Millions of people have started using a cool little website called Etsy. If you haven't feel free to head over and take a look. You don't need an account to browse, but you may consider making your own account if you want to sell, or create a favorite's list.
But the real question is... IS ETSY a good web-site to find a a great deal?
The answer is: YES. But not everything on Etsy is a good deal. So here are some hints and tips on finding excellent deals and avoiding the overpriced home-made crafts.
I've used 10 examples to help guide you through, so don't ignore these 10 fantastic deals while reading through the Etsy deal finding hints and tips!
1. Avoid terms like "steam-punk", "wedding", and "newborn" instead try things like "gear art", "off white invitations" or "infant". The difference in wording often equals a huge difference in price for the exact same thing! Here's a great example:
Even those these little charms have the word "steam-punk" in them I found them by typing in gear charms. Similar jewelry sold for as much as $45.00 each in several Etsy stores, but these little charms are just $1.95! Why? Because the way Etsy does it's search they rank under "Gears" instead of "steam-punk" so this seller has lowered the price find a market matching their description. Go here to see these charms live on Etsy.
2. Don't just look at the first page! When searching on Etsy keep in mind first they rank things based on key words, second they rank based on when the item was updated, and lastly things are ranked based on how many people have viewed them. Meaning, the best deal isn't necessarily on the first page! For example if you type in "infant hairband" you'd have to scroll to page 23 to find these adorable unique headbands for infants and toddlers at 50% to 90% off what most sellers are asking! Most headbands here are just $5.00! so be patient and keep scrolling if needs be! If a seller is making millions they'll most likely raise their price to meet demand meaning the first few pages are usually full of slightly over marked products with high demand rates. To see this sellers live page full of adorable headbands other handmade items click here.
3. Try searching for what something could be named, rather than what it is! Below is a beautiful fractal picture that is about 1/3 the price of most fractal prints, at just $20.00, on Etsy or any other website. Why are they so cheep? Well it's probably because the seller labeled them Spiral Leaves instead of Fractal print! So if what you want is a oil painting of A pink dragon try typing in "pink dragon" and leave out the fact you're looking for an oil painting since the seller may not have included that information on the title thinking that someone can clearly see what it is! To see this fractal print sellers store live on Etsy CLICK HERE.
4. Abbreviate when possible! Remember it's ordinary people posting their own work, so not everyone takes the time to spell things out. For instance if you type in "dinosaur" you'll get a few hundred pages of everything you can imagine Dinosaur. What you won't get is the other 64 or so pages of "dino" art! Everything you can think in the theme of Dinosaurs. So if you can think of a way to abbreviate a word (even if YOU normally wouldn't spell it that way) DO IT!
A perfect example of this is this adorable set of 4 "Dino" crayons for just $1.70 vs. the exact same set of 4 "Dinosaur" crayons from another seller for $9.00! To see the "Dino" sellers store live on Etsy CLICK HERE.
5. Add Friends to your "Circle" if you have or create an account! It's not a social network so you're not giving away any life long secrets by adding random people. And when they add items to their favorites you'll have the chance to see them. It's a great way to find things you would have NEVER looked for! It's also a good way to share in on someone else's great deal find!
For instance here is an awesome find I grabbed just because someone in my circle added it to their favorites and I choose to view all my circles favorite adds that week it was just $8.00 and the seller made another one after the first sold! (Don't worry it doesn't send you an e-mail or drive you nuts with notifications.) To see this sellers store with all their great deals CLICK HERE.
6. Check The Shipping Price! Remember that the seller has to pay for the box or padded envelope, postage and any wrapping materials needed. And, unlike Wal-Mart, Amazon and Beyond The Rack these sellers don't have an agreement with UPS to ship for a steep discount. HOWEVER, shipping should be reasonable! $2 - $8 to ship most items on Etsy! (Some items like large art, heavy clothing, or fragile items maybe more). But you may run into situations like this: $9.95 for a beautiful set of wine glass charms and $25.00 for shipping! What was a good deal is now a rip off.
Most sellers like one of my favorite pictured below offer great prices on shipping! This hand painted dragon which costs $50.00 ships for only $4.00. However, you'll ALWAYS want to make sure, and be especially careful on costume orders that you know how much the seller will ask for shipping. To see the seller of this beautiful painting CLICK HERE.
7. Read the DESCRIPTION! This seems simple enough however when you see a beautiful picture like the one below and read that the item only costs $3.50 you may get so excited you hit "purchase" before reading the disclaimer that says "THIS LISTING IS FOR A PATTERN ONLY; NOT A FINISHED PRODUCT. For finished products, please convo me or see my other shop at www.sweetkiwicrochetshop.etsy.com" I see this happen all the time in deal shopping. There is a time in which you want to hit the "buy now" button as fast as possible but be warned you may not get what you had hopped for. To see this sellers store CLICK HERE.
8. Look For What's Real! Look For Real Stone, real Cotton, real Wood, real Metals! In a jewelry store real stones sell for 5 times the amount of synthetics. However, when home based hobbiest make jewelry they often don't make it up just because it's "real"! Same with wood carvings, pure cotton fabrics, and other "real" materials!
For instance this seller uses all real gemstone beads in their jewelry! However, their jewelry is the same price as much of the same style jewelry made from glass or plastic on Etsy! The necklace set pictured is only $95.00 and incorporates Chrysoprase and Citrine beads! To see this sellers store Live on Etsy CLICK HERE!
9. Use It As An Idea Book! If you're already addicted to Etsy you're probably a bit of a crafter yourself. So don't feel bad using this website as an idea book! (Copying an artist exactly is the same as plederism, however, using the ideas is just smart thinking!) I took this cute wine bottle recycling idea and made some candy dishes for our Halloween party. I cut them in half and gold plated the edges... I had tons of wine bottles sitting around waiting for a craft project and now I have one! To See This Etsy Sellers Live Page CLICK HERE.
10. Always Check Heartsy! Heartsy.me is a website that sells Etsy shop gift cards for 30% to 90% off! They feature a few Etsy shops a day and each offers a different amount and discount. But it is ALWAYS worth a look!
There is your guide to finding the perfect deal on the perfect item on Etsy! ENJOY!