Etsy Sellers Receive Suspicious Offers To Purchase Their Stores As Spam & Scams Clog Message Inboxes

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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Etsy sellers are reporting receiving spammy messages through the platform offering to buy their businesses, highlighting ongoing problems with Etsy messaging system being used to try to trick users in attempts to gain personal identifiable information, financial details, or account credentials.

Someone offered to purchase my store?
Hi everyone- I just got the weirdest message from a member that appears to be new. They wanted to purchase my store? They offered me $1000. Right now I don’t think I have even $200 worth of inventory. I just find this odd and am wondering if anyone else is experienced this...I politely thanked th…

I just got the weirdest message from a member that appears to be new. They wanted to purchase my store? They offered me $1000. Right now I don't think I have even $200 worth of inventory. I just find this odd and am wondering if anyone else is experienced this...I politely thanked them but declined.

Is some type of new scam where they buy everything and then do a chargeback on their CC? This person also appears to may be overseas from the message & their English. Any replies or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance to all.

I just received this as well and deleted it but then they sent an email. Supposedly from Linkr.com. I told them to explain why they wanted it. We’ll see if they write back.

Re: Someone wanting to buy an inactive account
It’s quite possibly a scam. Shop ownership cannot be transferred. Yes, mark the message as spam. I guess you could also report the message to Etsy & eventually a real person might get to your report. But by then the sender will have probably disappeared & there will be little Etsy can do.

I'm in the process of reopening my shop, and just got a message from someone saying they saw my shop had been inactive and wanted to buy it with upfront payment.

Slightly amusing as I've been working on my settings and policies etc for the last few days and will have items listed soon. Maybe something I updated or talked about somewhere triggered them to look.

I'm pretty sure this is a scam of some sort, and definitely against Etsy rules. But wondering do I just mark it as spam, or should I be reporting it somewhere to Etsy as well?

Getting messages with offers to buy my Etsy account
by u/Cavachin in Etsy

I have had an Etsy shop account for quite awhile. I am a small seller. I go through spurts where I’m too busy with other things in life to work on handmade items. My Etsy shop is at times dormant or inactive but it’s very likely I will add to it again in the future.

Twice this week I have received messages through Etsy from two different usernames. One is just asking to take over my account, the other actually offers to buy my account from me.

What is this all about?

Several sellers warned that not only could responding to these messages open users up to being the victim of a scam, they could also be at risk of losing their accounts all together since the Etsy Terms of Use says accounts are not transferable.

However, the terms of use show they were updated on 11/30/23 with only a single sentence changed in the entire policy - coincidentally having to do with this exact topic.

https://www.etsy.com/legal/terms-of-use

The previous terms stated:

D. You're responsible for your account. You’re solely responsible for any activity on your account. If you’re sharing an account with other people, then the person whose financial information is on the account will ultimately be responsible for all activity. If you’re registering as a business entity, you personally guarantee that you have the authority to agree to the Terms on behalf of the business. Also, your accounts are not transferable.

The updated terms as of 11/30/23 state:

D. You're responsible for your account. You’re solely responsible for any activity on your account. If you’re sharing an account with other people, then the person whose financial information is on the account will ultimately be responsible for all activity. If you’re registering as a business entity, you personally guarantee that you have the authority to agree to the Terms on behalf of the business. Accounts are generally not transferable.

While it may seem a small change, using the word "generally" opens up the possibility that some accounts could possibly be transferable in some situations.

It's particularly notable that when comparing the previous policy and the updated policy, that appears to be the only sentence that was changed in the entire Terms of Use.

Does that mean these could potentially be legitimate offers? Likely not but every seller will need to do their own due diligence.

Etsy has been forced to take steps recently to combat an influx in spam and scams through their messaging systems with a new "from Etsy" section of the inbox and reminder banners about common red flags for scams.

Etsy Fights Spam & Scams With New “From Etsy” Inbox
Etsy addresses spam & scams with “From Etsy” section in messaging inbox & reminders about how to spot scams.

Do you think Etsy is doing enough to protect users from spam and scams through messaging? Let us know in the comments below!

EtsyFraud

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