We love Etsy. It's the one place we can always count on to find deeply discounted designer pillows, a treasure trove of vintage and antique furniture, and interesting handcrafted pottery that supports local artisans around the world. It's also the place where you can get a neon sign that says farts, because Brooklyn Decker does it too. The only issue with Etsy is that between all the diamonds in the rough, there's a lot of well, um, rough.
So how do you cut through the clutter and get to the real good stuff (and get it on sale to boot)? We chatted with Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson—who's made it her life's mission to know exactly what's trending, what's new, what's next, and what's overdone on the online platform—and we asked her to share her top shopping tips with us. Never come out from an Etsy shopping spree empty-handed—this is how to find the real good stuff.
Talk Directly With the Seller
"One of the beautiful things about shopping on Etsy is that you're shopping from real people," explains Isom Johnson. "You can actually talk directly to the person designing or making the product. A lot of sellers will offer customization and a more personalized experience—all you have to do is ask." Whether you want to customize a neon sign, a pillow, or a lovely brass mobile, just send the seller an email. And ask for a discount while you're at it. There's no harm in bargaining.
Search With Filters
Etsy can get a little overwhelming, but with the right strategy, it's possible to find anything. "Even with more than 45 million unique items on Etsy, we make it easy for you find everything you're looking for," says Johnson. "One of the best ways to get more specific in your search is by using search filters. For example, filtering by price can surface a completely different slice of the market than a search without a filter. Location searches are also really pleasantly surprising, and it's often where I will find a really cool undiscovered or newly opened shops in my city."
Subscribe to Etsy Emails
"Etsy emails deliver inspirational and personalized shopping content directly to your inbox," says Johnson. "Be sure to sign up for the Etsy emails and follow Etsy on social media to see exciting new items and trends."
Some bloggers, like My Paradissi, have a weekly Etsy spotlight series, which can also be a great resource to discover cool new sellers and products.
Favorite What You Love
"Click the heart icon to 'favorite' items as you browse and shop," suggests Isom Johnson. "The more you favorite, the more items personalized to your tastes will show up on your homepage. You can also make lists of the items you've favorited, and set any list to private to keep your gift ideas hidden without spoiling any surprises. Personally, my anniversary is coming up, so I've created lists with different gift ideas for my hubby."
Follow the Etsy Blog
"The Etsy Blog is one of the best destinations for daily inspiration," says Isom Johnson. "Check out the Featured Shop series to find out about our hottest emerging artists and read more about the people behind the items you're purchasing. The curated editors' picks guides are a really great way to discover trends, unique finds, and holiday and seasonal ideas."
Download the Etsy App
"When you're on the hunt for great items while on the go, use the Etsy app to easily discover and buy unique items from the marketplace," says Isom Johnson. "It syncs with your account so you can shop from wherever you are, plus we've integrated several forms of payment, including Apple Pay, so you can check out quickly and easily." That way you can quickly compare prices when scouring at your local flea market.
Next up: Here's how to never pay full price for furniture.