In an effort to improve the overall level of customer service on the Etsy marketplace Etsy instituted a new rating system for sellers in late 2019. Called Order Dissatisfaction Rating (ODR), the system monitors each shop’s customer service based on customer reviews and complaints. When a shop dips below Etsy’s acceptable threshold, it’s given a warning and time to improve. If it doesn’t improve, the shop is closed.
“Buyers come to Etsy for special, one-of-a-kind items and a personalized shopping experience with customer service they can depend on,” states this Etsy help article explaining ODR. The article goes on to explain that buyers should get the item they ordered in a timely manner and items should be as described.
Is this new?
The Etsy marketplace is vast, with 2.6 million active sellers. For years Etsy has monitored seller’s shops for customer service satisfaction, sending sellers warnings if their shops aren’t meeting expectations and closing down shops who simply fail to comply. The difference now is the system has been made transparent to sellers for the first time.
See your ODR
Are you an Etsy seller? Click here to see your ODR. (Although ODR is transparent to sellers, the ODR link isn’t in the Etsy Shop Manager dashboard making it somewhat difficult to find.)
How are shops evaluated?
Shops are now evaluated on an ongoing basis based on two factors:
- The number of cases opened against your shop. (Cases are instances in which a customer has filed an official complaint to Etsy about a specific transaction.)
- The number of 1-2 star reviews your products have.
If a customer upgrades their star rating from 1 or 2 stars to 3 stars or higher, the low star rating still counts against the seller, and even if Etsy finds in favor of the seller in a case, the case still counts against the shop. ODR is based on a percentage of reviews and, as many sellers have pointed out, shops with fewer sales could really suffer from just a few low reviews.
Shops must maintain an ODR of less than 1% in order to sell on Etsy. ODR is evaluated on a rolling basis over 90 days of sales and sellers monitor their shop’s ODR percentage at any given time.
What happens if your shop gets a warning?
If a shop’s ODR rating jumps above 1% Etsy’s Customer Trust & Safety team may send the seller a warning that will include a summary of their customer service performance. After a shop receives a warning Etsy will review the shop again within 90 days.
Shops can receive two customer service warnings within two years. If a shop continues to get low reviews or open cases even after these two warnings it will be reviewed for permanent suspension. If a seller has two shops, each shop is evaluated separately. And if you close your shop and open a new one the warning you received for your current shop will apply to the new one. (See more from Etsy here.)
Etsy sellers react
Many Etsy sellers are simply unaware of ODR and are surprised to learn that their customer service performance is being monitored in this way. (Unlike its campaign to get sellers to adopt free shipping or Etsy Ads, Etsy hasn’t done a great job explaining ODR to sellers.)
Other sellers find ODR to be both frightening and outrageous, spurring them to branch out and establish stand-alone ecommerce sites as a safety precaution should they lose their Etsy shop due to a handful of upset customers. Seller BigDogLadysJools notes on the Etsy forums, “ODR is a travesty of justice, unfortunately Etsy doesn’t care that it is, they’d rather neg good long time sellers than get rid of the scammers and counterfeiters that overwhelm Etsy with their crapola. OP, if you haven’t already done so, I’d consider branching out elsewhere.”
How are you feeling about ODR? Has it changed the way you behave as a seller, and has it changed your feelings about Etsy? Tell us in the comments.