Saturday, March 1, 2008

Registering and Shopping at Etsy

Etsy Tutorial:

Chapter I: What is Etsy?
Chapter II: Registering and Shopping at Etsy

So... you've seen Etsy on Martha Stewart, checked us out, and decided you wanted to buy something handmade from one of the nearly one million sellers or maybe even me.

Chapter I of my tutorial explains why Etsy makes you register a secure account and in this post I will explain how to register to buy handmade.

How do I register an account on Etsy?
1. Go to the Etsy website and click register in the top right corner. Complete the form creating a user name and password. Choose a name wisely, particularly if you plan on selling in the future, as you cannot change it and if you choose to sell, your user name will become your shop name too. Provide your email address which will be private and it will only be made available to sellers if you purchase from them.

2. When you finish filling out the online registration form go to the email account that you registered under, and open up the email that you have received from Etsy. Reply to this email (no need to type a message) to verify your account.

3. Congrats! You are now registered and can log in.

Etsy also explains this process here.

How do I make a purchase from a seller at Etsy?
Now that you have your account set up, its easy. Here are some important points to remember:

  • All items on Etsy are listed in United States Dollars (USD) regardless of the buyer's/seller's location. Paying with PayPal will automatically convert your currency to USD if you are from outside the US.

  • When you find an item you like, add it to your cart. By adding it to your cart, you will be redirected to the shopping cart page. At that point you can continue shopping and adding to the cart if you'd like, or proceed to the checkout.

  • Keep in mind if you are shopping from multiple sellers, you have to go through the check out process with each one separately.

  • Etsy has provided a detailed explanation on how to actually add items to your cart and how to check out.

    Things to keep in mind as a buyer
    • Sellers that have PayPal as an option usually prefer PayPal for payments because it is fast and easy

    • For their protection, sellers typically do not mail items until they receive payment. That includes check clearing

    • When you set up a PayPal account it takes about 5 days for the money that you put in to clear through PayPal. It is an Etsy policy that if payment has not been received within 3 days that the seller should cancel the sale and relist the item, but not all sellers are that strict. Still, its not a bad idea to make sure you have the funds in your account before buying or just pay through PayPal with a credit card.

    • Refer to the shop announcement at the top of the page at the seller's website, and also to their profile. They usually post their policies, shipping information, and promotional sales.