I’m addicted to Etsy. In the past five weeks, I’ve spent $275.71 on the site, which is basically an online mecca for buying and selling homemade products and vintage goods.
The homemade products – jewelry, knitwear, die cut cards, smartphone accessories, children’s clothing and home decor — are my downfall. (My personal Etsy favorite is home decor.)
What’s the draw? Most everything on Etsy is homemade, which means the products are unique, artsy, and often, very hip.
While you may be able to find something cheaper at Walmart, if you care even a smidge about quality and like the idea of owning something one-of-a-kind, then Etsy is for you.
Sellers have little-to-no overhead, as opposed to the big box stores, and many are hobbyists who are less concerned with making a profit than sharing their talents with people who appreciate a homemade touch.
Here are 10 secrets to saving money shopping on Etsy:
Search by price
When you type in a keyword of a product you are looking for, as opposed to browsing by category, you’ll have the option to sort from lowest to highest price.
The default setting, in the upper right corner, is relevancy. Click on that to switch the price.
Tip: When you search by clicking on categories suggested on the homepage there is no way to sort by price.
Search for sales
Search sale items by typing in “SALE” before more descriptive terms, like “shawl.” All of your results will be items that are on some sort of sale.
The left sidebar lets you narrow down your search by category, type of item, or location. The very last option is price.
Type in your minimum and maximum price (exclusive of shipping) and give it a whirl!
Find Etsy coupons
Make a beeline for the virtual clearance rack by shopping sellers that are offering coupons. Start on EtsyCouponCode, a treasure trove of valid coupons for Etsy sellers.
Products on Etsy are sold by individual crafters who each run their own “shop” and coupons are specific to each seller.
Simply copy the coupon and paste it above your item total.
The prices are set on Etsy, but it never hurts to ask the seller if they have a coupon available. Every time I’ve asked for a discount, I’ve received one.
Buy in bulk
Shop a specific crafter’s store instead of browsing the entire Etsy site.
If you can buy everything on your list from one seller, you will save on shipping costs and increase your odds of getting a bulk discount (see No. 3).
Become a fan
Follow your favorite Etsy shops, “favorite” (click on the little heart-shaped icon on the listing) the items you love and “like” the shop’s Facebook page, if they have one.
Loyalty may be rewarded.
Now is the time to snap up Halloween costumes and holiday decor.
Buy unfinished items, like wood frames that need a coat of paint, fabric that can be turned into curtains, or die cut felt flowers that can be framed as artwork.
Etsy has entire categories dedicated to crafting supplies, not just finished crafts. Instead of purchasing a finished product, complete the final step (or two) yourself and save tons of money!
Ads add up
Skip past sponsored items, which occupy the first row of results and are framed in light blue.
Sellers pay to have their results show up on top, a cost that adds to their bottom line and may result in higher prices.
Julia Scott founded the everyday savings blog, BargainBabe.com.