Is Etsy Safe? Common Etsy Scam to Avoid in 2023

is etsy legit
Photo by Kampus Production

Scams on Etsy are becoming a thing amidst the sea of authenticity and creative flair, leaving many customers in the UK wondering if the Etsy site is legit and safe to order from. Etsy, like any other popular online marketplace, has become a haven for deceptive schemes and practises. The Etsy site that was once a legit and safe haven for customers in the UK to order from is now infested with con artists looking to prey on unsuspecting buyers and sellers. 

This guide will reveal the red flags and warning signs to look for, allowing shoppers and artists to identify potential scams and protect themselves from becoming victims.

Is Etsy a Safe Online Marketplace?

The Etsy site is widely regarded as a legit and safe marketplace to order from for both buyers and sellers in the UK. While no online platform is completely legit and safe from risks, Etsy has taken several precautions to improve the safety and security of its users. Etsy has a set of rules and policies that sellers must follow to promote transparency and accountability in the marketplace. 

Etsy offers tools and features to help buyers protect themselves. Customers can use the review system to share their experiences and provide feedback on sellers and products. This system promotes transparency and allows prospective buyers to make informed decisions based on the experiences of others.

Etsy also provides buyer protection programmes to ensure the safety of purchases. If an eligible item does not arrive or does not match the description, the “Etsy Money Back Guarantee” may provide a refund or resolution. This adds another layer of assurance for buyers, ensuring they have recourse in the event of problems with their orders.

However, Etsy, like any other marketplace, is not immune to the increasingly common scams. You must be able to identify these scams and prevent any mishaps from occurring.

Etsy Scams to Avoid in 2023

Etsy is the go-to online marketplace for one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage items. Is the Etsy site, however, legit and safe for their customers in the UK to order from? We break down the most common Etsy scams.

#1. Scams Involving Fake or Counterfeit Products

An Etsy scammer advertises a much higher quality product than what they end up shipping to you in this type of internet scam. Some con artists sell counterfeit branded products using images stolen from legitimate manufacturers.

For example, you may come across a listing for a “handmade designer bag” that is being sold at a fraction of the average retail price. When the bag arrives, it is a forgery, made of inferior materials, or lacking the advertised craftsmanship. 

To avoid the scam, do a reverse image Google search before purchasing a product to see if the image was stolen from somewhere else. Also, keep an eye out for deals or prices that appear too good to be true.

#2. Scams Involving Incorrect Addresses

A wrong address scam occurs when a seller ships your purchased item to an incorrect address, usually one they own or control. When you don’t receive your item and file a claim, the scammer is required to provide proof of shipping to Etsy, complicating the refund process. Some con artists will even use stolen or forged shipment tracking numbers to prove that an item was delivered.

Avoid the scam by carefully reviewing your shipping confirmation email and paying special attention to the shipping address and package dimensions. If there are any discrepancies, you should speak to the seller or Etsy right away. 

#3. Scams Involving Off-Platform Payments

Etsy’s purchase protection programme can help protect you from scammers. However, in an off-platform payment scam, the scammer usually promises a discount or other enticement if you pay with a payment app such as Venmo or PayPal. 

Other scammers may request cryptocurrency or wire transfers, and some may even attempt to defraud you of gift cards. Then, after you’ve paid, they either don’t send the item or close the shop entirely, leaving you with no way to get your money back. 

To avoid the scam, no matter how tempting the offer, never purchase outside of Etsy’s secure payment system. Report a seller who suggests an off-platform transaction to Etsy.  

#4. Scams Involving Hacked Accounts

Not all Etsy scams are aimed solely at stealing your money. More sophisticated scams involve hackers attempting to access your personal information, such as account credentials and payment information. Scammers can spread malware and gain access to your accounts by smishing, spoofing, and other methods.

You may, for example, receive a phishing email purporting to be from Etsy customer service. The email is carefully crafted to trick you into disclosing your login information, granting the scammer unauthorised access to your account. 

To protect your online accounts, use a strong, unique password and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Also, be wary of unsolicited emails; always double-check the sender’s email address and avoid clicking on suspicious links. If you suspect a phishing attempt, please report it to Etsy right away.

#5. Price Inconsistencies

If the same product is listed for vastly different prices in different Etsy shops, it could be a scam. Scammers will sometimes list the same item at different prices in multiple shops and even across platforms. If you purchase a low-cost item, they may claim that it is out of stock and direct you to a more expensive listing. 

To avoid the scam, enter a portion of the product description into Google and see if the item has been listed elsewhere for a lower price. A reverse image search is another option. If you find it listed elsewhere for a significantly lower price, it’s most likely a scam. 

#6. Scams That Use Bait and Switch

Bait-and-switch scams, similar to counterfeit product scams, are a type of Etsy fraud in which the product you receive is vastly different from what you ordered. The same items are frequently sold for much lower prices across the internet, with Etsy scammers labelling them as supposedly handmade items. 

To avoid the scalways read the fine print in product descriptions — sometimes scammers hide product information in product descriptions to protect themselves from fraud allegations, hoping you won’t look too closely.

#7. Scams Involving Fake Etsy Shops

In extreme cases, Etsy scammers set up fake shops with the sole purpose of stealing your money and payment information. Often, by the time you realise you’ve been taken advantage of, the shop has vanished. While you may be able to stop the payment through your bank, scammers may still obtain some of your personal information, which could lead to additional fraud or even identity theft.

To avoid the scam, look for signs of a phoney Etsy store, such as poor grammar, suspicious product listings, and a lack of store history. After you’ve made your purchase, keep in touch with the seller. If they fail to meet their obligations, immediately report the scammer to Etsy. 

