Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules

Cases for Sellers

1. About Cases
2. Case Eligibility
3. Your Obligations as a Seller
4. Ineligible Disputes and Transactions

1. About Cases

If a buyer is looking to return an item, get a refund, or otherwise notify a seller of a problem with their Etsy order, the first thing they must do is contact the seller directly via the Help with Order link. As a seller, it is important that you fill out your shop policies to address returns and refunds, and you should regularly respond to Messages, including Help with Order messages, from your buyers. If the buyer has requested help via the Help with Order message link, and you're unable to resolve the issue together within 48 hours, the buyer may file what’s known as a “case.” With Etsy’s case system, the buyer alerts Etsy that there is an issue with their order that they were unable to resolve with the seller within 48 hours, and Etsy will assist in the resolution of the case between the buyer and seller. This may include, but is not limited to, automatically closing the case and issuing a refund to the buyer, or reviewing the case further to help the buyer and seller work together to resolve the issue.

2. Case Eligibility

In order to open a case with Etsy, an order must meet the following criteria:

  1. The order is within the eligible time frame to open a case, based on an order's estimated delivery date (if applicable) or processing time and “ship by” date. This Help article explains case time eligibility.
  2. The buyer has reported the order issue to the seller via the Help with Order link and has given the seller 48 hours to resolve the issue.
  3. The order issue for which a buyer wants to open a case meets the definitions below for non-delivery or not-as-described.

Non-Delivery

A non-delivery occurs when a buyer places an order but does not receive the item. Non-delivery cases include when:

  • There is no proof that the item was shipped to the buyer.
  • An item was sent to an address that is not on the Etsy receipt.

Etsy doesn't hold sellers responsible for shipping delays or errors, as long as the seller can prove that they shipped the item on time to the address on the Etsy receipt. If a non-delivery case has been closed against your shop and you have proof that the item shipped on time to the address on the Etsy receipt, please contact us. If the item was shipped and has a tracking number, you may be able to contact the shipping carrier directly to open a claim.

Not-as-Described

An item is not as described if the buyer can demonstrate (through photos or other documentation) that it is significantly different from the seller’s listing description and photos. Here are a few examples of not-as-described cases:

  • 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).

Not-as-described cases can also be filed for late delivery. An order may be considered a late delivery if:

  • The item(s) were ordered for a specific date or event.
  • The item(s) are rendered useless after that date.
  • The seller did not ship the item(s) according to their processing time or the date agreed upon in Messages.

Note: Etsy does not hold sellers responsible for shipping delays or errors, as long as the seller can prove that they shipped the item on time to the address on the Etsy receipt. If a not-as-described case has been closed against your shop for late delivery and you have proof that the item shipped on time to the address on the Etsy receipt, please contact us.

If an item is significantly similar to the seller’s listing description and photos, it is not eligible for a not-as-described case.

3. Your Obligations as a Seller

If a buyer reaches out to you requesting help with an order, you must work with them to resolve the issue. Failure to resolve a not-as-described or non-delivery order issue within 48 hours of a buyer notifying you may result in the issue being escalated to Etsy via a case.

Once a case has been opened, Etsy will usually resolve and close the case automatically on your behalf. Please note that once a case has been opened, Etsy reserves the right to resolve the case on your behalf, including, but not limited to, by issuing a refund to the buyer and recouping funds from your account if payment was made via Etsy payments.

Cases may be closed automatically in the following circumstances:

  • You issue the buyer a full refund through Etsy Payments.
  • The order’s tracking information shows that the package was delivered to the address on the Etsy receipt (for non-delivery cases only).
  • The buyer closes the case if they are satisfied with the resolution.

In some cases, Etsy may need to investigate further in order to resolve the case. Each case must remain open until a resolution has been reached. If Etsy reaches out to you to provide more information on any open case, you must respond within 2 calendar days. Please see our Seller Protection Policy for more information.

To resolve a non-delivery case, you may be asked to provide proof of shipping or show that a refund was made to the buyer. Proof of shipping should show that the item was shipped to the address given by the buyer when they purchased the item on Etsy. Proof of shipping could be:

  • A scanned copy of the delivery confirmation or departure information.
  • A shipping service receipt.
  • A customs form.
  • A tracking number and/or tracking information that shows the package was delivered to the buyer.

Etsy doesn't hold sellers responsible for shipping delays or errors, as long as the seller can prove that they shipped the item on time to the address on the Etsy receipt. In the event that a non-delivery case has been closed against your shop and you have proof that the item shipped on time to the address on the Etsy receipt, please contact us.

To resolve a not-as-described case, you may be asked to provide additional information to Etsy to show that the item was properly described in the listing.

Etsy reserves the right to resolve an order issue before the 48-hour window for circumstances including, but not limited to, seller inactivity, harassment, refusal of service, manipulation, and undermining the integrity of the case system. Etsy may close or resolve a case due to lack of participation from either party. Etsy may reopen a previously closed case to further investigate tracking issues or other aspects of the dispute. In the unlikely event that a case remains unresolved for more than 365 days, it is considered to be a late delivery, and the only acceptable resolution is a full refund.

To maintain the integrity of the case system, you cannot encourage or require a buyer to close a case as a condition of resolving a dispute.

4. Ineligible Disputes and Transactions

Some disputes and transactions are ineligible for the case system, including:

  • Items that are damaged by shipping carrier (if properly packaged by the seller).
  • Items that have been altered, used, worn, washed, or discarded after receipt.
  • Items that are received after the agreed-upon delivery date due to shipping delays.
  • Items that are returned without a return agreement.
  • Items that are accurately described but don’t meet a buyer's expectations.
  • Cost of shipping disputes.
  • Items that are purchased in person.
  • Items prohibited from sale on Etsy, including services and intangible goods.
  • Transactions where payment is not made via Etsy’s checkout system.

Last updated on Dec 7, 2021