GET YOUR FREE GUIDE: 5 Proven Steps to Getting Daily Sales on Etsy >>>

Sarah Waggoner

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Effective Strategies for Handling Negative Reviews on Etsy

orange arrow

No matter how amazing your products are and how great of customer service you provide, eventually most Etsy sellers will get a bad review from a customer who just isn’t happy. So how should you respond to a bad review on Etsy? I have some tips for you in this article.

The Importance of Customer Reviews on Etsy

Besides helping you feel good about the products you’re creating, reviews on Etsy play an important part in helping to get you found in search. Your reviews are including in your listing quality score which is a factor in the Etsy search algorithm. Your review score is also factored into your Star Seller ranking on Etsy.

Strategies for Preventing Negative Reviews

Our first goal is always to prevent a bad review. It’s not always possible, but you’ll definitely want to try. Here are my best tips for preventing negative reviews:

  • Easy to read, accurate descriptions: Buyers don’t always read our descriptions thoroughly, so your job is to make them as easy to read as possible so your buyers know exactly what they’re purchasing.
  • Ship quickly and on time: Buyers want products that ship as quickly as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to ship everything in 1 business day, but do try as best as you can to get processing times as low as possible. This will depend greatly on the type of product you make, so pay attention to your competition.
  • Answer your Etsy messages promptly: Don’t leave a buyer hanging! Etsy recommends responding to messages within 24 hours.
  • Take responsibility for inferior products: Mistakes happen. It’s just a fact. Sometimes you might send a product out incorrectly. Sometimes a product might break quickly even with normal use. Decide on your customer service standards and help customers who having an poor experience with your product.

How to Handle a Negative Review

If you have a process for how to respond to a bad review on Etsy, it will make dealing with them easier. This is what I do anytime I get a negative review:

Take care of yourself

I spend the first 24 hours writing out responses exactly how I would want to say them in my head. These are usually not nice and consist of way too many four letter words for the general public. But it helps me work through all of those negative emotions that would have you responding from a bad place.

Reach out to the buyer

After I’ve cooled off and slept on that review for a night, I reach out to the buyer if appropriate. We aren’t going to be able to reason with every single buyer that leaves a bad review. But most will be grateful for them help you give them, no matter what their issue is.

Respond to the review

You’ll want to respond to the review from a truly neutral mindset and address future buyers. DO NOT argue with the review. I rarely am turned off from buying from a store that has a few one star reviews, but I sure as heck have not purchased a product after reading rude responses to reviews from the owner of the shop.

Decide how much it matters

Last, you’ll need to decide how much weight this review should hold. Obviously, none of us wants a one star review. But there’s some you can learn from and some you can’t. So if you get a bad review, I want you to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there anything I could have done differently?
  • Is there anything I need to change to make my listing description more clear or easier to skim?
  • Do I place value in this feedback?

It’s totally ok if you don’t place any value in the feedback provided by a buyer who just wasn’t a good fit for your business. But you need to be honest with yourself about this particular question even if it bruises your ego.

Then you take the answer you had for this last time and either do something about it or forget about it. 

Utilizing Customer Feedback to Improve Your Etsy Shop

If you’ve decided to do something about the feedback you’ve received, you’ll want to make changes slowly. Create a list of everything you could do to fix the problem then narrow that list down to what actions will be the most effective. Don’t change anything from a place of reactivity. Instead, thoughtfully make changes that your customers will value.

Want to learn more about how to respond to a bad review on Etsy? Check out this podcast episode then sign up for my free review guide.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Author:
portrait of Sarah Waggoner

Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

The Handmade Shop Podcast
Listen to my Podcast:
5 Proven Steps Mockup image
Free guide to getting daily sales on Etsy

Recent Posts

Start getting daily sales on Etsy!

Enter your name and email below to grab a copy of my free workbook that walks you through the 5 steps to get more consistent sales on Etsy in the simplest way possible.

5 Proven Steps Mockup image

By subscribing above you’ll be added to our newsletter list. You’re welcome to unsubscribe at anytime. We don’t do spam. We collect, use and process your data according to our Privacy Policy.