There is a new tool for Etsy sellers called Star Seller Badges.
It is basically three components to rate sellers’ performance on shipping time, message return time, and 5 star ratings.
The criteria is that you have to get at least a 95% score on each, so an A+ on these areas in order to earn and keep your batch every month.
Criteria from Etsy.com:
On the 1st of every month, we’ll determine if you’ve become a Star Seller by looking back at the last three months of your shop’s performance. Here’s what we consider:
- Response rate: 95% or more of initial buyer messages are responded to within 24 hours.
- Shipping: 95% or more of your orders ship within your stated processing time and with tracking* or with a shipping label purchased on Etsy.
- 5-star ratings: 95% or more of your reviews have 5-star ratings.
- Orders, sales, and tenure: You must maintain 10 orders and around $300 in sales depending on your shop currency (before shipping and taxes) in your three month review period, and have been on Etsy’s platform for 90 days since your first sale.
Most sellers right now may not earn a badge and there’s multitude of reasons. For example, they may have sent orders without a tracking number on an order because even if you shipped out on time, and don’t enter a tracking number, it now counts that by NOT having tracking number = not a complete shipment. Even if your customer received it.
I personally am just under the 95% right now on all three. Etsy states it’s looking at June 1 to present, so now I know what I need to improve by the time September comes around.
Why would Etsy start this program?
It seems that a lot of sellers think that this is almost like a personal attack on them and I can see that, but I also feel like I know why Etsy is doing this.
Etsy wants the best experience for the buyer possible. There has been an influx of new sellers and buyers in the past couple years and is the wild west of a marketplace because basically somebody is getting somebody else’s money with little regulation, it really is a huge responsibility for that shop to deliver on a promise.
And maybe Etsy has been getting an uptick in buyer complaints or resolutions needed and this is a way for them to prepare each buyer to know what the shop and transaction will be like.
What does it mean to be a Star Seller on Etsy?
Star Seller is a way to recognize and reward Etsy sellers who consistently provide an excellent customer experience. We know that responding to customers quickly, shipping on time, and getting 5-star ratings are important to buyers. Starting in September, Etsy will be rewarding sellers with a Star Seller badge, which will help buyers more easily identify and shop from these sellers
Products already get reviews. If a customer gets a bad product that they are dissatisfied with, they can give it a one star review if they wish. But these reviews or just for the products, they are not really evaluating the shop altogether. Badges is like a review system but for the shop as a whole.
Honestly the criteria is not that difficult, but it is a very tight margin of less than 5%.
This will affect small and large shops and it’s not aimed to hurt either one. Even though the bigger you are, the more orders you have, the more messages you get, the more chances you have to make an error. I get about five messages a day (sometimes up to 10) and although that doesn’t sound like a lot, some of them are custom order requests, which I do not take, so sometimes I have no need to respond back to them quickly but now you are supposed to respond within 24 hours. So I will have to change that, even if it’s something I don’t want to make, I will just have to reply back within 24 hours with a “sorry I am not able to help you with that.”
There have been a few cases where people reached out to me and said basically “hey I was supposed to have a product made for me from another shop, but they are behind or they couldn’t complete the transaction, would you be able to do this on a short time table?” So I do know that there are sellers out there that have let buyers down in one way or another. And if we want Etsy to continue to grow and continue to be a strong platform for buyers to come to, buyers need to know they are secure, they need to know they are safe.
So what should I do as a seller?
We as sellers should embrace this grading system and use it in our favor. Yeah honestly when I looked at my numbers and saw a 92% on complete shipments I let out a “Are you kidding me?!” but I am not going to stay in that bitter zone, I will just keep improving on my metrics and I hope that you do too.
There are some overseas sellers selling on Etsy and unfortunately most buyers have a hard time distinguishing the difference between a wholesaler selling on Etsy and an actual person making handmade wares. I personally know right away when I come up on a shop and I know that the product is mass produced, and/or made overseas and would have to be shipped overseas to me. Like I said, not everybody can tell that, they just assume Etsy is a handmade marketplace for small businesses where there is no mass production and no overseas shipments. So that may be another perk for us handmade sellers for us to stand out and show that we are legit.
What are the benefits of Star Seller? How does the Star Seller badge work?
Starting in September, we’ll be recognizing sellers who meet the Star Seller criteria with a badge. The Star Seller badge will be shown on your shop, signaling to buyers that they can expect an excellent customer experience when shopping from you. Other benefits include more opportunities to be featured in buyer marketing and the opportunity for increased sales, since we know that customer service is important for buyers.
Etsy has literally helped change my life by allowing me to do woodworking full-time and they’ve helped countless other people and I will continue to support the platform.
Not everything is perfect and nothing will ever be perfect, but we just have to continue to learn and take strides, sometimes we have hic-cups but we just keep learning and moving on.
One of the reasons I love Etsy is that it brings its own traffic. I don’t have to email a list every week and constantly post on IG. I just list my items and concentrate on keywords so buyers find my wedding products. If the traffic starts to have bad experiences, they won’t be coming back. I don’t want another shop making me look bad.
From etsy.com: Maintaining a certain number of orders, sales, and tenure helps establish confidence and trust in your shop, letting customers know you have a proven record on Etsy.
So at the end of the day, I am going to tighten up a few things with my shop and move forward with the new star seller system. I do hope this will improve the shopping experience for all buyers coming to Etsy to find their unique products.