Tips and Advice for Etsy Buyers

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There is a wealth of online resources for Etsy sellers. However, there are very few resources for Etsy buyers. Needless to say, the Etsy buyers are a huge part of the handmade community. While I am primarily on Etsy as a seller, I believe in supporting the handmade movement and purchase from there as well. During the almost three years that I've been a part of Etsy, I've learned that there is more to being a successful buyer than simply completing an online purchase. Here are a few tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible as well as how to make the Etsy community more successful.

Specific searches. Make your searches as specific as possible. As Etsy becomes more and more popular, the searches get flooded with more and more results. For example, a fairly specific search for "vanilla soy candles" yields more than 2,000 results. Consider adding words to describe the color, size, materials, and techniques used for the items that you want. If you only get a few search results, you can always take one or two words out of the search. Adding the word "vegan" to the soy candles search drops the results to 550. Alternatively, searching for "set of vanilla soy candles" drops the results to 130.

Contact sellers with questions. Hopefully sellers will include all of the information that you need in their item listings, but plenty do not. Don't be afraid to ask sellers questions about their items before making purchases. Most sellers are happy to answer questions. It is much easier to provide clarity before a purchase than to end up with a return or an unhappy customer.

Custom work. If you can't find exactly what you want, don't be afraid to ask for custom work. Many sellers love custom orders and will advertise this. Some sellers put it right in their shop announcements. Additionally, sometimes customers put information about customization right in the listings. If sellers have specific instructions for custom orders, follow them. Make sure that you work out all of the details for an order, including how long it will take, before you complete the payment.

Prompt payment. You should always pay for an item right after you purchase it unless you've made other arrangements with the seller. Work out these arrangements with sellers before purchasing items. For example, some sellers with accept checks. Let the seller know that you will send the check immediately following your purchase.

Leave feedback. Feedback is so important for sellers. Let them know what you think. Be honest and constructive. Don't be afraid to leave negative feedback if an order really didn't go well. For example, if a seller never shipped an item or shipped an item significantly later than promised (i.e. 6 weeks late), provide details about this in your feedback.

Community involvement. Becoming involved in the Etsy community as a buyer makes it a richer community for everyone. There are several teams exclusively for buyers such as Heartsy Buyers and Local Buyers of the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, buyers can create treasuries. Treasuries are a wonderful way to promote sellers that you like as well as to have fun putting together collections for favorite colors, types of items, holidays, etc.

Promote the site. If you have positive experiences with buying items on Etsy, promote sellers to family and friends. If you give gifts from Etsy, include shop information for the recipients. Share links for favorite items on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Consider including Etsy items if you put together gift guides.

Support handmade. As I mentioned in the beginning of this hub, I believe that it's important for Etsy sellers to also be Etsy buyers. Many of the tips here apply to sellers who purchase from other sellers. Even if you cannot buy frequently, consider purchasing some of your gifts from the site as well as supplies for your own art.

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Comments 45 comments

Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

Good advice that enriches the community. I think it is the way to go as it will give other buyers confidence in the sellers and the site in general.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much! I agree.


pruitthandcrafts 5 years ago

Feedback is much appreciated--I agree! also, passing on a good work thru social media!


storybeader 5 years ago

great post. Hope people will take the time to read it. I also like supporting the handmade community. I also like to use up the money I've earned on PayPal. Buying on Etsy is a great opportunity. {:-D


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Linda and Deb! I use PayPal money for Etsy purchases sometimes, too.


Giselle Maine 5 years ago

I especially liked your point about asking questions of the seller. I totally agree - sometimes the info you need is not on the product listing, and I have found from experience that sellers are prompt about responding to your questions.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks! I have found that sellers are generally very prompt, too. It's very rare that I've had to wait more than 24 hours for a response.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Very informative hub. Thanks for sharing. I love your Etsy products. They are beautiful. Have a lovely weekend.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much, Thelma! I hope that you have a great weekend, too.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

What excellent advice, randomcreative! I should pass this on to my craftier friends. I didn't know about the additional ways one could be involved with the Etsy community, too. That's great!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Simone! There are definitely a number of ways to be involved in the Etsy community without being a seller.


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

randomcreative

This is a nice hub about things that we all should keep in mind while buying from etsy.

I'm passing this hub around to friends and contacts who may be interested in buying from etsy or are etsy fans already. The etsy community surely deserves all the support it can get and your tip on how buyers can get involved with etsy does just that.

P


Hear Me profile image

Hear Me 5 years ago from Somewhere in Florida

Great Hub! I would rather buy from the small business owner and keep it as close to home as possible. I was not even aware of this site until I read your Hub. I am definitely going to check it out!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Nice. I have found the amount of goods on Etsy to be overwhelming. Thanks for ways to effectively change the search terms.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

Very informative. Congratulations on being Hub of the Day!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Good advice! Don't forget, however, that etsy also offers a wealth of vintage treasures as well as handmade. (My etsy shop, YesterYearCollection, has only vintage items.) Many vintage sellers on etsy combine the two categories by "repurposing" vintage finds through craftsmanship. These days, more and more people are finding meaning in the old adage, "Waste not, want not." etsy's vintage and repurposed sales categories allow lovely and/or useful things to be enjoyed by new owners.

