Stung by Etsy – Struggle it is REAL!

STILL a lot of work to do — but I thought I would take the time to write this in the middle of all of this KAOS…
this is happening life! (since 310am this morning!)

11/1/2023 Update at the bottom of this post.

I have heard a lot of YouTubers out there talking about Etsy Store suspension over the past couple of months. Many were warning about the potential impact and providing good advise and tactical actions you should take to protect the listings and order data. Many others were saying not to freak out – but instead to take the time to make sure your store is compliant, not using non-approved mockups, show that the Print-on-Demand (POD) products you offer have the right production partners aligned to them and such.

With all of this talk, I thought what a great time to double up on Etsy, and took some time to make sure I have some refreshed. created some new t-shirts, and spent a lot of time over the last weekend to get my ETSY store up to date. I have a bout 50 digital products, maybe 10 or hand crafted manual deliveries, and about 14 or so POD products – mostly tshirts, with a couple of coffee cups. Also took the time to tell people on my social media, and a few other places about the new product and for two days, everything was going super really well, new T-shirts and Xmas cards were selling and then… overnight from nowhere – I tried to login to my store and found out that it was shut down, and I can not go into it as my account has been suspended.


The first thought in my mind when I found this out ( at 330am):

What are my new customers going to think???

This is a very bad time to be in this position, as I am attracting new customers, spent a lot of time promoting the new product, and this is the first impression my customers will see? ARGH!!!

Ok – Come down, breath in / breath out and focus on one step at the time… What is next?

How am I going to fix this????? First Contact ETSY.

Immediately contacted ETSY via their support form – the only way do it – and got messaged back – we will respond to you in 1 -2 days. — As of 11:am today there has been no email notification from Etsy on my store being closed or amu follow-up at all. I am still locked out.

What do I do with orders in progress?

Fortunately orders placed are in my inbox. for those being fulfilled by a production partner, things will still work and customers will not notice a missed beat. ( thank you Printful and Printify!)

For customers that order items I need to fulfil them ( this is taking time away from my plan work time) I need to make sure I communicate to any customers , Do I have their emails???

What do I do with all those links to my store?

Immediately after I went into hyper drive and began to create a store on my site. I use to have WooCommerce in the past, and did not wanted to have that again, so I opted for SureCart free version to begin with instead. It is very easy to install / use / manage. I just need to connect it to my PayPal account and create the different products.

I was up and running with my special order holiday cards in 30 minutes. YEAH! and I was LUCKY ENOUGH that all of my links to it, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and other social media postings were pointing to a landing page on my blog ( single page) which then showed all the cards, and had inks to the Esty product pages. I quickly changed those to

What about my POD product – T-shirts / coffees mugs/ framed art, etc. — Still trying to figure out what to do with these ones — not sure yet — will update post as I finish.

https://doodlingjorge.com/surecartWhat about my digital products? SureCart has the ability to sell digital products but need to figure out what to do here — more on this one soon…

What about the money paid by my customers which is still in Etsy – is that recoverable? Will it be paid?

As if this moment – I have NO IDEA. and I have to confess my wife is the one that brougtt this up, as I had not even thought about it…

Bottom line:

Etsy, hear me out: damage to my reputation is ALREADY DONE!!

for established sellers to have to go through this, is very bad — I will say that this terrible for small store or someone just starting this is devastating!! —

TWO things that I am glad I did:

  1. I have my own website and have everything in there.
  2. NEVER use Etsy direct links on any of my promotional posting or links. point them to your site and used redirectors (bit.ly or similar) if needed. ALL external links should be managed via redirector ( Bit.ly, Worddpres atc) instead of using direct links. this will save you hours in case you need to

STILL a lot of work to do — but I thought I would take the time to write this in the middle of all of this KAOS

11/1/2023 12:30am – UPDATE:

Still no word from ETSY customer support – It is ABSOLUTELLY terrible what they have done. Spend many of my limited available time today working on several options to re-create the store.

Big THANK YOU to all of the folks out there who pinged me about the “outage” and your patience and support — You are super nice customers (and friends)…

I have implemented SureCart for my cards, some of my physical and digital products. it was super easy and fast to get it going and I think it is a GREAT platform from what I can see so far. Looking for

For the Print on Demand like t-shirts coffee mugs and big framed prints, Printify has now a way to publish its own store for POD items. Still looking to see what I can come up with for Printful POD as they do not have a store, but I may not need them if Printify provides what I need, and their own store integration is fantastic!

Not fully recovered yet, ( and I have no idea as to what will happen with Etsy store or money they collected) but looking forward to a good night sleep. Updates again tomorrow.

11/1/2023 06:30a – Update

Finally received an email from ETSY! — explaining why the reason to limit the access (it was not suspended!) because of suspicion login —

Nov 1, 2023, 4:46 AM EDT


Thank you for writing to us. My name is ##### and I'm a member of Etsy's Trust & Safety team.

