I was pleasantly surprised to see an email on Thursday morning saying that one of my Etsy stores was awarded Star Seller status.
The new award has received mixed reactions from the community when it was first announced late July.
In this article, I will be discussing the criteria for achieving Star Seller, tips for how I achieved it, reactions from sellers and whether I think this is a policy worth worrying about as a seller.
What is Etsy Star Seller?
The Star Seller initiative was announced earlier this year in July, taking effect from 1st September 2021.
The aim is to identify and award sellers who have reached a minimum sales threshold and offer outstanding customer service.
All sellers have a new page added to their dashboard which shows their progress towards achieving a Star Seller badge. If they achieve the criteria, a purple badge will be displayed on their storefront.
Star Seller Criteria
Below is a summary of what you must achieve to get a Star Seller badge:
- 90 days on Etsy since your first sale.
- 10+ orders and $300+ sales over the past 3 months before shipping and taxes.
- 95%+ message responses within 24 hours.
- 95%+ 5 star ratings.
- 95%+ orders shipping within the stated processing time.
Sellers are reviewed on the 1st of every month, based on the last 3 months’ performance of their store.
See all the criteria in full on Etsy’s site as well as FAQs here.
Star Seller Benefits
You get a Star Seller badge on your storefront which helps you stand out, as well as chances to be featured in official Etsy newsletters and email promotions.
According to Etsy, search ranking will not be affected. The badge doesn’t show up in search when customers are browsing either – only if they click through to the listing page or your store.
Tips for Meeting the Star Seller Criteria
- Message responses
- Set up auto-reply.
- Turn your store email notifications on.
- Download the Sell on Etsy app to be notified when you receive customer messages.
- 5 star ratings
- See this article.
- Processing time
- Keep processing time short (1-2 business days) and stick to it. Allow lenient delivery time.
- Use a production partner such as Printful to create an automated delivery system for your store.
- Orders and sales
- Improve SEO and listing images.
- Promote on social media (especially Pinterest) to drive organic traffic.
- Consider using Etsy Ads if your listings convert well organically.
- Track every item you ship, using Etsy Labels or otherwise, and remember to mark your order as complete.
Spilling the Tea on Star Seller – Opinions and Controversies
What’s the point of this new award? Is this part of a grander scheme from Josh Silverman?
Watch the video to see some opinions from the Reddit Etsy community.
Perhaps it’s just a move to improve customer service.
Some people think it’s an “eBay-esque” tactic, in which case it’s unlikely to affect sales much.
Others have speculated it could be the carrot to the stick that was the ODR (Order Dissatisfaction Rate) introduced in 2019.
ODR seems to have been quietly removed from Etsy last year following a great deal of backlash and even a petition.
Are Certain Sellers At a Disadvantage?
There are clear disadvantages for certain groups of sellers when it comes to achieving Star Seller:
- Sellers who don’t track every shipment, particularly those that sell locally.
- Sellers outside of the realms of Etsy labels, and where shipping with tracking is less feasible e.g. Canadian sellers.
- Digital item only sellers who personalize products.
- Sellers who can’t ship orders within an ideal processing time all the time, because they have a life outside of Etsy.
Policy Changes So Far…
Based on seller feedback, a few (very necessary) changes have been made in the short time Star Seller has taken effect.
These include not having to respond to Etsy employee and automated messages as part of the message response criteria (bit of an oversight there), and return labels not being counted in shipping and tracking criteria.
There are likely to be more revisions over time, hopefully addressing the aforementioned issues.
These would ideally include:
- More lenient response times and excluding Sundays from the response criteria.
- Modifications for Canadian sellers and other areas where tracking creates problems.
- Separate criteria for digital only sellers.
In my opinion, while Star Seller is a nice recognition of our hard work for sellers who do achieve it, it’s nothing worth worrying about for everyone else either.
Etsy have said it won’t affect your search ranking, which is what most sellers were worried about.
There’s no Amazon Prime-tickbox type filter criteria for Star Sellers either, so there’s no worry about being excluded from search.
To customers, the badge is really just a cosmetic addition. As long as you offer excellent products and customer service to the best of your ability, your reviews will speak for themselves.
Links and Resources From This Article
All the external links in one place for easy reference.