Charlotte: My Etsy Shopping Tips & Tricks
I’ll admit, it took me quite some time to start shopping on Etsy. I liked the idea of it, but it overwhelmed me. But I kept seeing brilliant things on their Instagram feed, and I’d ask people where XY or Z was from, Etsy they replied…I wanted to be that person. I’d dabbled on Etsy before, but it was only when I was on maternity leave with June that I really ‘went for it’ and now it’s one of my favourite sites to shop on. You don’t need to have a baby, nor be on maternity leave to understand it or shop with them. In their own words ‘it is global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures’. I’m not going to try and come up with a better explanation, because extraordinary, treasure and unique is everything you need to know about it in a nutshell. There’s lot of different ways to shop Etsy, but here is how I do it, I hope it helps you to love the site as much as I do!
P.S. If you click any images below it will take you to the sellers page or item.
CREATE AN ACCOUNT
First things first, I would start off by creating an account, because this way you can start to build your profile and begin to add favourite items and shops. Sometimes I can have 50 tabs open and don’t know if I am coming or going, this way if I like something I can easily keep track of it, and if I decide later it’s not for me, it can easily be removed from my profile.
FAVOURITE ITEMS & SHOPS
When you are on a specific items page, in the top right hand corner of any image is a love heart, if you press that it will fill up red, and be added to your favourites. Say you’ve found an item you like, through a blog post like this, or just from searching yourself, I like to always check to see what other items the seller has on offer. Chances are if you like one thing in their shop, you are going to like something else. Again when you are on a product page the shop name will be to the right of the product image, underlined with stars next to it. Just click on the name and you’ll be taken straight to the sellers shop, you can favourite both products and shops. And when you view your profile, you can click on either tab and browse things whichever way you like. And as a bonus you’ll always get a notification if they update their shop, I like to know when KCHossackPottery tops her items up so I’m first in line.
The stars I mentioned before, are reviews. I find these super helpful, more for things like fit, quality and general reassurance when shopping with new sellers. I never take any review as gospel, I am definitely guilty of not leaving positive reviews when I love something. I’ve skipped off into the sunset with my new purchase, note to self to go back and leave nice reviews as I find them super helpful, bonus points for anyone who uploads an image!
NARROW YOUR SEARCH
So you’ve gone to Etsy without a specific product URL, now what?! I think it’s great to have an idea of what you are looking for as a starting point. For example, linen tea towels (Etsy has SO MUCH GOOD LINEN). When you hit enter after you’ve filled out the search bar, you’ll get pages of results, the first thing I do is go down the left hand side and here are lots of filters to narrow down your search. The first thing I like to do under shop location is tick Europe and UK, just so I know I don’t fall in love with something in the states and then have to break my own heart if I know the customs and shipping on something mean I have to say goodbye to it. This might not be your main priority, you might have other filters that are really useful for you, there’s so many to choose from, use them to your advantage.
I love getting something personalised, be it specific colours, monogramming things, or adding names to it, Etsy is truly brilliant for bespoke items for yourself or for a gift. Bits for June’s room include this name pennant and lampshade, which add the unique finishing touches, both had bespoke options to make sure it was right for what we needed. Same with the ‘I Like Your Face’ print which has now finally settled down in my office, this was displayed in another colour way, but as well as the ‘Message the Seller’ option there is also ‘Leave the Seller a Message’ when you are buying something, I just asked if I could have a colour way I’d seen on another product. And is there anything better than having a t-shirt with your name on it? Vyshyto does the best floral t-shirts.
USE THE SELLERS KNOWLEDGE
What I think I love the most is communicating with sellers, all the ones I’ve spoken with are super helpful and always lovely. They know their product, and can advise you on colours, sizes, finishes and so much more. Just because you are shopping online doesn’t mean that customer service is taken away, I feel extra special when shopping on Etsy. It’s like my favourite indie boutique, but the one that sells EVERYTHING and I don’t need to get dressed to go into. Recently Magic Linen helped me out with more information on sizes as I’d confused myself whilst shopping for tea towels.
LEAVE TIME FOR SHIPPING
As most things are made to order, they do take a little bit longer. Most shops let you know exactly what their shipping and production times are, and lots have a express shipping options, but not all of them do. Again speaking to the seller can be so useful, sometimes I’ve wanted something a little quicker, and turns out their schedule can manage a quick turnaround, or they actually have that item made up ready to go, like this mug from MeganLouiseCeramics and this vase from BakedbyLou. Things like my favourite ever hat from Yokoo Gibran is one thing that takes a bit longer, so I ordered my second hat from her a few weeks ago, knowing it would arrive in time for Autumn. We are used to things arriving super quickly, but a few more days waiting for an extra special or bespoke item is well worth the wait.
DON’T FORGET FASHION
You might think Etsy is great for homewares and you’d be right, I dare you to visit Annie Dornan Smith’s shop and leaving with an empty basket. But don’t log off without looking at the clothes as you’d be then you’d be missing out on my favourite bit. The dress I am wearing in this post is from OffOn, whose clothes I have lusted after for sometime. They were SO helpful when ordering, and when the dress arrived it was everything I wanted and more. I definitely will be buying from them again in the near future, have you seen their jumpsuit selection?! The have so many different fabric options, and I ended up sending up my exact measurements so they could make me something beyond their standard size charts. I also love getting accessories on Etsy, this is my forth Georgie Cole headband, and after that someone please control me, and this silk bag by Mille Saisons is so dreamy, and don’t forget about all the jewellery on your way out. And that is Etsy. I’m sorry in advance for the increase in compliments you are going to receive once you’d hit purchase or the influx of thank you cards, because you found the perfect gift for a friend (they also sell gift cards, which I will happily receive in abundance).
Thank you to Charlotte for kindly sharing her amazing tips and favourite pieces with us.
Check out more over at Charlotte’s blog and follow her on Instagram.
Share with us your favourite Etsy bought items using the hashtag #DiscoverEtsy.