Shopping local is a trend that helps save time and the environment by reducing transportation emissions, but how can you buy locally when you shop on Etsy?
There are a few things that you can do to help find Etsy businesses that are in your area.
To shop local on Etsy, you can use the filters that are set up to sort shops by location. This can be done by country, or to drill down more specifically to the closest major city. You should also make sure that your account settings are correct for your location so that Etsy can automatically show you shops that are located close to you.
Table of Contents
- Make sure your Etsy account location is set up correctly.
- Using Etsy location filters after searching- Desktop and mobile.
- Understand that the shop might not do in-person deliveries locally.
- Print-On-Demand shops might not have accurate locations.
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Make sure your Etsy account location is set up correctly.
To verify that your account location is set up correctly, you can go to your personal profile by clicking on your photo at the top right on desktop, or the “you” button on the Etsy app.
See if it lists your location correctly next to your name in your profile. If it doesn’t, or if you doesn’t show anything, you can click on the “edit profile” pencil icon in your profile to be taken to the editing page. From there you can fill in your location.
If you leave the location blank nothing will be displayed.
Filling in your location will allow Etsy to show you listings from shops that are closer to your location, and if you’re an Etsy seller it allows customers to find your shop if they use the search filters for location.
These filters are available in search results to narrow down the search to shops in specific locations, either by country or for a custom location that you enter yourself.
You can get as specific as you’d like to narrow the results down.
There might be some reasons why certain sellers prefer not to disclose their location on Etsy. For another article about that, click here: How To Change Your Etsy Shop Location.
Using Etsy location filters after searching- Desktop and mobile.
To use the Etsy location filter, go to the search result page and click on “filters” at the top on desktop. On the app, click on the Filter icon at the top right of the screen.
Scroll to the location filter and either choose the “Anywhere” location or a more specific one based on your country. You can also type in a specific city to get very narrow results.
When you first enter a custom location, Etsy might try to autocorrect the location, so make sure that it takes what you want it to. You may need to revise the location slightly if it won’t take a very specific city.
If that happens you can choose a larger city that’s close to your location to get a slightly wider range of results.
Keep in mind that the more specific the location you enter, the fewer the results you’ll have to choose from. Sometimes it’s better to enter a wider range to get more listings to choose from.
For example, entering “Richmond VA” is going to give you only the results for the shops that are identified as being located in the Richmond area.
If you choose the entire state of Virginia, though, you’ll get back a wider range of listings but still stay in the same state.
When I searched for “paper bead supplies” without a filter I saw over 484,000 listings. When I filtered it to the US only, that dropped to around 208,000.
Filtering farther to Virginia, I was shown 1700 results, and narrowing it to Richmond VA gave me 140 results, but none of them were paper bead supplies!
They were beads, things related to packaging beads, and even one of my own silicone molds with a beaded surface.
Going a little wider usually gives you better results as far as choice goes, and your best selection will be if you’re willing to purchase from international sellers by using the “Anywhere” location.
That’s the one that shows up by default, so you’ll see international shops for each search unless you set it differently.
If you’re willing to wait a little longer for international shipping, you can also filter to a different country to see only shops from specific parts of the world.
This is a fun way to find unique items that you definitely won’t find on the shelves at your local superstore.
Understand that the shop might not do in-person deliveries locally.
When you purchase from a local Etsy shop it’s possible that the shop owner won’t want to do local pickup or delivery.
Many Etsy shops are run out of private homes, so it’s a safety issue as well as possibly violating laws about business traffic in residential areas.
Etsy also makes it hard for sellers to prove that the order as delivered if it was picked up in person and doesn’t have a post office tracking number, so a lot of sellers won’t do local pickups.
If in-person pickup isn’t available, the package will still be sent to you in the mail as usual.
If the seller is willing to arrange for local pickup or delivery, it can be arranged with the shop owner by using the Etsy message system.
Print-On-Demand shops might not have accurate locations.
This gets a little tricky…A lot of Etsy sellers use Print-On-Demand services, which are listed as production partners in their About sections.
What this means is that the seller has designed the product but uses another company to produce it and ship it to customers.
So a shop that’s marked as being located in Europe might use a US-based production partner in the same city you’re in, so you would technically be shopping local if you order from them and you live in the production partner’s city.
If you’re shopping local to support small businesses, production partners kind of take the “local” out of the equation, but you’d still be supporting a small business, it just might not be local to you.
On the other hand, If you’re shopping local to minimize environmental impacts from shipping long distances, that would accomplish your goal.
You need to decide why you’re shopping local if you run into a situation like this, because it gets complicated when you involve a third-party manufacturer into the equation!
You’ll see production partners listed in shops’ About sections, and it will also say something about it in the listing itself.
If you have questions, most Etsy sellers would be happy to answer them if you send them a message before buying from them.
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