To have a successful Etsy shop, it’s important to be familiar with Etsy’s policies in addition to creating a few of your own.
While not required, having your own custom and easy-to-understand Etsy shop policies will reduce miscommunication between you and the buyer, resulting in better reviews, in addition to reducing refunds from dishonest Etsy customers.
Standard Etsy Store Policies
Every Etsy store owner is covered by some of Etsy’s site-wide fixed policies, too. These additional policies include things like estimated delivery dates, payment options, and fees, customs and import tax obligations, and instant digital download options. These policies are not editable or changeable for individual shops.
It’s worth noting that Etsy Payments are standard and can’t be changed. Payment methods can include credit or debit cards, Etsy Gift cards, PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.
Common Etsy Policies to Include
Etsy shop policies can and should be created by using the policy templates that are provided by Etsy. Many of these templates are super easy to fill out. For example, you can simply select a checkmark or x-mark next to “I accept returns” or “I accept exchanges.”
To change the policies on Etsy, shop owners will make their edits through Etsy’s “Shop Manager” on the “Settings” tab. This is found on the sidebar of the policy page.
Perhaps the most important Etsy shop policies are the refund policies, specifically for items that are not going to be returned or exchanged. While this varies for every Etsy shop, a good refund policy will only offer refunds for items that have been damaged during shipping, which is out of control of the seller’s hands.
To protect the shop owner, buyers could be required to show photos of the damage done during shipping are required before issuing a refund.
Returns and Exchanges Policies
Another important Etsy shop policy is returns and exchanges.
First off, shops should state whether they accept returns or exchanges and the timeframe in which returns and exchanges are accepted. A good time frame you can use for this is a period of either 14, 21, or 30 days after an item has been received.
For example, a shopper that purchases from an Etsy storefront that doesn’t have a shop policy could demand a refund without a valid reason after a year or more. If this shop instead had a policy stating that refunds can only be given to customers who return an item within 14 days, they could then refuse to refund the shopper’s money.
Shops should also indicate what reasons exchanges and returns are accepted. For example, a damaged item could be an acceptable reason, while the customer changing their mind may not be.
Another piece of information to include in a return and exchange policy is whether or not the buyer is responsible for shipping costs to return or exchange an item to an Etsy shop.
Each Etsy shop can decide on its own shipping policies for returns and exchanges. Some Etsy shops make the buyer responsible, while in other instances, the seller may pay for return shipping. Most Etsy shops will put in their return policy that buyers will be responsible for paying return and exchange shipping charges.
Etsy shop owners are allowed to decline to accept returns of any kind. Sellers must have a “no returns” policy clearly stated in their shop policies.