Etsy Sellers Watch Out - April 2019

Video courtesy of Crystal Witch Rise/YouTube
If you or someone you know sells items on Etsy, you might want to check this out and share accordingly.  Last night, I received two notices from Etsy's billing department thanking me for making two noticeably large payments towards my account. The first thing I checked out was the sender address and yes, it is real and not some scammer.

UPDATE: Less than 24 hours of this post going live, I got an email from Etsy explaining that an "error" had been made and of course, they apologize for any inconvenience. Uh huh😑

Since 2007, I've been a loyal seller with no issues but despite their promotional offering$ (that cost a nice penny if you're not familiar with (Google Analytics) but there's no reason for me to be charged almost $70 for listing a few handmade items that cost less than $10 each.

After writing them a detailed email (it's been more than 12 hours but they tell you to give them 48 before you can expect to receive a response), I got another charge before I deleted the payment accounts that are likely to have been affected.  My PayPal account is what I've always trusted but sometimes...things happen.  Between then and Smile Direct Club, I'm learning the meaning of "TMI about my $$".

Anyway, after doing an online search to see if any others were affected, it seems that in February other sellers were affected. Ecommerce Bytes and TechCrunch have some pretty horrid accounts about sellers who've lost hundreds of dollars or are in jeopardy with their bank.  While both articles indicate that a small percentage have been affected, don't wait to become a casualty.

Here are a couple of tips - 

1. If sales are weak and funds are limited, do NOT take part in any passive paid promotional activities.  They get you with a free trial period and you can even see the increase visitors but this alone doesn't guarantee sales.  You're much better off creating your own loss leader using items that are slow sellers or creating an online giveaway.  

2. Set aside a debit card that has a small amount on it.  If you have a PayPal account,  their debit cards are usually easy to get if you have no outstanding claims or a clean record.  Even a Green Dot card that has only $10, $25, or $50 maximum is better than giving these people access to the account you use to pay bills.  However, I know from personal experience that PayPal investigates all forms of fraud and will settle all legit claims in a short period of time.