Etsy announced today that it now has gift cards available. They can be purchased at etsy.com/giftcards, and are accepted by over 100,000 Etsy shops. They can be sent via email or printed to give to the recipient in person.
The company announced that gift cards were coming back in August, but the wait is over. Along with the recently launched Google Play cards, these should make good gifts for the web savvy people in your family as the holidays approach.
"We all have those people on our lists who are seemingly impossible to shop for — and this is the perfect alternative to settling for a generic gift card or the ever-impersonal check," the company says in a blog post. "This choose-your-own-adventure gift lets your friends or family take the reins and find something they really want! We’re excited to buy these for the Etsy-obsessed people in our lives, and even more excited to buy them for friends who don’t shop on Etsy (yet!). We also look forward to using them to promote Etsy through advertising and partnerships and introduce the world to the magical gift adventure that is Etsy."
These gift cards should help Etsy gain exposure, but they're also good for sellers, who often sell items that would be very targeted to niche audiences. For example, as a Friday The 13th fan, I can find all kinds of art and apparel related to the film and its sequels that I'm not going to find elsewhere. Etsy was made for gift giving.
Sellers who wish to accept Etsy gift cards in their shops need to have direct checkout enabled.
"Since Etsy is issuing and managing the gift cards, they rely on our direct checkout feature, and the security and legal protections we provide through our payments system," the company explains. "To offer a gift card that works across multiple shops, there must be a central checkout flow connecting shops to Etsy, and not to individual PayPal accounts. This ensures that gift card holders have all the legal protections required by each state, and that sellers aren’t personally liable."
Those already set up with Direct Checkout don't need to do anything else. The feature is, however, only available to U.S. sellers.
Etsy is launching the cards by holding a giveaway, in which everyone who buys an Etsy gift card before November 14 will be entered to win an additional $250 card. They'll draw four winners a week at random for four weeks. Winners will be emailed by November 20.