Etsy Just Got A Lot Better For Selling Stuff

Chris CrumeCommerce

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Etsy just got a lot better for sellers. With one simple announcement, sellers are going to be able to offer their inventory in a whole new way. Well, it's actually a really old way, but it's a new for Etsy. The company announced that it's giving U.S. sellers free card readers to accept credit and debit payments in person.

The move should not only serve to help current sellers move more inventory, but should persuade people to give the marketplace a try in the first place.

Does this make Etsy more attractive for selling? Let us know what you think.

When asked about what effect the news will have on their own Etsy experience, one current seller told WebProNews, "I'll be able to expand my business by participating in art fairs and conventions, and will be able to build my customer base by offering an easy, safe payment option."

These and similar sentiments are no doubt being echoed throughout the community. Etsy has already notified qualified sellers that they're sending the devices along.

The reader comes in the form of a dongle, much like those from Square and others, and integrates with an app to let sellers manage their inventory and multi-channel sales. The "Sell on Etsy Reader" is free to those enrolled in Etsy's Direct Checkout.

Etsy charges 2.75% per swipe, which is competitive with other readers on the market. The standard 3.5% Etsy transaction fee doesn't apply for in-person sales.

Etsy's Camilla Velasquez writes in a blog post, "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."

"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," she adds. "Unlike other card readers, our reader isn’t a commodity point-of-sale system; it’s for Etsy sellers and their shops."

That may be the case, but you have to wonder how many people with Etsy shops are already using other systems to sell the same merchandise offline. This gives Etsy a chance to keep those sales and removes some the hassle of using two separate means of selling.

Sales made in person are immediately reflected in the Etsy shop, even when buyers pay with cash. That means the inventory will be presented accurately to potential online customers. All sales made through the reader count towards the total number of sales numbers for Etsy sellers' shops and are eligible for buyer feedback. These components of the Etsy selling experience can help boost shops' reputations, as Velasquez notes.

When buyers transact with the reader, they can opt to get a detailed email receipt.

While the reader is only available for the U.S. right now, the company says it's evaluating solutions for other countries, so expect to hear more about that in the future.

The Sell on Etsy app, which works with the reader, is available for both iOS and Android.

The reader marks an important turning point for Etsy taking it from an online marketplace to a broader selling tool for selling both online and off. Etsy has ventured into the offline world in the past (and is doing so again this holiday season) with limited events, but this cements Etsy into a permanent spot in in-person sales.

Just don't expect to be able to sell any Washington Redskins merchandise.

Are you an Etsy seller? Do you expect this new offering to help you sell more? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Etsy

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.