Protect Yourself: A Word of Warning

by Lisa on January 14th, 2010

Though this shop is normally about finding the best deals on the internet, I have decided to share a letter with you all that I just submitted to the powers that be at Etsy about an order I placed last year that never came to fruition. 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an Etsy Lover.  I have been an Etsy lover since the early days of the site.  What I am not a lover of, however, is the lack of protection that is in place for buyers of products on Etsy.

On February 7, 2009 I purchased a custom blog designer from a seller with the shop name {removed}.  I paid her and we had two initial conversations about what I was looking for.  At that point I assumed she was working on the design.

When I hadn’t heard from her by February 19th, I sent a message through Etsy inquiring about the design.  I sent another message on March 1, asking for a timeline, and still did not receive any response.  After I sent an email on March 10 threatening to cancel the order on March 12, I received a short message letting me know that I would receive the design on March 12.

Of course I never received anything, and never heard from the seller again.  At this point, however, I was past the point in time when Paypal would give me a refund on my purchase.  Paypal only refunds purchases up to 45 days after the date of the purchase. 

I contacted my bank and was issued a refund through them, which just now, in January of 2010, Paypal has reversed.

In short, I am out $40 for blog design.  Etsy is not responsible for refunding my money, nor is Paypal.  All that happened to the seller was that her account was suspended, though I wouldn’t at all be surprised if she opened up shop under a different name.

I know that nothing will be done about my individual transaction.  However, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if similar events were taking place every single day.  I urge you to look at your policies and do a better job of protecting your buyers.  With custom orders being processed every single day it is easy to fall into a predicament like mine, where an item cannot be shipped immediately to fall within Paypal’s time period of protection.

Without people buying handmade goods, Etsy would cease to exist. 

Thank you for your time.


If you are a lover of Etsy {as I clearly am}, and/or use Paypal on a regular basis, make sure you know their policies.  Know what is protected and what is not protected.  Luckily I am only out $40, but still, that is $40 I much rather would have seen go toward a blog design or be in my pocket right now.

Also, I guess I really pissed off Paypal when I submitted my claim through the bank.  They’ve now blocked me from using my main bank account with the site.  {Really nice, eh?}

Know the rules and stay safe.  Protect yourselves!

Here are Etsy’s FAQs on what to do if you have a problem with a transaction.

Know the rules about Paypal’s Buyer Protection.

4 Responses

  1. Summer says:

    I'm astonished that Etsy doesn't have a better program in place to protect its users. They will face some pretty serious problems if things like that occur often….

    Sorry that happened to you.. :(

  2. Ruth says:

    Sorry that happened. Thanks for sharing.

  3. NEEDLEWINGS says:

    It's always honkey dory until something happens and then no one wants to claim responsiblity. I have had things like that happen on ebay. Luckily I went through my credit card company for most of it, but when it came time for paypal to pay my extra difference even though i won the suit, they didn't do their end of the bargain and was never paid by them. We are at the mercy unfortunately, but I have learned to always pay with credit card where my chances are better and they will always go to bat for me.

  4. Shaina says:

    Did you ever hear back from Etsy?