Can You Leave A Review On Etsy Without Buying?


Can you leave a review on Etsy if you’re not an actual customer? The short answer is no.

To leave a review on Etsy you have to have purchased the thing you’re reviewing from an Etsy shop, and you also have to be a registered buyer. This means that you can’t leave random reviews for products if you haven’t purchased them, or if you bought them from the same seller on a different platform. You also have to be a registered Etsy user, you can’t only have a Guest account.

You might be wondering why you can’t leave a review without purchasing on Etsy if you bought from the seller somewhere else, but there are good reasons for it. There are also ways to leave a review if you bought something as a guest, so read on.

Can You Leave A Review On Etsy Without Buying?

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Picture from an Etsy review
Etsy verifies purchases to make sure that the customer actually bought the item.

What do reviews on Etsy actually rate?

Etsy reviews don’t rate Etsy, they rate the items that you buy from individual Etsy shop owners. Because of that, Etsy limits the ability to leave a review to people who have verified purchases from a shop. If they didn’t limit this, it’s pretty likely that people who are mad at Etsy would leave a bunch of random reviews about Etsy, not about the products.

There are other websites that rate businesses in general, like Yelp and Google Reviews. The ones that don’t verify the actual use of a website tend to fill up with people who have an axe to grind and aren’t really customers.

Those kinds of unverified reviews don’t help much because they don’t provide a balanced view of anything.

Etsy’s review system guarantees that people who are leaving a review are actual customers, and even if they’re not leaving a balanced review (not everyone does) they’re at least a registered user and have bought what they’re reviewing.

To see the full Artisan Shopping Directory sections, including signups for discounts, click here.

Image of an order placed with a Guest checkout
Guest buyers can’t leave reviews unless they register and claim the order

Can unregistered buyers leave reviews on Etsy?

If you checked out on Etsy as a guest, and you don’t have an Etsy account, you can’t leave a review unless you register later and claim your purchases. This will let Etsy verify your purchase so that you can leave a review and have it associated with your account.

For an article that goes over how to register after purchasing something and claim your orders, click here: How To Leave Reviews On Etsy

The reason that you can’t leave reviews on Etsy if you checked out as an unregistered user is that it prevents people from leaving what I refer to as “nuisance” reviews.

Those would be things like fake reviews that are meant to damage a business’s reputation or review rating.

I think that we’ve all seen this happen when a gang of internet users decide to complain about a business for whatever reason, and they swarm onto their website or another site like Yelp in order to post a bad review.

It doesn’t matter if they’ve actually been to that business or not, if they’re allowed to leave a review that’s intended to unfairly target a business they can do a lot of damage with reviews that aren’t based on real-life activity.

Etsy prevents this by limiting the ability to leave a review to people who are registered for an Etsy account and who have actually purchased the item they’re reviewing.

Even though there will always be people who find a way to abuse whatever system’s in place, this pretty much limits the ability of people to basically be online jerks.

Click for the video

Image of the A Cake To Remember website
Bought from the seller’s website? You can’t leave an Etsy review.

Can you leave a review on Etsy if you bought the item from the seller’s website?

If you bought from the seller somewhere other than Etsy, like from their website or on a different platform like eBay, you can’t leave a review on Etsy. Etsy reviews are limited to the purchases that are made on Etsy specifically. That way, the review reflects the buying experience on Etsy, not on another platform.

An Etsy review is supposed to be about the whole buying experience on Etsy, including the customer service and the product too.

Reviews also play a part in the shop and listing quality scores that Etsy uses for search placement, so they want sellers to prioritize customer service on Etsy, not on other platforms.

Since sellers are being rated on their services and products on Etsy, limiting reviews to things that actually happened on Etsy is important.

If a seller gives great customer service on their own website but terrible service on Etsy, it wouldn’t be accurate to let website purchases be rated in their Etsy shop.

Keeping reviews to only the things that are purchased on Etsy, and only letting registered users leave reviews, is one way to try to keep the review system honest.

As online purchases increase over time, a lot of platforms are being stricter about who can leave reviews, and they’re more likely to verify purchases before allowing someone to review something.

It’s actually a way to protect sellers from being targeted unfairly, and it gives buyers a more accurate view of the products and service they’ll get from the Etsy shop owner.


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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