Etsy Offers Help For FL Sellers, But Not Canadians Impacted By Storms

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Etsy sellers were happy to hear the company is offering deferred billing and Star Seller assistance for those in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian, but some also questioned why similar concessions were not granted to Canadian sellers impacted by Hurricane Fiona or extended to sellers experiencing natural disasters in other parts of the world.

Email from Etsy to Florida sellers
Lately there are emails that Etsy sends that make me question why, but this last email was a pleasant surprise. Hi Everyone, Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Ian, including our amazing community of local Etsy sellers. We truly hope that you and your loved ones are safe. We unders…

The email sent to Florida sellers read, in part:

Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Ian, including our amazing community of local Etsy sellers. We truly hope that you and your loved ones are safe.

We understand that you may not be able to focus on your Etsy shop right now given the severity of the storm and the widespread damage in your community. We’ve detailed below the immediate actions we’re taking, as well as a few suggestions, that we hope will ease the weight of managing your shop.

We’re deferring your September 2022 bill
We’ll be rolling your September bill up with your October 2022 bill and both will be due on November 1, 2022. Your shop will continue to be in good standing, despite not paying your September bill.

If you're enrolled in autobilling and are unable to make a payment by Oct 1, you need to turn off autobilling here. If you’d prefer to pay your September bill now, you can do that here. You may still get overdue payments notifications, but you can ignore these until your payment is due.

We’re extending Star Seller badges
We’re temporarily adjusting the program to support Star Sellers in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian. If you earned a Star Seller badge in September, we’ve automatically granted you a badge for October.

You can pause your shop temporarily
If you’re unable to work on new orders, consider pausing your shop. Your buyers won’t be able to view or purchase your items if your shop is paused. They’ll receive an auto-reply to Messages and can sign up to get a message when you return.

While it's questionable how much assistance these concessions will really provide, it's great to see Etsy at least doing something here and no one would argue that it isn't warranted for Florida, given the destruction we've seen in some parts of the state.

That being said, I think it is entirely fair to question if similar consideration is being given to sellers in other areas who are similarly impacted by natural disasters, and if not, why not?

Many residents of Prince Edward Island in Canada are still without power over a week after Hurricane Fiona hit there and Pakistan has experienced devastating floods in the last month, but it does not appear Etsy has offered similar assistance to sellers in those areas.

In contrast, eBay typically announces seller protections for areas impacted by natural disasters publicly and generally applies the same levels of protection across the board in these situations.

While eBay doesn't advise of the exact criteria they use to determine if a situation warrants these protections, they generally go by if an event has a large enough impact to disrupt shipping and transportation for a relatively large number of sellers in a given area.

The announcements for Hurricane Fiona in Canada and Hurricane Ian in Florida and the Southeastern US offered the same protections.

Seller Protections to sellers shipping from and to provinces affected by Hurricane Fiona
Hurricane Fiona has caused flooding, power outages, damage and is disrupting transportation lines across parts of the Canadian Atlantic. We are closely monitoring the situation. If you are involved in an eBay transaction with a buyer or seller in affected areas, please note that their ability to c…
Seller Protections for shipping delays due to Hurricane Ian
We are closely monitoring Hurricane Ian, and the impact this storm is having on Florida and the Southeastern United States. Our primary concern is the safety of our community – please follow local emergency instructions and procedures to ensure your well-being. Because the extreme weather may delay…

As a seller, you do not need to worry about your seller performance. If your business is impacted, eBay will automatically protect your seller performance, including:

  • Your late shipment rate
  • Your valid tracking upload rate
  • “Item not received” cases due to late delivery as long as you uploaded tracking and have a physical scan from the carrier before a case was opened
  • Defects resulting from cancelled transactions

We will also remove any associated negative and neutral feedback and these cases will not impact your service metrics rating. You do not need to contact Customer Service at this time.

I am 100% certain if eBay had chosen not to extend protections to Canada in this situation, sellers would be outraged and completely justified in asking why not - and I 100% stand with sellers asking Etsy the same thing now.


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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!