Etsy Success: Customer Issues and How to Solve them

So no matter how long you sell on etsy you most likely will encounter some kind of a situation where a customer isn't happy. Sometimes you just can't please everyone. The best thing to remember is your customer is always first..... period. That is if you want to stay successful and keep good business.

Today I want to share with you some situations I have experienced along the way and how I felt was the best way to fix it! Now that might not mean that you would do the same but sometimes it's a good idea to to try to see things in a different perspective.

Here are some examples and then my solutions...

1. Customer's product was damaged on arrival even though you tirelessly made efforts to wrap it good. You went as far as writing fragile all over the box so the mail man would understand.

Solve it:
 First thing to remember is to respond asap. Second thing is to apologize even though clearly it wasn't your fault. Third thing is to explain that you have no control over how the package is handled that when its in the post offices hands it is up to them to protect it. I would ask for proof with a picture of the item. If the item can be replaced I would send a new one. If the item is vintage and can not be replaced I would offer a refund.

2. Customer's idea of the product was not what they expected from what they saw on the internet. Even if the description and photos were crystal clear.

Solve it:
Find out what the customer expected from the product. If it's something as simple as the color was off or the size wasn't right then ask them to return the product as it came to them and either replace with a fixed product or refund.

3. Customer feels they were overcharged shipping (international... taxes and such).

Solve it:
This one really drove me crazy cause I wasn't 100% sure about taxes and charges in certain countries. For example someone may buy an item for 25 dollars but when they get it they have to pay 20 dollars in taxes because of their countries laws. Even if I paid 10 to ship it. However here is the thing you are not responsible to cover any of these charges. The customer is and should know and understand it. If you really want to cover your bottom be sure to make it clear in your customer policies.

4. Customer never received package!

Solve it:
This was a hard one to learn but before I started getting confirmation I always either resent a new package or refunded. However I usually asked the customer to wait another week to see if it would get to them by then. 9 out of 10 times it just took a little longer for it to reach them for who knows what reason. However what I learned out of this was it's worth paying for confirmation on every package!

5. Customer left negative or neutral feedback for a tiny little mishap. Maybe you thought you put instructions but didn't or part of the product wasn't what they expected.

Solve it:
Try Etsy's Kiss and Makeup Feature so that you can restore that feedback to positive. This requires you to fix the situation and both of you to leave positive feedback. Let the customer know that you are willing to fix the issue so that their etsy experience is a good one and that feedback won't hurt future sales.

6. Customer didn't receive package when they needed it. Maybe the post office told you it would arrive by then but it didn't.

Solve it: 
If the customer made it clear when they needed it and you agreed to it then it was your job to get it to them in time. So in this case I would offer a complete refund upon the item being returned as it was sent and apologize. If it was an expensive item and the customer still wants it I would give a partial refund for it being late maybe for the price it was to ship it. If there was never a note, email or any kind of evidence that the customer told you when they needed it then it isn't your fault. Be sure to respond in a nice way to let the customer know that there was no agreement on delivery.

7. Customer thinks shipping took too long.

Solve it:
Making it clear in your shop description and policies how long it will take to receive and item is crucial to how your customers leave feedback. If you had a situation where you couldn't get to the post office in a while or maybe you got it to the post office in time then be sure to let the customer know. If you got confirmation you can prove when it was shipped. If it was your fault apologize and offer a refund in shipping.

8. Customer is missing part of their package.

Solve it:
Answer promptly. Apologize and send out the missing piece asap! Throw in something extra if you feel like really making a good impression.

Most of these situations can be fixed by having a good set of policies in place or by including certain details in the description so remember that! Most of the time I didn't even think about certain things until a customer made an issue about it and then you better believe I made sure it was clear next time.

So let me know what you think? Would you handle situations differently?

Also if there is any Questions you have about etsy that you would like me to answer in the next etsy success post I would love to hear and I will leave it anonymous! So drop me a line...

courtney_howard68@eku.edu and title your email ETSY SUCCESS. Otherwise it might get lost !


  1. Good info! Ive wondered some of these things myself when i started my etsy store. Its hard putting a product that you made by hand and put love, care, and time ino creating/photographing/listing it, and you have to leave it up to the postal service to ship it properly and in a timely manner. I would love to read more tips! Your store is inspirational!

    1. Thanks! I have already thought of a couple more future posts! I love sharing advice!

  2. love reading these posts. thanks for sharing this!


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