Sellers located in certain countries suddenly found they could not open up a new Etsy shop this week. "Etsy closed new shop registration for all countries where Etsy Payments is not currently available - except India," a reader informed us.
"And what is most interesting, they did it secretly, without official announcements," the seller continued. "It was just that on April 26, suddenly, people were unable to register new shops."
For many years, Etsy had few restrictions on how sellers chose to accept payments, and many used Square and PayPal. Etsy began forcing sellers into Etsy Payments (similar to eBay's Managed Payments initiative) where it was available, but it continued to allow sellers in other markets to accept PayPal. With the new policy enacted on Monday, that's no longer the case for new shops.
While PayPal is available in 200 countries, Etsy Payments is available in only 45, according to this Etsy help page
The seller pointed us to a help page
where Etsy confirms the new practice, where it states, "As of April 26, 2021, most sellers opening new shops on Etsy are required to onboard with Etsy Payments."
The page links to a survey where it explains why Etsy made the change:
"This year, more and more people are shopping online and millions of new buyers have discovered Etsy, which has resulted in an increase in order issues for purchases not completed with Etsy Payments.
"When a buyer purchases from a shop that does not have Etsy Payments, Etsy can’t help facilitate the payment process or support in resolving order issues between buyers and sellers."
The survey page continues, stating:
"We’ll continue to work to expand Etsy Payments into more markets, but in the meantime, we’re building more checks for the non-Etsy Payments onboarding process in order to address potential issues for both buyers and sellers and to help keep the Etsy marketplace safe.
"For the time being, in locations where Etsy Payments is not currently available, new shops will be temporarily unable to onboard to Etsy."
Thanks to the reader for bringing this to our attention, and keep us posted if this impacts your selling activity.