Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules

Buyer Policy

Etsy is a marketplace where you can purchase unique goods directly from sellers around the world. Whether you are looking for handmade or vintage goods or craft supplies, we want you to have a positive experience shopping on Etsy. Please read on to find out more about your rights, as well as what is expected of you, as a buyer.

This policy is a part of our Terms of Use. By shopping on Etsy, you’re agreeing to this policy and our Terms of Use.

  1. Understanding Etsy’s Limitations as a Marketplace
  2. Communicating with Other Etsy Members
  3. Purchasing an Item on Etsy
  4. Leaving a Review of an Item
  5. Creating and Uploading Content
  6. Reporting a Problem with an Order or Returning an Item

1. Understanding Etsy’s Limitations as a Marketplace

Etsy provides a marketplace for buyers to discover and purchase from sellers around the world. It is important to note that Etsy is not a part of that transaction. By shopping on Etsy, you understand that:

  1. You are not buying directly from Etsy, but from one of the many talented sellers on Etsy;
  2. Etsy does not pre-screen items sold on Etsy and therefore does not guarantee or endorse any items sold on Etsy or any content posted by sellers (such as photographs, language used in listings or shop policies);
  3. Each seller on Etsy has their own processing times, shipping methods, and shop policies; and
  4. You assume responsibility if you provide your own materials for a custom order.

As a member of the community, you have the opportunity to flag an item or a shop that violates any of Etsy’s policies. Flagging is confidential.

2. Communicating with Other Etsy Members


You can use Etsy’s Messages (“Messages”) tool to communicate directly with sellers or other Etsy members. Messages are a great way to ask sellers any questions you have about an item or an order. Messages may not be used for the following activities:

  1. Sending unsolicited advertising or promotions, requests for donations, or spam;
  2. Harassing or abusing another member or otherwise violating our Anti-Discrimination Policy;
  3. Contacting someone after they have explicitly asked you not to;
  4. Interfering with a transaction or the business of another member; or
  5. Exchanging personal contact, financial or other information for the purposes of evading the checkout process on Etsy, including phone number, address, email, social media handles, external URLs, instructions for money transfer, etc.

Always use caution when exchanging any personal information which is not strictly necessary for the completion of a transaction.

Interference occurs when a member intentionally interferes with another member’s shop in order to drive away their business. Interference is strictly prohibited on Etsy. Examples of interference include:

  1. Contacting another member via Messages to warn them away from a particular member, shop, or item;
  2. Posting in public areas to demonstrate or discuss a dispute with another member;
  3. Purchasing from a seller for the sole purpose of leaving a negative review;
  4. Maliciously clicking on a competitor's Promoted Listings ads in order to drain that member's advertising budget, also known as "click fraud."

Harassment and Discrimination

Any use of Messages to harass other members is strictly prohibited. Similarly, Messages may not be used to support or glorify hatred or otherwise violate our Anti-Discrimination Policy. If you receive a Message that violates this policy, please let us know right away.

3. Purchasing an Item on Etsy

When you buy from a shop on Etsy, you’re directly supporting an independent business, each with its unique listings, policies, and processing times. By making a purchase from a seller on Etsy, you agree that you have:

  1. Read the item description and shop policies before making a purchase;
  2. Submitted appropriate payment for item(s) purchased; and
  3. Provided accurate shipping information to the seller.

You also agree to comply with our Etsy Gift Card, Credits & Coupons Policy when you purchase or redeem Etsy Gift Cards, Etsy Credits or Etsy Coupons.

When purchasing from sellers using Etsy Payments, buyers may authorize a payment with any major credit or debit card accepted by Etsy, with Etsy Gift Cards, Etsy Credits and Etsy Coupons (subject to applicable limitations. See Etsy Gift Cards, Credits & Coupons Policy), by certain bank transfer services, through PayPal (where available), Apple Pay, Google Pay, or through Klarna (where available).

By using a third-party service, you may also be subject to an agreement with the third party. For example, PayPal is a third-party service provided by PayPal Holdings, Inc. and your use of PayPal is subject to the PayPal User Agreement. Apple Pay is a third-party service provided by Apple Inc. and is subject to the Apple Pay Terms and Conditions. Google Pay is a third-party service provided by Google Payment Corp. and is subject to the Google Pay Terms of Service for US users, non-US users, and India residents. Payment methods made available by Klarna are third-party services provided by Klarna Inc. to buyers and are subject to Klarna’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice.

