Etsy has numerous ways of tracking sellers to prevent fraud and protect its customers. But, the system isn’t perfect and has various strict rules many users disagree with. Fortunately, creating a stealth Etsy account is a way to “work around” some of the rules.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about stealth accounts and how to use them for your Etsy store.
- What Is a Stealth Account, and Why Do You Need It?
- Are Stealth Etsy Accounts Illegal?
- How to Create a Stealth Etsy Account
- Should I Use a VPN If I am Using a Residential Proxy?
- Create Your Account
- Build Your Profile
- Be Careful With Your Stealth Etsy Account
- Next article: How to sell on Amazon after being suspended. 100% legal and guaranteed
What Is a Stealth Account, and Why Do You Need It?
A stealth account is an account that isn’t linked to your main one. This account is under a different name, IP address, and phone number and isn’t related to your real identity in any way.
You may wonder why you need a stealth account. Let’s explain it using some examples.
Imagine this: You’re running a successful Etsy shop, and the income is an excellent addition to your paycheck. Or, you may be making a living with your Etsy shop. However, one day, Etsy decides to suspend your account. Numerous factors can lead to an account suspension, such as not following their policy, scamming people, or being rude.
However, other reasons can hide behind a suspension, like sudden activity changes or making too much money too fast. Whatever the reason for the suspension, you just lost a significant source of income, and you want to restore the account as soon as possible. In this case, creating a stealth account will help you get back in the Etsy game much faster than waiting for Etsy to restore your original account.
The account shouldn’t be connected in any way to your suspended account because if it is, Etsy will block it.
Another situation in which setting up a stealth Etsy account is useful is if you want to run more than one shop without connecting them. Or, you may want to have a backup plan if Etsy decides to suspend or ban your original account.
Are Stealth Etsy Accounts Illegal?
Stealth Etsy accounts aren’t illegal. Although Etsy prohibits them and will ban you if you’re caught, there isn’t a law that outright states creating stealth accounts is unlawful. Of course, the Etsy policy still applies even if you have a stealth account. If you don’t respect the rules, you’ll get suspended or banned.
How to Create a Stealth Etsy Account
Creating a stealth Etsy account isn’t as simple as creating a regular one. You need to pay attention to details that could “expose” you and reveal your true identity. This means you have to cover your tracks carefully. Here’s what you need to pay attention to:
Remove Links to Previous Etsy Accounts
Every person is unique. We have distinctive features that make us different than others, such as our first and last name, age, physical appearance, and character. The same goes for the devices and software we connect to the internet. Every laptop, mobile phone, and browser has unique “features” that leave a trace on the network. This is why you need to be careful when creating a stealth Etsy account. There are three main ways to achieve this.
1. Change Device/User/Virtual Machine
If you want to create a stealth Etsy account, the first step is to pay attention to the device you’re using. It would be best to use a new device or create a new user on your computer. You could also use a new or cleaned virtual machine, such as VirtualBox or VMware.
We recommend using virtual machines running Oracle software, but installing them goes beyond the scope of this post.
2. Change Browser Agent String
A browser agent string contains information about your device, along with details regarding your operating system, web browser name, etc. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of this, and if you don’t change it, you’ll expose yourself before you even start.
It’s best to use Chrome/Mozilla plugins, depending on the browser you’re using. In addition, we recommend the User-Agent Switcher and Manager. This extension spoofs websites that want to gather information regarding your device and browser.
3. Use a Different Residential IP Address
Etsy uses IP addresses to track shops. If you want to use a stealth Etsy account, you need to use a “fresh” IP address that hasn’t been used for Etsy before.
Since each network connection has a different IP address, you should connect to another network. You can also talk to your internet service provider (ISP) about changing the IP address.
We recommend using residential proxies. These proxies provide you with residential IP addresses that hide your real one. As a result, you’ll appear on the internet as a new, legitimate user, which gets you one step closer to creating a stealth Etsy account.
Should I Use a VPN If I am Using a Residential Proxy?
Yes, a residential proxy does hide your IP address, and replaces it with one that looks legitimate. This will indeed allow you to create a stealth account with Etsy. With that being said, although residential proxies are great for this purpose, they aren’t exactly perfect.
One thing to keep in mind here is that proxies such as this can fail or go down at any time. If this happens while you are using your Etsy stealth account, Etsy may detect your real or original IP address, in which case you will just be banned all over again.
However, if you have a VPN or virtual private network as a backup, this shouldn’t happen. Even if the residential proxy goes down, you’ll still have the VPN to hide your real IP address. This should therefore prevent Etsy from detecting that anything fishy is going on, even if your residential proxy fails.
There is also the fact that a VPN will actually encrypt all of your data, something that residential proxies usually don’t do.
On that same note, in the event that the proxy fails, there may be a DNS or IP leak, in which case all of your sensitive info will be at risk. A good VPN is just a second layer of security to help prevent any of these issues from occurring.
