Etsy is placing some of the financial burden of increased disputes on sellers' shoulders. The online marketplace will place 45-day holds on a percentage of sales from sellers - primarily those with new accounts it said.
Etsy emailed sellers informing them of updated seller policies, which go into effect on February 23, 2021.
In a post on its website
, Etsy explained: "More and more people are doing their shopping online and millions of new buyers have recently discovered Etsy, but that also means some sellers are seeing an increase in order disputes and issues. To keep buying and selling on Etsy safe and easy for everyone, we're introducing payment account reserves. For now, this means some sellers may have a reserve placed on their account for a short period after their first sale."
Does this affect my shop?
We expect fewer than 1% of Etsy sellers will be affected by this change right now. If it has been more than 90 days since the first sale in your Etsy shop, we do not expect that you will have a reserve placed on your account at this time. However, we wanted to let our entire seller community know about this added protection.
"I read the email but I am not sure what it means," a seller wondered. "Is this for new sellers? I made my first sale 12 years ago so this is what is confusing to me."
Referring specifically to the phrase, "at this time," another seller said, "It's a little ominous and very ambiguous, not to mention, disconcerting."
The seller also noted the policy change comes as shipping has been delayed - "given the current issues surrounding shipping and covid, introducing this policy now is more than insensitive. It's a way for Etsy to avoid having to pay out further refunds for delivery issues."
A reader who forwarded to us the email Etsy sent wrote, "I've been selling there since forever, so this "Payment reserve" does not apply to me.... yet."
Sellers also speculated on what Etsy meant when it referred to making "a few small adjustments to some of our other policies."