Today I am sharing a few great tips for Christmas shopping online, with a focus on Etsy.
Before I get to the tips, be sure to get a head start on all your Christmas shopping by stopping by my Etsy shops below.
How To Shop Like A Pro Online This Christmas
If you have not been thinking about Christmas gifts yet, it is not too early! Get online now and start using an app or Pinterest to at least pick out and save items you intend to purchase. The first tip is to begin planning your purchases. I like to use Pinterest and every year I set up a new “Christmas Gifts” board and pin items that I intend to purchase over the coming weeks.
Now is the time to start online Christmas shopping, especially if you are on a tight budget. Don’t wait until December to start your Christmas shopping. Think about it . . . if you need to buy several gifts for family and friends- if you start now, in October, you have roughly 12 weeks (or if you break it down to pay periods, you have about 6 or 7 paychecks) before Christmas. By starting now and purchasing one or two gifts each week or every other week per pay period – you won’t break your pocketbook or go into credit card debt. Plus, it’s less stressful since you will not have to deal with the insane retail store Christmas crowds or worse, attempt the Black Friday boxing match.
I love to shop on Etsy to find unique and handmade gifts of all kinds from jewelry, soap, candles, home decor and more for women and so many amazing original gifts like designer and funny tee shirts, shaving cream, tools, and beer accessories for men in my family. The best reason to shop on Etsy, you don’t have to leave home and every amazing gift arrives right on your doorstep.
Additionally, most shops on Etsy will offer gift wrap service with a small fee (some shops even offer it free)– and your gifts will arrive ready to put directly under the tree! Now that entirely takes the stress out of Christmas shopping, so you can sit back and enjoy your egg nog or wine!
Now for the tips on how to shop like a pro on Etsy
First, know the online platform and know how to use it to your advantage. Etsy is not at all like Ebay or Amazon, so there are a few differences you should know to help you search and find amazing gifts.
My second tip is DON’T RELY ON PHOTOS only when purchasing anything online. Why? Photos can not show you an accurate size or other important details. It is highly recommended that you go ahead and take a minute to READ the item details section of each listing.
Where are Item Details in Etsy?
It depends, if browsing on the phone or tablet app, you need to scroll all the way down under photos, past the line “Item Overview” further down and actually CLICK ON the words to get the Item Details box to pop out or open.
However, if shopping on a desktop or laptop, it is much easier to find just by scrolling down under the photos. I actually prefer to shop on my laptop, since I can send emails and messages to Etsy sellers much easier.
My tip #3 is to ask questions before buying. If you did not find all the information in the item details to answer your questions about an item on Etsy, absolutely email or message the shop owner or seller by clicking on the button – Ask a question
Most sellers want and love to connect with buyers. Etsy shop sellers want to hear from you BEFORE you purchase, especially if you have questions and they definitely want to ensure you know exactly what you are ordering, when it will arrive, and any other information you need to know. Sellers want to complete all sales with 100% happy buyers.
A smart buyer shops like a pro and fully reads all the details or asks questions about the potential purchase so there is no misunderstanding about exactly what is being ordered.
Data research has shown that buyers that purchase on impulse without taking the time to fully read the details about items online generally exhibit regret or buyers remorse later, and that emotion is no fault of an online seller, on any platform. After all, that Etsy seller did pour their blood, sweat, and maybe some tears into that amazing handmade gift you are about to purchase- so they want you to love it and to know exactly what you are going to receive before adding it to your cart and completing the sale.
Understanding Order Processing & Shipping Timelines
My tip #4 is recommending that you shop online early and understand order processing time needed plus consider the delivery time for either USPS, FedEx, or UPS, once a seller has shipped your order. When buying handmade, it is crucial to allow Etsy sellers production time and order processing time to get your handmade item to you. While many sellers have plenty of inventory ready to go, some still make your item after it is ordered.
Personalized and custom orders do not magically appear. Each seller must add that personalized request or design to your handmade item, so don’t assume you are going to receive your Etsy order two days after purchase, unless of course your paid for them to rush it and for Priority Express to have it overnighted to you. Remember, Amazon Prime costs subscribers around $120.00 a year. Most online shoppers can’t afford that fee just for the convenience of two day delivery, so consider that when buying elsewhere online. Sellers online need time to get your order ready and in the mail to you. As much as sellers would love to have hundreds of employees working all night, its not happening, so be realistic about delivery times.
An online seller needs a day or two to get your item ready to ship and in the mail. This is called order processing. Etsy has been making this information more accessible to buyers on all the apps and desktop platforms- it now shows you approximately when an item will arrive at your location and it is located just next to the lower part of the photos. Be sure to note this important information before buying, especially if you have waiting until the last minute to order. Definitely message the seller first to find out if they can meet your rush deadline.
How To Search To Find What You Want On Etsy
Finally, tip #5 is to use the search features in the left hand side of the screen when searching for specific items on Etsy. You can narrow down your searched selection of items shown to you by clicking in any of the boxes-
Once you have selected a shop you like, you can also narrow down specific items while browsing in that shop too by clicking on their sections in the left hand side of the screen.
I hope these online Christmas shopping tips are helpful. Be sure to stop by any of my Etsy shops below for your holiday gift giving, seasonal decorating, or holiday celebrations and to use these tips to optimize your online browsing and gift giving this holiday season!