Etsy Registry: I Had No Idea

Ever since writing my books about wedding planning and gift giving, I’d hoped that Etsy would start a gift registry, the way that Amazon and Target had. Well, I’m thrilled to say that now Etsy has a gift registry.

Even better, there are three categories to choose from. They are:

  • Wedding registry
  • Baby registry
  • Gift registry

I love the notion of the third category, because it’s generic and can be used for an all-occasion registry, such as a wedding anniversary, a housewarming or a student going off to college.

etsy registry featured hero image
Photo credit: Etsy.

What you need to know about the Etsy registry

The purpose of this article is to answer your questions about Etsy’s various gift registries. In the process, I’ll answer some of my own.

I’m writing this from the perspective of the person making a gift registry as well as the point of view of someone who needs to buy something off an Etsy registry. Finally, whenever possible, I’ll suggest items I think would be great for a gift registry, much like I did in this article about baby registry must haves.

Some of the questions I’ll answer include:

  • How to make an Etsy registry
  • Adding items to your registry
  • How to check someone else’s Etsy registry

Also, I’ll provide resources on what to add to your registry. To get started, for example, you may want to peruse this Etsy Editor’s Picks page. It has ideas on newborn gifts that you might want to include on a baby registry, for instance.

As I mentioned earlier, there are three kinds of registries you can make on Etsy. One, baby. Two, wedding. And three, gifts. Gifts are for all occasions.

In fact, it’s this last category that I’m going to walk you through as I set up a wish list for my wedding anniversary. It’s coming up this month.

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FYI, we’ll be celebrating 31 years of marriage. What is the gift theme for that anniversary? Well, it’s travel. That’s both the modern and traditional anniversary gift theme. So, I’ll focus on that one.

Then, next year I can update it for 31 years of marriage, which theme is bronze. Etsy has tons of bronze gifts, including a bronze bookmark or a bronze candle holder. Note: if you click through any of those bronze links, you’ll see that the products are listed as an 8th anniversary gift idea. That’s because many anniversary gift themes repeat.

How to make a registry on Etsy

Here are the steps I took to make my anniversary gift registry on Etsy. One, I visited the Etsy registry homepage. Then, I selected Gift Registry.

At this point, I got a pop-up window that asked me to qualify what kind of occasion this was for. My choices?

  1. New home
  2. Birthday
  3. Holiday
  4. Other special occasion

I selected number 4 — other special occasion. Think about it: you could use the other special occasion to set up a registry for gifts your dog’s upcoming Bark Mitzvah or a new grandparent.

Adding in personal info

After that, it asked me what was the date of my occasion. I could fill in my anniversary date or I could select I Don’t Have a Date Yet. So, I made my selection.

Next, you fill in your name. Because I already have an Etsy account for both buying and selling (I sell Peloton-related printables) and I was logged in, it autopopulated my name for me. After that I needed to set my privacy settings. My options?

  • Anyone can view or find my registry
  • Only someone I give my registry link to
  • Only I can view my registry

Then, it prompted me to select an address to which gifts could be shipped. Again, because I have an account and was logged in, I had numerous addresses that autopopulated and I had to choose one. I did, clicked on the Done button.

Adding items to an Etsy registry

Now came the fun part: adding gifts to the registry. I’ll admit that it was overwhelming at first, especially because Etsy has a countdown to my anniversary. Maybe I should have selected I Don’t Have a Date Yet to take the pressure off.

Since I wasn’t sure where to start, it was helpful that Etsy provided bubbles with some of the more popular gift categories. One of the categories was Anniversary Gifts, so that’s the one I selected.

Now, remember, I’m thinking about travel-oriented gifts or gifts with a travel theme for my anniversary. So, even though I went to the category page for so-called anniversary gifts, I still had to do some searching from there.

Searching for things to add

Even though I eventually found myself off of that anniversary gifts page, Etsy made it easy for me to add each item to my registry. Because in the spot where you would normally click Add to Cart, there was an additional option: Add to Registry.

Once I added to the registry, I had the option to go to my registry and see what I’d added at that point. It shows a picture of the item, how many I’d requested, how many had been purchased and more. Also, if I decided that I’d changed my mind, I could delete anything I’d added. However, you have to click on the item to get the trash can option.

You can add up to 100 items to an Etsy gift registry. Not that I got anywhere near that amount. Also, once I started my registry, Etsy emailed me. And as soon as I added the first item, Etsy emailed me again, to let me know that my registry was published.

What I added to my registry

Returning gifts from the registry

According to Etsy, each seller makes their own return or exchange policy. So, choose carefully when adding items to your registry. You don’t want to add anything that can’t be returned once bought.

Etsy also says, “If you’re the registrant, reach out to the gift purchaser so they can resolve the issue with the seller.” Don’t love that answer.

Drawbacks to making this registry

For the most part, this was one of the easiest registries I’ve ever set up. In fact, before now, I would have held up the Target gift registry as the creme de la creme. But Etsy is giving Target a run for its money. However, no review would be fair and balanced if I didn’t share some pros and cons.

One of the snags I hit: there were certain items that came up in my search that seemed perfect to add to my gift registry. However, when I went to do that, I didn’t have that Add to Registry button. This most often happened with jewelry items though there were some travel map wall art that I wanted to add but also couldn’t get the option to do that.

I searched the Registry FAQ but didn’t find anything that explained why this was. Then I went back and tried to use the Filtering to see if I could choose something like Items That Can Be Added to a Gift Registry but no dice. So, that was frustrating.

Also, at this time you cannot add Etsy gift cards to a registry. Finally, those emails I got from Etsy about my registry being published? Well, when I tapped the Share It button on the email, it took me to Etsy registry homepage, not my registry homepage.

How to find an Etsy gift registry

Now that I’ve walked you through the steps I took to set up the registry for anniversary gifts, let’s approach the topic from the shopper’s perspective. In other words, how you would find my (or anyone else’s) registry on Etsy.

Well, on my gift registry home page, there is a bubble button that says Share. And when I click on that, it copies the share link to my clipboard. This makes it easy to share a link to the registry on social media, in emails or if you’re doing a wedding registry, on a wedding website.

How to check someone else’s Etsy registry

Now what if someone hasn’t shared their registry with you? Back on that Etsy registry homepage, there is a button that says Find a Registry. You would start there.

So, I went through the exercise of trying to find my own registry and guess what? Etsy couldn’t find it. And that’s because I’d set my privacy settings to be that only those with a link could access my registry. Or that you would not be able to search and find it.

That means if you set up a registry and don’t make it public — and then don’t proactively share a link to your registry with friends and family — they won’t be able to find it and shop from it. Please keep that in mind.

The good news is that you can always change the settings of your registry after you’ve set it up. You would just go to your own registry home page, click on the settings gear icon and then switch who can view your registry there.

Again, your options are:

  • Anyone can view or find my registry
  • Only someone I give my registry link to
  • Only I can view my registry

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