Etsy is a popular e-commerce platform that is dedicated to bringing its users the best of vintage items ranging from clothes, jewelry, kitchen sets, shoes, and home decor. Launched in 2005 in the United States, the e-commerce company has managed to create a strong consumer base for itself in its close to 2 decades of existence. However, with the increasing rate of online fraud especially through social media websites, it is important that readers find answers like ‘Is Etsy a legit site? How to ensure the legitimacy of Etsy sellers?’. We start with discussing the first part of the question and then move on to the latter one.
The straight answer is Yes. Etsy is a legit website and in fact, uses a strong and secure payment system. It ensures that the Etsy website safeguards the interest of buyers and sellers alike. However, Etsy’s operations are such that there are multiple sellers on the website trying to sell their products. Unlike the dedicated online portal or product manufacturers such as IKEA, products on the Etsy site are not owned by the portal. It’s the equivalent of Amazon but more restricted in terms of product offerings. Hence, there is a chance that although the Etsy site is secure, some of the sellers and their legitimacy may be doubtful.
Let’s first understand why is Etsy a legit site. How to ensure the legitimacy of Etsy sellers will come next.
- Etsy accepts PayPal, credit cards, and debit cards as payment options
- It uses the famous Transport Layer Security technology to encrypt credit or debit card information
- PayPal is a secure transaction method
- Since its inception, the company has made millions of safe transactions
These points and more prove that the site Etsy is 100% safe. The problem isn’t with the site per se. The large number of sellers on the Etsy site and the increasingly innovative ways undertaken by online fraudsters are reasons why you should be more careful while buying from the website.
Now that we have told you why Etsy is a legit site, here are 6 points that will help you ensure the legitimacy of Etsy sellers.
1- Try to use only credit cards for payments
While the site offers multiple ways for payment, we recommend using a credit card whenever you can. This is because credit card providers use some of the fraud detection technology and they tend to refund the amount in case the users are able to prove that they are fraud victims. Using credit cards for transactions on Etsy offers double protection to your card details.
2- Do not shop from external sites unless you trust them
Many sellers use Etsy as a marketing technique. Once you have found a product on Etsy, many sellers will recommend you to purchase the product from external sites offering the same product, generally with a discount offer. This is to attract more consumers on the external site so that the sellers do not have to pay Etsy for the purchase on the Etsy website.
We recommend that you only go ahead with the external site if you are sure of its legitimacy or if you have made a successful purchase before.
3- Thoroughly research the external website
The next point of discussion on ‘Is Etsy a legit site? How to ensure the legitimacy of Etsy sellers?’, we will learn what to do in the case where you decide to go ahead with a purchase on the external website, you should extensively research before purchasing an item. Read through the steps that will help you make the right decision
- Scan the URL: Legit websites such as Etsy use SSL certificates which indicate data encryption. If there is a lock symbol in front of the URL, it means the website is secure using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). If the lock symbol is missing, it indicates that the data entered can be easily stolen
- When in doubt, follow your instinct: When browsing through the external site, if you feel that the site does not look professional, follow your instinct and do not make the purchase. Some scam-like traits include excessive discounts, non-conventional payment options, spelling mistakes, or lack of contact information
- Search store name: A quick Google search based on the store name will provide you with enough information that can help you derive the legitimacy of the Etsy seller
4- Refrain from giving out personal information
There are chances that once you log in to your Etsy account and try to make a purchase, the seller may use a different tactic to get your personal information. This is mainly done through phishing emails which when clicked on may take you to a phishing website requesting your personal details.
When you receive an email from an Etsy seller, read it thoroughly and understand the content of it before clicking on any external site provided in the link.
5- Asked to pay outside the side? Do Not!
Once you contact a seller for an item and they request you to make the payment outside the website using another mode, it is a major red flag. They may ask you to use a different mode of payment that suits their best interest. There is no way of knowing how honest the seller is in such a case. Which is why you should not entertain such requests.
The last trick to learning how to ensure the legitimacy of Etsy sellers.
6- Customer reviews can be really helpful.
On almost all e-commerce and online portals, there is a unit dedicated to customer reviews. You can get crucial information from this segment. Prior to making a purchase, every customer must browse through customer reviews. If you do not find any, it basically means you should not consider buying the product. There is a chance that the seller is not really a fraud but why take the risk?
The 6 points mentioned in our blog titled ‘Is Etsy a legit site? How to ensure legitimacy of Etsy sellers?’, are some helpful tools that will help you ascertain that you do not become a victim of online fraud which has become extremely common in today’s time.
With the information mentioned above, we hope that we can help our readers make smart choices when it comes to spending their hard-earned money on online portals. While Etsy is a legit site, there is always room for unwanted incidents and as buyers, it is our duty to check the legitimacy of sellers and sites before punching in credit card details.