One of the biggest fears of Etsy shop owners, no matter how long they’ve been with Etsy, is whether or not Etsy will shut them down.
Why this fear? After years selling successfully on Etsy with no issues, shouldn’t you feel pretty confident that you have earned your reputation and that Etsy would give you a fighting chance?
I’d think that. But recent shop suspensions have more than a few people worried.
Case #1: An Etsy shop in existence since 2010, with over 5,000 reviews and just shy of 30,000 sales, was permanently suspended. This shop was the sole provider for the family so you can imagine what a huge financial and emotional toll this took.
Now, I know what you’re asking. What did they do? Certainly they had to have done something wrong right? Well, it depends on what you think is the definition of “something wrong”. Etsy claims that it was due to 2 cases that were opened against them and 2 low reviews.
This makes you want to grab a paper bag just to stop hyperventilating doesn’t it? 2 cases and 2 low reviews? Since 2010? With that sales record?
The first recourse, for any business according to Etsy, is to contact their Trust & Safety team, which this business did but didn’t have any luck. Next, they tried to call Etsy Support where they were read a canned message and hung up on.
Case #2: A shop in existence since 2009, was shut down for an IP (intellectual property) infringement.
However, according to the shop owner, this was not the case.
Instead, one of their loyal customers contacted the shop and asked if they were now selling on a well-known, but bulk order website; which of course they were not. Someone had stolen this Etsy shops photos, put it on their own site, and then claimed IP infringement against the Etsy shop.
These are just two examples, but you can find many more by searching Etsy’s forums and Reddit just to name two.
I’m not trying to scare anyone but rather just put a little piece of knowledge in the back of your mind that this could happen. But don’t worry, I’ve got some ideas for you.
First, if the unthinkable does happen, and Etsy shuts down your shop you lose access to everything. Your sales, your stats, your orders, your payments, your items, and even your customers.
A quick word about customers. Etsy doesn’t allow you to use your customer’s emails to contact them if the customer was acquired on Etsy. But there are ways to encourage Etsy customers to opt-in on their own to your email list. (More on this in an upcoming post – so sign up to the newsletter to be notified when it goes live).
What I suggest you do is to backup your data frequently and often.
Download Shop Data
All of your shop’s data such as sales, orders, and payments are available to download. Here’s how:
- Within your Etsy shop, click “Settings” and then click the “Download Data” tab at the top of the page.
- Under the “Orders” section, choose “Orders” from the drop-down list, and then choose the month and year OR, you can leave the month blank and just choose “Year” and you’ll get all of the customer’s data over the year you’ve chosen. This data does not include email addresses, however. But it does include other data such as their name and mailing address.
- Continue the same process with the rest of the drop-down list so that you have all of your information at hand in the event something terrible does happen with your shop.
Download Visitor Stats
Unfortunately, at this time, Etsy does not allow you to download your visitor stats.
I know this sounds scary but as with all things you have to take a look at the total picture.
Just remember that people are usually quicker to talk about negative things online than positive ones. This isn’t just true of Etsy complaints, but anything. One hundred people could take their car into a particular shop, have a great experience, and not say one word. ONE person could have a bad experience and they’ll tell everyone.
So I don’t want you to be too worried about the potential of Etsy shutting down your shop. I also don’t want to prevent you from opening an Etsy shop if this is one of your goals.
What I do want you to walk away with is this. Don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket. Yes, open that Etsy shop but also open a shop on X, Y, Z or even your own website. Have at least one backup plan just in case.
If you are one of the few businesses on Etsy that has had their shop shut down, follow the link below to appeal your suspension.