By now you've probably noticed I spend a fair bit of time on Etsy. If you've been there, you probably know that navigating through the thousands- even millions- of items on the site can be a bit daunting.
If you're new to Etsy, searching via the search box on the top right of the site can often lead you to thousands of "related" items. But many of these "related" items are related only because the seller (or crafter) tagged them with a similar material or theme. Crafters have the option when posting their products to use an endless amount of "tag" words that sometimes just clutter the airwaves of goodie hunters such as ourselves.
Here are a few tried and true tips for finding thar perfect perfect on Etsy.
1. Register. Fast, easy, painless. I promise. You need to register with Etsy because I can guarantee that once you begin browsing you'll find something you love. But more importantly, step 3 (and a very important step, I must say) requires you to be logged in. So take one minute. Register.
2. Start browsing at the Treasury. Etsy treasuries are a series of hand picked items that real people have curated. They're often chosen by theme or style, i.e. vintage wedding for late summer, or by color, i.e. bright, bold, red. Treasuries are posted on the Etsy home page everyday and change almost every hour. Some of Etsy's finest ends up on these curated lists, so take note.
3. Favorites. Once you've started peeking around, notice that at right hand side of the page you'll find a tab that says "Favorites" and a heart icon that says "add item to Favorites". Click it. Click the heart for every item you see that you like. Why? Because once you start accumulating favorites, Etsy will recommend shops to you based on what you like. Your favorites (and the recommended sellers page) can be accessed at the top left of the page once you are signed in. And, when your best friends' birthday rolls around, you'll have an entire page of great gift ideas. Trust me on this.
4. Newsletters. I'm signed up for Etsy Finds and I love it. Every day I get to see a fabulous, hand picked showcase of items from over twenty different online shops. It's like stepping into a virtual boutique in every email. If you can't read every newsletter every day- don't sweat it. It's worth taking a quick peek, clicking on a few items, and adding them to your favorites and calling it good. Remember: the more items in your favorites, the more shops will be recommended to you with items related to your tastes.
Keep in mind that Etsy is more like browsing the museum gift shop or an art gallery and less like an online store where you can type a few simple words in the search field and quickly narrow out items by size, color and style. Etsy is a special place where highly talented and creative artists sell their goods, but it's also a place where anyone can sell anything, so long as it's handmade. A little patience and the will to find that perfect something, and you're on your way. Happy Hunting!