Thursday, January 12, 2012

Etsy Shopping Guide

I love Etsy, you love Etsy- we all love it. But you can definitely get stuck with a purchase that you didn't know was horrible until you get it. This could mean quality, size, shape, color. So I thought I would help everyone with lolita shopping (and general shopping) on Etsy. You can find some great stuff on the site, and some real fail. So here are my top 5 tips to help you navigate Etsy with confidence.

Lets talk about photos...
#1. When you find a seller and they have bad or blurry pictures, stay away from them. If the seller can't even find a camera to take in focus pictures of their wares, why are they trying to sell them in the first place? It seems shady, like the person is trying to hide the quality of their stuff behind bad focus. If you really want to find out more about what they are selling, send them a convo (conversation or basically message) and ask them to send you better pictures so you can get a better idea of quality.

#2. Beware of awesome pictures. I know, I just said stay away from bad pictures, but hear me out. Sometimes, bad quality can also be hidden behind awesome model pictures. I personally hate it when there are these amazing photo shopped pictures of someone wearing something, and I can't really even see how the quality is. Sure, the picture is cool, but what about the close up of the item in natural light. Just be aware that amazing pictures that look like they should be in a magazine (and no other pictures) could also be hiding something. I like when sellers have a combo of worn pictures and close up pictures of the item.

Let's talk about policies...

#3. Check the seller's info page and their policy page. You want to know about who you are buying from and where they are, how they ship, how they handle returns etc. If this page is blank, I wouldn't buy from them because they must not have any idea what their policies are if something were to happen to your purchase, and that is not cool. They may also require you to pay within a certain amount of time or they will re-list your item. You can also convo someone and ask them about a policy or for clarification, but if they hold themselves professionally, they should have a policy page all set up.

Let's talk about custom orders...

#4. So say you want a custom lolita dress (not a simple skirt) and when you order it you tell the seamstress that you are a size 12 or you wear a 32c bra and size 5 pants, and the seamstress is fine with that info, you may want to reconsider your order. This is why, making a custom garment requires a ton of measurements in order for it to fit you well and not bulge, bag, or gap on you. If a seamstress doesn't send you a measurement sheet to fill out, chances are she/he is not a very good one and is going to guess at your size. This is VERY important if you are really tall, short, busty, big bottomed, broad shouldered etc. Stretch fabrics are also measured differently than non-stretch (learned this the hard way). It's a sad feeling when you get something and it doesn't fit when you've been waiting weeks for it. That being said, if this happens you should be able to contact the person and get either a refund (send the item back) or send it back to them for repairs (usually with no extra charge since it was their mistake).

Let's talk about being courteous...

#5. Lastly as a shopper, you should be courteous. If you inquire about something and then change your mind, don't leave that person hanging, tell them. Don't buy stuff then not pay for it- that's just mean. Be polite when asking questions and keep in mind you could be creating a great relationship with someone that will DISCOUNT stuff for you in the future. I have built great relationships over Etsy with people I've never met but consider friends. If you don't plan on buying something right away but are curious, then say so. Don't make it sound as though you want to buy something when you don't. Sellers get their hopes up too, so play nice.

So I think that covers the basics of shopping on and will help you feel a little more confident when making purchases there. Good luck and happy shopping!
And I know my pictures have nothing to do with Etsy, but they are pretty.

Here is a short list of my fav Etsy stores-

CuteCandyClouds cute bear hats
CatNapCaps Fairy kei/sweet accessories
KittywoodDesigns sweet accessories
MissSapporo craft items
PrincessPearl clothing
Blashphemina more couture clothing
ElegyClothing clothing/blouses
TheQuaintrella Mori girl type stuff
TwoBackFlats Mini hats of good quality
Silversark clothing
AliceDoll brooches and collars

Now go forth and find your own favorites!

and of course...mine PoisonSugar


  1. your welcome, Apatico is another good one, but their site is down for some reason.