How to get the most out of buying on Etsy!
Not only am I an Etsy seller but I’m also an Etsy buyer. When I need a gift or a little treat for myself then buying on Etsy is my first port of call. When I try to describe Etsy to people who are unfamiliar, I usually find myself comparing it to a handmade eBay; lots of independent sellers all in one place – an online market place. I’ve been an Etsy addict for at least eight years. I certainly used it to hunt down the little handmade touches for our wedding. From a personalised garter to paper decorations, I found everything I could possibly want and more.
What to look for when buying on Etsy
Although an American company, Etsy is now truly international. You can shop from companies just around the corner or at the other side of the planet. It is important that you pay attention to where shops are based. Postage may seem expensive or shipping times longer than you’d expect but is the shop in the same country as you? If you’re looking for small, inexpensive items then you’ll hardly notice other than a slight delay between clicking order and your postie knocking on your door but if you are looking to buy something big or expensive then you may be caught out with expensive postage costs or customs charges. This can easily be avoided by filtering your search. You can narrow to only sellers who ship to your country or to those who are based in your country. All Etsy sellers should make it clear where they are based and you can check shipping easily on each listing. Why not check out the rest of a seller’s shop when you order so you can combine shipping? This is the most efficient way of buying on Etsy. Most sellers will happily package several items together depending on the size and weight of their items. Whilst free shipping is lovely, it is not always possible for small businesses to absorb the costs. Instead, look at the overall value of what you’re buying. Remember it is coming from someone like me not Amazon!
What does Etsy do best?
What should we be looking for on Etsy? Think of it like a department store. Some departments are heaving and you’ll be spoilt for choice; some departments you won’t have even dreamed of! Where Etsy really comes into its own is in personalised items and unique gifts. These items are not mass produced; you won’t find them on your local high street. Many sellers are happy to customise items for you – look for the ‘request custom order’ button. This is where you can ask for an item in a different size or colour. Many sellers offer gift wrapping and almost all will happily add a gift message if you are sending directly to your recipient. Select ‘mark as gift’ and the seller won’t include any prices with your item.
If you get stuck or are not sure exactly what comes with an item, it is easy to contact the seller by clicking ‘ask a question’. We are usually quick to reply and happy to help if we can. Just make sure you read the listing carefully first as the answers are often there – click ‘more’ to read to the bottom.
As you browse, you can add items from multiple sellers to your basket. You can then checkout from just one seller or multiples. There is also an opportunity to add coupon codes if you have them. Check carefully that your address and details are correct as it is not easy to change them after your purchase. Keep an eye on your messages as the seller may have questions about your order and the quicker your respond, the quicker your item can be dispatched. You should receive email updates on the process of your order. If you don’t see them in your inbox, check your spam folder.
What if something goes wrong when buying on Etsy!
After you have received your order, Etsy will prompt you to leave a review. You can’t leave a review immediately but after the expected delivery date. If you your item arrives sooner, you’ll have to wait for a few days. This really helps sellers to grow their shop as customers are much more likely to order from an established business with positive feedback. It’s also worth noting that you can’t leave a review if you checkout as a guest. If you have an issue when buying on Etsy, contact the seller first before you leave a review to give them a chance to rectify the problem.
If the worst should happen and you have a poor experience, Etsy is there to help. If contacting the seller does not reach an amicable solution, then reach out to Etsy for help resolving the situation.
Have more questions about buying on Etsy? Ask away in the comments and I’ll endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.