It can happen to any Etsy seller, and oftentimes for reasons that are completely a mystery: Etsy account suspension. If you're scratching your head and wondering why your Etsy account has been suspended, you're not alone. Many sellers inadvertently violate Etsy's policies or operate in a way that the marketplace disapproves of, and find themselves with a suspended Etsy account to show for it. So what can you do to get your selling privileges back when Etsy has suspended your selling account? Your options will depend on why your selling privileges were revoked by Etsy, and what the nature of the suspension is. Note that this guide will focus on account suspension for Etsy sellers – that is, for Etsy users who have an Etsy Shop – not on buyer account suspensions.
Understanding Etsy Account Suspension
Etsy can suspend selling accounts for a variety of reasons, some more serious than others. Unfortunately, Etsy account suspension is not a rare occurrence for sellers, since Etsy can suspend your account for everything from missing bank details to egregious content policy violations. In this section, we'll go over what it means in practice to have your Etsy account suspended, possible reasons for suspension, and what consequences you can expect as a result of the suspension.
What Does it Mean When an Etsy Account Gets Suspended
All types of Etsy selling account suspensions mean one thing – your selling privileges have been revoked by Etsy, your product listings will no longer be visible to buyers, and you will not be able to receive any new orders. Your selling privileges can be revoked for a temporary period of time (i.e. until you take a certain action), or can be permanently revoked, depending on the reason for the suspension.
Reasons for Etsy Account Suspension:
There are many reasons for Etsy to suspend your selling account and revoke your selling privileges, and it's impossible to go over every possible scenario. Instead, we'll take a look at some of the most common reasons for Etsy account suspension.
1. Missing Tax, Bank Account, or Identity Information
In order to ensure compliance with US tax laws, Etsy sellers are required to update their tax information – specifically, their 1099-K form, used to report earnings from your Etsy Shop to the IRS. Each state will have its own revenue threshold for when a seller is required to submit this form, so it's important to check your local laws.
If you're an Etsy seller located outside of the United States, Etsy requires you to have a valid bank account on file immediately after you've made your first sale at the latest. If you've not updated your bank account info and verified it to receive deposits from Etsy, you may end up with a suspended account until the issue is resolved.
Finally, Etsy requires identity verification for all sellers. If Etsy cannot verify your identity, they may suspend your Etsy account until they can. You may be required to provide further identifying information in order to resolve this issue and get your selling privileges reinstated.
2. Falling Behind on Your Etsy Fees
As an Etsy seller, you'll have to pay your outstanding balance to Etsy on time in order to retain your selling privileges. Etsy will allow first-time offenders a grace period of 5 days, but after the grace period is up, they will suspend your Etsy selling account. To get the suspension lifted from your Etsy account, you'll have to pay your outstanding balance to Etsy first.
3. Violating Etsy's Prohibited Items Policy
Etsy prohibits the sale of certain items on the platform due to a variety of reasons. As a rule of thumb, Etsy prohibits the sale of any items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or illegal activity, with a zero-tolerance policy for such items that could result in an immediate and permanent account suspension.
Furthermore, Etsy does not allow the sale of drugs (medical or otherwise) and drug paraphernalia, certain animal products, products containing human remains, items that are internationally regulated, pornography/certain types of nudity/certain items of a sexual nature, and items that promote or glorify violence on the platform. This is not an exhaustive list, and it's important to familiarize yourself with Etsy's Prohibited Items Policy to ensure that your listings are compliant with marketplace rules.
4. Not Providing Additional Etsy Seller Information
Etsy may reach out to some sellers and ask them to provide further information in order to comply with certain laws and regulations. If you've received communication from Etsy requesting additional information but have not provided it within the stipulated time frame, Etsy will put your seller account into vacation mode, effectively suspending your account. You will not be able to take your seller account out of vacation mode and make any more sales until you've provided Etsy with the necessary information.
