Etsy Suspended Me (and How I Got My Account Reinstated)

| Original: February 10, 2023

For the longest time, I was holding back from opening up my own Etsy shop. I was happy to sell selected ad-free crochet patterns on Ravelry for those who were interested and make a bit of side income from that while sharing my crochet patterns for free on my blog.

I've thought about opening up my own Etsy shop for a LONG time, I just never had the guts to do it because of Etsy's fees and the fear of trying something new. In fact, I "reserved" my shop name for YEARS by having a shop in draft mode with a draft listing.

After hearing about the success of so many other crochet designers, I decided to give it a shot. I opened up my Etsy shop on a Thursday and added two listings of my best-selling crochet patterns.

On Friday afternoon (within 24 hours of my grand opening), I signed into Etsy and noticed a huge red banner that says that my Etsy shop was suspended!

Etsy Suspended Me and How I Got My Account Reinstated

Why did Etsy Suspend Me?

To this day, I still don't know if I fully understand what happened and why I Etsy suspended my account after I just opened up my shop. I searched madly for answers to what happened to my account.

A few hours after I noticed that my account was suspended, I got an email telling me that my account has been "permanently suspended" because I had violated Etsy's Terms of Use. This includes but may not limit to the following:

  • Items listed for sale don’t meet our handmade, vintage, or craft supply policies
  • Items violate Etsy’s Prohibited Items Policy
  • Shop violates Etsy's Intellectual Property Policy
  • The account owner’s information is inconsistent, incorrect, or closely associated with an account previously removed from Etsy

Now before you make any assumptions that I've actually violated any of the listed above, I didn't.

I assume that the reasons listed are normally grounds for suspensions on Etsy. But just for reference, they were not mine. I didn't violate any of Etsy's Terms of Use and I was very careful about it.

I was very frustrated with why this happened and turned to Facebook for some answers. Many of them reassured me that this is actually very common to new seller accounts.

They told me that new accounts often get suspended because Etsy needs some extra time to verify their identification and banking information. Once that is completed, your account will get reinstated without any notification.

Suspensions can sometimes happen shortly after a shop opens. Other times, it might not happen until a shop makes its first sale, which is honestly very inconvenient if you think about it.

The Suspension and Its Impact

My heart dropped and I panicked.

When your Etsy suspension happens on a Friday, you've already started off your weekend on the wrong foot. I spent my entire weekend obsessing over it.

Before I had an Etsy shop, it was my choice that I didn't have one, but I was confident that I had the choice to open one if I ever wanted to. However, the tables got turned when I got suspended. All of a sudden, it felt like Etsy has banned me for life and I can never open up a shop on their platform, ever.

It was such torment for the time that I was suspended because I was checking multiple times a day hoping that they might have reinstated my account without telling me, but nothing.

How I got my Etsy Account Back

Etsy's initial email for my permanent suspension ended with a link allowing me to file an appeal if I suspect that my suspension was in error. So I did that immediately. A couple hours later, they replied.

The email stated that they've reinstated my shop and listings and that the shop should be searchable within the next 20 minutes. They even apologized for any inconvenience that they might have caused.

I thought: Oh, thank goodness! It was just a mistake. They've reinstated my account and my listings will be searchable within the next 20 minutes.

WRONG. I waited and waited... a few hours later, the big red banner is still there. So I emailed them telling them that my account is still suspended and it's definitely been more than 20 minutes. I was confused and frustrated at that point.

I searched all over the Etsy Help pages, but it seems like when you're suspended, all the links and buttons to contact a real person for support take you back to the Etsy Help homepage. It's like a gigantic virtual maze and extremely frustrating.

I came across this Reddit thread that had a lot of helpful links for contacting a real person at Etsy. There are links there to send Etsy an email and initiate a chat with Etsy support. There was even a callback option to speak with someone on the phone.

I tried the callback option many times. Unfortunately, the people over the phone just can't help me aside from escalating my ticket. So if you end up using this method, please don't give them a hard time.

I have heard that some people manage to get help through Etsy's Twitter. So I gave that a try too.

In my searches, some users suggested I leave the account alone for 2-3 weeks. Because this is happening to so many new accounts, every time we send an email to follow up, it ends up at the back of their queue resulting in them taking longer to answer.

It was hard to resist not pestering them, but I ignored them for about 5 days or so. On the 9th day, I got an email and this time it looks different.

They stated that after reviewing, they've determined that my account was suspended in error by one of their automated controls and they have now reinstated my account so I can continue to use Etsy.

