Etsy Entrepreneurs

Etsy Caves on Seller Payments Reserves Strategy

Throughout this year, there has been a notable surge in seller grievances concerning payment reserves on Etsy, as evidenced by discussions on Facebook and various online forums.

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The matter gained significant traction in the UK media over the past weeks, shedding light on this apparently growing problem, as many Etsy sellers are solopreneurs and can’t afford lengthy delays in receiving their payments.

While this issue gained media attention in the UK, it’s a platform-wide concern affecting sellers in the U.S., Canada, and other countries.

In response to the media picking up on this situation, Etsy swiftly reversed its stance and announced changes to its reserve program.

The marketplace acknowledged the delicate balance between safeguarding buyers on the platform while also wanting sellers to expand their shops on the platform.

Etsy said it recognizes the importance of timely and secure payments and hopes this “will address these pain points while enabling us to deliver on our commitments to keep our marketplace safe.”

The company has traditionally made funds available promptly upon a sale, setting itself apart from other marketplaces that necessitate a delivery confirmation before disbursing payment. This trust-driven strategy often yielded positive results, ensuring smooth transactions and satisfying customer experiences.

Yet, Etsy said that this approach was not without its risks. The company understands the potential ramifications of unforeseen events, potentially disrupting the trust Etsy provides to its loyal buyers and enterprising sellers.

To address these challenges, Etsy introduced its payment account reserves in 2021, a proactive measure that has proven effective in deterring fraudulent activities and maintaining the reliability of shopping experiences. But as witnessed by raising complaints from sellers, this strategy may have gone a bit too far.

As part of Etsy’s ongoing commitment to its seller community, the company is rolling out strategic adjustments to its payment reserve program. These updates are designed to address seller concerns and relieve any operational hurdles they may face.

Etsy Key Enhancements

  1. Dynamic Reserve Allocation: Etsy is substantially reducing the percentage of funds held in reserve for the vast majority of sellers. This shift aims to enhance cash flow for sellers while preserving the marketplace’s security measures.
  2. Enhanced Seller Communication: Sellers newly placed in reserves will receive improved and comprehensive communications. These communications will provide clear insights into the rationale behind the reserve allocation and offer guidance on expediting fund release.
  3. Adapting to External Factors: Etsy acknowledges that certain challenges, such as limited cost-effective tracking options for shipping in specific regions, can impact a seller’s ability to adhere to conventional shipping practices. In response, the company will recalibrate its criteria and create accommodations to expedite fund release for sellers grappling with external constraints.

Etsy confirmed yesterday it has implemented these updates. Sellers will be promptly notified of any changes to their reserve status, reaffirming Etsy’s commitment to transparency and open communication.

While these changes appear to address many situations, Etsy said will continually refine its payment reserve program, fine-tuning criteria, and processes to identify optimal scenarios for reserve application.

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  1. Jan Latusek says:

    It wasn’t just the phenomenally high level of the reserves (75%!) that was having a drastic effect on small craft businesses – preventing them from servicing orders already recieved, and from restocking raw materials – it was the way the reserves were applied, without warning. Just a sudden out-of-the-blue imposition, with no obvious logic as to who might get hit. In some cases sellers who had never put a foot wrong in a decade of trading with Etsy. No advance discussion, and no easy way to get past automated responses when trying to find what the hell was going on! Some perfectly innocent sellers have been devastated by this. Etsy is giving (some) piecemeal answers, in media interviews, but sellers are not being directly informed. Communication between Etsy and its sellers has been appalling.

    1. I agree, that seems to be another common complaint, lack of communication and very little information even when they released the funds of why they held them in the first place. They claim that is also being fixed, but Etsy’s history on customer service has been mediocre at best.


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