Tips & Tricks: Etsy Edition

  If you're anything like me, you become incredibly frustrated when you see everyone wearing the same thing from a certain store. You are also probably hesitant to get all of your clothes from big chain retailers because you don't want your style to seem straight off the rack. Whenever I face this problem, I go on Etsy. Ebay stresses me out, and I always forget to bid (or overextend myself when I do!) and Etsy has a much more relaxed environment (which may sound strange since it's online). I've been told by a lot of people that shopping on Etsy, or for used clothes in general, makes them nervous. Personally, I think the experience is all about your attitude. Here are some of my tips for buying clothing and other goods from Etsy:

1. Be Friendly: Don't threaten to leave a negative comment if the shipper doesn't send your things right away. Chances are they probably don't sit at their computer all day waiting for their things to be sold. Also, with Etsy there is a comment box at "checkout", so leaving a comment such as "Thanks, love your shop!" could be the difference between your item being shipped today or in three days.

2. Know your shipping: Obviously, you want to be in town when your item is delivered, especially if it is a handmade item (which is mostly what Etsy sells). You also want to know if the seller offers a shipping deal, or if you can negotiate the rate to be lower, which usually occurs in the case of buying more than one item from a shop.

3. Read the overview and item details: If you are buying an item of clothing, make sure it comes from a pet (if you have allergies) and smoke free environment. Don't lose hope if this information is not listed, but don't be afraid to ask, either. Also read the item details area and search for errors- chances are if the seller is spelling the designers name wrong, it could easily be fake.

4. Materials: As I've mentioned, I usually go on Etsy when I want something trendy but don't want to buy the item from Zara, Topshop, ASOS, etc. If you buy vintage,then you know the material is usually (not always) better than it's modern day counterpart, mostly because it is either handmade or not made of synthetic materials. However, don't count on quality: ask about it. Rips,tears and stains should all be refereneced in the "item details" area.

5. Return Policy: This goes for online shopping in general- but know if you can return an item. Most likely, you will have to list a reason why the item does not work for you if you attempt a return. A lot of vintage items are not tagged (because they're vintage, duh) and therefore returns are not accepted. If you are upset about your item and feel that you can't do anything to make it wearable, then contact the seller and request an exchange.

For updates on my recent Etsy purchases click here.