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Wed Nov 27 2019 17:49:08

Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy shared some advice for sellers in a post on Monday titled, "What to do when you receive a negative review," though it wasn't well received by some sellers who are sensitive about new Etsy policies.

The moderator advised sellers, "One of the most important things to remember is that you have a chance to potentially turn around bad reviews. This can take shape in a few ways, but we always first recommend trying to work with a buyer via Messages before posting a public review response." 

Buyers can change or remove bad reviews, she said - "Either way, you'll always be able to post a review response for up to 100 days from the original review date or the last review edit." She provided some tips on communicating with buyers and things for sellers to keep in mind before posting a response to a bad review.

A seller told us that the problem was that the new "ODR" hangs over sellers' heads regardless of whether a buyer change a low review to a positive.

Etsy ODRs ("Order Dissatisfaction Rate") are part of its Seller Service Level Standards and are reminiscent of how eBay has dealt with seller performance standards - we wrote about the Etsy ODRs last week on the AuctionBytes Blog.

In a comment on this week's Etsy post about dealing with low reviews, a seller wrote, "But I share concerns that, with the ODR information that's now available, attempting to help customers who leave poor reviews won't really benefit me in any way. If I am going to take a hit from Etsy even if I am able to turn the situation around, there isn't much incentive to work very hard to make the person happy."

The EcommerceBytes reader was offended by the Etsy moderator's suggestion that if buyers don't budge when it comes to changing their reviews, sellers should consider providing them a gift credit. "Unbelievable."

In another comment on the Etsy post, a seller recommended colleagues continue to strive to get negative reviews turned around, but also bemoaned the new ODR policy:

"Your incentive to make something right after getting a negative review is that FUTURE buyers will see how you respond to that review. I wouldn't let the new ODR guidelines keep you from responding professionally & taking care of an issue, whether it was technically your fault or not. But yeah, the ODR not acknowledging a negative review being changed to positive is awful... especially considering it will count accidental negative reviews."

Take a look at the full post and seller comments on the Etsy boards - and let us know what you think.

Comments (37) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 28 18:43:03 2019

@Lisa, you're absolutely right, the refund, replace and give a gift is for their benefit alone.  There is absolutely nothing in it for shop owners to turn themselves into pretzels and go over-and-above for buyers.  

They're encouraging extortion and teaching buyers how to defraud sellers like I said before.  Its by far the most ridiculous thing they've come up with.

They will end up like one of hundreds of sites selling cheap Chinese stuff.   Once that happens, and buyers figure it out, that will be the end IMHO.  

There is still time to turn it around but there is no one over that that gets it, sees the value in going back to their roots and trying to attract quality crafters, antique and vintage sellers.  

Sad indeed.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 28 19:00:03 2019

they have pulled back a little on free shippping gets a higher rank in search. whether they cop to it or not.

but i thik the damage is done, most non brainwashed non-newbie sellers who actually grew the site, have pretty much moved on or in the process

and i know Josh  doesn't care.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Nov 29 12:45:37 2019

Sorry, I haven't read the responses, yet, so will probably have more to add later. LOL I just wanted to share what popped into my head upon reading the latest of Etsy's attempts at manipulation.

When I was 16, I worked for McDonald's where they drilled it into our heads that "the customer is always right." The crew I worked with took pride in the food service they were providing, so we very rarely had issues with customers and it was never more than a messed up order that we would quickly fix and then give them a couple of pies for their trouble. Out of the three stores our owner owned, ours was always rated the best and we were proud of that.

However, that was in the mid 80s when society was much different than it is today. Imagine a world where people were concerned with things like tearing down that wall so East Germans could be free again. Much different than the world we have today with "entitled" children and globally rampant fraud.

Large corporations might be able to afford taking that stance, but even they feel the effects of it. What's crazy is that they keep trying to come up with all these schemes to lure customers (ie, free shipping) that only open them up to even more fraudulent behavior. That has the potential of costing them even more of a loss.

Take the moderator's suggestion of rewarding bad behavior. It's one thing to give your customer a free pie when you made a mistake and the customer graciously allowed you the opportunity to make things right. It's a whole other thing to give them that pie after they came at me in an unreasonable manner. I'll fix your order, but don't expect a free pie as a reward for biting my head off. Only gracious customers who are reasonable deserve a free pie.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 29 13:12:27 2019

I should add that I would, of course, do my best to make things right. I've been known to diffuse irate callers and even have them laughing at the end. Unfortunately, I don't have my pleasant "secretary's" voice to help with that in an email, so it doesn't always work unless I'm able to get them on the phone.

So, if I were the one writing that article, my ONE suggestion would be to put yourself in the customer's shoes. Approach them as you would wish to be approached.

What would calm you down? Knowing that you have a friendly person on the line who's about to make things right with the world again?

Now, if you're that friendly person gently trying to calm down your customer with the good news, but they refuse to respond accordingly, then "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" LOL

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 29 17:39:56 2019

etsy is just going to use the ODR to increase FVFs on sellers just like ebay did with DSRs in 2010. Every time you post on etsy about them raising the FVFs for folks that are above the ODR the post gets deleted within 20 mins..

