From the Etsy Seller Handbook:
We’re changing how we calculate the ratings criteria, reducing the number of Message threads that require a response, and lowering the order minimum for Star Seller.
Briefly, the changes are:
1. Instead of needing a 5-star average, sellers will need to have a 4.8 rating average in the three-month review period. This update will appear on the Star Seller dashboard in June and take effect on July 1.
2. Etsy will now combine all messages from an individual customer in one thread. So once you initially respond to a customer, you won’t be dinged if that customer starts a new thread and you don’t respond within 24 hours. They gave no clear indication of when this change will take effect.
3. Finally, shops will need to have at least five orders (down from 10) totaling $300 before shipping and taxes within the three-month review period to qualify for the Star Seller badge. This change will appear on the Star Seller dashboard in July and affect badges awarded starting in August. Remember that you still need to have been an Etsy seller for 90 days since you received your first sale.
This announcement will be good news for sellers who value the Star Seller badge.
Personally, I am not concerned with chasing Etsy’s moving targets. My main goals are to provide an excellent product and make sales.
I have had the badge a few times and did not notice any real difference in sale volumes. But like everything else on Etsy, everyone’s experience will vary.