Working online can be tough, and it gets a lot tougher when you have to support a growing customer base.
While the majority of people in this world are pleasant and understanding, you’ll occasionally run into people that may not be quite as tolerable. And to save yourself headaches, it’s worth it just to block them from ever doing business with you again.
In this article, we’ll cover how to block people on Etsy, and other steps you can take to prevent bothersome customers from causing trouble to you or your Etsy store.
Can You Block Buyers On Etsy?
Yes and no.
Etsy does allow you to block buyers in a sense, but blocking a buyer doesn’t prevent them from sending you messages or ordering from your store.
Ironically, this seems a bit crazy, right? Intuitively, you’d imagine that blocking someone would prevent them from interacting with you in any way. While there are things you can do other than blocking to force away unpleasant buyers, blocking them isn’t the best option.
So what does the block feature actually do?
Unfortunately, all blocking does is prevent someone from ‘following’ your shop and your shop activity. Even if you block someone on Etsy, they are still able to browse your shop, send you messages, and order from your store. It’s worth noting that even if you could actually block people from buying from you, Etsy allows people to purchase as a guest, without an account. So, the feature may not be that helpful anyway.
We’ll go over how to counteract this in just a moment, but let’s first look at how to block buyers on Etsy.
How To Block An Etsy Buyer
Blocking a buyer on Etsy is relatively simple. It should be noted that buyers have no way to know whether or not you’ve blocked them unless they visit your profile – they will not receive any sort of notification.
To block a buyer on Etsy, follow these steps:
How To Block An Etsy Buyer On Desktop:
On desktop, visit the buyer’s Etsy profile by clicking on their name.
Next, scroll down past their favorite items and collections. At the bottom of the page, there will be a small button on the center of the page, above Etsy’s footer that says ‘Block this person’.
Once you click it, a box will pop up asking you to confirm whether you want to block them or not. Click the ‘Block’ button, and the user will be blocked.
How To Block An Etsy Buyer On Mobile Using The Etsy App
On the ‘Sell On Etsy’ app, it’s a little different.
When you tap on a buyer, the app may not pull up their full profile yet. Therefore, you have to scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and tap on ‘Full Profile’.
From there, scroll down again and click on ‘Block this person’. Just like on desktop, a confirmation will pop up asking if you’re sure you’re want to block them.
Press the button, and they’re successfully blocked!
Other Things To Do
Since you’re unable to fully block a buyer on Etsy from ordering or messaging you, what else should you do?
First things first, look out for their orders, and instruct your team to look for them as well if you have one. One of the most common reasons sellers choose to block buyers on Etsy is due to either scams, or unfair 1-star reviews.
As a seller, the last thing you want is to be scammed a second time, or have a disgruntled customer leave multiple negative reviews simply out of spite. We’ve seen it happen before, and it sure is frustrating!
Upon receiving an order from a buyer you no longer wish to do business with, simply cancel the order within your Etsy dashboard.
You can cancel an Etsy order by going to the order on your Etsy dashboard, clicking ‘More Actions’, and then clicking ‘Cancel’. Under the reason for cancelling, select ‘Shop owner declines sale.’
How To Block An Etsy Buyer From Sending You Messages
While the block feature unfortunately doesn’t outright prevent buyers from sending you messages (even if they are blocked), there are a few things you can do.
First of all, don’t engage in any behavior with trolls or outright hostile shoppers. Once you’ve done everything you can do to help them, responding at all (even if in a calm and collected manner) may only rile them up further, and encourage the behavior. In these instances, ignoring a buyer completely is absolutely justified.
Some sellers recommend sending a final message to the buyer notifying them that you will not be responding to any further messages. Eventually, they will give up.
If the buyer is doing something that goes against Etsy’s rules and policies (such as threatening or harassing you), you should report the buyer to Etsy. While this will not prevent them from messaging you straight away, Etsy may take further action if they deem it is warranted.
Per Etsy’s guidelines on how to handle harassment on their platform, Etsy recommends getting in touch with them directly using the ‘Contact Support’ button. This page can also be accessed by clicking here.
Note that the ‘Mark as spam’ button found inside your Etsy mailbox does not actually prevent you from receiving notifications about their messages.
When Should You Block Etsy Buyers?
Part of running a business is dealing with unsatisfied customers.
You could do absolutely everything right, and still encounter customers that seem to get pleasure out of causing you trouble.
So, don’t hold it against yourself! This is just part of dealing with the public. However, despite what managers of big corporations like to spout out, the customer is most certainly not always right! They can definitely take it to far, and you shouldn’t be afraid to put your foot down and stand up for yourself.
Some possible reasons you might want to block Etsy customers include:
- Harassment or other vulgar language.
- Scams or attempted scamming.
- Filing chargebacks, or opening unjust disputes with Etsy.
- Leaving unjust one-star reviews (note that Etsy sellers can’t remove reviews, even if they are completely nonfactual.)
- Return / refund abuse.
- Unreasonable behavior.
Troublesome buyers are often more hassle than they’re worth. Don’t be afraid to ‘fire’ customers that you no longer want to be doing business with.
Although the idea of turning away someone’s money may not sit well with some people, my philosophy is this – if someone is bothering you to the point where it’s having an effect on your well being, block them without thinking twice.
With over 80 million buyers shopping on Etsy each year, there is no shortage of customers. Use that mental energy to grow your business, and focus on bringing in new, more pleasant shoppers instead.
While there is no way to completely block a buyer from contacting or interacting with you on Etsy, there are steps you can take to minimize the trouble that they cause. And when it comes down to it, you can always report them to Etsy.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If there are any questions that I can answer for you, feel free to ask them using the comment form below.
Best of luck with your shop!
– James McAllister