how to handle a negative review on etsy

How To Handle A Negative Review On Etsy In 10 Ways!

You just got your first bad review from Etsy. How to handle a negative review on Etsy without feeling like you’re about to scream your lungs out?

I’ve got you covered in this article. But before you lose it, let’s take a quick pause. Take a deep breath and count with me. 1, 2, 3, release. Let’s do that one more time, 1, 2, 3, release. Okay, let’s get back to the situation.

You’ve opened your email and got an email from Etsy. Excitement and elation quickly turn to disappointment when you see a negative review.

Fret not my dear friend, because I’m about to tell you how to handle a negative review on Etsy.

You’ll find the best ways on how to handle a negative review on Etsy in this article!

At a glance, they are:

  1. Apologize 
  2. Follow-up 
  3. Be empathetic 
  4. Fix a bad review based on criteria 
  5. Follow through 
  6. Ask for an improved review
  7. Reflect and accept
  8. Prevent future bad reviews
  9. Respond to reviews 
how to handle a negative review on etsy

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Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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1. Communicate With The Buyer 

As much as it’s hard to communicate when you’re angry after reading a bad review, communication is essential as it’s the only way to resolve any bad reviews.

Communication is key in any relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s a buyer-seller relationship, if there are barriers to communication, everything breaks down.

How to handle a negative review on Etsy? Respond as fast as you can to your buyer to find out what they are not happy about.

Here are a few ways to go about communicating with your customer after getting a negative review.  

  • Apologize

The first thing you should do when you respond to your buyer is to apologize. Be the bigger person and apologize regardless. While doing so, use a stress ball to let your frustrations go.

Below is an example you can use to start off with.

“Hi XXX. I just got your review and I’m really sorry about (insert reason for the bad review).”

I understand that as far as “Customers are always right” sometimes more often than not they are not always right.

When you are communicating with your buyer, always use a friendly tone. Never try to be defensive, or respond bluntly.

Customers always love to feel like they are cared for and how attentive you are to them is what differentiates good customer service from bad customer service. 

There’s this book titled A Little Customer Service, which gives an in-depth explanation of the way a person feels when they get great customer service versus someone with an awful attitude. 

You can also watch this video on Youtube, as it explains the perfect way to apologize in 3 steps by Jahan Kalantar at a TEDx talk. 

  • Follow Up

Once you’ve communicated with the customer and there is no response within 2-3 days, give a friendly follow-up. 

Make sure they know that you’re not trying to sweep it under the rug but truly want to understand their situation and why the bad review was needed.

If they had replied instantly the first time you reached out to them, make sure you let them know you need a few days to sort things out on your end, provided you need it. 

There’s this great book by Jeff Toister that you can read. It is also available for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. It’s a book that emphasizes creating a great customer service experience. 

  • Be Empathetic

Why is it important to show empathy to someone that just gave you a bad review? Being empathetic means you understand the situation that the buyer is in. He is frustrated, angry, and annoyed, all these feelings cause emotional overload. 

You are here to make sure that his feelings and wants are being heard. Find out more here to understand why it’s important. 

I understand, while also dealing with situations like this, it can be very stressful on your end. Take a break from your situation to cool down your nerves. I like to use a calming oil to help keep my nerves down. You can try it as well. 

how to handle a negative review on etsy

2. Fix The Problem 

Next, how to handle a negative review on Etsy is always offer to fix the problem. These are some potential problems that could have occurred that triggered that bad review. Here are some of the common problems that may lead to a negative review on Etsy.

  • Instructions By The Buyer Were Not Met 

Your buyer could have bought the item as a gift and instructed you to send it to another recipient’s address and you overlooked that fine detail and continued to send it to the buyer. 

How To Fix It: Offer to pay for the postage fee from the buyer’s address to the recipient’s address. 

  • Expectations Of The Buyer Not Met 

Sometimes buyers did not read the fine print and did not realize the scale of the item. The buyer would have thought the item bought was bigger than advertised. 

How To Fix It: If you did not state the measurement do state it in the descriptions so buyers do not over expect.

  • Sent out the wrong size 

This happens more than usual, especially if you’ve got loads of listings.

How To Fix It: If the price of the item is low, offer to resend the correct one without the buyer sending back the wrong size. 

If it is expensive, offer to refund or resend the correct size after the buyer resends you the wrong size. Provide to pay for the return fees too. 

  • Sent Out The Wrong Item 

Mistakes like this do happen, try not to blame yourself too much for the inconvenience caused. 

How To Fix It: If the buyer got something completely different than what they bought, offer a quick refund and resend the correct item. 

By the end of the day, the main goal is to find a solution for a distressed customer. Read this to learn more about how to offer great customer service on Etsy. 

  • Item Is Lost 

How To Fix It: Help the buyer contact the courier to acquire the buyer’s missing item. Check out Etsy’s ways to open a claim from the courier if the package is lost. 

3. Follow Through 

Follow through with what you’ve already offered to help with. Don’t let your customer wait for your next step. 

