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 or get a refund from an order on Etsy, the first thing they should do is contact the seller directly. It is important that you fill out your shop policies to address returns and refunds, and you should regularly respond to Conversations from your buyers. If you're unable to resolve your issue together, the buyer may file what’s known as a “case.” With Etsy’s case system, members work together to resolve disputes around orders that are not delivered or are not as described in the listing.

2. Case Eligibility

Eligibility to open a case is based on an order's estimated delivery date (if applicable) or processing time and “ship by” date. This Help article explains case time eligibility.

A buyer can open a case for non-delivery or an item being 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 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 Conversations.

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 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 opens a case, you must work with them to resolve the dispute. Each case must remain open until you have reached a resolution. To maintain the integrity of the case system, you cannot encourage or require a buyer to close a case before you resolve a dispute.

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.

You must respond to any open cases. Please see our Seller Protection Policy for more information.

To resolve a non-delivery case, you need to provide proof of shipping or a refund 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 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 resolve a not-as-described case, you must work with the buyer and Etsy to show that the item was properly described in the listing.

If a case isn’t resolved, buyers can escalate the case to Etsy’s review. We reserve the right to escalate a case early for circumstances such as seller inactivity, harassment, refusal of service, case 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 reserves the right to issue a refund to the buyer and recoup funds from your account if payment was made via Etsy Payments. Etsy may reopen a previously closed case to further investigate tracking issues or other aspects of the 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 Nov 27, 2018