Etsy Rules for Selling – What Etsy sellers Need to Know Before Starting their Etsy Stores

29 nov. 2023

This image depicts a blog post about Etsy's selling policies. Sellers on Etsy must follow strict rules and regulations to ensure a successful, platform-compliant selling experience.
This image depicts a blog post about Etsy's selling policies. Sellers on Etsy must follow strict rules and regulations to ensure a successful, platform-compliant selling experience.

Introduction to Etsy's policies

With the growing popularity and success of marketplaces, it's not surprising that more entrepreneurs are turning to platforms like Etsy to reach a wider customer base. However, as entrepreneurs, you now have responsibilities that need to be understood. In this case, the responsibility lies in adhering to Etsy's selling rules. As you probably know, there are many rules, and they are strict.

Can you sell on the Etsy Marketplace in your country?

One of the main reasons you could be permanently banned is if your country is not on the list of eligible countries to create an Etsy account and sell on the platform. It is therefore crucial to check this list before opening your Etsy shop to see if your country is allowed or not.

What Is Intellectual Property Infringement on Etsy and How to Avoid It

Understanding these regulations is really important, as it can help you avoid costly mistakes. Let me give you an example. In the Notion niche, many people have created products based on a book by the famous David Allen, particularly on his book "GTD" (Getting Things Done).

You'll find various products on platforms like Etsy that use the phrase "Getting Things Done" in their titles. However, in 2001, David Allen and his legal team trademarked this phrase, and it's still active today. What does this mean?

Well, if you're selling a product in the same category (Productivity), you can't use this expression in your titles or visuals without explicit authorization from the author.

I had a bad experience with the word "Polaroid" myself. I was just starting out and didn't realize that this word was actually a brand, not a common word. Long story short, I received a notice of "trademark infringement" only three weeks after putting my product up for sale. Now, I have a very simple process to avoid this kind of situation.

There are websites where you can check if the words or phrases you want to use are registered trademarks. One of them concerns the United States (the most important): USPTO - just enter your searches here and see if the trademark is active and if it applies to the same products and services, you should avoid using the searched expression, whether in your titles, mockups, or descriptions and tags.

Etsy's copyright rules

Let me quickly explain what copyright infringement means. So, let's say you download a PNG file from Creative Fabrica and then decide to resell it on Etsy.
Well, that's considered a copyright violation. When selling on platforms like Etsy, it's crucial to create your own product. You can definitely draw inspiration from other products, but remember to avoid crossing the line from getting inspired to copying.

Personally, I recommend creating your product from scratch to ensure you steer clear of any copyright issues. If you ever decide to use products from other platforms to assist in creating your products, carefully read the licenses to understand what you can or cannot do.

What happens if I receive multiple notices of intellectual property infringement?

When you receive a notice of intellectual property infringement, Etsy's security team will review your shop and decide whether to close it or not. They may close your shop after the first offense or give you additional chances.

In the Etsy seller community, we often consider three warnings to be the magic number. So, it's important to be cautious as you approach this number of infractions and follow Etsy's rules. When assessing your shop, they take into account several factors, such as the type of infringement, your seller status, and the products you sell.

For instance, if you copy Disney creations, they will close your shop after the first warning. But if you make a beginner's mistake, like using the word "Polaroid" in your title, you should get another chance.

Can I be banned or suspended by mistake?

Yes, it is entirely possible to be banned or suspended by mistake. In fact, I know two sellers on Etsy who opened their shops in June and unfortunately were permanently banned in July.

They followed all the rules and were in eligible countries, so we really don't know what happened. Only Etsy knows. That's why, if you start generating solid income on Etsy, it might be wise to launch your own website in parallel, so as not to rely solely on Etsy.

Personally, one of my bestsellers was inexplicably deactivated in July (super frustrating) for a whole two weeks. Thankfully, Etsy eventually reactivated it. But because of that, I lost €2,000 in potential sales and all I got from them was an email saying, "Oops, our algorithm mistakenly flagged your product. Sorry for the deactivation." What was I saying about not being too dependent on Etsy?

Other things I should be aware of

There are a few key points to keep in mind. For instance, if your shop receives numerous negative reviews or complaints, it could eventually be closed by Etsy.

If you forget to pay for an Etsy listing, your Etsy account could be suspended until you resolve the issue. Sending persistent messages or spam is also a violation of the terms of use and could result in suspension. There are certain prohibited items that you cannot sell on Etsy (dangerous items).

It is essential to consult the list before selling your items if you have any doubts. If you sell physical products, it's crucial to avoid using hazardous materials or creating items promoting illegal activity. Engaging in such practices can result in a permanent ban from the platform.


Selling on the Etsy marketplace can be an excellent way to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey and reach an international audience easily. However, it's important to understand the rules and regulations regarding trademark, copyright infringement, and avoid selling illegal items.

Make sure to do your research and avoid any violations that could sometimes lead to serious consequences. As long as you adhere to the platform's guidelines, you should sell on Etsy and grow your shop stress-free. If you have any doubts, you can consult the Etsy Terms of Service or seek assistance from any Etsy community you can find. The Etsy Forum and Facebook groups are often very helpful resources for clarification and guidance.

Thank you for taking the time to read my content! If you enjoyed it, want to sell on Etsy and don't want to miss any posts, feel free to follow me on. Youtube or X.

If you're looking to build a successful Etsy shop using Etsy ads, be sure to check out this new article about them. You can read the full article here