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Etsy Launches In-Person Payments for US Sellers

Oct 23, 2014

by Camilla Velasquez handmade and vintage goods

Today, Etsy launches a solution for our sellers based in the US to accept credit and debit card payments in person and help manage their multi-channel sales more efficiently. Our free Sell on Etsy Reader works in conjunction with our significantly updated Sell on Etsy app on iOS and Android to process credit card transactions and record cash sales made in person. The reader gives sellers another tool to grow their creative businesses beyond their online Etsy shops and allows buyers to find and buy unique items with a story anywhere they see the Etsy brand, online and offline.

We’ve worked hard at Etsy to develop a leading online marketplace for buying and selling unique goods. However, 90% of all retail purchases are still made offline. We know that many of our sellers sell in channels other than their online Etsy shop. In fact, 35% of Etsy sellers sell at craft fairs. That’s why we’re launching in-person payments today to provide better tools for sellers who sell at craft fairs, flea markets, and elsewhere. We want to help Etsy sellers be more efficient in what they’re already doing in multiple sales channels. Along with our recent launch of Etsy Wholesale, this expansion reiterates our commitment to create a world of online and offline commerce powered by Etsy, making Etsy an everyday experience.

Nothing goes to waste! The packaging for the reader doubles as a carrying case and credit card sign stand, as seen here with Claudia Pearson's vibrant tea towels.

Nothing goes to waste! The packaging for the reader doubles as a carrying case and credit card sign stand, as seen here with Claudia Pearson‘s vibrant tea towels. Photo by Sara Forrest.

Seamless Integration With Etsy Shops

We designed the Sell on Etsy Reader specifically for Etsy sellers to help better manage their creative businesses, allowing them to focus more on doing what they love. Unlike other card readers, our reader isn’t a commodity point-of-sale system; it’s for Etsy sellers and their shops.

The reader will help sellers manage their Etsy shop and offline sales more cohesively. With the reader and Sell on Etsy app, sales made in person are immediately reflected in the Etsy shop even if buyers pay with cash. The seller’s online inventory is adjusted automatically so that items are not unwittingly oversold. Every sale made through the reader counts towards the total sales numbers for the Etsy seller’s shop and items sold from listings are also eligible for buyer feedback. Both increased sales and feedback help boost a shop’s reputation and brand in the eyes of a buyer. Funds from credit card sales made in person will be deposited into the seller’s account along with their online sales, making accounting seamless.

Integrated shop management tools are particularly important for Etsy sellers who sell across multiple channels, like Shannon Broder, from Broderpress, who makes screenprinted pillows. After testing the reader, she commented that “the inventory, the cohesiveness of it all and being able to keep track if you’re a main Etsy seller” made the reader especially useful.

Detailed Email Receipts Connect Buyer and Seller After Purchase

Etsy buyers value the personal connections they make with Etsy sellers online, and the reader will continue to build on those relationships forged in person. Buyers can choose to receive a detailed email receipt for their in-person cash or credit purchase, containing images of other items from and links back to the seller’s Etsy shop. We designed this to help drive multi-channel sales and build buyer loyalty, and the sellers who tested the reader found this to be a valuable feature. Buyers can discover more from the seller, make repeat purchases online and opt in to receive updates from the seller.

Lauren Kathe, who sells vintage clothing and home decor through her shop, Hopscotch Vintage, said after testing the reader, “I really loved that you could send a receipt with a cash transaction…Typically when you sell something in cash for that customer your store could be lost forever.”

Receipt for PotteryLodge

Receipt for PotteryLodge, photo by Etsy, Inc.

We’re excited that sellers will be able to use the reader at events around the US this holiday season, selling their products in person to both existing Etsy buyers and people new to Etsy. Many of these events are organized by teams of Etsy sellers and this year we’re partnering with teams and fairs in Dallas, San Francisco, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles to expand their events and create a unique holiday shopping experience. Sellers can also list upcoming craft fair appearances on Etsy Local for buyers to visit for all their gifting needs.

The reader is free, and payments through the card reader are competitively priced at 2.75% per swipe. The 3.5% Etsy transaction fee does not apply for in-person sales. US Etsy sellers enrolled in Direct Checkout can order a card reader today and download or update the Sell on Etsy app for their iOS or Android device. We’re currently evaluating in-person payment possibilities for sellers based outside the US.