If you’ve already suggested refunding, make sure the refund is made immediately. Return of the item is needed? Ensure the buyer has dropped off the returned item and that the return fee is already provided to the buyer. 

Having a little bit of anxiety from all of this? Get some stress relievers and keep your mind at ease. Remember, that once you’ve done all of this there’s a chance for an improved review. 

4. Ask For An Improved Review

Can you get Etsy to ask a customer to change the review? Unfortunately, you can’t. So how to change a review on Etsy? 

Once you’ve done everything you can to help the buyer, ask the buyer if the buyer can improve the review to a better one. 

There is a fine line to this, so make sure when you do ask for an improved review you do not cross any Etsy violations by asking for positive reviews. 

This clause can be found on Etsy’s extortion page here

It says “A seller offers a buyer additional goods, services, or compensation in exchange for a positive review.”

Here’s an example you can use when asking a buyer for an improved review.

“I always want to make myself better and offer nothing but the best for my customers. I’m sorry this happened. I am however a small business and still learning. If you’re happy after the exchange of product/ refund/ please do help in improving the review as it would help me greatly.” 

how to handle a negative review on etsy

5. Reflect And Accept

Sometimes in life, as much as you hate yourself for it; it’s a mistake on your end that you probably overlooked. It happens. It happens to me as well. 

You can beat yourself up for it and ask yourself why you didn’t check before sending the parcel out, why you didn’t thoroughly read the customer’s request, so many why’s.

However, none would be beneficial to you if you don’t come to a point to reflect and accept. Reflect on your mistakes, accept the comments given, and make yourself better.

I find it helps when I write down in a book and reflect on what has happened, things that I can’t control, things I can control, and to be in the now. 

Think of the steps that could help make you become a better seller

4. Prevent Future Bad Reviews

How to get reviews on Etsy that are 5 stars? Follow these preventive measures and you’ll lower your chances of getting bad reviews. So how do you prevent future bad reviews? 

  • Thoroughly Check Your  Items 

Before sending any shipment out, ensure you double, triple, check your item. If it’s an item of clothing, are there any holes? Is the size correct to what the seller ordered? Did they customize anything? 

If you have a friend, or a colleague doing this business with you; it helps to have a second eye. When we have been doing the same things over and over again, it’s easy to miss out on the simple things that you have been looking at. 

A 2nd opinion to ensure everything is correct helps ensure the item is in perfect condition to be sent out. 

  • Anticipate Delays In Shipment 

Shipment is not your fault, any delays are beyond your control. But, if you do know that there might be a delay due to holidays, for example, it helps to let your buyer know beforehand. 

Buyers love when sellers go out of their way to ensure that the buying process goes smoothly. 

Some couriers can also cause delays when they are short-staffed. If you notice that your go-to drop-off seems slower than usual, give your buyer a heads-up. 

Let’s face it. As a buyer yourself the minute you check out an item you’re hitting that tracking button so many times your finger can be injured. 

  • Inaccuracy In Items 

The actual size of the item or the actual color of an item can differ especially from pictures. It helps if you could provide an actual measurement of the item you’re selling to avoid an expectation from the buyer. 

Colors can look a tone lighter as well on photographs. The colors of a photograph can also depend on the lighting of the picture it was taken. Upload pictures from where the color of the item looks very similar. 

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how to handle a negative review on etsy

Types of Bad Reviews

There’s an Etsy review policy where buyers can leave their reviews with a photograph or video within 100 days after their item has been delivered. 

There are 2 types of reviews that you could get on Etsy. The one that makes your stomach drop and the one you wished were higher. 

Either way, always aim for 5 stars so that other buyers can instill trust in you to purchase from your shop. 

  • 1-2 Stars 

Customers that are giving 1-2 stars as reviews are customers that are clearly dissatisfied with their products and most likely something occurred to make them really angry. 

When you receive reviews this bad, it’s crucial for you to respond immediately and within 24 hours. This is to show that you are efficient and would like to resolve the issue immediately. 

However, if the customer has been showing his discontent earlier from the beginning, and harassing you due to late delivery then it’s best to not prolong the conversation with the customer and always answer politely despite their tone.

  • 3-4 Stars

Having 3 stars is putting you right smack in the middle. You’re not that bad to be receiving 1 star but you’re not great enough to be receiving 5 too. 

Analyze the review made by the buyer to see if there is anything you could do to get your stars improved to 5. 

If you’re receiving 4 stars, just know that there’s not much you can do and you can’t please everyone. There might not be anything wrong with the parcel, or the shipment, it’s just the buyer feels that it is not perfect enough to receive 5 stars. 

As much as it feels so close yet so far to 5 stars, we can always drop them a small message privately. 

Below is a sample of how to respond to a review on Etsy. 

“Hi XXX! I notice you have given me 4 stars instead of 5. Are there any particular areas that you wish you’d like to be better at? I’d love to hear feedback so that I can see the areas that I can improve and hit 5 stars next.” 

Responding Privately To Negative Reviews On Etsy

One of the great ways how to handle a negative review on Etsy is by responding privately. Is is always great because you can get to understand your customer better without the whole world being able to look at it publicly.

