How to Set Up Your Etsy Shop Policies

How to Set Up Your Etsy Shop Policies

Setting up your Etsy Shop Policies may not be glamorous but it is highly necessary for your shop’s success.

I know! I know! But it’s so boring!

Agreed. But a lot of what it takes to run a successful business is boring. It’s the nuts and bolts of the business.  The good news is that once it’s done you only need to (and should) review them once a year to ensure they up to date and accurate.

What Are Etsy Shop Policies?

Shop policies are what customers can expect from your ship in terms of shipping, returns, exchanges, cancellations, and privacy.  They are there for your protection as a shop owner as well as the buyers.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it will fully cover you from a grumpy customer who might want to open a case against your shop. That can and does still happen. But without them you have no protection at all.

So let’s get you protected!

What Do I Need in My Shop Polices?

The nice thing is that Etsy will help walk you through what you need in your shop polices.  Here’s where you can locate your policies to get started.

Frankly the only way I can find the policies is to get there the old fashioned way. By going through settings and then Info & Appearance. See below:

Shop policies


This redirects you to where they are located now days. Yes, I realize that being annoyed with things are moved around on a website or app is a sign of getting old. I feel it every day.

Anyway, once you’re at the policy section click “Edit”.  The first thing you need to fill in is the Processing Time.

Processing Time

This set’s your customer’s expectation of how long it will take for you to pack and actually ship their order.

Mine says 3-5 business days.  I always state business days because I don’t work on weekends. I’m running a business so I don’t have to work weekends.  If the order comes in on Friday, Saturday or Sunday it will ship on Monday usually without fail.  I keep my time 3-5 days just in case life get’s in the way and I need that extra time to process the shipment.  Of course, you can enter any time frame you feel comfortable with. Etsy likes shorter processing times so keep that in mind when setting your policies.

The next section will be customs and import taxes.

Customs and Import Taxes

This is where you will decide (assuming you are open to international orders) if you or your recipient will pay the import charges.  For my shop, the recipient pays the customs and import fees. I’m on a slim margin for most of my items so I’m not able to absorb those costs for the customers.  Again, you can decide if you are able to absorb this fee for them or not.

Isn’t it fun doing business! You have to make all these decisions.  Don’t feel guilty if you can’t absorb these costs.  I don’t know many shops that pay this for the customer.

Digital Downloads

You can skip  this if you don’t sell digital downloads.  If you are selling digital products this is where you let your customer know how they will receive their digital products (ie- by an email or direct download).

Payment Options

I believe you set this when you set up your shop and decide what forms of payment your shop will accept.

Set Your Shop Policy on Returns and Exchanges

This one is crucial. You have to decide if you’re going to accept return or exchanges and under what circumstances.

In my shop, I no longer accept returns or exchanges.  When I started I wanted to be nice and I allowed returns only to run into a problem with customers who played the retail therapy game too often.  These are the customers who are sitting around bored at night, they make an impulse purchase and when they receive it decide if they actually want it or not. They even want you to pay the return shipping.

It’s really hard to run a business that way, so I stopped. I even make sure to remind buyers in every listing that ALL SALES ARE FINAL. to ward off those shoppers that have a difficult time decided if they want something or not.  Or at the very least make they decide before they buy.

Obviously if you’re selling hand made clothing, you might want to allow for exchanges in case an item doesn’t fit. Be clear in the policies under what circumstances these returns will be accepted so there’s no confusion.


For the same reasons I don’t accept order cancellations.  You will have to decide your tolerance for things like returns and cancellations.  I can’t tell you what to do for your business. If it makes sense for you to allow cancellations then go for it.

Etsy Shop Privacy Policy

The last piece of the puzzle is a big deal. You absolutely MUST have a privacy policy. Especially if you’re selling in the EU. Legally you need it to conduct business.  The Etsy Sellers Handbook has an

How to Set Up Your Etsy Shop Policies // Etsy Shop // Etsy Business // Etsy
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example of how to write a privacy policy.

There are also several online resources that will help you generate a privacy policy.  Some of them are free and some require you to pay to download your policy.

It’s important that you get the details on your privacy policy correct. If you want to invest in legal advice I can personally recommend The Contract Shop .  Christina is a lawyer who decided to specialize in helping bloggers, photographers, and online sellers to get all the legal bits of their business correct.  Investing in The Contract Shop’s privacy policy it’s worth every penny because Christina makes sure it’s rock solid. Bonus, you can make payments and spread the cost over 4 months.

More Information FAQ

I’ve been asked several times if an Frequently Asked Questions section is necessary. Absolutely it’s necessary! For one thing, Etsy likes when all the shop sections are filled out. I always advise new shop owners to fill in as much information as Etsy gives you room for. Etsy put it there because they want it filled out.

If you’re new to selling you might be saying, “No one has asked me anything yet.” That’s okay, go into another shop’s FAQ (you can look at mine here) and see what questions they’ve answered. I can tell you that are you a smoke free home is a big one.  Do you have any pets is another.  If a buyer has allergies they’re going to want to know this information.

Check several shops similar to your own and pull out questions you think will pertain to your shop.  Re-write them so they sound like you and answer them as completely as you can.  You can always add more questions later as they come up.

Your Etsy Shop Policies Are All Set

That’s it! You’re shop Policies are all ready to go. You don’t have to think any more about them . . . this year. As I said earlier, it’s a good idea to review your policies on an annual basis to make sure nothing has changed. You don’t want to get caught up in a dispute because you changed your processing times and forgot to update your policies. Set a reminder in your phone so you don’t forget.  A review takes minutes to do.

Click the edit key and save your policies even if you didn’t make any changes.  Again, Etsy likes shops that are updated regularly so have shop policies that are updated annually looks great for your shop.

I hope this information is helpful to you on your journey to start and run your Etsy shop.  If you did find it helpful I am always grateful for a pin or a share!  If you haven’t yet checked out my other Etsy posts for sellers don’t miss Selling on Etsy All Your Questions Answered!  Of course, if I forgot to answer some of your questions I’m always happy to so comment below!

I’m always happy to hear from you guys on the blog or on my YouTube channel! There’s a world of information on the YouTube channel for Etsy Sellers as well so check that out too.

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6 thoughts on “How to Set Up Your Etsy Shop Policies

  1. Excellent information, I looked all over and finally found everything I HAD to know about shop policies. Plus, I am not afraid to ask any questions!

    1. Ask away! I love when people ask questions. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what I didn’t know when I started.

    1. Hi Amanda – You should be able to copy and paste it into your policy section.

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