How to buy clothes and accessoires on Etsy

I really love to buy vintage clothes and vintage accessoires in stationary shops. There I can feel the clothes, try them on and buy and bring them home immidiatly. I rarely order online. I can´t wait to have the dress, the hat or bag that I want. I am very impatient.

With Covid19 and lockdown here in Germany it was difficult and some month impossible to buy clothes and accessoires in shops. So I really started to „learn“ how to use Etsy for buying clothes an accessoires.

Experiences and Tipps

Here are the experiences I made and the tipps I can give.

Depending on the country you live and the sellers country you should be very careful. I only order from European shops and starting from 2021 not even Great Britain. Ordering from shops sending you clothes and accesoires from outside Europe can be very expensive.

  1. you have to pay more for shipping,
  2. you have to pay taxes and this could be very expensive.
  3. it could take weeks for your order to be delivered
  4. sending your order back can be very expensive

I use different words for searching clothes and accessoires. For example: When I search for a 1940s or 1940s inspired dress I use 1940s dress, 1940s inspired dress, 80sdoes40, 70sdoes40s, vintage dress, vintage-inspired dress.

Use as much filter as you can. A lot of seller use different and sometimes wrong search words. So if you only typ in „vintage dress“ you will see a lot of result. Using the filter you can reduce this.

  1. Choose the country/continent you want to order from
  2. If you want, choose the highest price you are willing to pay

This reduce the amount of results a lot.

3. You can experience with the other filters, but bear in mind that the sellers choose the filters. So some seller do not choose the right ones or all the filters for their offer.

Using an example I want to give more tipps. I use a search of a blue dress. I typ in „vintage dress“ and use the filter: Deutschland (the side translate to the German language), then a price range, and narrow it down to clothes -> woman- > dresses. Even if my search is vintage dresses, the algortithm will often show a lot of other stuff like buttons for dresses, ribbons. So even deciding on the lowest price you want to pay often fixes this „problem“. After all buttons do cost less than 20 Euros.

Here I summon the list as an example

  1. vintage dress or one or two other search words
  2. Deutschland/Germany or Europe
  3. clothes-> women -> dresses
  4. 20 Euro to 60 Euro

Then I look through all the result. I concentrate on the pictures. How does the dress looks, what is the pattern, the style? I open the offer on another tab. I have the bad habit to open a lot of tabs and then sort throu all the offers.


It is utmost important to read the describtion and the measurements, look through all the pictures the seller made of the offer. The describtion will be translate to your language, but by a program. That can lead to funny results: blush pink is translated to „errötendes pink“ in german what would translate back to blushing pink. I never saw a dress blushing.

You can also save your search. The algorithm will inform you if there are new results for your key-words. Saving your search is also a good idea when the search result page shows to many offers and you don´t have the time and energy to look through all of them at one time. Believe me, depending on the key-words there can be five-digit.

I also follow some seller. When a seller offers a piece of clothes or accessoires I like but maybe it is the wrong color or size I put the item into my lists of favorites or/and follow the seller. I will be informed if the seller put new offers in their shop or remember which seller offers clothes I like.

Every two or three days I will look through all the new offers. Also a good tipp is to contact the seller if they will offer something you would like. I especially do this with sommer hats. I send some messages if they will offer summerhats in straw or blue or light colors. Often they will inform me when they put an offer into their shops.

Be patient. Sometimes you will find the perfect dress or accessoires when you wait some days or weeks. I had this phenomenon once. I wanted to buy one or two dresses. I searched with both methods: searching with key-words and looking through the shops I follow. I could not find a dress for 3-4 weeks and suddenly there were 4 dresses I really liked. Now I had to decieded which one to buy and hope the other ones will be still available, when I can afford them.

Remember the „three days rule“

If you are not sure if you want the dress or the accessoires or you want is just a spurt of the moment thing save the offer and come back some days later. If you still want it and can afford it, buy it.

The dresses you see on this pictures are from the same seller: MyVintageDress .

I wanted to buy a blue summer dress in a certain size. So I asked them for tipps.

I hope this tipps will help you buy wonderful clothes and accessoires.

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