7 Etsy Star Seller Backlash And The Programme Flaws

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Etsy Star Seller backlash and flaws
Etsy Star Seller backlash and flaws

Are you experiencing Etsy Star Seller flaws? or you have seen a lot of Etsy Star Seller backlash and complaints, and as a buyer or a seller you keep wondering what is going on.


At the beginning of August 2021, most Etsy sellers that are qualified for the star seller badge got access to a “Star Seller” area of the Etsy Shop Manager dashboard to set them apart from other sellers.


This section of the dashboard gives proper insights into a seller’s performance in each of the customer services available on Etsy. These customer services include message response times, shipping speed, and five-star ratings.

According to Esty, for a seller to be qualified to get the Star Seller badge, your shop must be able to respond to 95 percent of messages as soon as possible at least within 24 hours. You also have to ship 95% of orders on time and it must have tracking, get 95% of reviews with five-star ratings, and you must have successfully shipped at least 10 orders and $300 in sales over the past 3 months.

The current CEO of Etsy Josh Silverman made it known that the Star Seller badge program aims to provide sellers with the metrics that will reveal the customer services that buyers care about the most, and how to improve their performance in achieving better customer services to their buyers.

He noted that most Etsy SEO tutorials that are online don’t necessarily make the buying experience better, such as “keyword stuffing”. He said to put more keywords in the title of the product, doesn’t make the buying experience better.

Despite aiming the program to provide excellent customer service, there is a lot of Etsy Star Seller backlash from sellers. Most sellers are taking to the Etsy forums to express their concerns and the flaws with the Etsy star seller programme.

So in this article, we are going to give you a comprehensive list of Etsy star seller backlash and flaws. This article will let you know whether it is worth getting the star seller badge as a seller or not.

You can as well check out the benefits of Etsy star seller

1. Poor Design

Most Etsy sellers who fancy design and the beauty of what they see, have considered poor design as one of the flaws with the Etsy star seller programme.

Popular Etsy seller and also award-winning jewelry maker known by the name ChainOfBeauty, who is also an analyst and had evaluated different programs for 25 years, called the Etsy star seller program “poorly designed”.

According to one of his Etsy star seller complaints based on his view on the design of this program, he wrote: “It is clear to me that in designing this system, Etsy did not employ statisticians or research scientists.”

CLICK TO CHECK OUT: How To Make Money On Etsy Without Making Anything: 8 Easy Steps

2. Tracking number flaws

Etsy stated that buyers have to get at least 95% of orders shipped on time and it must have either tracking numbers or through Etsy shipping labels.

So firstly, the Etsy Star Seller backlash circulating on the community forum is based on the fact that Etsy shipping labels are not yet available in a lot of countries, so that’s unfair to international sellers and those who ship their products themself.

Speaking of tracking numbers, tracking is not standard in most countries as not all delivery methods generate a tracking number. With this, the Etsy Star Seller programme received backlash from a lot of sellers who ship through the post office.

One of Etsy star seller complaints about tracking number flaws on the Esty community forum says:

“There is no way to indicate that you ship from the post office because Etsy doesn’t accept proof of posting when you can’t afford to add tracking. When you don’t have a tracking number, Etsy will say though your processing time might be ok, you didn’t ship it on time.”

While tracking is a good indicator that a particular product is delivered, the Etsy star seller flaws when it uses the absence of a tracking number to indicate that the product is not delivered on time.

3. Message response rate flaws

How Etsy measured sellers’ responsiveness to buyers’ messages is one of the heartbreaking Etsy Star Seller flaws that have been expressed by many sellers.

According to Etsy, Responding to up to 95% of buyers’ messages within 24 hours demonstrate the seller’s responsiveness to buyers messages. Etsy says It’s a nice metric to show excellent customer service to the buyer.

However, Etsy sellers have expressed that for this metric to be used, the program should have a technology that would separate messages that require a response from those that do not. And also, the 24 hours response rate should not include holidays and weekends.

According to most sellers, the system failed to differentiate sellers’ messages that needed a response from those that don’t need a response. The system applied a message response rate to all messages including holidays and weekends, and this has caused a lot of Etsy Star Seller backlash.

One of the Etsy star seller complaints on the Etsy community forum about message response rate says:

“I have been ranked at 88% for responding to messages, despite answering every single one as quickly as possible. Apparently, in my last 17 messages, I answered them all within 24 hours except for one. The one message I didn’t answer was simply a reply from a buyer.. a Thank you, telling me a custom order had arrived having been shipped to the US.”

The Star Seller message response rating does not also differentiate between messages that are sent to you by your customers as a seller from the messages sent to you by the shop owner whom you have purchased things from as a buyer. The star seller system simply tracks every message sent to your account, irrespective of its relationship to your Etsy shop.

Also, many Etsy sellers have raised concerns in situations where customers or buyers send more than one message at once such as:

1st message: “Hello”,
2nd message: “I saw your T-shirt it’s nice and I ordered it”
3rd message: “when is my order coming?”

In this scenario, it is not possible to respond to each message immediately after you received them because they all came at once and probably when you were busy. Even though you are right in your inbox at the time, you can’t possibly give each of them a separate reply.

