How do you buy things on Etsy? Payments, Guests, and Gifts


If you’re looking for unique gifts or one-of-a-kind artisan pieces, Etsy is a great place to find them. Etsy offers a way to buy items from artists from around the world, and there are some gift-purchase options and payment plan options available.

Buying things on Etsy is pretty easy, but there are differences in the payment methods available in different locations, so your options for payments will vary.

You can check out as a guest or a registered Etsy user, but there are limitations with a guest account.

You can also choose gift wrapping options from some Etsy sellers.

Read on to learn more about the different buying options available on Etsy.

For a full article about how the Etsy shopping cart works, click here: How Does The Etsy Shopping Cart Work?

How do you buy things on Etsy? Payments, Guests and Gifts

Table of Contents

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Package with shipping label

Etsy buying options.

Etsy provides multiple payment options for buying things, including credit and debit cards, Paypal, Etsy gift cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Klarna installments (where available,) iDeal (Netherlands) and Sofort in Austria and Germany. Not all Etsy sellers accept all payment methods, it will often depend on where the shop is located and what options are available.

For more information about the terms of use of each of these payment methods, check the Etsy help center here: Payment methods to check out on Etsy.Opens in a new tab.

Can you use PayPal on Etsy?

Paypal can be used on Etsy as a payment method as long as the shop you’re purchasing from is located in a country where PayPal operated. At this point, PayPal is not accepted for shops that are located in Turkey and Israel.

If you have a Paypal account, you can set up the source of your payment there (either your bank account or a credit card) and then pay through the PayPal account itself.

The process for paying with PayPal is the same on Etsy as it is on other websites. If you choose Paypal as the payment option, you’ll be redirected to Paypal, where you’ll sign in and verify the purchase.

You’ll then be redirected to Etsy, where the purchase will be completed.

Can you use layaway or payment plans on Etsy?

Klarna is an installment payment method that’s accepted on Etsy if your account is registered in Australia, Spain, the UK, or the US. There’s also a pay-in-30-days option for customers who are located in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, or Norway.

In order to use this payment method, your account information including the location, language and currency, has to be set up in the same country. If you don’t have everything set up correctly you might not see Klarna as an option at checkout.

You also have to qualify to use Klarna, and that’s handled by Klarna, not Etsy.

All Klarna arrangements are handled by Klarna, not by Etsy or the shop owner. Etsy shop owners don’t process payments at all, Etsy handles that, so if you choose Klarna as the payment option you’ll be dealing with them directly.

The terms of use for Klarna are outside the control of the seller, so if you have a problem with it, you’ll need to contact Klarna instead of the shop owner.

credit card

Does Etsy accept prepaid gift cards?

Etsy accepts prepaid gift cards like Visa gift cards as a form of payment just like a regular debit card, but they might not work if the total for the order is higher than the value on the card.

Etsy also issues its own gift cards, which are available to purchase on Etsy and can be used for any shop on Etsy.

You have to be a registered Etsy user to purchase and spend Etsy gift cards, so if you don’t have an account you won’t see them as an option to buy or spend.

If the amount of the purchase is less than the amount on your gift card, Etsy will leave the balance in your account as a credit, and will automatically use it for your next purchase unless you choose to not use the balance at checkout.

You can’t buy Etsy gift cards with a prepaid card.

To see the full Artisan Shopping Directory sections, including signups for discounts, click here.

continue as a guest button

How to buy on Etsy without an account.

To purchase on Etsy without a registered account, simply choose “continue as a guest” when you have things in the cart and you click on “proceed to checkout.” This will allow you to purchase without signing in to an Etsy account.

Etsy allows customers to check out as a guest, but there are some disadvantages to this:

  1. Orders placed with a guest account won’t have a record of the order on Etsy. You’ll receive an email with the order information, but that’s the only way to track it.
  2. Guests can’t leave reviews unless they register later and claim their purchase under the new account.
  3. Guest accounts won’t have a record of their previous purchases to refer to on Etsy unless they register them later. Having a record of them makes it easier to find previous orders and download any digital files you may have bought.

To read an article about how to leave reviews and register previously purchased items, click here: How to Leave Reviews on Etsy (And How Guests Can)

Etsy guest checkout order tracking.

If you do purchase using a guest account on Etsy, you’ll have to rely on the confirmation email that you receive when the order ships to find your tracking information, if there’s tracking included. The email will have all the details of the shipment, but it’s the only way to get that information since you won’t have an account on Etsy to refer to.

You can also send the Etsy seller a message asking for the information if you don’t get an email.

As long as the seller can match your name and email to an order, they should be able to send you the tracking information if there is any.

Without the email from Etsy, you won’t have any other verification of the order, though. If it turns out that you ordered the wrong thing, you’ll need the email to see what happened.

In general, it’s usually better to register on Etsy so that you’ll have a hub for your purchases and reviews, and you’ll be able to find your order information and track shipments.

Gift box to select at checkout on Etsy.
Gift box to select at checkout on Etsy.

How to order a gift on Etsy.

To order a gift on Etsy, just check the box at checkout that says “this order is a gift.” This will let the seller print a receipt that doesn’t show the cost of the item so that the recipient won’t see how much it cost. The receipt will also say “Enjoy your gift from–” with the buyer’s name.

Make sure that the address you choose for the shipping address is the one where you want the package to be shipped to.

If you want it to be sent directly to the gift recipient, you’ll need to put their address in that spot.

If you make a mistake and put your own address in the shipping address area, the seller will send the package to you, not the person who the gift is intended for.

The seller will probably need to cancel the order and have you reorder it with the correct shipping address if this happens, because changing the shipping address manually will void the buyer/seller protection that Etsy offers.

Gift message box on Etsy checkout.
Gift message box on Etsy checkout.

How to add a gift message on Etsy.

Under the “this is a gift” check box is an option to leave a gift message that will also be printed on the receipt automatically.

Do NOT leave a note in the ‘note for seller” box if you want to send a message to the person who’s going to be receiving the gift. That won’t be printed on the receipt, only the seller sees that!

Type your message into the gift message box, and it will print on the receipt.

For an article about hiding your Etsy history from people who you might be buying a gift for, click here: How To Clear Etsy History, With Video Guides.

Can you get gift wrapping on Etsy?

Some shops on Etsy offer gift wrapping and some don’t. If this is an option, you’ll see a box under the gift message box at checkout.

The box will have the cost of the gift wrapping service, and if you’d like to add that to your total, you can check the box and select it.

The seller will see that gift wrapping has been purchased, and your order will be wrapped and sent to the gift recipient along with the gift receipt.

If you’re not sure what the gift wrap will look like, you can check the listing photos to check for photos that show it. If there are none, you can contact the seller to ask about what they provide.

Some sellers will write a hand-written note with the gift wrapping, but each seller provides a different type of wrapping, so make sure to check to see what’s included.


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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