How to Return on Etsy

So, your order from Etsy just arrived, and you gleefully open the package to have a look at your newly-gotten goodies… but something’s not right.  This item isn’t the right colour.  That item got broken during shipping.  And that other item is missing parts entirely.  What do you do?

The Etsy returns policy

Etsy leaves its policies for returns up to each individual shop owner.  You can read a shop’s policies by clicking on the shop’s name, which takes you to the shop’s page on Etsy.  Then, click Policies under “Shop Info” on the left-hand side.

You can also find these policies by clicking on an item to take you to its page on Etsy.  Then, click on Shipping and Policies underneath the item’s picture to see the policies of the shop that sells that item.

A seller may have specific policies on returns, exchanges, and refunds.  For example, a seller may offer to exchange a defective item for a new non-defective one, but will not offer an outright refund for a return.  Others may simply send you a replacement item, and let you keep the defective one without having to return it.  In short, check a seller’s policies carefully to know what they will or will not be willing to do for you if there is a problem with one of your items.

How to return on Etsy

Before you return an item on Etsy, you should let the owner of the shop who sold you the item know that you’ve had a problem with the item (and send them a few pictures of the item as evidence).  You can then work out whether the shop owner wants the item returned for a refund or exchanged for a new item, or whether they will just send you a new item as a replacement.  Again, though, this will depend on the seller’s policies.

If the seller doesn’t respond to your problem, or doesn’t appear to want to work out a reasonable deal, you can report a problem with an item directly to Etsy within 60 days of the item’s estimated delivery date.  This will let you open a case against the seller, and the seller will have a week to respond to and resolve the case.  If they don’t, Etsy’s customer service department will step in and review the case, and may offer you a refund on the seller’s behalf.

See our How to Contact Etsy tutorial for instructions on how to contact a shop owner if there’s a problem with an item that they sold you, or how to contact Etsy in order to open a case against a seller.

In general, though, all that you have to do to return an item on Etsy is just pack it back up, apply return postage, and ship it off to the shop owner.  However, depending on the seller, they may have specific instructions that you need to follow in order for them to accept your return.  So, again, be sure to read their returns and exchange policies carefully.


Anyway, that’s a bit of information on how to return an item that you bought through Etsy!