Etsy Policy Changes: Should You Care?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Copywriting | 2 comments

Etsy Policy Changes:  Should You Care?

Last week, Etsy caused quite a stir by announcing several algorithm changes that will be going live on April 5th, 2016. Among these changes is the introduction of boilerplate policies that will effectively replace your personally written policies if you chose to adopt them. I personally will not be adopting them because I do not feel they provide proper coverage to digital sellers. Should you adopt them?

Well, that is a rather personal question. As you go through the information that is populating the Etsy forums, I would encourage you to think with a critical mind. It is scary any time change is implemented, especially when it’s tied to that three letter word we all love to hate (SEO). Etsy states that the reason for this change is to provide simple and straightforward policies to buyers that are consistent across shops. This will ultimately decrease the number of seller versus buyer cases that Etsy has to mediate, which is why they are incentivizing the adoption.

However, the million dollar question is this: How much of an improvement will your SEO get?

The answer is unclear at this time.

My recommendation is to read through the Etsy boilerplate templates with an open mind. If they work well for your business, by all means adopt them. If they do not work well for you, and you feel as though gaps are leaving you uncovered, then I would encourage you to keep your custom policies. I believe that if you have well-written policies currently, you should not change them to the boilerplates without knowing exactly how much (or how little) of a boost you will get in your SEO. If you lack policies, or if they are poorly written at this time, adopting the templates is a great way for you to get some customer protection and a possible improvement in your shop quality.

Do I have the answer to this quandary? No, I do not.

What do I know? I know that change on a third party website is inevitable. I know that you are playing by their rules. I know that this is but one factor that goes into a search algorithm, and you can still do well with your rankings with or without these templates. I know that you cannot base business decisions on incomplete information, and you must be willing to adapt as new information becomes available.

Bottom line:

Adopt the Etsy policy templates if you do not have current policies.

If you have current policies, read through the templates and compare what you currently have with what they are offering. If you feel confident they are representative of your business, go ahead and adopt them. If you are not so confident, there is nothing wrong in waiting to see how this latest change works out over the coming weeks to months.


  1. 5-24-2016

    You’ve got probably the greatest internet websites

  2. 3-27-2016

    Informative article, exactly what I needed.

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