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 30 04:36:31 2019

Thank you Purple Iris for your comments.  Always appreciated.

It’s gotten to the point that no matter how many Etsy  hoops you jump through, your items won’t be found unless the robots decide that it’s your turn.  There are no magic words or perfect photos that will get you on the first page or even close. Even some of the formerly big sellers have gotten hit.  

The so called “humans” who run the dystopian world of Etsy have no humanity, no grace or compassion for the sellers who have made them rich.  There is no reasoning with them,no logic you can use to make them understand what we are trying to tell them.

The only answer it seems is to find other venues and ways to make money if you need it.  Even if you are making a halfway decent living on Etsy, you will always be at the mercy of the evil robots like Josh & Company.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Nov 30 11:54:45 2019

Negative review the Least of problems.
ZERO sales for DAYS.
Usually do at Least 2 a day now......
Senior Landscaping next year.
Everybody loves to see old people sweat....

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 1 18:57:11 2019

Thank you for the kind words, Flying Childers. I totally agree that sellers should be looking for other "streams of revenue." Whether it's another venue, your own website (preferably one with a blog), a niche blog with links to products (your own or others), etc., it really is important as a small business owner to broaden your horizons.

If there's one thing I've learned in the two decades I've been doing business online (started off selling my virtual assistant services), it's that you can't put all of your eggs in one basket. Yes, that makes a small business owner's job even more difficult, especially when you're a sole proprietor wearing all of the hats, but that's what it takes if you want to be your own boss.

I haven't been able to focus on business this year for a number of reasons, but plan to go whole hog in 2020. I have so much to catch up, it's not even funny. So, I've been thinking of hiring someone, like a neighbor student, to help with some of this stuff. Just having a bit of help even for a few hours a week would be great.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Dec 2 00:20:06 2019

it's just time to retire, I'm tired.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 3 12:38:37 2019

etsy suits are idiots.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Tue Dec 3 22:03:38 2019

I realized the initials ODR are highly appropriate because you can say it as ''odor''.  And it does totally stink.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 4 13:45:43 2019

@Lisa, I'm tired, too, but only of working my tail off for nothing. I don't think I could ever completely retire, though, because I get bored too easily. LOL

That's why I have been working to completely shift directions with my business. I thought long and hard about which direction to go so that I would no longer be at the mercy (or lack of mercy) of criminals like Etsy.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, I haven't been able to focus on business this year, so there's much to be done still. That's why I'm hoping to be able to hire someone for a few hours a week.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 4 20:54:03 2019

purple iris- I feel  you!  (as they say).  Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments.  Very well done.

In recent years I have found that the only thing that helps me get sales is to have outside promoters on social media.  I do not have many followers at all which is why I have to pay people to do this work.  
For awhile I had a woman who had over 16,000 Twitter followers and she was fantastic.  She charged by the week or the month and you could really tell when she was promoting because of the sales.  Sadly she is no longer with us and so I've been looking around for other social media marketers like her.

I can tell you that it's practically impossible to find ANYONE who is halfway good and reasonably priced.  

I have another lady that I've been using for awhile and she seems pretty good but not as many followers plus she's using different platforms.

Fiverr seems to be the place where they all are but I've not had good luck with those people for a lot of reasons.    Sometimes when I get desperate I try someone new who "specializes" in promoting Etsy shops.  This time around I may have found someone who actually knows what they're doing.  We'll see.
Wondering if with all your experience you can recommend any social media marketers who are reasonably priced.  Thanks.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 5 11:24:28 2019

I had a few when selling on Bonanza (years ago) and one on Etsy. The Bonz ones only promoted Bonz shops and the Etsy one retired her social media marketing business to pursue other interests.

Since I was having issues with Etsy, going back and forth about whether or not to stay, I never replaced her. So, unfortunately, I am in the same shoes as you, but am looking for a tool I can use to schedule posts to the different platforms (don't think I'll be using FB; Twitter, maybe).

I can do blog articles in advance and schedule them for automatic posting whenever I choose. So, if I can schedule posts to be repeated among the various platforms, then I could do them in advance, as well, and more efficiently. It might even be something I could pass on to a student helper, but I have a ton of other things I need help with, too. LOL

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 5 21:02:51 2019

facebook though is better than twitter. so you might want to reconsider.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 7 14:08:37 2019

@Lisa, true, but I have a problem with the way FB handles our data. After it was reported how they were mishandling our data through a third party, I deleted all of my info on all of my pages and even deleted pages, including my business one. I haven't used it since.

Perminate Link for Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review   Etsy Advice to Sellers on Dealing with a Negative Review

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Dec 9 13:37:03 2019

You know, I got to thinking about those multiple streams of revenue suggested. I'm not an artisan, so didn't think of it until now, but they're usually busy creating and don't have time for even the basic tasks.

It may not even help to suggest creating a work schedule, setting aside time for the various tasks and creating. Being a writer, I know that you can't control when inspiration hits. LOL

So, I really do feel for artisans. As if it weren't difficult enough trying to earn a living doing what you love, they have to be met with these expensive obstacles.

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