5. Infringing on Intellectual Property or Trademarks
Sellers who list items that infringe on or make unauthorized use of the intellectual property, copyright, or trademark of another brand or individual may see their Etsy selling account suspended. You'll of course have to stop selling such items, and will need to reach out to Etsy to see if you can get your account reinstated by submitting a formal appeal.
6. Recurring Violation of Etsy's Policies
Etsy has a variety of policies that sellers on the platform must adhere to. For some policy violations, you'll get off with just a warning. For others, you may find your account suspended temporarily or permanently, and if you repeatedly violate Etsy's marketplace policies, you'll find yourself with a suspended Etsy account for good.
One common policy violation that results in a permanent ban is connecting a suspended Etsy account to your new account. If Etsy sees that you've opened a new selling account after your selling privileges had been revoked on your previous account, they'll instantly and permanently ban your new selling account, and you won't be able to appeal.
Consequences of Etsy Account Suspension
Depending on the type of suspension, there are several consequences you can expect if your Etsy account has been suspended. Firstly, you'll of course not be able to sell on Etsy for the course of the suspension, whether it be permanent or temporary. You'll also not be able to use Etsy's mobile seller app, receive new orders, publish new listings, purchase/print labels from Etsy, or run Etsy Ads, and your listings will not appear in buyer search results. Furthermore, depending on the reason for the suspension, you may lose your Star Seller status, and even lose access to funds in your Etsy Payment account until outstanding issues are resolved.
Types of Etsy Account Suspension
Etsy may suspend your selling account for a variety of reasons, and each type of suspension carries with it different ramifications for your Etsy Shop and your future as seller on the platform. This section will go over the most common types of Etsy account suspensions for sellers, and take a look at the most likely outcome for that type of suspension.
1. Copyright Infringement Suspension
Like all major marketplaces, Etsy takes copyright infringement very seriously, but that doesn’t mean that your account will immediately be suspended any time a complaint is lodged against your Etsy Shop or one of your Etsy listings. You will typically be given the chance to make your case (or the opportunity to take the offending listings down) before any action is taken. That said, repeat offenders or brand-new accounts can expect to have their Etsy account suspended – more often than not permanently – at Etsy's sole discretion.
2. Trademark Infringement Suspension
Similar to copyright infringement, Etsy can also suspend your selling account for repeated infractions of trademark infringement. To put copyright infringement in simple terms, you cannot use content that is trademarked by and identified with other brands, usually in an attempt to mimic the brand and gain success based on the brand's reputation. For instance, if you run an Etsy Shop that sells garment sewing patterns of your own creation, you cannot use the word "Vogue" in your shop name, product titles, descriptions, and more, as this would infringe on the trademark of Vogue Sewing Patterns.
3. Inappropriate Content Suspension
As mentioned in the previous section, Etsy has an entire policy about the types of items and content that can be listed on the platform. When it comes to these types of items and content, Etsy has a zero-tolerance policy, meaning you can expect an instant and likely irreversible suspension (termination) of your Etsy account should you violate the prohibited items policy. Before listing anything on Etsy, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the platform's prohibited items policy, and to err on the side of caution when in doubt. There are always other platforms where you can sell such items, and with ExportYourStore's suite of multichannel selling tools, you'll be able to get the best of all ecommerce worlds.
4. Misuse of Etsy’s Services Suspension
This type of suspension encompasses all kinds of Etsy policy violations, and as such can have many different outcomes. Whether it's a permanent ban on an Etsy account opened to circumvent a previous suspension from the platform or for misusing Etsy's buyer communication platform to close deals off Etsy, misusing Etsy's services will likely result in a permanent and difficult to appeal ban. That's why it's so important that you understand Etsy's policies and know what your rights and responsibilities are as an Etsy seller before listing your items on the platform.
