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Shop Policy

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Inactive Etsy Member 4:02 am Jul 31, 2012 EDT
Each shop creates its own policies, does Etsy back up these policies 100%?

Example, I mailed off an order 7 days prior to party date using 2-3 priority shipping with the post office. Printed the label from paypal and somehow the package was sent to Puerto Rico instead of its correct location. Buyer contacted me with a status and i sent her the tracking number where we discovered the problem. She then stated that because it was not going to arrive on time she wanted a full refund.

My shop policies on Shipping are as follows"

I send all items USPS First Class unless requested otherwise. I do sometime upgrade order to priority USPS to make sure your order is delivered on time.

Once a package is mailed and I have marked it as shipped, I am not responsible. If you wish to buy insurance please tell me before I mail your package!

If the buyer posts up negative feedback because the post office lost the item will Etsy remove it?

58 Responses

Are you talking about the negative feedback that was just left for you on July 30th?

I hate to say this, but I think that may be one of the biggest mistakes a seller can make, stating, once the item ships, I am not responsible. It's not good business practice. People may not agree with me but it's just my opinion.

It's part of running a business. Things will go wrong. Sometimes, it's better to refund and keep your shops reputation in tact. If it were me, I would absolutely refund. Despite the fact the post office did not come through with a timely delivery, the seller chooses the carrier and it's part of overhead costs to absorb the cost when something goes wrong. It is ultimately the seller's responsibility to get the package delivered. Again, just my opinion.

It's your decision as a shop owner, and you should do what you think is best. So sorry you had this problem and I hope you can work it out with the buyer. Good luck.
If we're using paypal, we are responsible to get the package to our buyers regardless of our own policies. Not sure if this applies if using another method of payment.

but I doubt Etsy would remove the feedback.
Sorry but an "I'm not responsible for lost packages" policy is not enforceable

Paypal will refund the customer even if your don't

Etsy will not get involved in the dispute

Insurance is for the seller's protection, not the buyers. If you cant afford to refund/replace the occasional lost package, then you should make insurance mandatory not optional and add the cost into your shipping rates

Just think about it from the customers point of view -- if you ordered and paid for something that never arrived, how would you feel if the seller just said "Tough luck, thats your loss" ?
No, I don't think etsy will remove the feedback in this case. Under various laws, sellers are usually required to actually get the item to the purchaser (and as mentioned, paypal will back up the buyer in this regard).

If you give a full refund, are you able to then claim against USPS as they didn't provide the service they advertised?

Either way, I would be issuing a full refund - bottom line is that the buyer spent money and didn't receive their items in time for a specific event that seller knew they were needed for. Even if the items arrive later, they can't be used for their purpose. If you were the buyer, would you be happy to be told "so sorry, but it is the postal service's fault, I am not giving you any recourse".?
*snap* Marmalady :-)
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Inactive Etsy Member 4:36 am Jul 31, 2012 EDT
This post has been removed.

Unless your state has different laws and/or has not adopted it, the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) bases the passing of title to an item on what the parties have agreed to. If your policies say the method in which the item will be shipped (common carriers vs personal delivery) and specifies that you do not take responsibility for the item after it is shipped, those are the terms of the contract and title (plus risk of loss) passes to the buyer at the time the seller puts the item in the mail.

However, if you use Paypal, you AGREE, as part of your contract with Paypal, to be responsible for any chargebacks. But, that does not mean that your original contract with the buyer is void. If you really wanted to (but who does this?) you could take the buyer to court to re-coup the fees you returned to Paypal.

So, its not that those "I am not responsible" claims are not enforceable....its just that, in real life, if you use Paypal and are not willing to file in small claims, you will still have to pay the money back based on your contract with Paypal.
ahhh, fabulous, spam to add to the calibre of this thread!

OP, just curious - do you have purchased licence to use the character images that you do? If so, you might want to specify this in your about, or policies, or the listings, so buyers know that they are purchasing approved and authorised merchandise :-)
It is not Etsy's responsibility to back up your policies. Because you can create whatever policies you'd like, you must also enforce them. If customers are not happy with the level of customer service built into your policies they are free to say so. That's what feedback is about. Unfortunately, you are responsible for packages after they leave your hands.

I've replaced packages that I know my customers had shipped to the wrong place without question or remark. I've shipped an item to arrive in time for an event that the post office temporarily lost. The customer did not receive the item in time for the event, and I took responsibility, apologized profusely, and refunded the customer before they could even ask. I never asked for the item back once they received it. And you know what? Even though they didn't get to use the item they left me positive feedback.

Sometimes you have to remember that having a business is not just about making a profit, but about taking care of your customers.

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