So when the seller responds to these messages or answers the buyers’ questions with only one reply, the system would record it as two ignored messages and give you a low message response rate. This is regarded as a big flaw with the Etsy star seller program according to most Etsy sellers.

4. 95% of reviews with five-star ratings

Another Etsy Star Seller backlash that is popular among sellers, especially smaller sellers is the 95% of reviews with five-star ratings that are needed to qualify. According to the sellers, this unfairly impacts smaller shops.

For instance, as a small shop owner on Etsy and you are doing everything you can to have sales, but you only have that minimum of 10 orders in the three months period. If one customer gives you a four-star review, that means you are in big trouble.

Whereas if a shop that has 100 orders in that three months period gets 4 four-star ratings from 4 buyers, they are still in the 95% of reviews threshold, so that is not a big deal for them.

Also, putting more consideration to five-star review ratings will give the buyers more leverage to bully and take advantage of the sellers, which is one of the Etsy Star Seller flaws.

Another thing that people don’t understand and not well explained by Etsy is that the ratings are not in the order you have had in these three months period, the ratings are based on when the rating comes in.

For instance, If you are a little close to getting your three months badge and you get an order at the end of the month, that is not going to count if you get a five-star rating because that rating is going to come in in the next month.

Most people are reporting this as Etsy Star Seller Flaws saying something like: how can I have 7, 8, 9 ratings when I have only made three sales? It is because it’s looking at the number of ratings you have and not the number of sales you have.

5. It is not a search filter

Etsy Star Seller is not a search filter
Etsy Star Seller is not a search filter

Most Etsy sellers, including some buyers, expected the Etsy star seller to be part of the search filter, which would be a good advantage to Etsy shops that have the badge as well as Etsy buyers who are searching for items from Etsy shops with excellent customer services.

Contrary to their expectations, the Etsy Star Seller programme received backlash when sellers expressed their concern on how the Etsy star seller badge is not included in the search filter, and this Etsy Star Seller backlash is a result of the too many flaws of the Etsy Star Seller programme.

6. Orders and sales

Another Etsy Star Seller Backlash is the number of orders and sales required to get the Etsy star seller badge which is regarded as another way small shop owners were disadvantaged.

A lot of Etsy sellers especially the smaller sellers expressed their concern on why the number of orders and sales matters when the whole point of the star seller badge is to determine excellent customer service.

Sellers who sell expensive items usually seller little items compared to those who sell cheaper items. Most of the time, they make more than the $300 threshold with only 5 orders out of the 10 orders that are required to qualify for the programme.

Most sellers have taken the number of sales required to get a star seller badge to be one of the flaws with the Etsy star seller programme and this has also caused Etsy Star Seller backlash.

7. It does not increase search ranking

Since the star seller program aims at improving the customer service of Etsy sellers, most sellers expected the Etsy star seller program to be a system that will help promote shops with the Star seller badge more than shops without the badge.

By favoring those with star seller badges in terms of promotion on the Etsy platform, the program would be rewarding to those who have the badge and as well show buyers the sellers that have more excellent customer service.

Contrary to sellers’ expectations, many people have noticed that the Etsy star seller badge does not affect search ranking. Therefore a lot of sellers have concluded that having the Etsy star seller badge on your shop is not worth dying for since it’s no impact on the ranking factors.


Above is the list of Etsy star seller backlash and flaws and we hope this article helps you to know the Etsy star seller backlash or covers the flaws with the Etsy star seller programme that you are personally experiencing.

The bottom line is that every new program usually has issues and flaws when first released, but with time, the people in charge will start looking into those flaws one after the other.

To help in fixing Etsy Star Seller flaws, you should not hesitate to report any that you are personally experiencing to the Etsy technical team. It’s only when their team is aware of these Etsy Star Seller Flaws and issues that they will look into it.

After reporting those flaws, just ignore the Star Seller Programme and keep on having great customer service and great products for your buyer, and hopefully, everything will start getting better without causing any other Etsy star seller backlash.

Drop your opinion in the comment on whether the Star Seller program is worth it for sellers and also whether the program accurately gives buyers the quality of a seller’s customer service.

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  1. Thank you for your article. I have to say that 4 months later and the same flaws remain. I won’t be surprised if a class action lawsuit come out of this. These flaws are affecting seller’s income. It took me over a month to learn that an algorithm or software issue messed up and I lost my badge. My sales, customer acquisition and number of reviews have all decreased since this program started and I have not done anything differently. Now going in to my biggest month of sales I cannot even find a seller’s support link or email address to get help to send my screenshot photos of proof that the program, not my “customer service” was not up to par. This program should have been run in some type of Beta program where badges weren’t seen by public. This is costing seller’s money. I personally am going to look at other options for selling my hand made goods in the New Year.

  2. I have one sale that Etsy says I didn’t respond to with 24 hours. However I did respond within this time. The order cam in at November 28 th at 11.40pm in the evening and I responded the next day November 29 th at 3.02 pm.
    How do I get Etsy to change this?

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