5. Overdue Payments Suspension
As you list and sell on Etsy, you'll incur a variety of fees you owe the platform itself. This can be Etsy Ads fees, shipping label costs, buyer reimbursements, and more, and if you don't pay your outstanding balance on time, Etsy may suspend your account. This type of suspension is usually temporary, especially for first-time offenders, and can easily and automatically be resolved by simply paying your overdue payments. Typically, Etsy will not enact further sanctions against your account if you resolve the issue within the 5-day grace period given to first-time offenders, but if you're constantly behind on your payments to Etsy you could find yourself with a much bigger problem on your hands, up to and including account termination.
6. Delivery Issues Suspension
At the end of the day, Etsy is a marketplace and a platform for sellers to sell and fulfill orders with Etsy's customer base. If you're constantly failing to uphold your end of the bargain and get your items to your customers in a timely and safe manner, you may find yourself with a suspended Etsy account. Delivery issues include anything from consistently failing to meet your delivery time frames, providing invalid tracking, or receiving a large number of buyer complaints for undelivered or damaged-in-transit items. This is the type of suspension where an ounce of prevention is worth even more than a pound of cure, since you may not be able to convince Etsy to reinstate your account in such a case. For this reason, it's important to focus on fulfilling your obligation to your buyers, keep an eye on your metrics, and listen to buyer feedback, especially as it pertains to order fulfillment and delivery. If necessary, make adjustments such as changing your packing techniques, choosing different shipping services, and using reliable shipping companies to deliver your items.
7. Too Many Cases Opened Against the Seller Suspension
Etsy holds it sellers up to certain standards, as outlined in their Seller Policy, and sellers that do not live up to these standards will quickly find themselves with a suspended account, likely permanently. If Etsy sees that you have too many cases opened against you in relation to similar Etsy Shops, you'll likely be handed a nearly unappealable suspension, with any funds in your account reserved for up to 6 months to ensure that any future buyer cases can be resolved. Here, once again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; keep on top of your metrics, listen to buyer complaints and feedback, and do what you must to maintain your Etsy Shop in good standing, preferably with Star Seller status.
Temporary vs. Permanent Etsy Account Suspension
Not all Etsy account suspensions are created equal, and when asking yourself "why did my Etsy account get suspended?", it's important to also look at the type of suspension Etsy has handed you. This will help you not only understand what happened, but also work out what steps you need to take to get your Etsy selling privileges reinstated, and whether or not that's even possible given the nature of your suspension. Here, we'll take a look at the types of Etsy account suspensions: temporary suspension, permanent suspension, and account termination.
Temporary Etsy Account Suspension
A temporary Etsy account suspension is the removal of your Etsy listings (thus preventing you from making any further sales) until you've taken a certain action. Temporary suspensions are usually given to sellers who have not provided sufficient information to have an active selling account, or sellers who have fallen behind on their Etsy fees. You'll usually be notified by Etsy what steps you need to take to reinstate your account by email at least, and oftentimes by notification directly on your seller dashboard. This is the easiest type of Etsy account suspension to resolve, and as long as you are not a repeat offender, will likely not carry any long-lasting consequences for your Etsy Shop.
Permanent Etsy Account Suspension
A permanent suspension on Etsy is considerably more serious, and involves the removal of your Etsy listings indefinitely. For this type of suspension, you'll receive an email from Etsy with the words "Permanent Suspension" in the subject, and information on why such action was taken against your account in the body of the email. Etsy can permanently suspend your selling account for a variety of reasons, including poor seller performance or policy violations. Whatever the reason, the only way you might be able to get your account reinstated is by filing an appeal with Etsy. Depending on the specifics and the reason for your suspension, you may be able to get your selling privileges reinstated, but note that for some permanent suspensions, such as those for prohibited items, the permanent suspension is likely permanent and irreversible.
