The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Etsy Transaction

I debated with myself for a long time before deciding to write this post. It is not one of my typical posts and leans toward the ranty side so I completely understand if you want to skip over this one and not read it, I will not be offended in the least.

The seller name & item have not been included in this post though I really want to tell you who it is and to stay away from their shop.

At the beginning of May, I decided to treat myself to a little something from Etsy. I went through my favs and decided what I wanted to order. What I decided on was from a local seller who lives less than 20 miles from me. Perfect, I’ll be getting something awesome and I’ll be supporting a local artist. I bought and paid for the item and quickly received a message from the seller thanking me for the order but there was a problem with the item. The item had several parts to it but one part wasn’t available so a new one had to be made but it would be mailed soon.

So I waited for the item to come, one week, ten days, two weeks, went by when finally three weeks after ordering I emailed to ask where my item was. I was told that a family emergency had come up but that the item would be shipped that evening. [For the record, it wasn’t exactly a family emergency; it was a sick godson, not an actual immediate family member or even blood relative.] I’m not one to want to make things harder during a stressful time so I politely said to not rush and gave my condolences. The seller must have taken this as “mail it next year but only if your life is peachy” because I never received that package that I was told was being mailed that evening.

Fast forward to the beginning of June, it has been one month since I have ordered so I sent another email waited for two days for a response but didn’t get one. I thought that maybe my email got lost in the Spam filter so I sent an etsy convo… and waited… and waited… after a week of not getting a reply from either the email or the convo, I reported the transaction to Etsy and filed a PayPal dispute. Another week went by when I finally received a response from the seller through Etsy & PayPal. The seller said that I had told them that it was fine to take their time and that I would receive a refund.

I checked my account, nope, no refund there. I sent a message through Etsy & Paypal stating that I was told I would get a refund and that I hadn’t received it. *cricket, cricket* No response. I waited another week, sent another message saying that I still haven’t received a reply or a refund. Still no response. I contacted Etsy to ask if there was a next step or anything else I can do. No response from them either. (I could, at this point, go on a rant a dozen pages long about Etsy Admin and their complete lack of competence or customer service but I will save that for another day).

Two weeks after the last response from the seller, I received a notice from PayPal that my dispute would be closing very soon and if a resolution had not been met then I could escalate it to a PayPal claim where they would investigate. So I did. We will see how that goes.

I never wanted it to get to this point. I am really disappointed. I was so excited to be supporting a local artist because there aren’t many of us around this area. I live in a small rural area where the school system and community only supports & cares about the football team. We recently received a donation for an Astroturf football field, Titan-tron scoreboard, and new field house (I know ridiculous huh? It’s freaking High School football!) but the marching band has to do fund raisers just to pay for transportation to away games, the art lab is in a one room trailer (not even connected to the rest of the school), has very little funds and has to do fund raisers to buy basic supplies and we don’t even have a theater group. Other than taking classes at the community college, there aren’t any available art outlets for adults; we do not even have an art/craft supply store. I want to see the arts community here grow. I want to see the community take an interest in something other than sports and the false hopes & dreams of the high school football players. I want to do every little bit I can to help foster that growth even though I’m just a small drop in a big pond (or should I compare it to a stagnate swamp).

But I digress… I really hoped that, like me, this local artist, would be happy to find another local artist on Etsy. It just really upsets me that they would act this way and not want to work it out. They are just content with keeping my money, not sending me the item, and not even responding to my messages. Do I believe that the godson was actually sick? Maybe. Do I believe that in two months time the seller didn’t have time to check email, pick up their own mail or go to the post office, no. It was just blatant disregard for me and my messages. In all my years of buying from various sites like Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon, I have never had a situation that had to be taken this far to (hopefully) find a resolution. In fact, I can’t even recall a single transaction that I didn’t receive the item. Had they just responded to my emails & messages I wouldn’t be as upset by this whole thing as I am. After nearly two months, it is getting pretty old. I just want my money back and to be done with it. I’ll stick to buying local art through local places from now on.

Just a bit of advice to sellers out there: If you are in a situation where you will not be able to meet the demands of your shop for what ever reason, even if it is just one sale that could go wrong, please put your shop on vacation. Please don’t leave your shop open where buyers will end up confused and frustrated at you, your shop, and lack of communication. It may not be a priority when the stress comes but it will only add to your own stress if something like this happens.


9 thoughts on “The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Etsy Transaction

  1. Thankfully you were able to file a Paypal claim. Since the seller can’t prove that the item was delivered, you will get your money back. They should have just refunded you immediately, as it is against Etsy TOS to list an item that you can’t actually sell.

  2. People amaze me sometimes, especially in situations like this. It’s not like anyone *forced* the seller into offering goods. If they can’t deliver, why even go through the process? As I don’t know what kind of product you were ordering, I can’t guess at the likelihood that it was a scam for money instead of just horrible business practices. I know there have been 2 incidences in the fiber community where people have faked their own death and made off with the cash. It’s ridiculous. Really though… hard is it to respond to an email? Everyone in the world falls on some troubled times and more often than not, people accept that and will and cut others some slack. Just ignoring the issue, however, is just negligent.

  3. I am having problems with paypal myself but in relation to eBay. The buyer claimed he never recieved it but he collected in perosn. Therefore no evidence….minus of course if I was to find CCTV comera footage of the car park – ridiculous!

    Out of interest, if you only managed to recover 59c, how much did you pay in total to begin with?

    I ask because my situation is £200gbp and I have yet to begin dealing and I want to get a heads up.

  4. I’m currently going through some paypal etsy issues..
    it’s so stressful.
    I have not received item nor my refund and the seller isn’t responding.

  5. I went through a horrible transaction with an etsy seller. I ordered a 3 pillow set and the seller took 4 months to send them to me. She was so rude to me in her responses and etsy and paypal did nothing. She finally sent one pillow, but not the other two. This was after 3 months. She finally sent me another pillow after 3 months and 2 weeks. At exactly 4 months she sent me the final pillow. She was totally doing this on purpose. Paypal would not refund me the money because they said I waited too long to file a complaint. I did it at the 5 weeks mark. Etsy just kept sending me a kiss and make-up notice everytime I reported the non-delivery. They were useless and the seller was so rude.

  6. Wow, I had a very similar experience. Non-delivery of an item I had ordered as a wedding present. After finally telling me she would send the item (a month and a half after I paid for it!), she then canceled the transaction after I’d waited another ten days. I left neutral feedback describing the non-delivery and lack of seller communication, then she left negative feedback on my account! She had a sob story about a sick friend (a story I have heard too often. If you can’t deliver an item, tell the customer right away or don’t offer your products for sale during a personal crisis). Etsy said they couldn’t do anything about the unfair feedback, or the insulting “kiss and makeup” request the seller sent that contravened their own policy. They have lost me as a customer.

  7. I love me a bit of drama, as long as I’m not personally involved – don’t take that personally, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but it does lead me to search up stories, partly for drama but also mostly to keep an eye on what customers expect, since I’m a seller too.
    What I’ve noticed, though, is that, if a seller is decent enough to actually reply to the messages you send querying missing items or non-shipment, literally -90%- of the time, they claim there’s a family emergency. Yes, things happen, yes, give them the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, they’re running a business. It might not seem like it’s that important if it’s just them making, selling and shipping the goods, but other people consider it a legitimate purchase and expect their item to arrive in a timely manner. If you’re having personal problems, put your shop in vacation mode, refund customers you can’t work with, and REALISE that if you’re taking people’s money, personal problems don’t mean much to them.

    It’s terrible, and while the shop may have stolen your money, they might think there will be no repurcussions, well, they forget that while they’re able to make shops and websites as easily as they are, -other people can too.-

  8. Late to the game here but I just recently had an issue with a seller that turned ugly. I ordered an item on January 30, 2014 that was meant to be a gift for a sick friend. On February 13 I sent a message through the Etsy system to inquire when my item would be shipping. When I did not receive a reply to this message by February 17 I sent a second message. The seller responded later that day to say she had been away (why not put the shop on vacation in that case) and had missed my order. She was terribly embarrassed and would ship the item the next day. I replied to thank her for getting back to me. By February 21 the item had not been marked as “shipped” on the Etsy website so I sent a message to ask for the tracking number. Etsy sellers sometimes ship things without marking them shipped through the site and I thought that’s what had happened here. When I hadn’t received a reply by February 24 I send another message which was not replied to either. On February 26 I received a refund. While I did have my money back I didn’t have any real explanation as to what had happened. After a bit of deliberation I decided to leave feedback on the order – which was still listed as open. I did this because of her lack of communication. If she had messaged me back in January – or even mid-February – to say “hey, I can’t fulfill this order right now I would have been fine. But, I felt strung along – especially since she told me she’d be shipping the item on February 18. The feedback system, when used properly, is there to assist buyers. If a seller is not keeping up with their side of the bargain the buyer does have the right to leave feedback. My feedback included no name calling or added color. I simply listed the dates and what had happened on those dates. On March 5 I received an email from Etsy saying the seller had canceled the order because the fabric was no longer available. So, she was offering something for sale that she didn’t actually have. On top of that she responded to my feedback to call me “vengeful” and accused me of not reading the fine print. Apparently saying that it takes up to “four weeks” to receive an item also means it can take that long to receive any replies from her. At the end of the day I took issue with the fact that she ignored numerous messages from me. If she had said in January “sorry I don’t have that fabric anymore” I would have been annoyed but I’d have dealt with it and moved on. Even if she had said it on February 17 instead of promising to ship it the next day. She also stated in her response that the next time she has an issue she’ll just cancel the order so no feedback can be left. Let’s all just take our ball and go home now.

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