Etsy's new rating system gets "zero stars"

...not only from me, but many others.

Etsy recently implented a new Shop Rating system, replacing it's former Feedback system (positive, neutral, negative). It is now strikingly similar to Ebay and Amazon's seller rating system, where you can rate your transaction experience with one ("disappointed"), two ("not a fan"), three ("it's okay"), four ("like it"), or five ("love it") stars.

I have been a member of Etsy since 2007. True, there have been many changes since then, both large and small... I have weathered and rolled with all them. However, this is the first time I have been disappointed by a change that Etsy has made, as it seems to strike at the very heart of what Etsy, as a handmade marketplace, stands for. I am VERY disappointed.

My shop has carried 100% feedback with almost 2200 sales and 1042 positive feedback (equivalent to 5/5 stars
). But as many have already pointed out, it is VERY rare that someone leaves a five-star rating, no matter how good the service/product... and yet, I feel that potential buyers will misconstrue a 4-star shop with less than acceptable service or products, as many do on Ebay and Amazon. I much prefer the old feedback setting, where you could either leave positive, neutral, negative feedback... none of this wishy-washy stuff that can be misconstrued by potential customers. 

The so-called "new and improved" feedback system is not fair to either the seller or the buyer. It strips the positive feedback that our customers have worked so hard for (and also many Etsy shop keepers who are also buyers on Etsy!). As well, it removes our right as sellers to defend ourselves against unfair feedback, should that ever occur. For the majority of sellers on Etsy, the closest connection we have to the customer is being able to leave glowing feedback for them, and vice versa. That is being withdrawn from us with this new system.

There is a discussion on the Etsy forum about this new rating system. I appreciated what this individual had to say:
"What a mess!! So most buyers will leave 3 & 4 star ratings which buyers think are absolutely reasonable even if the seller gives discounts, free shipping and gifts. This was proven on Ebay to the point where for example, they had to force 5 stars to be automatic if free shipping was built into the listing.

A few buyers will use the feedback leverage to blackmail sellers into giving whatever their creative little hearts will deem appropriate to prevent poor ratings. It only takes a few of those to knock out a seller's reputation.

Sellers become anxious, annoyed, insulted, defensive.......

Buyers can't understand why sellers don't seem to be as flexible, generous or responsive as they used to be....buyers become anxious, annoyed, insulted, defensive.......

All evaluations are highly subjective, personal, emotional, critical, manipulative.......
Comments help with self reflection.....but with anything less than 5 stars those stars become weapons and will be felt that way by sellers and used as such by buyers.

Admin. keeps asking that we give it a chance. I would suggest that thousands of Etsy's sellers are very experienced in the ways of selling their products online. I personally have over 10 years of selling on Ebay and Etsy. When I see a car coming at me on the road I know to step out of the way. For Admin. to say just stand there and see what happens sounds very foolish to me."

Well said!

If you haven't already guessed, I am averse to this new rating system in every way. If Etsy doesn't change it, I am actually considering looking for another venue to sell my items. I have heard many shop owners have already closed their shops or put them in 'vacation mode' hoping Etsy will do something, in the meantime.


  1. I just googled the new etsy rating system and found your blog. So well said. I have been a small jewelry seller on etsy and have really enjoyed it. I've had 23 positive reviews and one neutral review. The neutral review was from a buyer who wanted to interchange charms on her chain, and because she couldn't, she gave a neutral review. (Had the buyer asked me to make the necklace with the possibility to do this, of course I would've obliged. She didn't.) So now with 23 five-star reviews and 1 three-star review, my shop is rated a 4-star shop. Not good. I am also disappointed and feel the same as you. I may be closing up shop. Thank you for your post.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Sejab. I know we're not alone... there are many other sellers on Etsy who feel the same. All it takes is one glimpse at that message board. Etsy says they have thought long and hard about this change, and took into account a lot of what the sellers had to say about the review system, before implementing it. But by the looks of the message board, that is NOT the case.

  2. Beverly - It's been a long time, I hope you and your kitties are good. I'm trying to get back into selling again and Etsy has changed so much over the years (since 2008) Thank you for finding me on storenvy so we can be blog friends again! Have an amazing weekend!!

    1. So nice to reconnect with you Jen! Yes, Etsy has changed a lot over the years... a lot of it not for the best. :-/

  3. Rather sad, isn't it? Changes are inevitable but not all are for the good. It's unfortunate that Etsy's new rating system leans this way. You're right. It makes it harder for sellers to defend themselves against customers with irrational demands and leave them unfavorable reviews. And given that it's an online platform, every feedback counts. Perhaps you can try other online store servers as an alternative to Etsy.

    Reach for Freedom Pty Ltd

  4. The main problem that I saw with the new system is that it treats shops with rankings 4 and below as substandard, which really isn’t fair for those shops who actually sell great products, just not the most popular niche in the market.