Termination of Your Etsy Account
Account termination is the most serious type of suspension, and means that Etsy has permanently revoked your right to sell on the platform, either on your now-suspended account or via any other Etsy selling account in the future. Account terminations can happen for accounts that have been opened to circumvent the suspension of another Etsy Shop, for listing illegal items, and other egregious offenses, and you will not be able to appeal this type of suspension. Essentially, this is a lifetime ban from the Etsy platform, and should be treated as such. In cases like these, Etsy will notify you that they are terminating their business relationship with you. Since you will no longer be able to sell on Etsy, you may want to look to selling on alternative selling channels and marketplaces with ExportYourStore.
What to Do if Your Etsy Account is Suspended
Having your Etsy account suspended is certainly unpleasant, but it doesn't always mean that you won't be able to sell on the platform ever again. In all but the most serious cases of permanent suspension our outright account termination, you will have certain actions that you can take to try to get your Etsy selling privileges reinstated. In this section, we'll take a look at the possible counteractive measures you can take to get your Etsy Shop up and running once again, and discuss what you can do to successfully avoid account suspension altogether.
1. Contact Etsy’s Support Team
If your Etsy account was suspended and you cannot figure out why, your first step should be reaching out to Etsy's support team. They'll be able to shed some light on the reason for the suspension, and, more often than not, point you in the right direction regarding what steps you can take to try and get your Etsy account suspension lifted.
2. Review Your Listings and Policies
Sometimes, the cause of your suspension can be found in your product listings or Etsy Shop policies. This can be for copyright or trademark infringement, for instance, or for something less obvious such as product descriptions that violates Etsy's prohibited items and content policies. It's best to review your listings before getting suspended, as it will cost you much more time, lost potential sales revenue, and effort to backtrack and find the problem after the fact.
3. Resolve Outstanding Account Issues
For certain Etsy account suspensions, all you need to do is resolve certain outstanding issues to get your Etsy Shop up and running again. In cases like these Etsy will tell you outright what you need to do – whether it be completing your tax information or verifying your identity – in order to automatically get your Etsy selling privileges back and your listings back on the air. If one of these issues is the reason for your suspension, you won't even need to contact Etsy, you'll just have to resolve the issue in question in order to get your suspension lifted.
4. Consider Selling Your Products on Other Selling Channels
Regardless of whether or not you're able to get your Etsy account reinstated, the saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is doubly true in the world of ecommerce. If you're reading this article, you've likely become well-aware of the fact that ecommerce marketplaces can revoke your selling privileges at a moment's notice first-hand. Selling online is already a difficult and competitive business, but limiting yourself to a single sales channel puts your entire operation at the whims of one company, which may or may not reinstate your selling privileges. So what can you do? Diversify your assets, and grow your Etsy Shop into a multichannel ecommerce business with ExportYourStore. Use ExportYourStore to grow your business to additional selling channels such as Amazon Handmade, and even to set up your very own online shop with WooCommerce or Shopify.
5. Take Preventative Measures to Avoid Future Suspension
Whether you're reeling from a suspension or worried that one is heading your way, it's always best to not find yourself suspended from Etsy in the first place. As such, we recommend taking a few key preventative measures to avoid suspension and save yourself lost sales revenue and tedious appeals. Ensure that your items and content are compliant with Etsy's policies, that you're not behind on your Etsy fees, and that your Etsy Shop is in good standing with as few cases and negative feedbacks as possible.
6. Appealing the Suspension
If your Etsy account was suspended for a more serious infraction than an outstanding account balance or incomplete banking information, you'll likely have received a notification from Etsy that your account has been permanently suspended. Despite the name, a permanent suspension does not always mean that you'll never be able to list on Etsy again; for some permanent suspensions, you may be able to get your account reinstated by sending Etsy an appeal.
How to Appeal an Etsy Suspension
Before you appeal your Etsy suspension, it's important to understand why Etsy suspended your account in the first place. Once you know why your Etsy account was suspended, you must first resolve the issue(s) before appealing your suspension to Etsy. Note that you'll be working on a limited time frame, as you have 6 months from the moment your account was suspended to submit your appeal. After resolving the issues that led to your suspension, you can head over to the Etsy Appeals Center to submit your appeal.
