Shop Etsy

5 Stars for Etsy’s New Review System

Aug 26, 2013

by Heather Burkman handmade and vintage goods

One of the unique strengths of our community is that buyers interact directly with independent artists, makers and collectors around the world. This intimate exchange is ultimately shared by leaving feedback, a reflection on a one-of-a-kind experience. Both buying and selling is notably personal, making feedback on Etsy more meaningful than reviews you might find elsewhere.

As we announced in April, we’ve been working on updating Etsy’s feedback and review system, developing a better method that supports the unique qualities of our marketplace. As part of this process we asked sellers to fill out a survey and spoke to buyers. The community feedback was invaluable in reshaping how reviews works on Etsy, so we thank you!

Read on to learn about the high-level changes, supporting the project’s original goals.

Promote honesty and fairness
We want to provide Etsy shoppers with relevant information as they consider what to buy. Previously, a shop’s feedback score included the ratings the owner received as a buyer — which was misleading for prospective shoppers. Now a shop’s overall rating will reflect only reviews left by buyers in the last year, sharing the shop’s current reputation with shoppers.

To encourage authentic reviews, the buyer’s profile name will be displayed publicly with their reviews going forward. Additionally, item reviews will require text as well as a rating, so that future shoppers (and the seller) understand the context.

These changes, as well as decline in non-payment issues, reduce the need for rating buyers. Sellers who took our survey revealed that rating buyers was a tedious task — and in fact, buyer scores were rarely viewed. So, buyers will no longer be rated in the new system.

Enable better communication and issue resolution
We heard from many sellers that negative feedback often resulted from a misunderstanding, whether feedback was left too early, or the buyer didn’t contact the seller to resolve an issue. Reviews can now be edited, providing a window for the buyer and seller to communicate and resolve issues directly. To prevent premature reviews, we’re tying in processing and shipment information, so that an item can only be reviewed once we believe it‘s arrived.

Improve the shopping experience
Through testing, we learned that when we highlighted reviews more prominently, buyers were more likely to favorite and add items to their cart! We’ll be working on more ways to encourage buyers to come back and review their purchases, so that more items are reviewed on Etsy. To make reviews more shopper-friendly, we’re moving to a 5-star rating system. Stars are also more favorable toward sellers than the old, rigid percentage ratings, which will migrate over to stars.

Sellers can learn more about how the new system works here:

Etsy’s New Reviews

We’ll be rolling out the new reviews to the community in the coming weeks — we understand this is a big change, and will take some time to get used to. We believe that the new system will provide an improved sense of fairness and transparency, in addition to a better shopping experience across the marketplace.

To learn more about the review system, read our FAQs.