The contingency of genius-weirdos that derive true pleasure from combing all 12 pages of an Etsy search for “flat mule” are a rare breed. But when I do find that perfect mule and it’s only $36 including shipping?! Rapture at last. To be fair, I'm freelance and have a lot of time on my hands, and clicking “next page” releases tiny puffs of relaxing brain stuff (it’s science). But if you’re busier than me or just don’t know where to start, you’re in luck, because I also love sharing.
Let’s start with some tips:
- Unlike eBay, Etsy doesn’t need a really specific search. Often the best deals are from vendors that don’t know that they have something majorly valuable. (“Value” is totally subjective, though — I might be in a lonely camp of people that think a crochet halter top is worth more than $30). Look for things by silhouette and material (linen A-line skirt, silk shell tank, leather bucket bag).
- Like eBay, Etsy photos usually don’t do the product justice. This means you have to really read descriptions and sometimes message sellers for more information. A little blind trust and some faith in your tailor are necessary. The stores with great photography (looking at you, Persephone Vintage) are aware of their goods and price appropriately.
- If you’re an Etsy whiz, you might have noticed that your Favorites page has some repeating items. For example, I love the silhouette of vintage Van Eli shoes. Their price ranges are from $20 to $70 and they’re usually really cute!
- It’s very hard to discern synthetic fabric quality without feeling it. If an item is cute, your size, and 100% silk, cotton, linen, cashmere, or leather, it’s usually a winner. Plus, you can usually resell.