How Does The Etsy Shopping Cart Work?


The Etsy shopping cart isn’t as easy to navigate as people may think…I’ve had many customers think that they finished placing an order but they never completed it.

The cart is also set up in a way that lets you purchase things without you realizing it, so you need to be careful.

So what kind of things can you do from the Etsy shopping cart?

How does the Etsy shopping cart work?

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The Etsy shopping cart is set up to allow you to check out and purchase all of the items in it at once. You can also choose to buy from only one shop, and to mark purchases as gifts so that the price won’t be on the receipt. You can also contact the seller before purchasing, and you can leave a note for the seller if you buy something and need to leave information about your order.

The cart also gives you estimated delivery dates, but those are only estimates!

Read on to see the specifics of how the shopping cart is set up and what to watch out for.

How to view the Etsy shopping cart.

To find your cart, click on the shopping cart icon at the top right of the screen on desktop, or at the bottom right on the Etsy app. This will take you to the shopping cart, where you’ll see any items that you’ve placed in it.

Each individual shop will have its own separate section, and if you have items from multiple shops in the cart each one will be separated out with item and individual shipping cost on the left side. The right side of the page has the combined cart information.

the etsy shopping cart
Etsy shopping cart

If you check out using the section on the right, you’ll buy everything that’s in your cart, even if you only plan to buy one thing at that point, so make sure to pay close attention to what you’re paying for!

I’ve ended up purchasing things that I didn’t intend to because of this, so be careful!

If you don’t want to purchase everything at the same time, but you also want to leave things in the cart for later, click on “check out from only this shop” at the bottom of the section that has the listing you want.

That will eliminate items from other shops, but it will include all the items from the one shop you chose.

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How to remove items from Etsy shopping cart

To remove items in the shopping cart, click on the small “remove” to the right of the photo of the listing. This will completely remove the item from your cart and will adjust the price on the right-hand side of the order column.

To move the listing to a “save for later” section instead of deleting it, click on “save for later” and it will be moved out of the active cart and sectioned off. You’ll be able to retrieve the item easily if you want to.

The "Save for later" and "Remove" buttons in the Etsy shopping cart.
The “Save for later” and “Remove” buttons in the Etsy shopping cart.

Etsy will also move items out of the active shopping cart and put them into the “Saved for Later” section periodically so that the cart will remain current.

If you have something in your cart and it seems like it’s been moved, it’s probably because the active cart time period has elapsed and it’s been moved.

If you’ve favorited items that are in your cart, removing them from the cart won’t remove them from your favorites.

You’ll still be able to find them in the favorites under your personal profile later on if they’re deleted from your cart.

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Can Etsy sellers see your cart?

The short answer is no, Etsy sellers can’t see what’s in your cart. The only person who can see that part of your Etsy account is you or someone who’s logged into your account.

Etsy puts little notices up under listings that say how many people have this item in their shopping carts, but those numbers are there to try to encourage customers to buy.

They don’t mean that that’s the number of people who are currently checking out, because a lot of people put things in their carts then leave them there without buying.

Etsy will clean out the shopping cart in accounts once every 30 days, and will move things into the “save for later” section, so the “X people have this in their carts” numbers will fluctuate.

Regardless, Etsy doesn’t tell sellers who has which items in their carts, so if you put something in your cart the seller won’t be notified about it, and they can’t see what’s in your individual shopping cart.

More Etsy shopping cart features.

  • To completely empty the Etsy shopping cart, you’ll need to delete every listing individually. Etsy doesn’t provide a way to empty the cart with one click, it’s all done on an item-by-item basis.
  • To mark an item as a gift so that the price isn’t on the receipt, check the gift box. Marking an order as a gift does NOT mean that it’s going to be gift wrapped!
  • To send a message to the seller about the order, use the message box. This box is NOT a gift message section! If you want the seller to add a gift message you should contact them to see if that’s possible.
  • To apply a coupon code to your order, click the price tag icon that says “apply shop coupon code” and a box will open up so that you can add the code.
  • If the listing had a variation that you chose, but you’d like to change that, click on “edit” to the right of the listing photo.
  • The estimated delivery dates that show up at the bottom of each listing section refer only to that listing, not to everything in the order. Plus, they’re based on estimated production times and estimated shipping times, so they can be wildly incorrect. Make sure to check with the seller if you need something by a certain date.

What to verify when you check out.

Before checking out on Etsy, make sure that you verify that the items in the cart are correct, and that the shipping address is also correct. Choosing the wrong options for either of these may mean that the seller will have to cancel the order and ask you to reorder the items.

Etsy provides buyer and seller protection, but if the order is sent to an address that’s different than the one that was entered, that protection might not cover the order.

Plus, if the order is mailed to the address on the order but it’s wrong, the buyer is responsible for the mistake, and the seller isn’t obligated to refund or send another item.

Make sure to verify the ship-to address on the page that shows up when you click on “proceed to checkout” There might be more than one address on that page if you’ve ordered before, so double-check this!

Additionally, if you’re using Paypal to purchase on Etsy, the shipping address will sometimes revert to the Paypal shipping address. Make sure to update your address on both Etsy and Paypal or you might run into this problem.

After the address section you’ll enter your payment information, then you’ll need to come back to Etsy to complete the purchase.

Etsy payment information.

All payments on Etsy are handled by the Etsy payment processing system, and the options that are available will vary depending on where the shop is located and what options Etsy makes available to sellers in different locations.

Some sellers accept Paypal and others don’t, sometimes depending on what country they’re in. Some sellers can accept Etsy gift cards, again depending on what the other payment options are available to them.

Etsy payment options in the shopping cart
The Etsy shopping cart payment options.

If you have a registered account on Etsy you can store your payment information to use for future orders. If you’re checking out with a guest account your payment information won’t be stored in the Etsy system.

After entering the payment information, you’ll be brought back to the last screen where you have to click to place the order.

If you went to Paypal to verify that payment, it might seem like that’s all you have to do, but unless you click the final button you didn’t order anything!

Final checkout page on Etsy
Final checkout page on Etsy.

This last page gives you all of the information again (I’ve blocked out my info on this example.) This is your last chance to verify your payment method, items ordered, and your address, so check this carefully!


What Etsy will send you after purchasing.

After placing an order on Etsy, you’ll see a confirmation screen that verifies that the order has been received, and that a receipt will be sent to your email. If you’re using the guest checkout, the email will be your receipt, so make sure to save the email so that you can track the shipment. The confirmation email could also have a message from the seller with further details about your order, so look for it to make sure everything has been received correctly.

If you don’t see the verification screen, or you don’t receive an email, the order might not have gone through, so you should check in the purchases and reviews section to see if it shows up. If you used the guest checkout, check with the seller to see if they received an order.

When the order ships you’ll receive a shipment confirmation from Etsy, and when the order is scanned in as delivered by the post office, Etsy will send you a reminder to review the order.

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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 53,000 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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