Etsy Introduces Shop Set Up Fee, ID Checks For New Shops To "Keep Community Safe"

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


As Etsy continues to battle spam and scams proliferating across their platform, they're introducing new policies to "strengthen new shop onboarding and keep the community safe" - including a shop set up fee, seller ID checks requiring submitting government ID and a a selfie and delaying payment schedules for new sellers.

Strengthening New-Shop Onboarding to Keep Our Community Safe
I’m Brendan Mulryan and I’ve been leading Etsy’s Support team for the past six years. We support buyers and sellers at every step of their journeys, ensuring our users have reliable experiences on Etsy. Every day our team works to ensure Etsy is a safe and trusted place to shop—so your extraordinary…

Every day our team works to ensure Etsy is a safe and trusted place to shop—so your extraordinary items can shine. We know every order is an opportunity to make an impression on shoppers, and that’s as important to your business as it is to ours. That’s why in 2024 we’re making updates to the shop onboarding process so we can better protect the amazing marketplace, and community, we’ve built together.

We’ll be making these changes over the next few months and they’ll only apply to newly created shops. That means your existing shop won’t be affected. But if you decide to open an additional shop, your NEW shop could be subject to these new requirements—even if you’ve been selling on Etsy for a while.

Here’s a quick look at the updates we’re making. Head to the Seller Handbook to learn more about each of them.

  • Adding an enhanced identity check to the shop set-up process: We’ll add a new method of identity check that asks new shop owners to upload a photo ID, like a driver’s license or passport, and take a selfie using their computer or phone.
  • Introducing a shop set-up fee to support enhanced security and verification: We’ll start by introducing this fee to some new shops. They’ll pay a one-time set-up fee of $15 before they can open for business. We’ll clearly communicate if the fee applies during the shop set-up process.
  • Exploring changes to payment schedules for new shops: We’re looking into changes to the payment schedules for new shops until they have a proven track record of sales on Etsy. These changes may affect how long new shops need to wait for their funds to become available.

These updates to new-shop onboarding are just one part of our larger focus on keeping Etsy safe and elevating the high-quality items you create and curate. In recent months we also:

  • Introduced a new “From Etsy” section in Messages to help make it clear which messages are sent from Etsy staff members.
  • Doubled down on enforcement of our Handmade Policy through updated technology to remove listings and shops from Etsy that don't meet our policies and additional human reviews.
  • Continue to offer 24/7 support to all active sellers and amped up those offerings during the busy holiday season.

The Etsy Handbook provides more details, including that they are partnering with Persona for the ID verification service.

Etsy has been battling spam targeting sellers with fake support links and other scams for months now and does not appear to making much headway.

Not only have the scams not stopped, Etsy's efforts often interrupting legitimate buyer and seller interactions on the platform, making it harder for real users to transact on the site.

Unannounced Etsy Messaging Change Blocks Communication Between Buyers & Sellers
Etsy stealth change to How To Handle Scams & Suspicious messages policy causes confusion as communication is cut off between buyers & sellers.

New sellers may balk at these intrusive new requirements, particularly with concerns about the security of biometric data that providing ID and selfies are bound to bring up.

I certainly couldn't blame anyone for having a hard time trusting a company that can't even keep AI-generated deepfake porn off their site with their ID and biometric information - and I'm not sure I'd trust their choice in third party partner to handle the verification either, especially after the Plaid bank verification debacle.

Etsy Sellers Struggle With Plaid Bank Account Verification
Etsy testing using Plaid micro-deposits for bank verification & some sellers report serious problems as a result.

Sellers are discussing the update in the community with some suggesting maybe Etsy's fraud and scam problem is bigger than they've been letting on.

New Processes for opening a shop
Etsy are introducing new processes for opening a new shop -- including a $15 set-up fee: “We’ll be making these changes over the next few months and they’ll only apply to newly created shops. That means your existing shop won’t be affected. But if you decide to open an additional shop, your NEW shop…

Regarding #2, the set-up fee:

  • It says 'some new shops". I wonder what is the criteria?
  • Do you think the fee is to cover enhanced security or to allow for a CYA fund (cover your a$$) on fraudulent shops?
  • Is it meant to discourage the "get rich quick" shops?

Reading the announcement has me wondering if Etsy has more issues with fraudulent new shops than Etsy has with scammers ripping off new shops. It's thought-provoking.

Let us know what you think of these Etsy new shop onboarding requirements in the comments below!

EtsySeller Updates

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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!

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