Check for Discrepancies
Once you’ve set up your device and IP address, you need to ensure everything functions correctly. Next, visit whoer.net to check for potential problems with your device or IP address. Finally, to successfully create a stealth account, you need to have a 90-100% anonymity score.
Your IP address shouldn’t be blacklisted, and you shouldn’t use anonymizers because they represent red flags. Anonymizers or anonymous proxies are tools that hide your internet activity and protect your data. Since Etsy can trace them more easily, it’s better to use residential proxies instead.
Moreover, you need to ensure the time zone of your device matches the time zone of the IP address. Language inputs are also necessary. If your IP is coming from the U.S., you need to have U.S. languages.
Once you’ve managed to get a 90-100% security score, it’s time to move on to creating a stealth Etsy account.
Create Your Account
You may think the hard part is over once you’ve set up your device. But, the following steps require extra caution and focus. One small mistake could reveal your identity and get you suspended or banned from Etsy.
You can’t use your first and last name for creating a stealth Etsy account. Your name is already associated with an existing Etsy account, and if you want to open a new one without connecting it, you need a new identity.
We recommend finding a stealth account mate, i.e., a friend whose information you can use for setting up the account. To put it simply, your friend will create the account, but you’ll use it for your Etsy shop.
Keep in mind the person you choose should not have any plans to open an Etsy store in the future. So use their first and last name as they appear on their ID. You’ll also need their date of birth and a part of their SSN.
It’s best to use the address from the same friend whose first and last name you signed up for Etsy. If you don’t want to lean on your friend too much and use a different home address, you could rent a P.O. box. Whatever you decide, it’s vital not to use the address that could be connected to other Etsy accounts.
You’ll also need an email address you haven’t used before for your Etsy stores. We recommend creating an email address you’ll only use for this purpose to avoid confusion.
New Bank Number
Now that you’ve found a friend whose info you can use, it’s essential not to forget you can’t use your old bank info. Instead, you need a new bank account that hasn’t been connected to Etsy in the past. Here, you have several options. First, it would be best to ask your friend to set up a business account for you. That way, the info on the ID will match the bank account info, and you won’t experience verification problems.
You can also try to set up a business account, but you risk getting exposed if you’re ever requested to verify your ID. So instead, different online banks such as Payoneer, Pingpong, Juni, or Worldfirst can issue you a new account.
New Credit Card
Here’s where many people make a mistake when creating a stealth Etsy account. If you created a U.S. account, you need to have a credit card that has been issued in the U.S. Having a U.S. bank account and a credit card issued in another country could potentially be a red flag and prevent you from setting up stealth accounts.
You can use this website to learn more information about your credit card.
New Phone Number
Getting a new phone number is another essential step towards creating a stealth Etsy account. You need it because Etsy has two-factor verification. This feature requires you to confirm your identity via SMS, phone call, or an authentication app. If you sign up with your old phone number, Etsy will figure out you’re trying to create another shop and ban you.
While you can use a friend’s phone for this, we recommend purchasing a new SIM prepaid card. That way, you’ll always have the number with you if any issues with your account should arise.
It’s best not to use Google Voice or TextNow numbers. These numbers are easily identified as virtual numbers and will likely cause problems.
Build Your Profile
Creating a stealth Etsy account doesn’t end with setting up your account. Now it’s time to build your profile carefully to avoid raising red flags. But, again, you need to act like a first-time seller who just started using Etsy shops.
Any suspicious activity could lead to your exposure, which is why you need to be extra cautious in the beginning.
Use New or Altered Photos
Every listing photo you’ve uploaded on your old or main profile needs to be altered before you use it again. This is because all images have EXIF data that contains specific information regarding them. If you try to use identical photos on your stealth account, Etsy will discover it, and your stealth account will be suspended or banned.
While you can delete EXIF data and alter your photos in Photoshop or another program, we recommend taking new photos. This will make your stealth account “stronger.”
Create New Titles, Descriptions, Pricing Models
Your titles, descriptions, and pricing models should not resemble other Etsy shops you own in any way. This means you need to get creative and add unique product descriptions that won’t be linked to your other accounts.
Build Your Account Slowly
Too much activity could raise a red flag on your Etsy shop. So instead, try building your account gradually to remain “under the radar.” Although it may take more time, this is an efficient way to make your Etsy store strong and avoid manual reviews.
Be Careful With Your Stealth Etsy Account
Creating a stealth Etsy account is complicated, but maintaining it is even harder. People often forget to set their proxies, devices, and user profiles before logging into their stealth accounts. Although seemingly small, these mistakes could lead to account suspension or a ban.
If you want to use your stealth Etsy account for a long time, you need to be extremely careful when logging in. However, there’s no reason to worry as long as you’re cautious and keep your account unique.