I was a bit skeptical but thought I'd check. I logged into my account to check and...I'M BACK, BABY! My Etsy account got reinstated for real this time and my shop is now open for business!

What I Learned from my Etsy Suspension

1) Etsy suspensions happen more often than you think

If you ever get the chance to read Etsy's responses to tweets, you'll notice that more than half of them are from users requesting Etsy to reinstate their suspended accounts. There are also many posts on Facebook and Reddit asking for advice about what to do because their account just got suspended and now they're panicking. It's happening to more users than you think. So, just know you're not alone.

2) Not all suspensions are valid

At the time of panic and despair, I turned to Etsy small business support groups on social media for advice and moral support. Unfortunately, I found that many of the people in those groups are very condescending and just straight-up tell you that you were suspended for a reason.

As you can see, they're not always right. Etsy acknowledged that it was one of their automated controls that caused my wrongful suspension. Sometimes this can happen. I was just lucky to be able to get my shop and account back.

3) Don't put all your eggs in one basket

After this suspension experience, I realize how little control I have over my Etsy shop business. Etsy can suspend me again in the future for whatever reason and I may not be so lucky next time.

In general, Etsy should NEVER be your only platform to sell. In fact, it's always a good idea to sell on multiple venues if you have the capacity to rather than just relying on one. Etsy changes its policies every now and then and if you continue to use its marketplace, it means that you're agreeing to them whether you like it or not.

4) Don't Get Scammed

If your Etsy shop just got suspended, you're likely feeling desperate and would want to do whatever you can to get your shop back as soon as possible. Well, that's exactly what these scammers are seeking.

They'll comment on your social media posts when they see that you're seeking help/advice regarding your suspended account and then they'll proceed to tell you that they can help you and/or to contact this other account. I don't know what they do because I've never responded to them, but just know that they're not real.

Once your account gets suspended, only Etsy can reinstate it. So just go through the appeal process and try to get a hold of someone on their support team.

This blog post is not meant to criticize Etsy. Although I hope they can get their automated controls under control at some point without causing so many mysterious suspensions.

I truly believe that Etsy can be a great marketplace for the handmade community. I hope that sharing my experience will help someone in the future when they run into a similar situation.

Good luck!
Roz said...

Sounds like Etsy is not something I want to try in the near future. How exasperating!

Juli Anne said...

It was definitely stressful for the 9 days that I was suspended. I'm just glad I finally got my account back!

Unknown said...

I had the same experience with Redbubble, but didn't pursue it. Maybe I should go back and check!

Unknown said...

This just happened to me! I'm on day 8 and anxiously awaiting an answer! Thank you for posting this, it at least gives me some hope that a resolution is coming soon :)

Juli Anne said...

I'm glad it helped reduce some of your anxiety. I wish you good luck!

Oksana said...

I was scammed on Etsy in a big way. I ordered a piece of furniture from a store positioned as Chicago based. Then, I received a message that my item has been delivered to another city. Moreover, there were four packages under the same order number, and Etsy claimed that all of them have been delivered. I did not get anything. I contacted the seller and realized that the seller barely speaks English and is obviously located somewhere else but not in the US. I requested a full refund and the next day my account has been suspended.
I am now in the appeal process. I have never had a such terrible situation on Etsy!.

Shylock said...

I created my Etsy account in January and they suspended my account just like you said. I appealed and got it reinstated and received the same mail apologizing for the inconvenience.

I made my first sale 2 days back and I was so happy. The person even contacted me to buy more products. But Etsy suspended my account again after the sale. I was deeply disappointed because I did not break and policies to my knowledge. I have appealed to them and I keep receiving automated responses alone. I have decided to create my own website as a back up too. But atleast for the next couple weeks I would like to have my shop back so I can fulfill my first order for the client.
Is it common to have the shop suspended after the first sale?
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Juli Anne said...

Ugh, that's annoying. I have heard of people getting suspended either just as they open their shop, or just when they make their first sale. But normally it's just one or the other, not both, I don't think. Although I could be wrong. But if you're sure that you have not broken any rules, I would wait to see or try to contact them again.

Unknown said...

Nice post :)
Good that your account was restored. I'm on 3rd week and I still don't have any answer, only automatic answer that they will review and I should reply if I think they did a mistake. I didn't have patience so I already have 3 requests since then. Where I live Etsy is a very good option for artisans, so it's been hard for me to give away easily... but also I want to sell on another platform

Hardy Max said...

Etsy is scamming sellers, They do charge their commission , However after some time they will suspend your shop without any intimation or email. Such a crap marketplace which is handled buy mysterious bots. It's not etsy's fault, it's ours that we are fools that are investing our hard earned money, time and emotion to sell on etsy and letting etsy earn.

