I've purchased a ton over the years. Mostly sewing/costuming supplies, so lots of lace, trim, fabric, patterns (both e-patterns and printed), ribbons, silk and paper flowers, etc. But also a lot of vintage, including a couple of coats, jewelry, petticoats, nightgowns, robes, and hats. And vintage dishes, and hair toys and other handmade products. When it's a new-to-me seller I may check out the reviews just for sanity's sake. More often I see if they offer a first-time buyer code for signing up to their email or website, etc.

Etsy's protections are very good. The one time I had an issue it was with a seller who never shipped. It turned out that seller had been struggling to fill orders but still kept on taking money for new ones. The shop was ultimately shut down by Etsy for non-fulfilment and I got all my money back.

Love Etsy. Love, love, love. I have purchased many things over the last few years including jewelry, cards, customized items related to the US Coast Guard as graduation gifts, and for the 2020 at-home graduation ceremony, a handmade cork handbag that I showed here a couple of years ago (I'd met the artist personally). I have communicated directly with the sellers on many occasions, and they've universally been quick to answer and very helpful. I have not been disappointed once. I did receive a broken item a couple of years ago, and the seller immediately refunded me. She was new to shipping items and had not sufficiently wrapped it.

I have not purchased clothing, however.

In short, I've purchased about five items, and all my experiences were good.

Late to the convo, but I love Etsy! If you can dream something specific up, chances are it exists on Etsy, often for a great price, too. I have used it for a decade now. Most of my purchases have been jewelry, but I have done a few tops, a purse (I really really wanted a rainbow-flecked cork envelope clutch—see what I mean about specific?) and my craziest purchase was a pair of shoes, which are spectacularly beautiful cobalt leather sandals with scalloped edges. To this day I can't believe I took the risk to order shoes but the seller had lots of notes about sizing your feet, including tracing them and measuring them, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised that they were a perfect fit. I bought them probably 7 years ago at this point and I still wear them a ton, and people always remark on them, because they really are quite unique.

Lesley, can we see the shoes & the purse, please?
I placed my first-ever Etsy order earlier this week, but just canceled it. The site sent me ads with more items from that seller, including an offensive Christmas ornament. I wouldn’t buy from a store that sold it, so buh-bye, Brandon.

UPDATE: I emailed that seller a short news article explaining the “Brandon” thing, simply asking if she was aware. She took the ornament out of her shop! Yes, I’m reordering.

I've bought a loooot on Etsy, though more a few years ago than now. There's more generic and cheap looking stuff now than there used to be. I rarely buy clothes, but lots of makeup, accessories, jewelry making supplies, masks, and gifts.
I make sure to search by US sellers only to keep things simple, but if you do search by shop location, you have to set it for every search.
The more detailed the search the better too- cause there can be thousands of results.
Here's some of my Etsy/Etsy related purchases. The belt is nicely made, but very long. My quiver will fill it out a bit, but I'll probably need to trim it. The bag I've talked a lot about- workhorse. The robe is one of 3 I've had- teal, purple, black. Also available on Big Warehouse. The nailpolish also is available on Big Warehouse. The BB cream is a brand I found on Etsy originally, but now just uses their own site. The earrings are workhorses. The peacock bag is several years old- the laptop bags are especially well made. The batik skirt was listed as vintage, but had no tag so I think handmade. The mixed metal earrings I wore more in the past. The lipstick is a great color- though I'm no longer wearing it cause the mask. The eyeshadow is The Most Perfect upper eyelid color for me. The gold earrings are beautiful, but heavy and not mask friendly. And the tie dye top is beautiful, but Very voluminous- would work for maternity.