What to Write in an Appeal for an Etsy Suspension
Every appeal will look slightly different, but when setting out to write your appeal, it's important to keep in mind the key things that Etsy will be looking for when deliberating whether or not to reinstate your account.
Firstly, it's important to make clear that you understand what lead to your suspension. Make use of Etsy's Seller Policies to help you fully and accurately describe the issue, and even consider incorporating language directly from the policies to demonstrate that you've "done your homework" on the matter. Show that you understand why the infraction led to suspension. If, for example, your account was suspended due to delivery issues, you could say that you understand that a poor shipping and delivery experience has a detrimental effect on buyer experience as a whole.
Secondly, detail what steps you've taken to rectify the issue. Explain to Etsy the exact steps you've taken to repair the damage caused to the best of your abilities. Going back to the delivery issues suspension example, you could describe how you refunded customers for damaged items, sent them free replacements, and offered them a future discount in your Etsy Shop.
Finally, outline how you will prevent the issue in the future. This is the most important part of the appeal, since Etsy wants to know that they won't find themselves suspending your account again for the same reason if they do decide to reinstate your selling privileges. Detail in every step that you've taken why you decided to take that step, and how it is expected to resolve the issue going forward. Continuing with our example, you could say that you've changed your packing methods to ensure safer transit for your items, and changed courier services to a more reliable company.
Avoiding Etsy Account Suspension
While eliminating the risk of account suspension is virtually impossible on Etsy (some sellers have reported receiving permanent suspensions without any explanation, and being told that their account was "suspended in error" when they've submitted an appeal!), there are some steps you can take to try and minimize the chances of your Etsy account getting suspended. Here, we'll take a look at some good practices you can adhere to in order to keep your Etsy account safe from suspension in the future.
Follow Etsy’s Rules and Guidelines
The most obvious and by far most important first step to avoiding a suspended Etsy account is familiarizing yourself with Etsy's policies. Oftentimes, sellers will do something that seems harmless, yet find themselves in violation of marketplace policy. Avoid suspensions and lengthy appeals processes by making sure you know what you can and cannot do as an Etsy seller. This will help you create listings that are compliant with marketplace policies, and run your Etsy Shop in an Etsy-approved way.
Avoid Plagiarized or Copyrighted Work
As we've mentioned multiple times throughout this article, Etsy takes copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property infringement very seriously, especially when such infractions come from new shops. Avoiding this is pretty straightforward – don't use work that isn't yours, and especially avoid selling items that make use of copyrighted material, even if it's in the form of "fan art." Doing so not only opens you up to Etsy account suspension, but also to legal action against you from the rights holder.
Sell Only Your Own Items and Designs
Ensure you're not selling items that don't align with Etsy's policies regarding handmade goods. Even if an item is handmade, in order to sell it on Etsy, it has to be either made or designed by you, or you have to be involved in some way in the creative and/or production process. Unless the items in question are vintage items that just happen to be handmade, you cannot resell other people's work or designs on the platform.
Don't Accidentally Link Your Etsy Shop with Suspicious Activity
In recent years, Etsy has seen an influx of low-quality sellers flooding the platform and trying to pass off cheap, mass-produced items as handmade goods. To hide their origins and the true nature of their products, these sellers will often use VPNs to try to obfuscate where they are physically located. For this reason, Etsy has been on high alert, and has been very quick to block sellers who use VPNs, or even sellers who just use a different network than usual to log into their seller account, even if they've not actually done anything wrong.
Some Final Thoughts About Etsy Account Suspension
Having your Etsy selling account suspended can be frustrating, and can oftentimes leave you scratching your head and wondering what could have led to the suspension. Unfortunately, Etsy does not always provide sellers with the most detailed information after their account has been suspended. Oftentimes sellers find themselves wondering "why is my Etsy account suspended?", and find they need to go digging for answers themselves.
