Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etsy Introduces Gift Cards

I've been on the fence about joining Etsy's Direct Checkout since it started. I love Paypal and can easily manage my finances through them. But when Etsy announced that they are adding Gift Cards, I knew it was time to take the plunge! 

Etsy Gift Cards can be used in any US store that offers Direct Checkout. They work much like a mall gift certificate where you can use it in any participating shop in the mall. They are great for gift-giving and perfect for the up-coming holidays! Buy a few as gifts and your friends and family can choose their own cool handmade items!

So, why did it take me so long to offer Direct Checkout? Well, as I mentioned, I love Paypal and adding another payment option means a little more work come tax time. I'll have to pull data from two sites now. But it means another payment option for my customers, which is always good.
Also, when Direct Checkout first started, you didn't receive your money until the item shipped. This was a problem since I do so much custom work. A set of invitations might take 3-4 weeks by the time I get supplies and get the order completed. I don't like that Etsy holds that money until the item ships. (With Paypal you get your money the minute your customer pays.) Etsy recently changed this policy and the money will now be available within 24 hours of payment. This was the only way I was willing to offer Direct Checkout.

There are still a few things I don't like about Direct Checkout. If a customer pays with DC, you have to print your label through Etsy. Otherwise you can use Click-n-Ship or Ship Now through Paypal, but you have to retype the data (and take a chance of making a mistake!). Your shipping cost gets added to your Etsy bill instead of being paid every time you ship something (like it would with Paypal). I was also told that your bill can't be above $25 in order to ship an item. I haven't tried it yet, but if this is true, this will mean I'm going to have to pay my bill each time I want to ship something. I can easily have $25 worth of shipping costs in one day.

All in all, I like that Etsy is offering Gift Cards and if that means offering Direct Checkout, then I feel it is worth it to offer this to my customers. I hope this is a great success for the holidays!

 How about you, are you offering Direct Checkout? What do you think about the new Gift Cards?

10 comments:

pasqueflower said...

i am offering direct checkout and love it. (I don't have your shipping concerns because my items are smaller and not so heavy.) Nearly half my orders are now via credit card. I know that PayPal was a limiting factor for some folks who did not want to set up a PayPal account to make a single purchase, so I'd end up doing an off-Etsy sale (even more difficult to compile at tax time). I love the gift card idea. Hope it prompts more holiday (and after holiday) sales. Good luck.

Duni said...

I was wondering about that, but I guess it is only for US shops!
It works great for my fabric shoppe, since I get paid immediately through the selling venue.
I hope it works out for you too!

artisanallunwound said...

Thanks for the updated info on Direct Checkout! I'm glad they've worked out most of the problems with it. Good Luck using it this season.

Judy Nolan said...

Like you, I was sitting on the fence for a long time, but I finally caved in, too. My biggest problem with Direct Checkout until recently was the absence of a Seller Protection Plan. I also didn't like the fact that your payment was held for 3 days before you could transfer funds to your bank account. Both of those areas have now been remedied, so I'm happy, overall. I find I am still using PayPal for shipping, however, precisely because of what you said: you have to pay your bill when you go over $25. I want to know that most of the dollars in my bank account are mine, rather than getting a big bill at the end of the month (other than Etsy listing fees). I did discover that my bank is VERY fast as processing a deposit from Etsy to my account: only 1 business day. I transfer my funds manually, rather than waiting for Etsy to do it once a month.

storybeader said...

the gift cards sound like a great idea but I know that they don't seem to work for everyone. It's good to hear they changed the timing on getting paid with Direct Checkout - I know that was a problem with a lot of people. {:-D

BeadedTail said...

I just hope the gift card bring more business this holiday season! I hope DC works out well for you too!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Hi from the Etsy Blog team!
I saw a jump in sales when I added direct checkout. Now customers use that and paypal equally. I haven't tried the shipping label through Etsy yet because I am scared to and I don't have multiple sales daily to worry about paying my bill off. It is working for me right now.

Rose said...

I'm sorry that there are still some major flaws with DC, but I'm glad that they're working on their policies and that they got gift cards up and running before the 2012 holidays. Hopefully the gift cards will be an asset to many sellers.

Additionsstyle said...

I love Etsy Direct Checkout! My sales went up when I started using it. I think people like being able to do everything on Etsy. I hope the gift certificates bring in extra sales.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Waseem said...
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