When purchasing from sellers who use PayPal only, buyers may pay through PayPal only. Etsy may share your personal or transactional information with those third-party service providers for purposes related to payments processing. ​​The provider and processing time for your payment will vary based on the country in which you're located. If there are insufficient funds in your bank account when our provider processes the payment for your purchase, Etsy reserves the right to contact you directly and to seek payment.

For the safety of our community, and to avoid scams and fraud, all transactions must take place through the Etsy checkout system, and only transactions that take place through the Etsy checkout system are eligible for our case system (this excludes orders made via Standalone PayPal). Learn more about our fee avoidance policy here.

It is prohibited to share contact information for the purposes of evading the checkout system on Etsy. If you need to discuss the details of your order with your seller, please keep your communication on the Etsy platform (via Messages).

4. Leaving a Review of an Item

Reviews are a great way to learn about a seller’s items, help good sellers build a strong reputation, or help warn other buyers about a poor experience.

You can leave a review, including a one to five star rating and a video or photograph of your purchase, for 100 days after your item’s estimated delivery date. If an estimated delivery date is not available, the review window opens after the order’s processing time and shipping time have elapsed. You can edit your review, including the video or photograph, any number of times during that 100 day period. Your review and/or video or photograph and public profile information will be publicly displayed on the seller's listing and review pages.

By leaving a review, video, or photograph, you acknowledge that your content may not violate our rules for Creating and Uploading Content in Section 5, in addition to the following:

  1. Contain graphic, mature, or obscene language or imagery, or any content that is subject to our mature content policy;
  2. Be about things outside the seller’s control, such as a shipping carrier, Etsy, or a third party;
  3. Include shilling or otherwise falsely inflate a shop’s review score; or
  4. Undermine the integrity of the reviews system.

By uploading a video or photograph to one of Etsy’s websites or Etsy's mobile app, you warrant that:

  1. You own the content or you have the rights or permission to use the content; and
  2. You understand that, as stated in Etsy’s Terms of Use, Etsy has license to use any content you provide to Etsy.

Sellers may also respond to reviews. Sellers’ responses to reviews must also comply with this policy. Sellers may report reviews that violate our Terms of Use.

We reserve the right to remove reviews, videos, or photographs that violate our policies or Terms of Use.

5. Creating and Uploading Content

As a member of Etsy, you have the opportunity to create and upload a variety of content, like Messages, text, photos, and videos. In order to keep our community safe and respectful, you agree that you will not upload content that:

  1. Contains hateful or derogatory language or imagery, or any content that is subject to our Anti-Discrimination and Hate Speech Policy;
  2. Contains threats, harassment, extortion, or violates our rules about interference;
  3. Violates someone else’s intellectual property rights;
  4. Is false, deceptive, or misleading;
  5. Contains unsolicited advertising or promotions, requests for donations, or spam;
  6. Contains private information, whether it is your own, or someone else’s;
  7. Encourages or facilitates a transaction that evades the Etsy checkout process;
  8. Contains prohibited medical drug claims; or
  9. Violates any of the rules described in our Prohibited Items Policy.

Some content on Etsy is subject to additional requirements. Please see the related sections above.

6. Reporting a Problem with an Order or Returning an Item

Etsy’s Case System

Although Etsy is not directly involved in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, we provide a case system in the unlikely event that your order does not go as expected and you are unable to reach a resolution with the seller. If you experience an order issue, the first thing you must do is contact the seller by selecting Help with Order within the Purchases and Reviews section of your account. Sellers should be given 48 hours to try to resolve the issue. After this period, you can use Etsy’s case system to alert Etsy of an unresolved order issue in the event of non-delivery, damage, or if an item you receive is not as described in the listing. These issues may be covered by Etsy’s Purchase Protection Program. Click here to learn more about cases and the Purchase Protection Program, including how to open a case and your eligibility for opening a case. Etsy will decide, in its sole discretion, if a transaction is granted eligibility under the Etsy Purchase Protection Program or not. Etsy reserves the right to change, suspend, or discontinue the program at any time, for any reason, and we will not be liable to you for the effect that any changes to the program may have on you. You have no legal claim under the Etsy Purchase Protection Program. In the event that Etsy does not refund you, this will not affect your claims against the seller from whom you purchased. Your legal rights remain intact.

