How To Buy On Etsy

Is Etsy safe to buy from?

As we covered in a previous article, buying items on Etsy is about as safe as it is on many other popular and trusted online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Ebay, and Overstock.  While scams and other problems do crop up from time to time, most of them are avoidable by researching an item and who's selling it ahead of time, as well as exercising a bit of common sense when it comes to your privacy and security.  Visit our Is Etsy Safe? article if you'd like some tips on how to stay safe as a buyer on Etsy.

Things to buy on Etsy

There's lots of unique and interesting stuff to buy on Etsy!  There's fine art, home decor, toys, clothing, accessories, jewellery, craft supplies, supplies for special occasions like birthdays and weddings, and more!  In general, though, most items sold on Etsy fall into one of three categories.


These are unique items crafted by individual artists and artisans (with perhaps a bit of outside help).  The bottom line is: you're not going to see them on superstore shelves any time soon, so Etsy's the place to get them.  Whether you're looking for something to help create or add to your own original style, or trying to find a gift idea that's a little out of the ordinary, there's bound to be an item for you!


These are products that were made by big companies (or at least ones that were big at the time), but have since gone out of production.  As a rule, an item must be at least 20 years old to be listed as "Vintage" on Etsy.  It's probably difficult to find items like these anymore, so if you're a collector of curiosities, this is your chance to get your hands on them!

Gift Cards

Not to be confused with cards that you send with gifts, such as for a wedding or birthday (which you can also buy on Etsy), you can buy Gift Cards that let other people you know who use Etsy (partially) pay for all of the cool stuff that they find on the website.  You can send the Gift Card to the person through email, or you can print it out and give it to them directly.

How to buy items on Etsy

  1. Go to in your web browser and click Sign In.  The process for signing in is pretty much the same as it was outlined in the last step of our How to Join Etsy tutorial, so visit that if you need help.

  2. Find an item on Etsy that you'd like to buy, either by browsing for it or actively searching for it.  See our How to Search on Etsy tutorial for pointers on how to use Etsy's search system.  Then click on it to select it.

  3. On the right-hand side, you will see the item's details.  You may have to click a drop-down menu to select the quantity of the item that you want to buy (if you can buy more than one at the same time), or select a version (if there are multiple variations of the same item).  Then click Add to Cart.

  4. Once you have added an item to your shopping cart, you can click Keep Shopping to find and add more items to your order (by repeating steps 2 and 3).  Otherwise, click one of the buttons under "How You'll Pay" to select a payment method (we'll assume you want to pay by credit card), and then click Proceed to Checkout.


  5. If you haven't set an address for Etsy to send your items to, you'll have to do that now.  Click the drop-down menus here to select your country and province/state/region, and then click in the text boxes and type in your full name, street address, unit number (if applicable), city, and mailing code.  Then click Deliver to This Address.

    After you've entered an address for the first time, Etsy will save it, so you can just quickly select it instead of having to input it all over again.

  6. If you haven't submitted billing information to Etsy yet, you'll have to do that now.

    Click in the text boxes and type in your credit card number, your credit card's security number, and your name as it appears on your credit card, then click the drop-down menus here to select your credit card's expiry date.  Leave the check box here marked if you want your bill sent to the same place that your items are being sent to (if you click to unmark it, you will have to select or enter an alternate address when you get to the next page). 

    Like your address, once you enter your credit card information, Etsy will save it.  This way, you can simply select it the next time that you want to buy something from Etsy, instead of inputting it all over again.

    You can also use an Etsy Gift Card here, if you have one (and the seller accepts them).  Click in the box labelled "Enter Your Redeem Code" and type in the code on your Etsy Gift Card.  Then, click Redeem Now.

    When you're all done, click Continue.

  7. The next screen will allow you to submit your order.  This will be your last chance to do any of these things:

    -- Change your delivery address
    -- Change your payment method or billing address
    -- Use an Etsy Gift Card towards the cost of your order
    -- Change the quantity or type of an item in your order
    -- Remove an item from your order

    If you're totally fine with how everything looks, click Submit Order.

You will receive an email confirmation of your order, and you can also confirm your order by clicking You (i.e. your profile) in the top-right corner, and then selecting Purchases and Reviews

Based on the seller's policies (like the shipping options that they choose) and how far away you are from the seller, you will be given an estimated delivery date for your order (see our Etsy Shipping article for a more detailed explanation).  We hope that you enjoy your item(s) once you receive your order!

Where to buy Etsy Gift Cards

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in (if you haven't already).

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, under the "Discover and Shop" section, and click Gift Cards.

  3. The next screen is a bit big, so we'll split it into two parts.  The first part lets you personalize your Gift Card.


    Click on a design that you want to give your card (or click the arrows at either end to browse more designs).  Then, click in the text boxes marked "To" and "From" and type in the name of the person you're giving the Gift Card to, and your name, respectively. 

    You can click in the text box below that and type in a personal message to the recipient that's up to 500 characters long.  As Etsy suggests, you can tell the recipient why you're giving them the gift card (perhaps for a special occasion), or suggest some items that you found on Etsy that they might want to use the Gift Card on.  This part is totally optional, though.

  4. On the second part of the screen, click an amount that you want the Gift Card to be for (click Change Currency if you want to change what currency the Gift Card will be issued in).  Then, click one of the buttons under "Delivery Method" to decide whether you want to send the Gift Card to the recipient by way of email, or whether you'd prefer to print it out and give it to them yourself.

    (Note: if you want to send a Gift Card to a person at their email address, you'll have to click in the two boxes below these buttons, as highlighted in the screenshot below, and type in the recipient's email address twice.)

    When you're all done, click Add to Cart.

From here, simply follow steps 4 through 7 in the "How to Buy Items on Etsy" section above to complete the purchase of your Gift Card.  Once the recipient of the Gift Card has it, they can use it by following steps 6 and/or 7 in the "How to Buy Items on Etsy" section.


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