements.

    And “yes” Etsy’s metrics are ridiculous and were generated by some brainless over paid marketing person who does not understand the Etsy retail market, nor how Etsy really works for Sellers.

    I sell jewelry pieces priced over $250, with multiple sales within each Order. Since Etsy only uses “Orders” for their metric, Etsy never accounts for my MULTIPLE SALES PER ORDER, so I was constantly screwed for the Star Seller Badge, even though I generated over $2k monthly.

    And the time that I purchased a product from another Etsy seller who sent me a message to thank me for my order. As a “buyer” I felt I didn’t need to respond, yet was dinged by Etsy for not responding. Etsy never took into account that Sellers are buyers too. So why ding my shop because I did not respond to another seller??

    This place is run by people with clueless mindsets.

  3. Etsy, Inc. (ETSY)
    NasdaqGS – NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD

    52 Week Range 68.40 – 307.75


  4. Also agree! Better things to spend my time on. I have two shops and people can look at the reviews and know that I am a star seller by any measure! And what an arbitrary criteria. 10 sales and $300 or five sales and $300 makes no difference. If you answer inquiries in a timely fashion, have five star ratings and ship on time, what does the number of sales or dollar amount have to do with it? One sale or 100 sales, if you are doing it right you are a star seller. And how does lowering the number of sales to five make any difference? How many sellers have items pricey enough to reach that dollar amount with five sales? I wish Etsy would work on things that really matter for both sellers and buyers. And hey Etsy, how about completing or improving the features you already have before adding more half-assed ones?

  5. Shun it.
    It’s all such minutiae.
    Real World Business can’t be bothered.
    Clearly these “Stinky Metrics” are conjured by the hapless ignorant.
    If they were forced to run a business, and the penalty for failure was death, they wouldn’t even try.
    So the best these bullies can do is pick on us.
    YES, we’re being BULLIED.
    Where I come from, that’s a litigious offense.

  6. Shun it.
    It’s all such minutiae.
    Real World Business can’t be bothered.
    Clearly these “Stinky Metrics” are conjured by the hapless ignorant.
    If they were forced to run a business, and the penalty for failure was death, they wouldn’t even try.
    So the best these bullies can do is pick on us.
    YES, we’re being BULLIED.
    Where I come from, that’s a litigious offense.

  7. I absolutely don’t care for star sh..t !
    And I’m sure the visitors/buyers don’t care either.
    The same goes for Etsy ads.

  8. *** It’s 5 orders, not 5 sales.****

    “How many sellers have items pricey enough to reach that dollar amount with five sales?”***
    Answer….Lots of sellers do.

    Many sellers, including myself, sell higher priced pieces of jewelry, while Etsy’s “Home and Living” category is also filled with higher priced items.

    Etsy announced in a recent earnings call that 40% of their business is with buyers who purchase items at $250+, six times yearly. It’s the repeat customer who purchases at higher prices, who is now Etsys’ prime customer.

Comments are closed.