Etsy 101

I have a confession: I don’t need a tutorial on how to use etsy. As far as purchasing is concerned… I’m a pro. I have used etsy to find mail organizers, custom frames, and earring organizers. There isn’t a room in my house without someone’s handmade art decorating the walls!

A custom frame from 2DogsWoodWorking that now hangs above my bed.

I recently became a seller on etsy, and I now remember how tricky it is to buy on etsy the first time around.  I have received several emails asking me for help in applying a coupon code, or checking out, or making sure someone is purchasing the right scarf.  I have decided to compile some of those questions in this blog post.

Watch out! Once you know how to buy on etsy… you might be in trouble!

How do you find all these cute things on Etsy in the first place?

Etsy is like Forever 21: there are way too many fabulous finds. Sometimes I walk in Forever 21 and get so overwhelmed I turn around and walk right back out!  Often, Etsy can feel the exact same way.  There is etsy lingo (just search “DIY” or “shabby chic”) and a whole world of sellers that seems hard to penetrate.  Here are a few ways to start to find items that might interest you:

  • Treasury lists:   On the Etsy home page, scroll down and keep your eye on the sidebar on the left.  There is a link that reads “Treasury.” These are lists of very pretty things that other Etsians (see, here comes the lingo) have put together.  You will find a group of items, organized by topic, like the one below: a list of items you could use if you are planning a custom nautical wedding.  I especially like the second one 😉
  • Searches: When you get to the etsy home page, you will see a blank bar at the top that reads “search for items and shops.”  Type in what you are looking for and press ‘enter.’  Let’s say you are looking for a pillow for your dog.  When you first type in “dog pillow,” there are 3,786 items!! Don’t panic! There is a way to further narrow down what you are looking for. On the left, you will see more advanced search options.  You can choose handmade, vintage, or supplies.  You can then further narrow down the category of what you are looking for- you don’t want a pillow with a dog on it, you want a pillow for your dog, so you click “handmade,” and “pets,” until you see just what you want.  Try it!

Do I Trust the Seller?

If you want to know more about the person you are purchasing from, there are a few ways to check them out.

  • Feedback: Go to their page, and click on their feedback.  Is their feedback 100% positive? If there is negative feedback, what do the customers tend to complain about the most? Is that a risk you are willing to take?
  • Policies: This link, on the left of their shop page, will tell you their shop policies, such as if items are returnable, how long it will take to ship, and if they are made to order.

How Do I Purchase What I Want?

You did it! You finally found the perfect bed for your dog in a shop that you trust.  But now how do you purchase it?

  • When you find the item that you want, click on it.  It will then display the price, shipping cost, and any information you may want to know before purchasing.
  • Click the giant green “Add to Cart” button on the right. When you click on it, it will take you directly to your cart.  Congratulations, you are now ready to purchase your item!

Custom Orders and Coupon Codes

Before you pay, there are two very important areas you don’t want to miss!

  • Note to seller: In the note to seller area, you want to include anything extra you need to tell the seller.  This may include questions (will I receive this before July 4th?), changes (a billing address that is different than a shipping address), or custom order specifications.  When someone orders a custom script scarf from me, this section is very important!  This is where I see the exact wording that they want on the scarf, and what color ink they would like.
  • Coupon code: Under the list of ways to pay, you will see a blue link that reads “Apply shop coupon code.”  This is where you will enter a code that you found on the sellers facebook, blog, or shop information.  Not all shops have coupon codes (but I do! Like me on facebook to find it).

Time to Pay

No matter how you pay, you will need to register first (or sign in, if you already have a username and password).  Pick your payment method of choice, click pay, and a screen will pop up with two tabs.  Click the register tab, and fill in the information requested.

Note on Paypal: Some shops, like mine, only accept payments through paypal.  You do not have to sign up for Paypal to pay through Paypal. You can choose the PayPal Option during checkout. After you submit your order click the “Pay Now” button. Scroll Down and you will see the option to pay with a Credit or Debit Card WITHOUT having to sign up for a PayPal account.

Ah! I Forgot Something!

Oh no! You clicked purchase and forgot to ask the seller something.  Don’t worry!  All you have to do is send them a convo!

Click the “Etsy” logo to get to the homepage.  Put your mouse over “Your Account,” and click on purchases.  You will be able to click the green button on that purchase that says “Send a Convo.”  Just let the seller know your question or your addition to the order, and usually they will get back to you asap.  Occasionally, there will be a seller who is hard to reach, but these sellers are usually few and far between in my experience!

One More Thing

When you receive your item and set it out for Fido, there is one more thing to do for etiquette’s sake.  Log into Etsy using the username and password you registered with when you purchased your item.  Under the Etsy logo, you will see a link letting you know that you need to leave feedback.

Click on this link, and you will have a chance to thank the seller for their wonderful handmade item.  You can also leave comments detailing your favorite aspects of the item.  This will help future customers understand the item (and it will also help the shop get future customers in the first place)!

Sometimes, you can have a bad experience on Etsy.  In my opinion, you should message the seller before leaving them any bad feedback.  This way, you give them a chance to fix the problem before you give them a bad reputation. And who knows- maybe there was a miscommunication or an error at the post office, and it wasn’t their fault!

We hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! What items have you purchased from Etsy? Do you have any other questions that we could answer next time?

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Posted in Custom Scarf Stories

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