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Wed Nov 20 2019 19:04:01

Privacy Concerns as Etsy Reveals Buyers Spending Info

By: Ina Steiner

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Users are concerned after Etsy began sharing information about buyers' spending in emails to sellers. 

We got wind of this change when a reader wrote to us. "Etsy implemented a new shipping notification starting today for me," the seller said. "It appears though within the notification there could be a breach or violation of my customers privacy."

"The notification not only lets them know the item shipped and order details, but it also includes the total amount they paid on Etsy via other shops, not just mine," the seller explained.

In a notification email the reader received, it showed the price of the item purchased and also stated, "This item was part of a $XXX.XX purchase from multiple shops.""

Sellers discussed the issue on this thread on the Etsy forums titled, "Is How Much my Buyer Spends really anyone's business?"

We are awaiting a response from Etsy about whether this is an intentional change or a glitch.

Update 11/21/19: An Etsy spokesperson provided the following statement in response to our inquiry: "This update was part of a brief and small-scale experiment, which has since ended. No additional personal information or payment details were shared, and we continue to handle our users' data with the utmost of care."



Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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

Wed Nov 20 19:20:47 2019

YES, it's getting STUPID now.
WE DON'T NEED ALL THIS "INFORMATION" nonsense.
Straight forward SELLING WEBSITE NEEDED as a REPLACEMENT for ETSY.
WE (sellers / artists) are being put up as BAIT to get unwary people signed up to fleece them of their  "information".
This covert op is proof of ELITE MENTAL ILLNESS.
See, the elite are completely devoid of any meaningful talent, so they busy themselves with the rest of us.
To them we're like a living art display in the Macy's window.
This level of mental illness cries out for a final solution.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Nov 20 19:49:07 2019

I don't see the point of providing this information to sellers unless to make them mad that their customer is spending more money at another seller's shop. I agree that it's no one's business how a person spends their money, or where they spend it. I read the comments on the thread linked above and it appears that several people have threatened to not make any more purchases on Etsy until this "glitch" (or planned change) is removed.

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by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 20 20:43:28 2019

Once buyers are made aware that their private info is being shown to other that should add to the exodus of etsy..

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 20 21:16:42 2019

I'm happy to see etsy is updating the site for the buyers too, a little invasion of privacy should help out........

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by: MIscetal This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 08:00:44 2019


I just spent forty cents renewing two old listings on Etsy. Find it hard to shop on the site with their ridiculous embellishments.

Now that I know this, I won't shop the site again.

And so it goes.

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by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 08:04:31 2019

Its because they're trying to force ALL SHOPS to buckle to their free shipping scam - oh and  give a 20% discount for the Holidays.  While they make out like bandits, we slowly cease to exist.

From the forum:  "....  confirming their order, contains a lot of new stuff - including a mention of FREE SHIPPING that you can get next time, and a button to shop."

THEY MUST BE REPORTED TO ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Privacy issues are a big deal and this is wrong on so many levels.  My business is not anyone else's business.   YOUR business is none of my business.

Buyers are going to flee the site - another 'genius' move that will just screw things up more than they are

Hurrah!!  

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 08:18:11 2019

Should see the standard " it was only a test " or glitch coming soon,

but until then ALL etsy BUYERS will have their FINANCIAL DATA AND PURCHASE HISTORY EXPOSED,

Might not be to much of a problem for a few, but I would be almost certain that some Celebrities that shop there would ABSOLUTELY be freaked out by this breach of privacy.

it won't last they will end this very soon,

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

Thu Nov 21 08:52:37 2019

Excellent posts all around.  I don't know if Etsy snoops are reading, but they should be.
Sammy Cat is 100% right on- this all needs to be reported to Government agencies.
I know that several people here have provided the correct addresses of where to send our complaints.
Maybe we can compile a list of these govt. agencies with their email addresses and try to get a reporting campaign going here and on Etsy.
We can't afford to hire a high priced law firm to file suit, but if we could get 1000s of sellers to bombard the appropriate agencies we might get somewhere.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 08:53:49 2019

"I'm happy to see etsy is updating the site for the buyers too, a little invasion of privacy should help out..."

Hahaha! You're probably right that there will be an announcement in the near future that it was a glitch. LOL

I honestly never understood their reasoning behind setting up a shopper's cart the way they have. It's best to keep each shop's transactions separate. I do understand they want to give shoppers the option to pay for everything at once, but that separation between shops needs to remain.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 09:03:26 2019

@Flying Childers, that would be great if we could do that. I was actually thinking of compiling the info and posting it somewhere or sending it to Ina to post. I have my own forum site where I could publicly post something. Would anyone be interested in that?

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by: Jim G This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 09:19:09 2019

The End wrote:
[we need a] ''Straight forward SELLING WEBSITE NEEDED as a REPLACEMENT for ETSY.''

At this time, I am working on migrating my shop on Etsy (https://HandmadeJewelryByJim.etsy.com) to eCrater (replace .etsy.com with .ecrater.com).  (I sell bolo ties, and add new items when I can afford to do so, usually about 1--3/month.)

I've read that eCrater doesn't have the traffic that Etsy gets on its own, but even assuming that's true, if you can bring in your own traffic, you're good.  However, it is my understanding that they are marketing for sellers.

