How Long Does An Etsy Refund Take To Go Through?


When you get a refund for something on Etsy, you might wonder why the money isn’t transferred back to you right away.

Because Etsy transactions go through several steps, those steps take a bit to reverse themselves, and refunds might take some time.

As a general rule, domestic refunds on Etsy can take 2-5 days to show up on a credit card, and international refunds can take up to 30 days. When a refund is issued for an Etsy sale, the payment is reversed through the payment processor, who then takes over on their own timeline, and the seller is unable to speed the process up.

Sellers don’t see any customer information as far as the payment goes, so we can’t speed things up even though we might like to!

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Some items aren’t returnable, so check the refund policy for each shop before purchasing!

The message that sellers receive when a cancelation happens...Etsy says it takes 2-5 business days to see the refund.
The message that sellers receive when a cancelation happens…Etsy says it takes 2-5 business days to see the refund.

Why doesn’t the refund show up right away?

Refunds for anything that’s purchased online have to go through the payment processor, which is generally a credit card company or Paypal. When this happens the refund is treated as a single transaction and isn’t handled the same way as the original payment, which is processed in a series of steps that the customer doesn’t see.

When you buy something using a credit card, it gives the seller (in this case, Etsy,) an authorization number so that the payment can be applied on paper. The actual transfer of money between banks doesn’t happen automatically, though, it can take a day or two to complete.

We don’t see the delay in the purchasing part of it, but when the selling platform issues a refund there’s no authorization, it’s just a refund.

So it takes as long as the bank wants to take to process things, and even though the seller issues the refund, the money might not show up right away.

It’s the same principle as when a deposit goes into your bank account but it’s marked “pending,” it just means that it’s happened on paper, but the money isn’t actually there yet.

To see the directory of Artisans you won’t want to return things to, click here.

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Can the Etsy seller refund me directly to speed things up?

Etsy sellers can’t issue refunds on their own, they have to use the Etsy payment platform, which isn’t something that we own. The Etsy payments system backend isn’t something that we have access to, and we can’t see customer payment information or affect the speed of the process ourselves.

Etsy protects customer payment information by processing payments for sellers, and we don’t see any of your private payment information.

We can’t enter payments on your behalf, and we can’t issue credits or refunds outside of the Etsy payment system.

It’s a way to protect customer information, and it also gives Etsy the ability to offer buyer and seller protection by controlling the transaction.

The Etsy seller has to manually enter a refund to put it into the Etsy system, but we don’t handle any of the financial information that goes with it, so customers need to wait for Etsy’s system to process the payment.

Can I get a shop credit instead of a refund?

If you prefer to get a credit in the shop you need to contact the shop owner to see if that’s something they’re open to. It may not be something that most people will want to keep track of, though, so it’s probably easier to just get a refund in order to keep each transaction separate.

If you’re exchanging something, you would be communicating with the shop owner anyway, so it doesn’t hurt to see if they’re open to arranging some kind of credit for a future purchase.

However, I wouldn’t do it and I wouldn’t recommend that other sellers do it. It’s too difficult to keep track of that kind of thing.

It might also be something that voids the Etsy buyer and seller protection, because they have a lot of restrictions about how the tracking for orders is handled.

It’s much better to just refund the original order and buy something later with a separate transaction.

Where can I see if my refund was issued?

To see if a refund was issued on your Etsy order, go to your profile in the purchases and reviews section. Find the order that you want to check on, and click on “View receipt.” This will open up the full receipt, and the refund should show up there if it’s been issued by the seller.

Just because the seller has issued the refund, though, it might not post to your credit card or Paypal right away.

Etsy says that it can take 2-5 days for domestic orders to show up on a credit card, and up to 30 days for international orders.

During that time period, the seller has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that they can do to speed this up! Remember that we don’t have access to the payment system on Etsy, so we have no control over that.

As long as the refund is showing up on your receipt, the seller has done what they need to do to issue the refund, and you’ll just have to wait for your bank to process it.

For an article that has instructions about how to claim your prior purchases if you checked out as a guest, click here: How To Leave Reviews On Etsy (And How Guests Can.)

What should I do if the seller says they refunded but it’s not on the receipt?

If the seller says that they issued a refund already, but it’s not showing up on your receipt, ask them to send you a screenshot of the transaction on their end. It should show that a refund was issued and the amount of the refund. If it’s not showing in your receipts, it could be an Etsy glitch or a delay, so give it a day and check the receipt again.

Refund showing on the receipt.
Refund showing on the receipt.

If it still doesn’t show up on your receipt, you might want to try contacting Etsy directly, because once the seller issues the refund they won’t have any more information that they can give you.

Etsy doesn’t make it easy to contact them, though, so here’s an article about how to do that with some tricks to try to make it a little easier: How To Contact Etsy For Buyers and Sellers

If the seller has sent you a screenshot showing that they did issue the refund, it won’t help to open a case against them, they’ve done what they can do.

Chances are, it’s a glitch on Etsy’s end and the refund is processing but just isn’t showing up. Contact them to make sure that the refund is processing, but please understand that the seller won’t be able to help you with this since we don’t handle payments!


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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