If the buyer is also bantering on and on, it’s also great that it is being done privately rather than publicly. Follow the steps below on how to respond to a bad review on Etsy.

Use Messenger on Etsy to contact your buyer privately.

1. Go to Etsy and click on Shop Manager.

2. Press Orders & Shipping

3. Click on the order that has a bad review and click on the mail icon.

4. Type in your message.

5. Send! 

how to handle a negative review on etsy

Responding Publicly To Negative Reviews On Etsy

Once you reply privately, do also respond publicly so that people know that you have attended to the bad review. 

Though, bear in mind that only reviews under 3 stars are able to be replied publically. I recommend answering reviews under 3 stars privately and publicly as it gives out an impression that you are not attentive to people’s grievances. 

The message can be simple, indicating that you’ll be resolving the matter privately. 

Here’s an example of how to reply to a review on Etsy

“I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. This should have not happened. Please check your messages as I’ve contacted you to help you find the best solution.”

Keep your message simple and precise. Always show your patience and ability to compose yourself even when you’re mad. 

To respond publicly, below are the steps.  

  • On, click the Your Account tab.
  • Next, click on Shop Manager.
  • Under Sales Channel click on your shop name
  • Click on Reviews. 
  • Search for the review and click Post a public response.

Reviews That Violate Etsy’s Policy 

How to delete a review on Etsy? Unfortunately, there aren’t any ways to delete an Etsy review unless it violates Etsy’s policy.

There are several things that a buyer may say that can violate Etsy’s policy. So before getting mad, save your energy from being angry and check out if whatever the buyer says is: 

  • Containing private information. 
  • Containing words that are obscene, racist, or harassing language or imagery.
  • Anything that violates Etsy’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.
  • Containing prohibited medical drug claims.
  • Containing advertising or spam.
  • Things beyond your control, such as a shipping carrier, with the mentioned name of courier; Etsy, or third party. 
  • Containing threats or extortion.
  • Purposely falsely inflating a shop’s review score. 

Reporting A Bad Review

Should all reviews be reported? If the reviews fall under any violation of Etsy, report the review immediately without needing to reply to the person privately or publicly.

How do you go about reporting a bad review? Simply click ‘Report This Review’ under the review. After you do the report, Etsy will investigate the case. 

Don’t worry, the buyer won’t be able to know that you are reporting his review and it will stay confidential. 

After Etsy reviews the case and finds that it violates its policy, it will then remove the review from your shop. However, when Etsy reviews the case and finds that the review complies with Etsy policy, no action will be taken against the buyer. 

how to handle a negative review on etsy

Dispute The Negative Review 

In the instance that the buyer is not happy with your solution the buyer is able to open a case against you. When that happens are you able to still dispute it? 

Yes, you are able to as long as you have enough proof to back yourself up. 

You can do so by providing proof of: 

1. Confirmation of delivery provided by the courier. If in the case of it being missing. 

the seller is not eligible to open a case against you as it is the courier’s problem and not yours. 

2. Receipt of refund/compensation given to the seller. The seller is unable to open a case if you have already given a refund. In case the seller is disputing the fact that the money has not been received, you have proof to show that a transaction has been made. 

Rarely, in some cases, the buyer might close the case before you have the chance to dispute the case. During these times, it can be very frustrating especially when you have done everything to help the seller. 

Always remain calm and think of this as a hiccup. 

FAQs On How To Handle A Negative Review On Etsy

What Happens If Someone Leaves A Bad Review On Etsy?

You’re probably thinking what happens if someone leaves a bad review on Etsy? You have up to 100 days from the review made to reply to the buyer. Once you have replied to the buyer the buyer can no longer change the buyer’s review even if you have deleted the response. 

Can You Report Bad Reviews On Etsy?

If you’re wondering can you report bad reviews on Etsy, the answer is definitely yes you can. The review can be reported provided the review made by the buyer violates Etsy’s policy. Reviews and imagery can be reported within 100 days after the buyer has left their review as stated above.

Can You Delete Someone’s Review On Etsy?

You just saw a bad review and now you’re wondering can you delete someone’s review on Etsy? If the review does not violate the policy on Etsy then it cannot be deleted. If the review indeed does violate the policy then you can report the review and Etsy will investigate the review. 

Can You Dispute A 1 Star Review On Etsy?

Reviews can be unfair so can you dispute a 1-star review on Etsy? You can only dispute the review if it contains foul language or anything that violates Etsy policy. However, if the review complies with Etsy’s policy then you cannot dispute a 1-star review on Etsy and it won’t be removed. 

Most importantly don’t get yourself worked up about it! I assure you, you only get stronger and better! Your Etsy shop isn’t going to die based on that bad review.

Always take something negative and spin it into a positive vibe! When your volume is getting bigger, more reviews will come your way!  

Now you know how to handle a negative review on Etsy. Grab this opportunity to learn from your mistakes and make yourself better. Success doesn’t come without any hurdles, and with those hurdles, you will be able to be great in life. 

I hope by the end of this you now know how to handle a negative review on Etsy! 

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