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How to Find Local Sellers

Updated on May 7th, 2024

As big-box stores, fast fashion, and cheap items seem to have taken over most shopping, the push to shop locally has grown in recent years. In fact, there is even Small Business Saturday (every Saturday after Thanksgiving) which specifically promotes shopping locally and buying from small businesses in your area. While recent economic downturns may have forced many of your favorite local retailers to close their doors, you can still find local sellers and contribute to your community’s economy.

What does it mean to shop locally?

Shopping locally means purchasing items from retailers that live in your own community. These businesses are typically owned and operated by individuals living in your own area and have a vested interest in their success. You can find many independent retailers, artisans, craftsmen, farmers, and service providers to buy from with better quality and better customer service rather than purchasing from large, multinational corporations or big-box stores that take money and economic growth away.

Benefits of Shopping Locally

You may be asking yourself why is it important to shop locally, so here are some key benefits impacting not only the buyer and seller but also the community and environment:

  1. Growing Local Economy: When you shop locally, you directly support small businesses and entrepreneurs in your community as they create a significant number of jobs each year. Those you buy from spend their profits at other local businesses which helps create local jobs and create economic growth. This leads to a repeating cycle of development and enrichment in your community that benefits you, your family, and your neighbors.
  2. Strengthening Community Connections: By supporting local businesses, you contribute to the creation of a more vibrant community you can be proud of in your own backyard.
  3. Personalized & Unique Products: Many local sellers can offer customized products that big box stores simply cannot because of the economies of scale. A small business owner has more control over each item they produce and can customize their product offering to exactly what you are looking for. They also understand the needs and desires of their community and their products can often be made to specifically cater to those needs.
  4. Reducing Environmental Impact: As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, every little part can help. Purchasing from a local seller means shorter shipping distances which mean lower transportation emissions and effects on your local environment. Many small businesses also source materials for their products from local vendors further reducing environmental impact. A candle and all of its materials purchased from a box store may have traveled around the world using up many resources whereas a local candle could be entirely from your own city.
  5. Save on shipping: Because the items you are purchasing are so close, you can get them cheaper by saving on shipping. In fact, Etsy sellers can offer free local delivery or you can choose to pick it up directly from the seller as well.

How can a seller be local?

Sellers are also a part of your local economy even though they are selling their items online. In fact, you likely know someone in your own neighborhood who is selling their artisanal crafts! Just because the seller does not have a physical retail store near you does not mean they are not counted as local for you.

How do I find local sellers?

There are many thousands of sellers selling all kinds of unique items, so how can you know where they are from? Thankfully, Etsy’s website has an advanced search system that allows you to enter a specific location to filter your search results. Watch the below video on how to use the Etsy website to search for a local Etsy seller:

1. Search your keyphrase

At the top of the Etsy website, enter the type of item you are searching for. Example: pottery.

2. Filter results

Once you get the list of results for your search, find the “All Filter” and click on it.

3. Enter your location

Find the “Shop Location” filter, select “Custom” and enter your city name. Currently, the location only accepts city names and not zipcodes.

4. Refine your results

If you are not finding enough results or too many, you can adjust or refine your location filter by entering a larger city or state.

Just because the seller is local, don’t forget to check if the seller is, in fact, legitimate. This means checking reviews and doing due diligence before making your purchase.

Interested in Being Featured on Our Seller Spotlight?

Are you a local seller with a unique story to share? We’re looking for small businesses and artisans to feature in our Seller Spotlight! Share your journey, showcase your products, and connect with our community.

Submit Your Story Today!


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