Etsy Is Changing The Way Reviews Work

    August 27, 2013
    Chris Crum
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Back in April, Etsy launched a seller survey aimed at collecting feedback from its community that it would go on to use to make changes to the site’s feedback system. This week, the company announced those changes.

In an effort to promote honesty and fairness, Etsy is doing away with the system that let a shop’s feedback score include ratings the owner received as a buyer, which the company says was misleading to shoppers.

A shop’s overall rating will now only reflect reviews left by buyers in the last year. To encourage authentic reviews, as Etsy says, the buyer’s profile name will be displayed publicly with their reviews, and item reviews will require text as well as a rating.

“These changes, as well as decline in non-payment issues, reduce the need for rating buyers,” says Etsy’s Heather Burkman. “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.”

“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,” she adds. “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.”

Finally, Etsy reviews will be based on a new five-star rating system. More on the changes, which will be rolling out over the course of the coming weeks, can be found here.

It seems that the new system is not going over incredibly well with some sellers, and some are afraid the site is becoming too much like eBay.

  • Rich Vernadeau

    Let’s hope Etsy isn’t imitating ebay’s flawed DSR system. Ebay’s star system is misused/abused by ebay to eliminate small sellers who have gotten a couple of low DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings, buyer OPINIONS). Coupled with Guardrail or Quick Decline, low DSRs are the weapon of choice by which ebay targets small sellers for sanctions, restrictions, limitations and puts them on the fast track to suspension or lifetime banning (elimination) from ebay.

  • Audrey

    As a buyer who is not a seller I think the changes suck. Firstly, I like having feedback from sellers. Nobody forces sellers to leave us feedback, so a few grumbling from some grouchy whiners over a voluntary action is beyond dumb. I use seller feedback to remind me of who is friendly, who shipped quickest and use it as a list of who to buy from again. My feedback also demonstrated that I was a reliable buyer who always paid immediately and had no negative or neutral feedback. Now, without any feedback to my credit, I could be anybody to a seller. An unfair risk, a newbie, a scam artist. They have no way of knowing. Second, I buy most things on etsy as gifts for other people. I do not want what I guy to be visible to the public including friends and family and spoil the surprise. The only way to keep what I buy private from other users now is to not leave any feedback for any purchase. This feels completely unfair to all my fabulous sellers, as I want to shout their magnificence from the highest peak. So, overall the system changes are idiotic and completely discourages me in participation. They are the very opposite of what drew me to Etsy in the first place.