Help me find the best of Etsy
March 17, 2011 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Etsy aggregator?

I like Etsy and would be interested in purchasing more things from there but it's hard for me to look through when I don't know exactly what I want.

I'm not sure that it matters what specifically I am interested in but I like jewely but nothing too wild - mostly small silver pieces. I also like clothes and shirts. I'm interested in art, especially photography.

The thing is that if I just look through shirts for example, I get frustrated easily and quickly. But when I search something very specific, I'm rarely pleased with the results.

I know I can request things on Etsy but part of what I like about it is being able to find things I otherwise would not have been able to. Am I just doing it wrong?
posted by kat518 to Shopping (14 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
From Etsy:

Here are some tips to help you search:

* Use multiple descriptive terms in a search to narrow down the results. For example: searching green knit scarf will return fewer, more specific results than just scarf.
* Using a minus sign (-) in front of a word will exclude that term from your search. For example: searching dress -red will exclude any results for a dress that is tagged with "red."
* Enclosing a word or phrase in quotation marks will look for items that use that exact word or phrase only. For example: searching "sterling silver" will return results that include that phrase exactly.
* Sort your search results for item listings by using the dropdown menu on the results page.
* Use the Advanced Search form to apply multiple filters to your item listing search.

The minus thing works like a charm. I whittle down searches quite a bit using it. I just keep minusing things until I have a small amount of results to view, otherwise it's overwhelming. Like if you wanted to look at black screenprinted tshirts with unicorns on them, try something like black unicorn screenprint -glitter -pink -rainbows -handpainted -tiedye, for example ;) My personal favorite search tip: Search through the favorites of your favorites. I do this all the time. Once I find a person who has taste similar to mine, I favorite their shop. I check every few days to see what they've hearted. Invariably I find that I love what they love. I buy from my favorites' favorites all the time.
posted by iconomy at 7:34 PM on March 17, 2011

Is the frustration in part because you can only view a few items at a time before you have to click "next"? If so, this website lets you view the images for lots of etsy items easily. You can scroll through a hundred items in a minute.

Also, the "request" section, Alchemy, is no more. Very sad. Maybe it will come back one day?
posted by arnicae at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I haven't done enough searching to have favorites - I guess I'll try to work on that. I'll feel frustrated because I'll be like, damnit, I've clicked through like 90 things and haven't found anything remotely compelling.

I think I've also gotten used to reading reviews for items on other websites and there aren't reviews on Etsy. Are there? Are there any ways to know who the best sellers are? Are there blogs that highlight the best things?
posted by kat518 at 8:05 PM on March 17, 2011

Not to be too self promoting, but I do a weekly blog post (Etsy Stylist) for the style section highlighting cool Etsy items. You might like some of the things there.
posted by amber_dale at 8:20 PM on March 17, 2011

Response by poster: amber_dale, memail me the link or should I just Google it?
posted by kat518 at 8:26 PM on March 17, 2011

Hm. "Best" is so subjective. There actually are megaton of Etsy stuff and Etsy review blogs out there but I have no idea what you like so have no idea how to direct you to some you might find interesting. I feel your pain about the search. For every awesome thing there, there are 200 crap things. You really do have to wade through a lot of empty shells to find the oyster with the pearl there. When you say best sellers do you mean sellers who sell the most? Because that info is here.
posted by iconomy at 8:31 PM on March 17, 2011

By the way, you can't (as easily) request things on Etsy anymore -- Alchemy is no longer.
posted by mendel at 8:32 PM on March 17, 2011

Lately I've been finding a seller that produces work that I like, then I look at their favorites and discover all kinds of amazing things. Unfortunately this really only works when you aren't looking for anything specific.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:44 PM on March 17, 2011

Best answer: Every day, the Etsy staff features some items on the front page ("Handpicked Items" section). They also send out a daily newsletter with handpicked items. You can subscribe to it somewhere in your account settings.

For more personalized recommendations, you could try the Etsy Taste Test. And if you're signed into Etsy, the front page shows you a "You Might Like" section based on your favorites and purchases (irrelevant if you don't have any, but might become more useful after being active on the site for a while). I can't vouch for accuracy of either, but it's another way to browse items without going through hundreds of pages returned by random searches.

Also seconding the "looking at favorites of your favorite shops" method.
posted by gakiko at 12:32 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

That Etsy taste test is really amazing. It showed me a lot of things I thought I didn't much like but it figured out that my favorite color is blue, when I barely remembered clicking on maybe, one blue thing.

There are several blogs like Best of Etsy, although I guess that would go along with the blog owner's tastes. Maybe if you found one you liked and subscribed.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:44 AM on March 18, 2011

Just chiming in to say that there are many Etsy favorites blogs and that I myself have a shopping blog that draws heavily from Etsy (link in my profile).
posted by rmless at 7:00 AM on March 18, 2011

This wonderful blogger routinely features gorgeous items from Etsy. I totally agree that approaching the site without direction is no fun. Using her recommendations, I've built up a nice collection of favorites that I can browse.
posted by cymru_j at 7:28 AM on March 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for the advice! I am having fun with the taste test and I can see myself taking it again and again and I look forward to checking out the blogs. Thanks again!
posted by kat518 at 8:30 AM on March 18, 2011

Here's a little help--this was linked through Apartment Therapy:

Our Favorite Etsy Stores, 2011 Edition— And Tell Us Yours!
posted by luckyveronica at 5:15 PM on March 24, 2011

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