We have temporarily limited access to your Etsy account because we've detected a suspicious login. We've done this to protect your personal and financial information. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

To restore your account, please answer the security questions that follow, which will help us verify that you're authorized to access this account.
What is your full name?
What month and year did you create your Etsy account?
Can you give us a shipping address you've used when purchasing from Etsy?
What cities and/or states do you most frequently sign in to your Etsy account from?
Which internet browser do you use most frequently to sign in to Etsy?
Do you use any mobile devices to access your Etsy account? Please specify.

We value your privacy and will never share your responses. We hope to hear back from you soon.

I have to say they got to get better at this! — Even my bank provides better customer service than that – Also crazy questions to validate the account they ask. Had to search for them, but wait — most of those are in my Etsy account! Luckily I archive all of my email – and for the first time this came in handy to restore my account — took me about 45 minutes to search / validate the information, but I did it! — Responded back to them with the best answers I could find and then the waiting game starts again…

11/2/2023 – 9:30am – UPDATE

My store was restored and after an email from Etsy (see below) and a required password my store is back on!

Nov 2, 2023, 12:27 AM EDT

We’re sorry to hear about the trouble you've been experiencing with your Etsy account.

After reviewing your account, we’ve determined it was suspended in error. We’ve reinstated your account so you can continue to use Etsy.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If we can help with anything else, please let us know.

First thing I did was to export the data out of it. Just in case this happens again. I have also changed all my autorenewals to manual renewals.

11/3/2023 – 12:30pm – UPDATE

This experience, and the stress associated with it, has definitely re-confirm my gut feeling that marketplaces like ETSY are not really where I want to play in — I draw my art for me and the people that like it, I do not follow trend, or try to drive audiences in the volume that is needed to sustain an Etsy-kind of store ( would be nice, but it requires time, research, keeping up with trends, which I prefer to spend DOING and promoting my art!

  1. Keep your core systems YOURS.
    • a) Fortunately had a fully functioning WordPress site to go to.
    • b) I point most of the links out there to my blog/website specific pages or posts, so I was able to change those pointers in the landing page to good links, providing, for the most part, a smooth and easy transition.
  2. Have a backup contingency plan in case this happens again
  3. If you are to rely on market places that can kick you out / suspend you in a moment notice without notification
    • Note: that I know of, ETSY is the only one that does this without notice or email alert handling everything via email and 24-48 hour cycles. From what I have heard my ordeal was quickly addressed, but other may take a week or more to resolve, and many come back as “suspension stands” with no further recourse or appeal.
  4. I was driving traffic to ETSY — Etsy drive very little traffic to me ( only when I advertised ) so the question is why Etsy?
  5. It is not difficult or expensive to be prepared and setup your own commerce site — It is however, very time consuming if you do it all at once in a hurry! —
  6. Do not disperse, just focus on best action plan and move forward
  7. Tell the story as it happens — Lots of people will support and encourage you! ( it was much needed – thank you!)

Again still loving the newly found SureCart and Printify apps for managing everything ! Simply Amazing tools.

Will I be going to back to ETSY?

Take a look at some of the social media, blog posts and YouTube videos over the past 3 months Lots of stories like mine time and time again. This is a systemic ETSY problem that is affecting thousands of their loyal users. Most of us are de-emphazing the reliance on Etsy and focusing on self-reliant

to answer your question: Not a chance I am going to be relying on Etsy. At least not in the way I was planning to. everything changed for me. Etsy is/was a great platform but one that is making some significant BASIC mistakes as they are trying to regain control in the era of mass market and AI powered automation.

What made me the most upset about this experience?

Two things:

  1. Communications was simply terrible. If a store or account is suspended communicate proactively!
  2. Several customers noticed, and I probably lost a few pennies, but I think reputation points.

Now, going back to work!

11/3/2023 – UPDATE 4:30pm

Well I thought that was it for updates but just received an email from ETSY that We’ve placed a temporary Payment account reserve on your shop

Hi DoodlingJorge,

We take our responsibility to keep Etsy a safe, trusted place to shop and sell very seriously.

We’re reaching out to let you know that we’ve placed a temporary Payment account reserve on your shop.

Payment account reserves can be temporarily placed on any account because of recent shop changes or activity—this can include factors like the examples listed below. We know you may have been selling on Etsy for a while, so we wanted to share more info about why this happened and what to do next.

Like many other marketplaces, we have reserves to help protect sellers and buyers by creating a buffer so your Payment account balance doesn’t go negative. This means we won’t have to charge your card on file in case of any refunds or unexpected charges, like a chargeback from a buyer’s credit card company.
(Full email to the right - click on image)

I guess it makes sense, as I had a surge in sales and have to protect buyers and sellers. I heard about this practice in my research over the week. Just glad they communicated this time. — Not sure about the money – but need to do my accounting over the weekend!

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