Sometimes you’re looking for that specific dress that you just can’t find in any of the vintage shops around you.  Online marketplace Etsy can be a great alternative for shopping for vintage at affordable prices. However, the site’s search tool isn’t quite as refined yet as we like so it can take some time and patience to find the perfect piece. As an addicted Etsy buyer and Etsy seller Angel Cutsforth has some great tips on how to search and buy on Etsy with maximum effect.

1) Using colour as a keyword to search

I was looking for a green dress and had to do lots of different searches with different words for green. So instead of just searching for ‘green dress’, I searched for mint dress, seafoam dress, grass dress, moss dress, olive dress, sage dress etc

2) Using shape as a keywords to search

I love full-skirted dresses, but unfortunately there are so many different ways of describing them that if you’re looking for one, you need to search for every possible description get what you want. For a full-circle dress you should for example search for full skirt dress, full skirted dress, swing dress, pleated dress, 40s dress, 50s dress, 60s dress, mad men dress, etc.

3) Search every day

People list all the time and you don’t want to miss out on the perfect dress because you didn’t find it in time.

4) Keep going back to your favourite shops

If they have stock that you like at the moment, they are more than likely to get similar items again and again.

5) Know your measurements

This will save you so much time!

6) Check the feedback people have given the seller

If there is some negative feedback find out why, also make sure you leave feedback because then the seller can leave you some feedback in return.

7) Be aware of mis-listings

Some people list things as Fifties when they are actually an Eighties take on Fifties style.

8) Search in both the Vintage and Handmade

Sometimes some vintage dresses can get mis-tagged, or you might find the perfect reproduction alternative.

9) Don’t go by size

Etsy doesn’t have a search by size option so searching by small, medium, large etc. doesn’t always work. It’s better to search for the style you want and then check the sizing as you look through and find things that you like.

10) Always write “woman” in the search bar if looking for clothes for yourself. Or “girl” if looking for a kid’s dress.

5 Responses

  1. Kiri

    Thanks! I love shopping on Etsy and find tons of great stuff. Only problem is I’m usually to broke to buy it even if it’s cheap. Haha.
    Ah well, I’ll get some stuff eventually. 🙂

  2. Dominique

    Thanks for these! I love shopping on etsy as well, but have frequently been frustrated by having way too many search results to sift through. I think they have improved their search function recently, and that has certainly helped!

  3. Melony Ralph

    One of the first things I do in the morning is check Etsy for vintage dresses…it is just downright fun. I’ve found so many wonderful things there. I have a vintage clothing shop on Etsy that basically supports MY habit. For some reason I find it trickier to find what I want on eBay than on Etsy, as I tend to have to sort through so many factory-made repros there. I love that Etsy strives to have things categorized in Vintage or Handmade.

  4. Debbie

    Sometimes you can find real bargins by useless less specific kewords like “vintage dress” people who dont know much about clothing will list items for cheap using vague descriptions