One of the fun things about Etsy is the ease in connecting with other buyers and sellers. When you want to know more about the handmade product you are purchasing, check out the seller's profile. and shop home page. If you want to shop from someone in your local area you can click the shop local tool on the Etsy home page, just keep in mind that you may have to pay local state sales tax in addition to shipping! But it's a fun way to find other sellers local to you or nearby.
Just want to see what the sellers and buyers are yakking about today? Head over to the Etsy forums where you can listen in on the conversations of the sellers, eavesdrop on what the buyers are looking for, and interact with Etsy admin. It's better than wandering around the mall just staring at people! Many of the sellers run special sales for people in the forums, mentioning a secret code that you can convo them with for a little something extra. In the US, the forums are busiest in the evenings and Saturday and Sunday nights. If you are really feeling chatty try the chat rooms, where buyers and sellers discuss everything under the sun as well as peek inside each other's shops and see what goodies are on the plate.
What, you just have a quick question for the seller of the item you are thinking about? Contact the seller with a "convo" by clicking contact under the seller's shop avatar. Etsy will send this message to the seller's regular email address so that you get a quick answer. Don't worry about bugging them - the beauty of handmade is that there are REAL people behind each of the shops who have time to answer your questions and make sure you are happy!
Still confused by Etsy? Look in the FAQ's for real answers to any other questions you might have, or just convo me! If I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to find it for you!