In many cases, however, the suspension is relatively straightforward to resolve, and requires something as simple as paying an outstanding balance or filling out some tax information. In more complex cases, you may need to file an appeal with Etsy to get them to reinstate your selling privileges. Only in the most serious cases – those where a seller has clearly violated certain content and item policies, or repeatedly violated Etsy's terms – will your Etsy account suspension be truly permanent and unappealable.
FAQs About Etsy Account Suspension
Still haven’t found the answer to why your Etsy account was suspended? Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more about Etsy account suspensions and what you can do to resolve them.
Q: What are the reasons for Etsy account suspension?
Etsy can suspend your account for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common reasons include:
- Not completing your tax or banking information. Selling on Etsy is just like selling via a brick-and-mortar store, and Etsy sellers are required to be in compliance with tax laws.
- Not verifying your identity. Sometimes, Etsy reaches out to sellers and requests them to provide more information to verify their identity. If Etsy is unable to do so, or if you do not provide the necessary information, your account could be suspended.
- Violating Etsy's policies. Some policy violations are more serious than others, with certain ones, such as selling illegal items, carrying the risk of an immediate suspension of your Etsy account.
- Not paying your outstanding balance to Etsy. Selling on Etsy costs money, and sellers who fall behind on their fees to Etsy can find themselves with a suspended account until they pay up. Repeat offenders may even find themselves banned from the platform for life.
Q: How can I appeal an Etsy suspension?
If you've received a permanent suspension of your Etsy account and would like to appeal your case to Etsy, you can do so through Etsy's Appeals Center. When writing your appeal, make sure you demonstrate an understanding of why your Etsy account was suspended, detail the actions you've taken to mitigate any damages caused as a result, and outline how you will operate in the future to avoid recurrence of the issues that led to your account's suspension.
Q: What should I do if my Etsy account is permanently suspended?
Depending on the reason for your permanent suspension, you'll likely be able to send Etsy an appeal in an attempt to get your selling privileges reinstated. Before filing your appeal, however, you'll have to ensure that the issue that led to your suspension has been resolved, and that you've taken the necessary actions to ensure that it does not happen again in the future. From the moment your Etsy account has been suspended, you'll have 6 months to resolve the issues and submit your appeal. After that, the suspension becomes permanent.
In order to avoid going completely dark and making no sales at all while you wait for Etsy to decide if they'll reinstate your selling account, you can use ExportYourStore to set up new selling accounts on a variety of additional marketplaces and shopping cards, including Amazon Handmade, Shopify, eBay, and more.
Q: How can I avoid Etsy account suspension?
Avoiding Etsy account suspension is not always straightforward, but there are some guidelines you can follow to stay mostly safe. Firstly, ensure that you're familiar with Etsy's Seller Policies, inside and out. Knowing what your obligations (and rights) are as a seller will go a long way towards keeping your Etsy Shop safe from suspension, and help you ensure that you're not inadvertently in violation of marketplace policies. Secondly, don't try to circumvent your suspension by opening another Etsy account while yours is suspended, as this can result in a lifetime ban from the platform. Finally, try not to log into your Etsy account from unfamiliar devices or networks, as this could cause Etsy to automatically flag and block your account for suspicious activity.
Q: What other selling channels can I use if my Etsy account is suspended?
Selling on multiple channels is the best way to keep your business safe as an ecommerce seller. And luckily, with the seller-friendly tools offered by ExportYourStore, you now don’t have to be particularly tech-savvy to enjoy multichannel commerce on a variety of marketplaces and shopping carts. Common Etsy alternatives include eBay and Amazon Handmade, but you don't have to limit yourself to just marketplaces; ExportYourStore gives you the tools you need to easily set up your own store with your choice of the two shopping cart giants, Shopify and WooCommerce.
No matter what selling channels you choose, or the number of channels you want to list your products on, ExportYourStore makes multichannel commerce simple and accessible to Etsy sellers of all kinds, with easy multichannel integration for Etsy Shops of all sizes.