So you've found ETSY. You've fallen in love with a certain little something and decide it must be yours. Now what?
Think about your user name carefully. Should you want to become a seller in the future, this will be linked to your store identity. ETSY frowns upon multiple accounts for one individual and should you have more than one store or identity you are required to disclose that information in each store and in dealings with other sellers.
Why do I need to sign up? It is important for the seller to have accurate mailing information and contact information for you. By insuring this information is accurate, your ease of purchase in the future is clear and precise for the shopkeepers to access and ensure your product arrives safely to the correct address. Your mailing address and email are provided to the seller upon the sale of product and remain password protected in their individual account.
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Once you've purchased the product, you are then given the options of payment. PayPal is the most universal online payment option. This allows you to keep your personal banking and credit information private, while still enjoying ease of online shopping at unique and diverse online stores. The fees for this service are paid entirely by the seller. You can also set your PayPal up to access funds directly from your bank account, all the while keeping your personal information as generic as an email address.
Some shops accept other forms of payment; such as money orders, personal cheques and may also accept Google Wallet. Most ETSY shops share this information in their profiles, so if you're not sure, or want more options be sure to check this area out, as it differs on a shop by shop basis.
Shipping really differs from store to store. Pricing is clearly marked on the main product page, but length of time for delivery differs greatly. Some shops make to order, so you may be waiting up to a month to receive your order. I have learned that this is a trait some buyers can handle and other's cannot. My best advice to any new buyer at ETSY is to read the shop's profile, ask questions, and order well in advance. Then give at least two weeks for the product to arrive.
I know I come from the Canadian school of thought on this topic but my advice is to relax; Etsians want to please you, they want a good reputation through positive feedback, so don't panic if you're order isn't there immediately. Should a parcel get lost or the timeline is extreme, contact the shop and together work for a positive solution.
ETSY is filled with artisans who excel at what they do, who have unique talents and abilities and have found a means to bring them to your door. This truly is one of the perks of our digital age. Embrace it and enjoy!