By using Etsy’s case system, you understand that Etsy may use your personal information for the purpose of resolving disputes with other members. If you choose a refund as your preferred resolution, keep in mind that Etsy only allows on-platform refunds for a period of 180 days post-transaction. After this 180 day window has elapsed, Etsy cannot support on-platform refunds for your order. However, you may still communicate directly with the seller to come to an off-platform resolution. Refunds issued by Etsy will be in your original form of payment, and if such payment is not available, an Etsy credit will be issued.

Etsy’s Purchase Protection Program

In many cases, order issues can be resolved directly with the seller, or items can be returned according to the seller’s return policy. However, we believe that you should always get the item you ordered or get your money back, so when those expectations aren’t met, Etsy will step in to support you. Buyers may receive a full refund for purchases that never arrive, arrive late, arrive damaged, or do not match the listing description.

If an order does not meet the following expectations, you may receive a full refund, including all taxes and shipping costs.

  1. Items are delivered, and arrive when expected. Items should be shipped within the seller’s stated processing times, and delivered to the address provided by the buyer, at the time of purchase on Etsy, by the estimated delivery date window. Updates to processing times or shipping address through Messages or other informal channels will not qualify for Etsy's Purchase Protection program. Please note that if an item was shipped and has a tracking number, you may be able to open a shipping carrier claim by directly contacting the shipping carrier.

  2. Items arrive undamaged, and are packaged to withstand handling in transit.

  3. Items match the listing description. Items received should not be significantly different from the listing description or photos. We may ask the buyer to provide us with documentation to demonstrate that the item is significantly different. Here are a few examples of qualifying scenarios:
  • The item received is a different color, model, version, or size.
  • The item has a different design or material.
  • The seller failed to disclose that an item is damaged or is missing parts.
  • The buyer received the incorrect quantity of items (e.g., the buyer purchased three items but only received two).
  • The item was advertised as authentic but is not authentic.
  • The condition of the item is misrepresented (e.g., the item is described as new but is used).

If Etsy determines that the above expectations are not met, either Etsy or the seller will be required to refund the order, including original shipping and return shipping. Depending on the case specifics, and whether a return is requested, Etsy may refund the return shipping cost in the form of an Etsy Credit. For more information about Etsy Credits, please click here.

Some exclusions apply, subject to review by Etsy’s case system. Eligible buyers must have a registered account on Etsy in good standing (that means you're not violating any of Etsy's policies). Abuse of this program could result in program exclusion at Etsy’s discretion.

Ineligible Transactions
Unless required by law, some disputes don’t qualify for Etsy’s case system. These include:

  1. Items that have been altered, used, worn, washed, or discarded after receipt.
  2. Items that are returned without a return agreement.
  3. Items that are accurately described but don’t meet a buyer's expectations.
  4. Cost of shipping disputes.
  5. Items that are purchased in person.
  6. Transactions where payment is not processed by Etsy Payments, for example in an offsite transaction, or via Standalone PayPal.
  7. Disputes covered by local warranty or return laws applicable to a seller or their product

Wherever a qualifying case is escalated for Etsy’s review, we will evaluate the claim to the best of our ability. Please be prepared to supply additional documentation if requested.

Requesting a Cancellation

Only sellers may cancel transactions. Buyers may request that a seller cancel an order via Messages. Note that all cancellations must comply with our Anti-Discrimination Policy.

Returning an Item

Each seller has his or her own return policies, which should be outlined in their Shop Policies. Not all sellers accept returns.For returns on digital items, please see seller listing.

If you reside in the European Union or United Kingdom, you may be entitled to a 14-day “cooling off period,” or a “right of withdrawal,” during which you may return an item for any or no reason. Read more about the EU and UK right of withdrawal in this Help article.

Last updated on Aug 10, 2023