Etsy’s Purchase Protection Program for Customers: What You Should Know


Etsy started a Purchase Protection Program in 2022 that takes care of some issues with shipping orders.

This program is meant to protect both the buyer and the seller, because it will refund orders so that neither person loses money if things happen to the shipment.

The Etsy Purchase Protection Program covers, with some limitations, packages that are lost in transit, as long as the shop is within the parameters of the program’s guidelines. It will also cover the cost of replacing one package per year as the result of damage, and against customer claims of certain other problems with delivery.

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(To see the official guidelines for the Etsy Purchase Protection ProgramOpens in a new tab., click here.)

Etsy Purchase Protection Program basic terms of use.

Basic terms of the program from Etsy's terms of use section
Basic terms of the program

The basic terms of use of this program are spelled out and give Etsy the right to change or end the program at any time That’s pretty standard, but we also have to look at what else this says.

First, Etsy is the decider. Etsy gets to make the decision about whether they’ll reimburse a lost package, and that decision is final.

I suspect that there will be times when we do or don’t get a response that we like as sellers, so be aware that this program doesn’t guarantee that every lost package request is going to be approved.

We have no legal claim against Etsy under the program, which is pretty standard legalese that means we can’t sue them if we’re mad about a decision.

The main thing that’s happened recently is that Etsy makes the customer contact the seller first through the order receipt in the purchases and reviews section, then they have to wait 48 hours to file the actual claim.

So if the customer contacts the seller through the message system, it won’t start the clock on being able to file a purchase protection claim. They need to use the official “contact the seller” form in the order receipt, then wait 48 hours after that to file the claim.

crushed package
This would be covered once a year.

How does the purchase protection program work for customers?

Etsy will refund the cost of an order if the seller has met the requirements of the program, which are:

Sending the package with tracking or with a shipping label purchased from Etsy.

-Sending the pacakge within the estimated processing times stated on the listing.

-If the package was sent to the address on the order and not changed to something else afterward.

-If the value of the package plus the cost of shipping is $250 or less.

To file a purchase protection claim, you need to contact the seller using the form on the order in your purchases and reviews section on Etsy. You can’t do it throught he Etsy messaging system, it has to start in the official form.

48 hours after sending that message, you can file a claim through purchase protection.

The reason for the 48-hour delay is because packages can sometimes be delivered a couple of days after the post office scans them in as delivered, so sometimes you’ll get a notice that your package has arrived but it isn’t there yet.

Etsy also tends to underestimate the delivery times for packages, so don’t trust their estimated delivery dates.

I’ve had things delivered three days after I got the delivery notice, so it usually helps to wait a day or two to see if the package shows up.

Waiting will also give you a chance to communicate with the seller to see if there’s a solution other than filing a claim.

What’s included in the plan?

The Purchase Protection Program includes refunds for packages that are lost in transit, and one damaged package per calendar year. It will also cover the refund cost for customer disputes where the customer says the item wasn’t as described, but Etsy decides that the seller is right and did send the correct item. If Etsy says the customer is right for items not as described cases, the seller still has to pay.

Etsy also told me in a customer service chat that if a customer says the package wasn’t received but it’s marked as delivered, they’ll cover the cost of the refund to the customer as long as the other pieces of the shipping puzzle qualify.

They’ve also covered the refund for packages that sellers sent to the address that the customer put down when they told the seller later that it was the wrong address.

As long as the seller did their part, Etsy seems to be covering those types of situations, unless the order was over $250.

Etsy will only cover orders up to $250 in value, including shipping and taxes. If you have orders that are above that amount, you’d better buy insurance anyway, but that comes with its own set of complications, which I’ll talk about a little later.

Can I change an address on an Etsy order after I place the order?

Since the purchase protection program only covers packages that are sent to the address on the original order, Etsy sellers can’t change the address after the order is placed.

Iknow that people would do that in the past, but scammers figured that out and would use stolen credit cards to buy, then they would contact the seller to change the shipping address.

Etsy is trying to close that loophole by making sellers send things to the verified address, which is going to be the one that the customer entered when they placed the order.

If you need to change the shipping address afterward, the seller will probably tell you that they’ll need to cancel the order so that you can reorder with the correct information. That’s what Etsy has told us to do, and it’s the only way to guarantee that purchase protection will apply to the order.

What if a customer files too many claims?

If Etsy thinks that a customer is taking advantage of the purchase protection program, they can get kicked out of it. Meaning they won’t be able to file any more claims.

And in certain situations, Etsy has been known to ban people from shopping on Etsy completely.

As long as you only use the program when it’s really needed, that’s probably safe. But if you start filing a lot of purchase protection claims, Etsy might take action on their end.

Make sure to try working with the seller, they might be able to help give you information about what to do if your package is marked delivered but you didn’t get it.

Speaking of which, here are some tips to try in case that does happen: What to do if your Etsy package is stolen


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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