Unknown said...

Update: I commented when I was on 3rd week.
After nearly 1 month my account was finally reinstated. I was so sad and frustrated, but I follow your suggestion to wait instead of sending more messages and requests. After 27 days I finally got my account back. They didn't say why or how but I'm glad it's back.

But we'll be always aware that this could happen again (this was my 2nd time they suspended me with no reason). I suspect it was because of my VPN but I'm not sure. In any case I add an exception with Etsy sites on VPN settings.

But I agree with Max, sometimes I think is handled by bots.

Pascal said...

I opened 3 accounts and they've all be suspending within 5min. I never got any email about that decision. I made an appeal and after 17 days still haven't got any reply from them... What a terrible support work. I hope my accounts get reinstated soon so that I can start selling my products...

RunoTzr said...

Wow same thing happened to me and my girlfriend. We send appeals and waiting. This is the day 4 for her and 1. day for my suspension. I guees we need to find backup basket like Juli said.

peggy said...

Ugh!! This is currently happening to me. And I was hopeful that the person reviewing my account would reinstate it but when they got back to me and said that I was suspended for violating their terms, I was so upset!! I didn’t do anything wrong, my account is new so how does that even make sense.
I am still hoping they reinstate my account. It has always been a dream of mine to sell on Etsy!

Alyssa said...

I had the exact thing happen on July 1st! They said it was suspended in error and would be reinstated in 20 minutes (on July 2nd) I still do not have access and cannot get any ‘actual’ responses to reopen my shop. I opened my shop in march or april and had sales and it still heppenex. Im so frustrated, its been a month and a half…

Lindsey said...

Had this happen to about 3 of my etsy stores, due to a system glitch. Ended up losing about $3k in potential sales due to it and got lost in the etsy maze of customer support. Most frustrating thing ever. Ended up back on this thread as it happened again, no policies violated

Kathy said...

I'm in the same boat now. Suspended, no violations, no emails to explain why. It's been 4 weeks and no responses except to say I'm suspended and they can't talk to me about it further. It's so frustrating! I hadn't been open for a week and only had one sale (to my friend, no less!) I feel better to see that I'm not alone but I wish this didn't happen to any of us. I have emailed a handful of times, so maybe I'll just ignore it for awhile and see what happens. I wish someone from Etsy could just tell me why I was suspended.

Nenad said...

Same as Kathy, suspended 2 days after the first sale, which is so disappointing after putting a lot of effort into my Etsy shop.
No email outlining the reason for suspension. I appealed and Etsy says they sent a confirmation of the appeal received but nothing was received. I haven't experienced something like this on any platform, I am in a state of shock!

TheUnicorn said...

I’m right here now too! Was selling for a week and made nearly 10 sales and over £100 in that time! My account was suspended with no reason from Etsy just the generic automated emails. Filed an appeal and less than 25 hours later I get the dreaded automated email of we have reviewed and will not reinstate your account nor will we discuss it further. Absolutely appalling seller support here, they won’t even let you know why they shut you down and I have no way of knowing if I’ll ever get that money I made!! I have emailed and will hope for a response but In the mean time I’m off to shopify, I put so much effort and money into finally setting up my Etsy shop after YEARS of reservations and it looks like my reservations were well founded! Safe to say I filled in the automated customer response form with strongly disagree to all of their questions about ease of use and filing appeals aloud with some VERY strongly worded essays!

Such a shame because I have brought on Etsy for years with no trouble and I love supporting small businesses, they need to get their auto bots under control because it’s souring our opinion of what should be a fantastic opportunity for crafters worldwide!

Thankyou for your post it was so helpful in a time of desperation even if it didn’t work for me I’m still a little bit hopeful that perhaps on a few weeks a deal person might get back to me!

Compendium said...

Etsy suspended my account the first time before I could print the shipping label (I still got it to the post office and shipped within the hour) to my first sale. Etsy says oops and reinstated it. After the 90 day hold on my account was about to expire they slapped me with a reserve. Once the reserve expired they shut me down permanently.My shop was 6 months old I have had 4 sales and 2 5 star reviews and no reviews for the 2 sales at Christmas time. On Dec. 24 my account was permanently suspended with no reason given. I followed all their terms shipped same day answered any chats within 20 minutes. I appealed and I got a response in 15 minutes saying my account was gone for good. People are literally selling death curses without issue, but I spend 60 hours hand making something then underselling myself for what exactly? I am done with etsy forever and I will not only never sell I will also never buy. They will not get another dime from my pocket.

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