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Thu Nov 24 2022 09:04:21

Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review Practices

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Etsy is committing extortion by deliberately damaging the reputation of selected sellers (not all sellers have been targeted) by placing irrelevant negative reviews under most of their listings. 

The result of this is that these sellers are having to spend more money on advertising and the duplication of listings, in a desperate attempt to remove the irrelevant negative reviews. 

I am one of the targeted sellers and I, along with other sellers, have found that by duplicating a listing that has positive reviews and then copying across the information from the tainted listing, I can remove the irrelevant negative review from that listing for a short period of time. 

This however, costs me time and money and will continue to cost me time and money, as the irrelevant negative review creeps back onto the listing after a few days. 

I have no problem with complete transparency as far as my reviews are concerned, I have a good track record, I am a 5-star seller and have received very few negative reviews in the 4 years that I have been selling on Etsy. 

What I do have a problem with is Etsy placing a negative review under a listing that has nothing to do with that listing. It gives the false impression to a potential buyer that there has been an issue with that listing in the past. 

Etsy has placed one particular negative review under almost every one of my listings, whether it relates to that listing or not, and it is having an adverse effect on my sales and interaction with potential customers. It is also costing me money because I am duplicating listings to try (in vain) to get rid of the review and I have also, in desperation, opened another shop. 

This has been going on for some time now and Etsy is doing nothing to resolve the issue, despite me and many others contacting them on several occasions. 

We have also contacted the FTC and can only hope that they put a stop to this - extortion is a crime and Etsy is not above the law.
J.



Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: eadovintage This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 10:20:34 2022

I have been a vocal participant in the forum discussion about this problem. My posts are now being deleted immediately upon posting. I commented on a 2 week old thread and it was immediately shut down. Every post I make has been deleted this morning. Something fishy is going on. They don’t want us talking about it or trying to alert shops that it’s happening. Many shops are unaware because the negative reviews are being posted on their listing pages with a recommendation instead of chronological order. Some reviews are years old. Many shops are star sellers so they have a lot of positive reviews after their old negative reviews.  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Jacqui This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 11:00:28 2022

I have also been very active on the Etsy forum discussions regarding this issue and my comments are now being deleted by Etsy moderators. I have a feeling the FTC has listened to the numerous complaints they've received and is investigating the obvious breach of their regulation regarding the review system. It is wrong that Etsy is now censoring the forum in an effort to control what affected sellers can and cannot read about the ongoing issue.  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Jacqui This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 11:09:43 2022

Here are a couple of links to discussions on this issue:

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Managing-Your-Shop/Etsy-Please-S
top-This-Supremely-Unfair-Testing-with-Irrelevant/m-p/140455906#M1490081


https://community.etsy.com/t5/Managing-Your-Shop/Etsy-delibera
tely-sabotaging-certain-sellers-with-negative/m-p/140049164#M1473202

Hopefully
Etsy moderators won't close these threads like they have so many others on this issue...

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Jacqui This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 12:13:28 2022

Another thing that is happening is that, when sellers contact Etsy Support about this issue, they're being told that negative reviews that have been responded to by the seller have been prioritised and given pole position on all listings. So, in a desperate attempt to get the review moved from no. 1 position, sellers are deleting their responses, only to find that this changes nothing. Now, they are stuck with a negative review in pole position on every listing that no longer has a professional response for future customers. The Etsy forum is full of posts from sellers saying that they are having to close shop and move to another selling platform as this latest move by Etsy has killed their business.  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: EtsySeller84 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 17:04:30 2022

I am another seller affected by this highly damaging update Etsy has implemented across a selection of seller's shops. I have hundreds of reviews, the overwhelming majority are 5* reviews and less than a handful of 4* star reviews. Yet my one and only 1* review received months ago is pinned to the very top of every single one of my 300 odd listings.  

It's given way to a sharp decline in sales and to be quite frank, a lot of unnecessary stress over the completely skewed version of my business Etsy is championing. I'm a star seller, I jump through all the hoops Etsy sets and work so hard on my small business. To what end this update is for I am unsure but in this current unstable climate, us sellers (and there is an awful lot of us affected by this update) could really do without this selling platform, of which we pay a considerable amount in fees to operate on, actively working against us. It's like pulling the legs off a spider one by one to see how long it will survive when in fact, that spider was providing a very safe landing web for you in the first place.

As with other sellers I have raised this issue with Etsy directly to be advised that the review placement provides an accurate representation of the customer service a seller usually provides. In addition priority is given to those reviews with comments. However, Etsy originally explicitly encouraged to leave a comment to the negative review after they refused to remove it (it is slanderous and untrue but I feel this is somewhat besides the point whether justified or not) and for this very reason this review is now stuck like a thorn in my side and is surely turning buyers away. It's incredulous!

What I think a lot of us sellers would like to see is a fair representation of our business in terms of chronological review placement and not have an outdated negative review, often unrelated to the actual listing it is shown on, positively thrust in the face of every potential buyer.

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 25 17:41:13 2022

“ It is wrong that Etsy is now censoring the forum …”

Censorship usually is ‘wrong’ in the sense intended.  However, it may be a ‘public’ forum, but it’s a private venue in the sense it’s not (overtly at least) ‘state’ controlled.  