How to Recognize an Etsy Scam

There are some common warning signs to look out for that could help you spot an Etsy scam, such as seller profiles with grammar mistakes, requests for payments outside of the platform, and negative reviews

#1. Suspicious Background

A profile with spelling and grammatical errors, a lack of detailed information, or the use of generic stock images are all indicators of an Etsy scammer. A legitimate seller typically has a detailed profile that includes information about themselves, their craft, and their business.

#2. There Is Little to No Sales History

Because scammers frequently create new profiles solely to carry out their schemes, always check to see if the Etsy seller has a history of sales to other customers. Naturally, not all new sellers are con artists. However, be especially cautious when purchasing from a seller who has no previous sales or reviews; it could be a bogus Etsy account. 

#3. Requests for Payment From Outside Sources

Be wary of sellers who insist on processing payments outside of Etsy’s secure payment platform, such as Venmo, cryptocurrency, or direct bank transfers. It’s almost certainly a scam, and they’re probably attempting to circumvent the platform’s safeguards.

#4. Negative Feedback

Trust the wisdom of the crowds and avoid Etsy sellers who have a lot of negative feedback. You can’t go wrong if you follow this advice; you’ll either avoid a scam or avoid a bad seller. Avoid sellers who have a lot of negative feedback.

#5. Product Images That Have Been Stolen

Perform a reverse image search to see if the product images appear elsewhere on the internet, if they appear overly professional or if they are inconsistent with other items in the shop. If they do, it’s almost certainly a scam. 

How to Protect Yourself From Etsy Scams

Sticking to safe online shopping practises can significantly lower your risk of being scammed on Etsy. Here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself from Etsy scams: 

#1. Make Use of Strong Passwords 

For your Etsy account, always use a complex and unique password. This simple action will help to protect your online security and privacy. Before making a purchase, do some research on the seller. 

Examine their sales history, reviews, and ratings, as well as their profile. Be cautious if anything feels off. Make use of a VPN. While shopping on public Wi-Fi, using a VPN can help prevent a hacker from intercepting your login credentials.

If a product appears to be too good to be true, conduct a quick reverse image search to see if it is available elsewhere. Stick to the official Etsy website. As a general rule, do not buy from Etsy sellers outside of the platform.

#3. Activate Two-Factor Authentication

Enabling two-factor authentication on your online accounts adds an extra layer of security by requiring two or more login methods.

#4. Make Use of Antivirus Software

Make sure that all of your devices have up-to-date antivirus software. If you open a malicious link or visit a dangerous website by accident, online protection can help detect and block threats.

Have you Been Scammed on Etsy? Do This

If you were scammed on Etsy, take the following steps to secure your account, try to recover your money, and protect yourself from future identity theft and fraud.

  • Directly contact the Etsy seller. Your first step, if you haven’t already, should be to request a refund from the seller.
  • Submit a support ticket to Etsy directly. If the seller does not respond or refuses to send a refund, open an Etsy support ticket. A support ticket can be used as evidence when filing a fraud claim with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the FBI. 
  • Submit a chargeback request to your credit card company. If you paid with a credit card, you can file a dispute and get your money back. 
  • Change the password on your Etsy account. If there is any chance that scammers have gained access to your profile, you should change your password right away. This will make it more difficult for them to intercept your account in the future.  
  • Put your credit on hold. To request a credit freeze, contact each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This prevents scammers from using your personal information to open new accounts or take out loans in your name. 
  • Pay attention to your credit and bank statements. Scammers may attempt to gain access to your financial accounts or obtain loans in your name. Pay attention to your credit and bank statements for any unusual activity. Alternatively, use a credit monitoring service like Aura to protect your data on your behalf.

How to Classify a Message as Spam

You should not respond to the message. For any reason, Etsy does not recommend engaging with suspicious messages. Responding will encourage the scammers and lead to more scam messages

If you receive an unusual message, mark it as spam:

  • Log in to and navigate to Your Account.
  • Navigate to Messages. 
  • Choose the suspect message from your inbox. 
  • Select Mark as Spam

This will transfer the message from your inbox to your spam folder. You will, however, continue to receive emails informing you of new replies to that message. Learn how to unsubscribe from email alerts.

Can You Report an Etsy Scam?

If you believe an item or shop violates Etsy’s policies, you can file a confidential report with Etsy. Etsy will review the item and, if necessary, take appropriate action. To report an item on, follow these steps: Register on

Is Etsy Going to Refund You if You Get Scammed?

However, we believe that you should always receive the item you ordered or receive a refund, so if those expectations are not met, Etsy will step in to assist you. Buyers may be eligible for a full refund if their orders do not arrive, arrive late, arrive damaged, or do not match the listing description.

What If My Package Does Not Arrive?

Any item that does not arrive, arrives damaged, or does not match the item description or photos will be refunded for qualifying orders. If you need assistance with an order, the seller from whom you purchased it is the best person to assist you.

Who Does Etsy Deliver to in the United Kingdom?

It’s simple to connect your Etsy account to DHL Parcel UK. Simply log in to your Etsy account by clicking the link below. You will then be instructed on how to link. By linking your accounts, you authorise DHL Parcel UK to import items from your Etsy account to assist with the Etsy courier service.

Is It Possible for Etsy to Cancel an Order?

A member may need to cancel a transaction from time to time. An Etsy order can only be canceled by the seller; if you are a buyer and would like to request a cancellation, please contact the seller directly through Messages.


On Etsy, an unsuspecting user can be duped. This article, on the other hand, provides sufficient information on the specific strategies used by scammers, the appropriate steps to take after realising you have been scammed, and the strategies to avoid being scammed. 

As a result, when transacting online through Etsy, it is critical to remain alert and avoid any unnecessary haste. Although the Etsy site is generally a legit and safe place to order from in the UK, there will always be some bad apples. If you believe you have been duped, don’t be afraid to report it and take action to recover your money.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *