The Ultimate Guide To Shopping On Etsy

Etsy is overflowing with millions of fantastic items, from one-of-a-kind and handcrafted gems to items curated by independent sellers from around the world. Whether it's handcrafted ceramics, customized jewelry, retro fashion, or home decorations, there's really something for everyone. To kickstart your Etsy journey, I've put together this comprehensive guide, filled with cost- and time-saving tips, plus a dash of creative inspiration. Read on to discover how to expertly navigate Etsy shops, personalize your purchases, enjoy free shipping on Etsy, and so much more. Ready to dive in? Let's get started!

Step 1: Get Inspired On Etsy

Etsy is a treasure trove of inspiration, from their blog to the expertly selected  “Editors’ Picks” pages and collections curated by fellow shoppers. Here’s a quick look at my top picks for getting inspired.

Discover Inspiration Through These Platforms
Think of the “Editors’ Picks” pages as your insider scoop, thanks to the Etsy editors. These folks are the real Etsy connoisseurs, and it’s awesome that they share their top picks with us regularly. These finds are neatly categorized for easy browsing. Etsy is dedicated to supporting small businesses and eco-friendly practices through their “Creating Change Together” hub. It’s a fantastic way to shop with purpose and back sellers from diverse communities including Black, AAPI, Latinx, and the LGBTQIA+ community. For even more inspiration, check out Etsy’s blog. It’s refreshed weekly with new finds and seller stories. Whether you’re on the hunt for a cozy sweatsuit, unique gifts, or want to uncover new talented sellers, Etsy’s blog is bursting with ideas.

Organize Your Favorites List
Afraid you’ll forget about all the cool items you come across? No stress! Hit the heart icon to save any item to your favorites – this way, you can come back to them later and even get updates, like sale alerts or restock notices. You can also create collections of your favorite finds! Following your favorite Etsy shops is a breeze too. When a shop catches your eye, just click the heart next to the shop name to follow them. They’ll be added to your favorite shops on your profile, and you’ll get updates on their new products, discounts, and sales.

Download The Etsy App
To get the full Etsy experience, you’ve got to get the Etsy app! It hooks you up with early sale access, lets you effortlessly track your orders, and sends real-time notifications when your favorite items get a price drop. There’s no better way to stay connected with Etsy wherever you are. Interested? Download the app here.

handcrafted candle
source: Etsy – handcrafted candle

Step 2: Find The Best Shops On Etsy

With enough inspiration under your belt, it’s time to get serious about shopping. With intuitive filters, informative badges, and detailed gift guides, discovering your dream buys has never been easier!

Use Search Filters And Features
These filters are a breeze to use and do the heavy lifting for you—what’s not to love? Simply enter what you’re searching for in the search bar, then refine your results with filters like price, category, and shipping time. The best matches will pop up right at the top! Struggling to put your desires into words? No problem! In the Etsy app, you can now search using images. Just hit the camera icon in the search bar, upload a photo or snap one then and there. Etsy will show you items that match your photo!

Keep An Eye On The Badges
You’ll notice badges on Etsy from time to time. Some badges are for specific items, while others highlight a shop’s overall quality. An item with a bestseller badge, for instance, is a crowd-pleaser, having sold well over the past year. A top seller badge, whether on a shop or item, indicates excellent customer service, prompt shipping, and quick responses. You can also filter your Etsy searches to only show items or shops with certain badges!

Step 3: Personalize On Etsy

One of the great things about shopping on Etsy is the vast potential for personalization and customization. Plus, these make for perfect gifts! There are loads of sellers on Etsy eager to collaborate with you to craft something that’s just right. Check the ‘personalizable’ box in your search to find these opportunities. Personalization on Etsy can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, offering something ideal for everyone.

Personalize Your Items
Dive into the endless options, from custom labels to engraved pots. Many items let you add personal details like initials or a date right when you order. Since you won’t be interacting directly with the seller, make sure to provide your information accurately! Also, always read the product description and shipping details thoroughly. If you’re in the market for something truly bespoke, that’s definitely an option! Whether you’re dreaming of a custom piece of furniture or a unique dress, there’s bound to be an Etsy seller who can bring your vision to life. Start a conversation with a seller to co-create your perfect piece!

Ready-Made Personalization
Of course, custom orders take time to create. For those on a tighter schedule, Etsy has plenty of quick-to-ship items that still offer a personal touch, like jewelry with birthstones!

source: Etsy – ceramics

Step 4: Shop Wisely Within Your Budget

Since sellers set their own prices, Etsy has a wide array of items to fit any budget, making it possible to find high-quality goods at reasonable prices. Follow these tips to snag the best deals!

Use Price And Sale Filters
When browsing on Etsy, you can filter to see items currently on sale. Have a specific budget in mind? Set price filters to stay within your limit, like searching for items under $20. Sale events are also a great time to grab your favorite items at a discount! Be sure to check out special deals during well-known sale periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to maximize your savings during Etsy’s sale extravaganzas! Stay tuned to the deals page in the Etsy app for a roundup of all currently discounted items.

Make An Offer
Another strategy to fit your finds within your budget is the bid feature, allowing you to negotiate a fair price with the seller. This option is available on select items – sellers open to negotiation are ready to work out a price that suits both parties.

Step 5: Score Free Shipping on Etsy

Chances are, you can land free shipping on Etsy! With specific search filters and badges, it’s a breeze to find items that can be shipped to your door at no extra charge. You can also look for items that need to arrive by a certain date (like birthday or holiday gifts…) and even from sellers in your local area!

Filter for Free Shipping
While searching on Etsy, simply filter for free shipping. Items marked with a free shipping badge should be sent to your registered Etsy address without any shipping fees.

Look for Local Sellers
Narrowing your search by location can help you find Etsy sellers near you, potentially offering free or cheaper shipping options, reducing delivery times. Plus, it’s a great way to support local artists and make your shipping choices more eco-friendly!

Go for Digital Downloads
What’s better than free shipping? No shipping at all. Etsy offers art in digital download form! There are two types: direct downloads, which are available immediately after payment, and custom downloads, where the seller crafts something based on your specifications and then sends it over. Awesome, right? Another no-ship option? An Etsy gift card!

source: Etsy – art

Step 6: Check Out Your Etsy Basket

When you’re happy with your selections, it’s time to finalize your order and check out! Here are a few Etsy features to take advantage of at this stage.

Pay With Klarna
With Klarna’s flexible payment options, you can spread out your Etsy payments over time or pay later in full. Most shops now accept Klarna, so check out our article about Klarna for more on why it’s such a game-changer!

Donate Your Change at Checkout
Feel extra good about your Etsy purchase by rounding up your total to the nearest dollar at checkout and donating the difference to the Etsy Uplift Fund. Launched in 2021, this fund supports non-profits working towards equal opportunities in entrepreneurship.

Step 7: Write a Review on Etsy

Leaving a review is a great way to appreciate the seller’s effort. Your feedback on the product quality, shipping speed, and seller communication not only helps the seller improve but also guides other shoppers. Reviewing is quick and easy, and you can add photos too! If you forgot to mention something, you can edit your review multiple times within 100 days after posting.

And that wraps up the ultimate guide to the best shopping experience on Etsy! I hope you’re as inspired as I am. Etsy isn’t just a marketplace; it’s a community where unique, handmade, and personalized items tell their stories. It’s a chance to support creativity while discovering items that are genuinely special.

Remember, every purchase you make not only adds something wonderful to your life but also supports an independent seller somewhere in the world. So keep exploring, discovering, and spreading your love for unique finds. Etsy is waiting for you, with countless treasures yet to be uncovered!

Florence Stroink