‘You’ are free to seek alternate soapboxes of course.  Like here, for example.  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: RoseyW This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 26 13:53:15 2022

I have also contacted the FTC to complain. I started to advertise on Etsy for the first time in years due to a negative 6-year-old review being pinned to all of my listings directly under the listing image. My advertising was directly due to the effect that irrelevant review had on my sales conversion rate. The review pinned to all of my listings is for a handmade product I no longer sell and haven't sold for 6 years - all of my listings for the last 6 years have been digital and all have had 5-star reviews. This negative review placement has destroyed my shop. Etsy has done nothing to assist those of us singled out to be affected by this.  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 26 14:16:40 2022

Not all shops that have a one-star review show this problem, so YES -- some shops are being singled out.  The question is:  why?

Leaving a negative review for a product is not about ''customer service''.  When I purchase clothing or shoes or homewares online I see neg reviews often, but the buyer isn't dissatisfied with the site or the shipping -- just the item.  Making a sticky out of neg reviews for products no longer listed for sale accomplishes NOTHING.  

I have yet to find a counterfeit item reseller shop on Etsy that has some old neg review attached to their counterfeit listings for different illegal items.  Even though, in this case, it would be helpful for shoppers to know that previous sales have involved counterfeit goods.

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Sa11yanne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 27 17:06:39 2022

I had this issue back in June and did not realise until my sales dropped off a cliff with in a few days and then realised what was going in, Etsy seems to think it does not effect your sales, but i know for a fact it does and also it starts to affect your placement in the search results to the extent where some of your items cant even be even found! i put up with it for just over 2 months and then in the end had to delete and relist nearly half of my shop to get rid of the review, and many were my best selling items, so took me a while to start getting sales again, and then low and behold i have received a second negative review this week and straight way that has got pinned to many of my listings yet again, there is no point to me adding new items now as they get targeted straight away even if they have nothing to do with item that the negative review was for, its just so wrong that Etsy is targeting Certain shops with this, and there is many out there that do not realise this is even happening to them, yet the resellers who bring in thousands of dollars in fees for Etsy per month, and some with  hundreds of very unhappy customers  and negative reviews, do not seem to get effected by this at all, and Etsy does seem to go out of their way to actually hide all the Negative reviews they get, so on that i  guess money talks, and if your giving Etsy a lot of money each month, you will not be targeted!! and really does not matter if you are following the Etsy rules or not!

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

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

Sun Nov 27 18:16:29 2022

What pisses me off royal is when some one leaves 5 stars but if you read the review it's a 3 star.
These people seem to feel it's O.K. to leave feedback underscoring THEIR inability to use the product correctly..
They're just so lame.
So, Buyers : If you're gonna suck, do it somewhere else.

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 10:50:23 2022

Time to wean yourself off of Etsy....
                           ...they should be dead to you.

eBay & others have their problems. But they never started out to specifically promote handmade goods. Etsy has deviated so far from their origins--and mostly in the wrong directions--they deserve to lose their handmade sellers. They don't deserve them.

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: NYSteve This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 28 12:10:37 2022

wow, this sounds like its not just an isolated incident.
why would they possibly do the to their own sellers?
it sounds suicidal.

oh, wait wait, did everyone in this thread say 'Etsy' by mistake, but they meant 'Amazon'...well i know that is ubiquitous there, due to their 'pooled listings'

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 29 15:43:48 2022

*** Sounds like plug-n-play software****

I worked in Software Engineering for many years. Anymore, companies will purchase software from other companies for specific tasks which is faster than hiring engineers to develop from scratch. But unfortunately, when the task has glitches, it’s up to the contracted company to make the fix OR Etsy needs to create their own review process which could take months.

I now see this review format everywhere, which is deceiving for the buyer.  And this is why I believe Etsy didn’t write their own review process, but rather, hired a contracting company who specializes in “reviews”

Two of many Examples:

Macy’s.com does the same thing...reviews for inapplicable items are found underneath the producing listing. I looked for a blue sweatshirt, but found a bad review for a pink sweatshirt because the shade of pink was different than the photo.

And Dicks.com does the same too.... I’m a lap swimmer looking for a swimsuit. The swimsuit I was looking at had a review underneath the product listing that belonged to a different swimsuit.

If Etsy has indeed contracted out “plug-n-play” software for reviews, this could be the reason Etsy unloads these threads from the Etsy forum. This is always what Etsy does when the “fix” becomes to complicated for them to make; they unload the thread off the forum.

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: PMG This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 30 10:52:32 2022

The curious thing is, if you try to post this issue on many of the various so-called "Etsy Help" Channels on Facebook, YouTube, etc., the post gets immediately deleted mysteriously.  There are several Facebook 'Etsy Sellers Group" supposedly there to help sellers with issues on Etsy, but whenever you try to post about the "Negative Review Pinning" issue, the page admin mysteriously decides to take it down.  Hmmmm......  

Perminate Link for Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review   Seller Complains to FTC over Etsy Negative Review

by: Jacqui This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 2 09:31:00 2022

Etsy is still vigilantly monitoring the threads on their forum regarding this issue. I tried posting the following this morning and it was deleted by an Etsy moderator after a couple of minutes:

"Has anyone found a workaround that moves their negative review/s from the first page of their listings for an extended period of time, if not permanently?"

Etsy obviously doesn't want sellers to help each other by sharing this information and it proves that this is a deliberate, nefarious move on their part.



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