Etsy To Deactivate Inactive Shops Plus Changes To Delivery Estimates & Gift Messaging

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Etsy has released April seller announcements with a warning that some inactive accounts will soon be deactivated plus changes to how delivery estimates are calculated and new gift recipient messaging capabilities.

Inactive Shops

As part of Etsy's ongoing fight against an onslaught of fraud and scams, they will be reaching out to shops that have been inactive for four or more years with a nudge to log in to their account to keep it open. 

Sellers whose shops are considered inactive will get a heads up via email 90 days before their shops will be closed. They’ll also get multiple reminders before any changes are made to their account. If they want to keep their shop open for business, all they need to do is log in to their account within 90 days of receiving the initial notice.

Shops still inactive after the 90 day notice period will be closed permanently, but the account can still be used to make purchases on Etsy. If you decide you want to start selling on Etsy again, you’ll need to open a new account for your shop (and choose a new shop name!) and add your payment details again.

This could be a smart security move as dormant accounts tend to be a higher risk for account takeover attempts (like we've seen with triangulation fraud on eBay) but as ecommerce consultant and Etsy seller Cindy Baldassi points out in a post on LinkedIn, Etsy's historic problems with communication could make this difficult to execute.

Delivery Time Estimates

In a move that will be all too familiar to sellers who also sell on eBay, Etsy will now be taking a sellers' historical shipping times into consideration when displaying delivery estimates to buyers for US domestic orders.

In addition to information you already provide, such as processing times and shipping services, we’ve started using your shipping history, along with carrier information like latest transit times, to calculate estimated delivery dates.

The stated processing times and ship-by dates for your items won’t change and we’ll take them into account when making this new calculation. Currently this update only applies to US domestic orders.

The Etsy seller handbook goes on to explain, "in some instances, Etsy may take your past shipping behavior into account to help ensure buyers receive accurate estimated delivery dates. This is based on historical tracking data and does not impact your processing times or ship-by dates."

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman used to work at eBay and has been accused on more than one occasion of stealing ideas from his former employers playbook, so it's no surprise that in looking for ways to boost sales by showing buyers faster shipping times, he's turning to eBay for inspiration.

However, it may have been wise to spend some time reading the eBay community forums for the many tales of frustration and friction told by both buyers and sellers when historical shipping data is used for delivery calculations - and the risks are even greater at a time when USPS is experiencing massive processing delays in certain areas of the country.

Gift Recipient Messaging

Etsy is continuing their efforts to be the "go to" site for all your gifting needs and now, gift recipients who receive a gift teaser will have the option to send sellers a message if they need help with their gift.

Gift recipients can reach out with any questions, but won’t be able to request a return or file a case - only the original buyer of a gift can request a refund, return, or exchange, depending on shop policies.

What do you think of these updates? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!