Why am I moving to eCrater?
Sign-up fee:  none
Listing fees:  none
Evil policies like forcing you to do ''free'' shipping OR ELSE:  none
Selling fees:
  1) you bring the orders in on your own:  none
  2) orders via the eCrater marketplace:  2.9%
  3) orders via Google Shopping:  your selected rate (limited to maximum of 2.9% until you bring in two orders via their marketplace)...no big deal IMHO.

Note that whereas Etsy keeps adding up charges that you pay for marketing whether you get an order or not, eCrater only charges you when you get an order, and only for the percentages above.  So you have a product priced at $50 that's been on GS for a month and finally sells.  Your fee would not be a month worth at, say, 2.9% (on GS), it'd be 2.9% of your $50 price.

Some will say that they've had problems with eCrater support (and all seem to be in the past).  I've been on eCrater since this ''free'' shipping nonsense hit on Etsy, and I've only had great results with support.  And the eCrater forums are fantastic.

Summary:  Etsy:  hostile to sellers; eCrater:  seller friendly (and from what I've seen, very much so for both).

Oh, one thing:  if you don't have a UPC for your products, in the Google Attributes fields, where you have to enter a UPC, for the name, enter ''identifier_exists'' and for the value enter ''false''.  That should save some the time I spent trying to figure this out before asking for help.

I can't afford to dump Etsy overnight, however, until my (limited) sales move to eCrater, thanks to my first cancer, which forcibly retired me and dumped me into Social ''Security'' Disability, so I need every penny I can get from those orders.  But once eCrater is besting Etsy...bye bye Etsy.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 10:19:10 2019

@Jim, glad to hear you're making the move to eCrater. There are at least a few of us here who've been there for years -- personally, about 9-10 years, and I know Moonwishes has been there longer.

eCrater was the second venue I tried after Bonanza and, while it never produced any sales back then, that's because I wasn't promoting it. Since 2009, I've tried at least six different marketplaces and a number of stand alone sites, and eCrater is the ONLY one I have stayed with all these years.

I have never had a single issue with customer service. They are a small team, but they really do tend to the site and its users well. Some might think the forums are cliquish, but they really aren't. They're just protective of the site because they know it's the only one worth sticking with.

So, good luck to you! =)

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

Thu Nov 21 10:24:57 2019

While this is careless and thoughtless, it's not a huge deal like Etsy's money grab from shop owners' bank accounts and credit cards earlier this year.  

That episode keeps me from re-opening my Etsy shops.  

Concerning what celebrities buy on Etsy, their privacy is no more significant than mine or that of any Etsy user.  Smart celebs don't use their professional names to shop, in my experience.  My late husband used to do my packing, and he would Google all my buyers when he was creating labels.  He said it was market research to find out what kind of people were my customers.  Without him doing that, I would have never known I had sold to someone (in)famous.  I found that the interesting buyers were shopping on GoAntiques.

Perminate Link for Privacy Concerns as Etsy Reveals Buyers Spending Info   Privacy Concerns as Etsy Reveals Buyers Spending Info

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 10:44:02 2019

History is littered with greedy companies who pizzed off their customers and then went to the wall. How are the mighty fallen

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Nov 21 11:20:19 2019

@Jim G - So glad to hear that you're switching to eCrater. I've been selling there since 2008, and am very happy with my decision to move my items there. I'm constantly trying to "recruit" new sellers for eCrater as it truly is "just a venue" (as another site likes to claim, all the while micromanaging your every move). I love the freedom to run my store the way that works for me, and to make the policies that protect me. Jim, I hope you have great success with your merchandise on eCrater.

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by: AnotherTime This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 21 13:25:54 2019

I am outraged at all this! Etsy is overstepping its bounds.   My business with a customer is private.  Period.  

Etsy is a platform that needs a slap on the wrist before a good class action suit gets started!

Business people go there to rent services and online shop space.  The level of trust is eroding ...and thats bad for business.

Etsy....do your job.

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by: Sydney Schuster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 16:48:07 2019

@purpleiris and @Flying Childers -

I compiled an extensive list of internet links, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical street addresses where everyone can report unlawful activities by Etsy and other marketplaces.

https://sydneyschuster.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/a-comprehensiv
e-list-of-ways-to-bust-etsy/

I
encourage everyone with an ecommerce grievance to contact these authorities. That's the only way to achieve government intervention.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Nov 21 20:04:52 2019

Etsy provided us with a statement, please see the update at the bottom of the post (above).

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

Thu Nov 21 22:34:09 2019

Sydney Schuster- thanks very much for the info and also the incredible work you’ve been doing to expose Etsy wrongdoing.  Since we don’t have the money to hire a fancy law firm to sue them, we have to depend on Govt. intervention for help.

Not that I’m a big believer that Government agencies will actually do something to stop what many believe is fraud or even criminal behavior, but maybe it will shake up the powers that be who run the Etsy mafia.

Perminate Link for Privacy Concerns as Etsy Reveals Buyers Spending Info   Privacy Concerns as Etsy Reveals Buyers Spending Info

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

Fri Nov 22 00:05:03 2019

Wow, Ina.  ''A brief and small-scale experiment'' that revealed buyer info to uninvolved shop owners?  To what end?

I guess they didn't expect anyone who received those emails to notice, and then ask about it n the Forums.

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