Jaye


catspirit profile image

catspirit 5 years ago

Great article, I dabble in Etsy but will read more to find out how to expand on my business. Voted up.


Ddraigcoch profile image

Ddraigcoch 5 years ago from UK

Fabulous to look from the other side of the fence. Great hub.


applecsmith profile image

applecsmith 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Congratulations on being the Hub of the Day! This is very informative and well written post. I haven't dealt much with Etsy but it is becoming increasingly popular so I'm sure I will in the future. Thanks for the tips.


carlinef profile image

carlinef 5 years ago

Thanks for writing this hub, randomcreative. Congratulations on being the Hub of the Day. I like this hub because it gives buyers tips and puts them at ease when purchasing from Etsy.com...I'm an etsy seller and appreciate the information you provide. Yes, as a seller, I would always make contact with my buyers...Thanks and have a good day!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks you so much for the feedback and congrats today, everyone!

I'm glad that I was able to introduce some people to Etsy as well as make the site a little easier to manage for others.

Jaye, you are absolutely right about vintage! As a jewelry maker, I also utilize the supply section regularly.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Great job, Randomcreative! I am so happy that this hub has been selected for "hub of the day"; you have lots of good info here for users of etsy.com. I will be sure to pass on this information to my friends as well.

All the best,

Cloverleaf


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much Cloverleaf!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

Great information. I have visited an Etsy site in the past, but was not completely comfortable with the process. Your article helped me become a more comfortable buyer.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day!

I recently bought a hat on Etsy.com (from the cartoon character Jake from "Adventure Time") for my daughter. It was inexpensive, decently made, and came very quickly in the mail. It was a good experience. This is a great Hub! Voting Up and Useful, as well as sharing!

JSMatthew~


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Congrats on Hub Of The Day! I never heard of Etsy.com until this hub. I'll check it out, you sold me on the site! I just hope the site doesn't become a new addiction for me :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Marlene, that's great!

J.S. Matthew, I'm so glad that you had a good experience with the site.

Sunshine, I'm glad that I introduced you to the site. I can't make any promises about addiction, though. :)


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

Thank you for the advice, I started making jewelry last year. I just love making them, though I need some serious training in a few area and especially as how to sell it properly... I have Ideas, I have done business before but my personal pieces seem way to personal to be handled just anyway!@!! I love the products we find on Etsy, wether they are beautiful jewelry or supplies. Thanks for the advice. I will be looking at your pieces. NiaLee


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks NiaLee! Best of luck with your jewelry. If you want any advice with selling on Etsy, please feel free to contact me any time.


tammyfrost profile image

tammyfrost 5 years ago from Oregon

Great Hub.


alvinalex profile image

alvinalex 5 years ago

Great Tips, Congratulations on being the Hub of the Day.


LLWoodard 5 years ago

Happy to find this advice about making my shopping experience at Etsy more fruitful for me and showing me how I can help to promote my favorite sellers.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much everyone!

LLWoodard, I'm so glad to hear that!


imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

I can't thank you enough for your wealth of information, and for sharing your knowledge!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

You're welcome! I'm so glad that my hubs are so helpful for you.


mariefontaine profile image

mariefontaine 5 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

This is extremely informative... and helpful. I had forgotten about Etsy... and when I heard about it the first time it was because of some negative greeting cards that were being marketed on the site. So I guess I put it out of my head, but my sister makes the most beautiful crocheted items, tutus, and jewelry... her specialty is the beret style hats and the hippie type shoulder bags though... and they are SO pretty. I am gonna have to turn her on to Etsy... thanks for publishing this.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much Marie! I remember when those negative greeting cards were getting a lot of press. It's too bad when some people make things difficult for everyone else. Best of luck to your sister! It sounds like she has some great items for Etsy.


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

I will definitely contact you ab

ut advice as soon as I get back in shape with my styles and supplies...ummm where can I get good affordable beads??? Thanks...Love and peace


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

NiaLee, check out my hub about bead resources:

https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/Some-of-the-Best-Res...

Please feel free to contact me about anything else, too.


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

thank u again


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Any time.


Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

I didn't even know what etsy was. I am now going to etsy.com I love crafts and have done them intermittently throughout my life. Thanks for the education.

Take care,

Lisa


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That's awesome Lisa! Have fun with Etsy. :)


LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

Wonderful hub. I've often been tempted to buy from Etsy, but a little intimidated. This takes the mystery out of it.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Letitia! Etsy doesn't have the most intuitive process, and it can be overwhelming to shop there, as there is so much inventory. I'm glad that this article was helpful for you. Happy shopping. :)

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