We’ve all heard about a friend (or a friend’s ex-boyfriend’s third cousin) selling goods on Etsy.com — and you know at Budget Fashionista we’re BIG fans of the unique/fun/quirky/vintage fashion items you can find there. But, as a novice Etsy shopper, the whole world of Etsy-ness can be more than a wee bit overwhelming.
Just because it’s challenging, however, doesn’t mean you should give up — because while there is certainly a whole bunch of stuff on Etsy you’ll never look at twice, it’s also the place to find that hidden gem that just might become your signature piece. And the best part? No one else you know is likely to have it, unlike that little black sundress you (and six of your friends) got at the neighborhood Tar-jay.
How to Shop Etsy
Protect Your Budget — Search By Price. Or search by item AND price. But don’t get lost in the labyrinth of pieces, items, categories, stores; that inevitably leads to a shopping trance in which you’ll decide that you don’t really need to eat this month. While you can’t really have a very specific item in mind on Etsy, you can shop for, say, scarves under $20.
Etsy Finds. While having endless leisurely hours to peruse every offering on Etsy might be nice, having 10 minutes while scarfing a tuna sandwich and getting today’s special ink stain off your shirt is a little closer to reality. So, if you’re time-crunched, sign up to have the best (or someone’s idea of the best) stuff in Etsy sent directly to your inbox.
Stay Focused. We have no clue if Columbus was a fashionable guy or not, but we like to think of shopping Etsy as setting out on a great exploration, always with the possibility of making a fabulous (read: super cute and budget-friendly) discovery. All good explorers, however — at least those who ever actually discovered something – have razor-sharp focus on a goal. As you could get hopelessly lost in the wide wide world of Etsy – including searching items with fun little brightly colored flash circles or with the “Time Machine” to find the stuff listed 12 seconds ago so you can be ‘first!’ – skip the bells and whistles, and keep your eyes on the prize.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make Contact. If you have a question about sizing or color or shipping or what-have-you, for the love of god don’t be afraid to ask it! The nice thing about Etsy is that sellers are kind of, like, real people who actually check their email and respond. Well the good sellers do anyway, and those are the only ones you want to deal with.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.