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How to navigate the ins and outs of shopping on Etsy.com
Two area women share their experiences of buying and selling on the internet retailer
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Stacie Wilson of Flowery Branch sells shirt extenders through her shop called Classic Dianne on Etsy. An extender can lengthen any shirt by a few inches and they come in a variety of textures, patterns and colors.

How to buy items from Etsy.com

Do:

* Ask the seller questions

* Double check shipping speeds

* Read reviews of the shop

* Look for sellers that respond quickly

Don’t:

* Get frustrated

* Ask questions already posted

* Get scammed

* Forget to read the item details

Etsy can be a wonderful service or a nightmare.

The online retailer, where unique and handmade items can be bought and sold, can turn into a blur of shipping numbers and frustration galore, especially with Christmas coming to town.

Stacie Wilson has sold shirt extenders for a little more than a year through her shop called Classic Dianne on Etsy. An extender can lengthen any shirt by a few inches, and they come in a variety of textures, patterns and colors.

“Before that I made and sold little girls’ dresses in a different shop for five years,” Wilson said.

A large portion of her sales come directly from her website, but she sells about 50 to 75 extenders at $28 each on Etsy.

When she isn’t selling her goods, Wilson also shops for items on Etsy.

Being an Etsy shopper and seller gives Wilson a unique perspective on the tricks to using the service wisely.

“I have never had issues with Etsy. They are wonderful,” the Flowery Branch woman said.

However, she has run into some customer-service problems.

“The main thing with customers is just that some don’t read item details and turnaround times,” she said. “I spend a lot of time answering questions that are clearly posted.”

Wilson said Etsy shoppers should follow two simple rules: ask your seller questions if you have them, and always read the descriptions before buying.

If you need a present for Uncle Tim in a week, double check the shipping times to ensure your gift will arrive on your doorstep before Christmas morning.

If you are like Abbey Black, you use Etsy to hunt for Christmas presents. A few years ago, Black found a perfect Christmas present for her boyfriend. That’s when she stumbled upon Etsy.

“What I got him has lasted him until now. He still wears it,” Black said.

The Cumming woman said she’s had negative and positive experiences with the service since then, but one experience in particular left her with a bad taste in her mouth.

“I have had someone completely scam me,” she said.

Black ordered a purse several years ago and never received it. She tried contacting the seller, but they gave her nothing but excuses.

“The day it was supposed to be at my house, they deleted the account and I couldn’t get to the seller,” Black said.

She contacted Etsy, which refunded her money. But the experience was a hassle.

Overall, Black said eight out of 10 of her experiences with the service have been positive, but now she knows what to look for.

Black recommends always checking a shop’s reviews, including customers’ star ratings. She also reads the comments.

Black said she also makes a habit of checking shipping speeds. Some shops can take weeks to deliver.

For more information on Etsy, visit www.etsy.com.

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