Why Does Etsy Suspend Accounts? 10 Main Reasons

If you sell on Etsy, you probably have a fear of having your account suspended, because it can happen if you’re selling on a platform that you don’t own yourself.

There are usually some pretty clear reasons why an Etsy shop has been suspended, but sometimes there’s no obvious reason and Etsy won’t give you any answers. Etsy is notorious for closing shops without any communication and then telling you to “look for the email” when you question what happened.

The problem is, there’s usually no email, and very little recourse.

Following are some common reasons why Etsy closes a shop, and a few less obvious ones.

Why Does Etsy Suspend Accounts? 10 Main Reasons

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Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay me a small commission if they’re used to purchase something. To see the entire affiliate policy click here.

Having an overdue balance.

The easiest way to get your account suspended is to have an overdue balance at the end of the month. This is also the easiest way to get your account back, because when you pay your bill, your account should be un-suspended.

If it doesn’t happen automatically, give it a few hours and see if your account is reactivated.

If your shop isn’t active within 24 hours, contact Etsy to see what’s going on. Nobody else will be able to answer questions about this, it would only be pure speculation.

To contact Etsy, read this article, because they don’t make it easy: How To Contact Etsy

Click for the video

One common reason for having your shop shut down is that you’ve had too many copyright infringement complaints lodged against your shop. If you’re a repeat offender Etsy will suspend your selling privileges.

If you get a complaint and it’s not true, meaning that you designed everything yourself, from scratch, without any clipart or anything that could actually be copyrighted, you can file a counterclaim with Etsy, but you’d better be sure you’re legally in the clear.

When you buy clipart and other elements from other people, you don’t know if they stole them from somewhere else, and it’s you who will get in trouble for using them, not the person who sold them to you.

If you don’t file a counterclaim, you’re basically telling Etsy that you did violate a copyright, so it counts against your shop.

They can put a payment reserve on your account, or they could close your shop if it happens often enough in their opinion.

So make sure that all of your designs are your own original work, do your research to make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s designs or trademarks, and you’ll be able to file a counterclaim and avoid getting a black mark against your shop.

Too many cases opened against your shop.

This is similar to the copyright thing, because it’s basically having too many complaints filed against your shop. The kind of complaint that counts for this are the cases that are filed for not-as-described orders and other things that are your fault.

For cases that are opened using the purchase protection program, Etsy has said that they don’t count those as counting against your shop.

However, I’ve heard anecdotal evidence (and seen the emails) that shows Etsy warning UK sellers about too many purchase protection claims opened against their shop when there was a postal outage and packages were delayed.

So it might actually be bad if you have your customers use purchase protection too often, which would make sense because they don’t want people to abuse the system.

In most situations it shouldn’t get your shop suspended, but be aware that you don’t want to let Etsy handle every situation all the time. It’s always better to help your own customers and not hand them off to Etsy at the drop of a hat if you can help it.

Too many low reviews.

Another reason why Etsy shops are suspended is too many low reviews. The question is what counts as “too many,” since Etsy doesn’t have a clear system set up to tell us.

I’ve seen Etsy sellers on YouTube complaining that their shops were shut down “for no reason,” but then they admit that they had a bunch of low reviews that they ignored.

You need to pay attention to your shop, because if you don’t, Etsy can shut it down.

Selling prohibited items.

Etsy has a specific list of items that are prohibited on the platform, and selling them can get your shop closed down.

To see the full section in the seller handbook about this, click here: Etsy Seller HandbookOpens in a new tab.

List of prohibited items on Etsy.
List of prohibited items on Etsy.

Some of the things that you can’t sell on Etsy are obvious, like dangerous or illegal items, but there are nuances to a lot of them that people think they can use to get away with stuff.

Make no mistakes, if it’s on the prohibited list, it can get your shop shut down with no warning.

Etsy uses bots to look at things in the marketplace occasionally, and even though they seem to let a lot of things slide, they do shut shops down for this kind of thing.

There are also things that will trigger certain keyword takedowns for listings, like “amber” and some brand names, since those are things that Etsy has had trouble with in the past.

If Etsy finds those things in your shop it will remove the listings, and too many of them can get your shop suspended.

It’s worth it to go through the help section linked above to make sure you’re following the policies correctly so that you can avoid trouble.

Your shop is new.

This is a weird one, but it’s not uncommon for Etsy to shut down a new shop, sometimes right after you list your first item! It has something to do with bots again, and it probably means that Etsy thinks there’s something about your listing that’s a prohibited item.

If this happens to you, check to see if they emailed you, and respond to that to ask for a human to review the situation.

Usually what will happen is that when someone looks at it, everything will be fine and they’ll reopen your shop.

If they do decide that they’re not opening it, it’s probably because you’re selling things that are against Etsy’s policies.

Using the platform to harass other people.

If you use the Etsy convo system to send harassing or threatening messages to other people on Etsy, you SHOULD have your account closed down!

You can get your messaging privileges shut off if you spam people using it, but if you’re harassing people, that can get your shop closed too.

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

Inaccurate personal information.

If you put information about your shop that’s designed to deceive customers, Etsy can decide to shut your shop.

The Etsy Terms Of UseOpens in a new tab. specifically prohibit a bunch of things that are generally shady behavior, including fee avoidance, posting information about yourself that’s not truthful, not shipping what you say you’re selling, etc.

This is designed to protect customers and to prevent sellers from taking people’s money and then not delivering the products.

Don’t be a scammer and you should be fine as far as this goes.

Too many late shipments or not shipping orders.

This is part of the “don’t be a scammer” advice. If you don’t ship your orders, or you ship things out late consistently, or you send things that aren’t accurately shown in the listings, your Etsy shop can be suspended.

This is also to protect customers, and is basic common sense for any platform.

If you’re consistently sending things out late, your customer service isn’t good.

If your customer service isn’t good, people will complain and leave you bad reviews.

If you get too many bad reviews, your shop can be shut down, so it all adds up to a suspension.

Fee Avoidance.

Fee avoidance is considered anything that you do to deliberately take a sale off of Etsy so that you don’t have to pay the fees that go with the sale. This includes blatant things like putting
“Go shop on my website for better prices” in your shop listings, or telling customers to email you so that you can have them purchase somewhere else.

When you choose to sell on Etsy, you agree to their fee structure, so you have to pay the piper.

This gets complicated in situations where someone contacts you and asks for something that you only sell on your website, or for a wholesale order that you don’t do on Etsy.

Tread lightly with these, because fee avoidance can get your shop suspended if Etsy decides to do it.

If your Etsy shop is suspended, you’ll need to contact them directly (and persistently) to find out what’s going on.

Don’t be surprised if Etsy support hangs up on you, because they have a reputation for doing that to people whose shops are suspended. It’s frustrating, but they’re the only people who can help you with this.

Keep requesting callbacks and emails, and contact them on Twitter if you don’t get an acceptable response. Sometimes public call-outs work.

Most of the time a shop suspension will be temporary, but if the suspension is permanent you won’t be able to open another shop, so be prepared for that.

Basically, follow the policies that Etsy has set up, don’t be a scammer, handle your customer service well, and you’ll be fine.

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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