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Thu June 9 2022 18:50:11

Unjustly Booted from Etsy Star Seller Program with No Recourse

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
As you know Etsy has a good number of problems with the Star Seller program. I just wanted to share my recent experience with you. 

A while back I received an email from Etsy as an "attaboy" and stated that only 0.5% of sellers had been able to maintain a star seller badge for six months. That alone should show them just how ineffectual the program is. If the top 10% of their sellers can't maintain it for 6 months, let alone 1% what exactly is the point?

In early May I had a customer contact me about an item that USPS had destroyed. I took care of the customer and facilitated their return and refund. The next day another redundant message came through related to that return. I answered it within minutes and though getting the message the next day was unusual I did not think it was an issue. 

Come June 1 Etsy pulls my star seller badge due to message response. I downloaded the log and it indicated that one message was the culprit hitting my score for 8%. That message was the one that came the day after I had assisted my customer in early May and was somehow stuck on Etsy's end for a day before it came through and received an immediate answer. 

Contact with Etsy chat and the following emails from them went nowhere but the generic suggestions of how to do better next time. 

Now on June 9 my shipping score is 97% showing I did not ship an item on time. This is also in error as USPS tracking shows otherwise. So what is the recourse? They send you to the Technical Issues Forum that is comprised of other sellers that cannot assist with this problem. 

On a side note, in the absence of any real help from Etsy customer service I was looking for a phone number. I managed to find at the top of Google a scam number - the guy on the line in an obvious call center wanted me to download something from the play store so he could "connect me to the database." 

How many people will this scam take advantage of? Attached is a screen shot of this scam number that is actually a Google ad at the top of search.

Regards
E.



Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 9 22:14:30 2022

The Star Seller program is misdirection for sellers (like awarding the shop owner a star for sitting in the corner of round room).  For buyers, if offers NO assurance of dealing with an honest, professional, shop owner.  Most of the Star Seller shops I've seen (which, of course, is by no means all of them!) have been resellers.  Such as resellers of Chinese fauxtiques listed as vintage, counterfeit luxury fashion brand bags, and the same mass made merch you can find for less on Amazon and eBay.

If author of the letter wants to invest the time and attention in chasing a Star Seller status, that's their choice.  Nothing Etsy does is transparent, professional or ''fair''.  But Etsy is NOT responsible for a scammer who has managed to get Google to index a fake phone number for CS.  Just because Etsy sent you a virtual attaboy doesn't mean they want to give you voice time.

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by: EGE This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 00:40:52 2022

Coaching potential buyers to pick shops for made up reputation credit doesn't offer them assurances, of course it doesn't. They don't care about that, it's a step toward them showing preference in search and that will inevitably be pay to play.

It isn't the stupid little star like a sticker on a kindergarten coloring page that's the problem, it's the conditioning of the buyers to seek it and view any shop without it as inferior.

Messing with buyer's perceptions is messing with seller's bottom lines. They don't hold themselves to half the same standard and don't want to allocate any resources to their own customers to fix the flaws in their own program. (Because it's all they would be doing)

And nobody said they were responsible for a scammer impersonating a CS number. The scammers are just filling the void. Perhaps I should contact them and let them know they are being impersonated for nefarious purposes - oh wait...

E.



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

Fri Jun 10 03:42:15 2022

"Unjustly Booted from Etsy Star Seller Program".
We should all be so lucky.
We should all sue Etsy for emotional distress.
PUT 'EM OUT OF BUSINESS !

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by: GetAGrip This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 07:24:11 2022

My family doesn't buy from the so called star sellers.   Mostly for the same reason they don't buy from seller in the kiss my backside program has.  Mostly because your can't trust the program to be exact.  To easy to call customer service and get things taken care of for their benefits.   Give us a 97 or 98 percent. They try harder and display their negatives with honor unlike sellers with the so called 100 per cent or some useless star that means nothing but a little bit of brown nosing.

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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 08:35:09 2022

I still have seen no evidence in the search results I see on Etsy that having a Star Seller badge bumps you to the top of the relevance pile.

Star Seller status is uncommon, and listings from shops with the icon are not occupying the first rows of results, regardless of the search terms.  Even when I do a search for something vintage (to buy for myself), and there are hundreds of listings that match my search with maybe 1 in 3 from a Star Seller (and these are NOT vintage items, but new stuff listed as old), the Star Seller listings are not clustered all on page one.  It looks like a pretty random mix.  Most of the fauxtique listings are listed by Star Seller shops, and the real vintage sellers don't have the icon.

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by: EGE This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 09:34:38 2022

Thus the 0.5%  

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by: DTSM This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 11:13:33 2022

We use the .99 auction format for our business. We are a bit different in that we sell stamps and related collectibles all unique items, and have a very large following after being on ebay for over 20 years. While occasionally something sells for less than market value, it is unusual. I would not recommend the .99 auction format UNLESS you have a very large following and you also must market heavily outside eBay to drive traffic to your listings.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 12 11:44:14 2022

The king uses the same sword for dubbing as he does for beheading.  

That’s just a metaphor of course.  They use a robotic conveyor belt now.

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

Mon Jun 13 01:59:54 2022

Some months I have the Star Seller Badge, some months I don’t. Yet, my jewelry continues to sell quickly with or without the badge....it’s the quality of Reviews that really matter. I really don’t think buyers really notice which shops have the badge vs. shops that do not.

Emotional stress over a badge?? I think not!  

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by: CenTex This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 07:18:15 2022

I have read you can mark the message as spam and in a couple of days your rating will change.  By doing this you should be back on track next month.  
Both shops I have are hit and miss, I think the program is silly and I will not loose sleep over it.  My goal is to keep a presence there so I can let people know about my website.  

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by: I_Fix_Dolls This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 08:23:51 2022

All it takes to NOT have a Star Seller badge is for dismal sales to put you under $300, or the number of sales under 10, to reply to one message later than 24 hours, or to have a buyer (who might be a competitor) to leave a low number review. It is a scam by etsy, things the seller can't possibly control. The only one worse I have seen is by Enterprise Rent a Car for their "Bonus" program for sales staff. But those are their employees they are shafting. Etsy sellers are independents paying Etsy for a service which half the time has glitches or pitfalls and has no effective customer service.  

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by: Queen of the Jungle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 09:10:01 2022

Like everything else that Etsy does "for the sellers" the Star program is designed to somehow put more money in the pockets of the people who run the site.

Etsy is like a feudal society and we are the serfs.  

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by: Ophelia1 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 10:09:13 2022

My sales have gone down ever since I got the little purple star. Currently I am trying to figure out how to loose the darn thing without causing a problem for my customers. I wish there was a way to opt out of this ridiculous program.

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by: redheadedlady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 10:22:44 2022

DTSM does etsy have an auction site.  If so, where would I find it.
I have end of bolts of fabric that I put on auction on ebay but would love to
have another avenue for auctions.

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by: EGE This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 15 09:25:16 2022

Reporting the message as spam does take it out of the metric, I did this and in a day it was back up to 100%. However I would have had to take that action prior to their first of the month calculation. And that would have required knowing that there was an issue with the one message on their end.

Another couple days and an erroneous loss of 3% on shipping time, in spite of the USPS tracking.  



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