Etsy News Blog

Not-So-Top-Secret: Policy Sneak Peek

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Psst … Secret Squirrels! You may not know this, but for the past few months, a special task force at Etsy has been locked away in a tiny conference room, buckling down to polish up Etsy’s site policies. I’ve just smuggled some highly classified documents out of the heavily-guarded, steel-doored Lawyer Hole over at Etsy HQ. I think you’ll want to take a look at this file — it contains proposed revisions to the DOs & DON’Ts of Etsy.*

It’s been over a year since we last updated the DOs & DON’Ts of Etsy. During that time, the team has received feedback on our existing policies from the Etsy community — through the Forums, emails, Virtual Labs and in-person meet ups. Thank you for your input! Keeping our policies clear and up-to-date is one way we can help preserve the integrity of the site. We want to continue working with the community to better our services and our marketplace. This sneak peek preview provides another way for us to improve the site together. The revised DOs & DON’Ts will be posted on a special page for about a week to offer the opportunity to read through the document and respond with your thoughts about the proposed changes. If necessary, we may make final tweaks before we go live with the new DOs & DON’Ts. Our other policy documents, as well as Help content, will be updated to reflect the revisions to the DOs & DON’Ts at that time.

We understand that the changes may have a direct impact on some members and shops. Once we go live with the new policies, we will institute a grace period of several weeks to allow all members to edit existing account information, shops and listings as needed.


Visit this special page to see the preview of the revised DOs & DON’Ts of Etsy.

As you will see, most policies remain the same. In many areas, we’ve just clarified existing information or elaborated upon current practices to include these items formally in the DOs & DON’Ts document. Below I’ll highlight the changes, but be sure you preview the updated DOs & DON’Ts in their entirety.

Membership: A few notable policies that apply to all members have been moved up to the Membership section, like our policy for linking from a shop or profile to another selling venue. Collectives (seller accounts involving multiple people) have been further defined with the categories of Collaboration, Sharing a Shop and Shop Management Help. We clarified our rules for younger Etsians; collectives that include minors under the age of 18 may not utilize community features unless otherwise stated.

Conversations: You may not use Conversations to interfere with a transaction (with details on this in the Transactions section, too). We’ve also elaborated on the definition of “spam” as it relates to Etsy Convos.

Transactions: We’ve added information to the Transactions section, describing the roles of the seller, the buyer and Etsy in a transaction. Additionally, we’ve detailed various concerns or scenarios in which a transaction may be disputed, including: non-payment, non-delivery, refusal of service, dissatisfaction and interference. We’ve also clarified the circumstances in which a transaction may be canceled. In general, the additions to this section outline in greater detail the processes and policies already in place for transactions.

Feedback: To better accommodate custom orders and international transactions, we will be increasing the timeframe for submitting feedback from 90 days to 120 days. (This will go into effect when the policies are “live.”) Additionally, we’ve clarified the circumstances in which Etsy will review feedback for removal, and we’ve lifted the 30-day limitation to requesting a feedback review for policy violation.

Shops and Listings: Formerly called “Selling,” this section has been expanded to include detailed policies about shop set-up, listing items, tagging and specific rules for handmade items, vintage goods and supplies. The section on Tagging is entirely new to the DOs & DON’Ts, but most of this information was available in Etsy’s Help section or through guides posted on Etsy’s blog, The Storque. Expanded sections on rules for handmade, vintage and supplies items should help sellers understand what can be sold on Etsy and how to list items for sale.

Charitable Shops and Listings: Etsy appreciates the spirit of giving back. Due to some laws and the existence of unsavory individuals who may try to take advantage of this spirit, we have added a section for charitable shops and listings.

Prohibited Items: In response to a variety of community concerns, we have clarified our prohibited items list. These items — though they may be handmade, vintage or a crafting supply — are not allowed to be listed for sale on Etsy.

Showcase and Treasury: Making a first time appearance in the DOs & DON’Ts are specific sections for participation in the Showcase and the Treasury. We have gathered information from other areas of the site about these interactive features to formalize as policies in the DOs & DON’Ts.

The DOs & DON’Ts of Etsy, Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy and the Help site all will be updated for consistency. Once we gather your feedback and make any changes, we will launch the final versions of everything together. At that time, we will send an email notice to all members. As stated above, we will also allow a grace period for all members to edit their existing content to comply with any changed policies.

*OK, so I admit it. I’m a lousy spy and a loyal Etsy employee. I totally made sure I had permission from the head honcho before I released this not-so-top-secret sneak peek of our new policies to you, the Etsy community. Truth is that we really want your feedback. Be sure to read the preview of the entire revised DOs & DON’Ts to provide us with the most accurate feedback, and then join us for discussion in this Forum thread.