Etsy introduced the Star Seller badge at the end of 2021, and they’ve adjusted the system a little since then.
I wrote about it in this article when it first came out (Etsy Star Seller- What Do Sellers Think?) and the details about what it is and how it works in that article are still accurate. But there have been a couple of changes that make it look like Etsy is going to be using the program for more things in the future.
What benefits are there if you’re a Star Seller on Etsy?
The Etsy Star Seller program has limited direct benefits for sellers at this point, but there are a few of things that it does do. First, if you have the Star Seller badge you won’t have to be worried about payment reserves because Etsy won’t put one on your account. Second, if you have the Star Seller badge you’ll have a live chat button available on your shop dashboard if that option to contact Etsy is available at that time. Third, the Star Seller badge is now included as a filter in search filters.
Chat support button on the shop dashboard.
A lot of sellers seem to think that Star Sellers have extra customer service access but that’s not true. All sellers still have access to whatever customer service is available but not all options are always available, it just depends on the time of day and who is staffing the support at that point.
This doesn’t mean that other sellers won’t have the chat button available, it just means that Star Sellers will have easier access to it because the button will be on their dashboards.
Sellers who aren’t Star Sellers will still be able to go to the “Contact Etsy” section and have chat support available if it’s available at that time. Etsy chat isn’t available 24 hours a day, but everyone has access to it what it is, it’s not reserved only for Star Sellers.
(For an article about how to contact Etsy, click here)
All sellers still have access to every other type of support available, so the benefit of the Star Seller badge is really only having a shortcut to chat. It’s not having extra support that other sellers don’t have.
So is this really a benefit or not? Not really, it’s only a shortcut, it’s not an added perk.
Etsy Star Sellers won’t have payment reserves put on their accounts.
The other perk that Star Sellers have, and this really is a perk, is that you won’t have payment reserves put on your account if you have the Star Seller badge.
This really is a benefit because if you have a payment reserve it can be a real hassle to get it taken off of your account, and you have absolutely no control over when you’re going to be paid by Etsy.
Having the Star Seller badge means that you won’t get a payment reserve regardless of the situation, and if you get the badge while you have a payment reserve on your account it should be lifted by Etsy.
Since Etsy puts payment reserves on your account for a variety of reasons, you might get a reserve put on your shop even if you have a good selling history. The Star Seller badge is a protection against that happening.
Star Sellers can be filtered in search results.
This is a new “perk” for shops that have the Star Seller badge, and I only saw it today when it was pointed out to me in my Tuesday Live Q&A on YouTube. Etsy has added “Filter by Star Seller” to the filters in Etsy search, so customers can now filter to see only Star Seller shops.
This is actually a good thing for Star Sellers because anything that drops the competition level is going to help you be found in search easier.
How many customers will use this is up for debate, though. We’ll have to wait to see if it makes a difference, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever know if it brings more traffic and sales because we don’t get the stats about how customers search for things!
Those are the only direct “benefits” that Etsy gives to sellers who have the Star Seller badge, but there might be other indirect benefits that come from customers who are shopping and see the Star Seller badge.
What do customers think of the Star Seller badge?
There can be indirect benefits to having the Star Seller badge because customers assume that the rating means that Etsy is endorsing the seller.
The question of whether it accurately does rate customer service is another argument. There are a lot of resellers and copyright infringers that have the Star Seller badge, so it isn’t really a promise of business integrity, but people don’t know that.
The fact is that Etsy knows that people will see the Star Seller badge and have a little bit more trust in those sellers, and that’s why they use it even if they don’t really know what it means, or whether it filters out “bad” sellers (it doesn’t work that way.)
Because some sellers don’t make the sales threshold, or can’t send everything with tracking because of the costs of their country’s postal system, there are a lot of excellent sellers who won’t ever get the badge.
That’s the main thing that sellers aren’t happy about, because the Star Seller criteria aren’t 100% applicable to everyone.
So the basics of Star Seller are just telling customers whether we’re doing the job that we’re supposed to be doing, but it doesn’t accurately rate us as far as some of the criteria go.
Customers don’t know that, though, and soon after Etsy started putting the Star Seller badge on people’s shops they then came along and started adding the sections that people do rate highly with even if they didn’t make all three criteria for star seller.
It’s obvious that Etsy’s just trying to drive confidence in the site as a whole, so they’re putting as many badges on shops and listings as they can.
Does Star Seller help with Etsy search placement?
As far as search placement goes, Star Seller is not a factor in how well a shop will show up in search at this point, but Etsy has mentioned that it might be a factor in the future. Like I mentioned above, it’s now being used as a filter in search. So while it’s not directly related to giving you a better search placement, it can help you be found easier in filtered search results.
If you have the Star Seller badge you probably have a good shop quality score. Shop quality score is one of the factors in search placement, so they kind of go together. But in general, the badge itself is not going to be the reason why you’re showing up well in search.
Your shop quality score is only one of the things that Etsy looks at when they’re deciding on search ranking, and it’s made up of factors like reviews, customer service, shipping speed, but also things like total sales that you make, and other factors.
The Star Seller badge in and of itself is not the reason why you would rank higher in search. If at any point Etsy does say that it’s a factor, your shop quality rating is probably high enough that it’s not going to make that much of a difference.
The truth is that if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, your shop quality score is going to reflect that whether or not you have a Star Seller badge. The shop quality score is already a factor in search ranking, so if Etsy ever decides to say that Star Seller is going to be a factor it’s kind of redundant.
So the question is basically whether there is any real benefit from Etsy to being a Star Seller. And the answer is “kind of,” because for the most part, it doesn’t give you many added benefits, but it does protect you from payment reserves and lets your shop show up in the search filter.
Star Seller might be a draw for customers who don’t know what the rating actually means. But my feeling is that most customers are going to look at reviews before purchasing, and if most of the components of a Star Seller badge are there to begin with, the badge itself isn’t going to make much of a difference if the customer really wants to purchase that item from the shop.
So at this point, the Star Seller badge is cute and it might have an indirect effect on customers, but it doesn’t do anything that your shop quality score does as far as search ranking goes.
If the Star Seller badge disappeared tomorrow, your search placement probably wouldn’t change, but it might be harder to get out of a payment reserve. That seems to be the main benefit that I can see at this point, but if that changes in the future I’ll update this article with that information.
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