So, as I always say, the forum on Etsy is chock full of conspiracy theories. I think the one that gets me the most though, is the idea that all customers are trying to scam you. That little old lady who sent you a message to say, hey! I messed up and put in my old address, can you please send my item here instead? Total scam. That person who joined Etsy today and ordered from you. Absolutely a scam artist. The person who spent $300 in your shop, buying a bunch of items? Definitely looking for free items. That guy who ordered and paid through DC, payment cleared, but Etsy hasn’t sent it to your bank account yet and it is in sitting in your shop payment account? Biggest scam!
We have to stop assuming all of our customers are liars, thieves, and scam artists. We have to stop googling our customers. We have to stop looking our customers up on facebook. So, let’s talk about these “scams”.
Sometimes, people really do forget to update their address after they move. Chances are, this is totally legit and they are not trying to get a free item. This is a really simple problem to solve. If they paid via DC, the Etsy convo they sent you updating their address will count when it comes to your seller protection. So, just don’t delete the convo. If they paid via Paypal, Paypal WILL NOT count that convo for your seller protection. So, what you can do to protect yourself is to politely explain that you must ship to the address listed on Paypal (which, by the way, is for all transactions…if the paypal address and etsy order address don’t match, you have to ship to the paypal address for seller protection), and that you need them to place the order again, and that you will refund and cancel the first order. However, this is only necessary if they haven’t set up mail forwarding with the post office. Now, mail forwarding adds an extra week or two to the delivery time, but if the item is low cost and not urgent, this is way easier. They can set up mail forwarding for $1 online, at USPS.com. For me, if it is a low cost item, I will risk it and send to the address they convo’ed me about. If it is an expensive order, I need the, to re-order. It is one thing if I am out $20. It is another if I am out $200.
My customer just joined today! It must be a scam! I joined Etsy because I found something I wanted to buy. I joined EBay because I found something I wanted to buy. I joined Amazon because I found something I wanted to buy. Etsy requires you to have an account to make a purchase. So, it is not far-fetched at all that a customer buys something the day they joined. They likely joined because they wanted to buy something! Be thankful that your item was so great that they had to join this website to ensure they had it in their lives!
A customer spent a large amount of money in my shop! Oh no! Your biggest concern here should be, how can I ensure this is the best buying experience this amazing customer has ever had!?! This person loves what you sell! That’s incredible! Be proud! Be excited! Go on a shopping spree and share the wealth! As long as the money is showing in your paypal account or in your shop payment account, the payment went through. That money is yours. When you ship the order, make sure you follow all seller protection requirements, in the unlikely event of a chargeback. Triple check the order, include the invoice. Ensure the address on the package matches the one on the order page. Make sure it matches the USPS verified address. If it doesn’t, reach out to your customer! Make sure the package has tracking. Take it to the post office, stand in line, make sure it gets scanned.
The last thing…the way Etsy money works is, customer buys something using DC…that money sits in Etsy limbo until the next day. Then, that money is available in your shop payment account to be deposited to your bank account. Once Etsy sends your money (every Monday in the US, or as often as you want if you choose to schedule an earlier deposit), it disappears from your shop payment account and can take 1-5 days to actually get into your bank account (this depends on your bank. Mine is always there the next day…Saturday Sale, Sunday available, Monday deposit, Tuesday in my checkings account). If the order page says the order is paid for, through DC, then the money exists. It is yours, even if you can’t touch it yet. You are safe to ship. You can look at your shop payment account and see that the money exists, even if it isn’t available for deposit yet. As long as the order page doesn’t say payment pending, then you are okay.
If they paid via Paypal, then check your Paypal account! If they used their balance or credit card, the money is available immediately. If they used an ECheck (which you can turn off accepting through your Paypal settings), then it may take a few days to clear. Usually 3-5. Do not send anything until you see the money in your Paypal account. Once it is in the account, you are good to go!
Will you eventually get scammed? Possibly. It happens with online selling. Is it likely? Not if you pay attention and think things through. (Wednesday’s post will be about the tell-tale signs of a scam!) Are most of your customers scam artists? Not hardly.
Treat your customers like you would want to be treated. I would cancel and order and never go back to a shop if they called me a scammer, especially in a public forum. How would you feel?