Sunday, 1 January 2012

Warning: These 5 Promotional Activities Will Get You Banned

With all the competition on Etsy, it’s natural to want to do a little extra to try and attract sales.

There are numerous, legitimate ways of gaining views and attracting sales without breaking any of Etsy’s Terms of Use.

But since most of us never read any terms and conditions, new Etsians tend to fall into 5 very appealing promotional traps.

On the surface, they seem like genuinely good ideas, but since they can lead to being banned, I would suggest we all avoid them.

Sending Thank You Convos
The rule against this seemingly innocent promotional activity is probably the most broken of them all.

If you’re the kind of Etsian who favourites many items, you will have been sent a thank you convo at some point.

I’m all for politeness and manners, the problem is that Etsy views this activity as spamming and prohibits it with a warning of suspending your ability to convo anyone, which will cause absolute chaos, as you won’t be able to converse with any real customers either.

Sending Coupon Codes
This is similar to the previous one. Many sellers send specially made coupon codes to people who favourite their items or shops.

When I first joined Etsy, I thought this was a brilliant idea. I even did it a couple of times and it actually resulted in sales!

Unfortunately, this is also considered as spamming and if reported, you will be banned from sending convos, so steer clear!

Sending Unsolicited Newsletters
Unlike the previous two, this one actually annoys me a little. In the past, I have been added to email lists for newsletters from Etsy sellers that I never signed up to.

I seriously do not need any more junk mail in my inbox!

Besides it being rude to take advantage of customers in this way, it is also illegal in some countries to use customer details without their permission.

Posting an Advert Listing
So you’re having a sale and you want to tell everyone about it. You create a listing, which doesn’t actually have anything for sale in it, it’s just to let everyone know you’re having a sale.

This is also against Etsy’s terms and will eventually get you banned.

Listings must sell something tangible, but this rule does not include digitally delivered items such as pdf files.

Etsy now have 'search ads', which is relatively inexpensive and can potentially attract many more customers than an ordinary listing.

Cross Promotion of a Service
This one is something that many people do. Offering gift wrapping or to upgrade to express shipping is a good idea, however, as with the example above, you must be selling something tangible.

To get around this rule, with gift wrapping, a customer must be able to purchase the item without having to purchase another item from you.

So, in your gift wrapping listing be sure to add that buyers will receive wrapping paper/bow/etc if they purchase the gift wrapping on its own.

And that’s it, 5 very common promotional no-no’s to avoid.

What lawful promotional activities would you suggest as an alternative?

If you found this article useful, please share it with others.


  1. Wow, didnt know that we cant send thank you messages to our customers, very useful to know. Thanks :-)

  2. Nadya... just wanted to correct you on a small detail, you can communicate with and send thank you messages to your customers, but not with people who have simply added your store or items to their favourites. :-)