Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thanks so much for asking questions via firstname.lastname@example.org! Each Thursday I'll be posting my research and ideas based on your requests. Business and personal topics are welcome and I also appreciate your advice, stories, and resource tips. You will be anonymous unless you ask otherwise, in which case, I'll happily link to your shop or homepage as you direct! Please enjoy this inaugural post of "Asking Even" and keep the questions coming!
All Etsy sales incur the transaction fee of 3.5% and the listing fee of .20 regardless of checkout method.
Etsy: 3% + .25 per transaction
Advantages: buyer isn't directed off of Etsy. Refunds will be handled all via Etsy.
Cons: Buyer still has to be a member of Etsy (this is true of all methods). Money earned deposits into your matched account only once you mark item as shipped on Etsy. Money then deposits on Mondays only. There isn't an automatically integrated shipping label option (like with Paypal), however you can still use merchant services on Paypal to create labels or sites like Stamps.com. Etsy will require sellers with 50 or more sales a year to provide "taxpayer-identification" information. (This is really to follow a new tax law for 2011 that requires sites like Etsy to report sales info for sellers who make more than $20,000 and have more than 200 transactions. The other checkout methods will probably have some version of this as well.)
Paypal: 2.9% + .30 per transaction
Advantages: Instant availability of balance; many use this to cover shipping. Shipping services include label printing and payment with USPS for lower cost than the Post Office. Debit card allows access to balance via ATM or for purchases.
Cons: Some buyers are not paypal members. Paypal can be finicky if you change your bank account--set it up well in advance of holiday purchases to avoid problems.
Square: 2.75% no transaction fee.
Advantages: Can take phone orders or actual credit card swipes in person. There is also a "pay with Square" app that allows you to just pay by phone rather than have your card. I wrote a Tech Tools post about Square awhile back if you want to know more.
Cons: Square works best in person or over the phone. It isn't a great choice for primary checkout for Etsy sales. Does take up to two business days to deposit your earnings once you set up accounts. Works without the actual Square device, but it's quicker if you have it.
Google Checkout: 2.9% + .30 per transaction (price goes down if you sell over $3000/month)
Advantages: gives buyers who don't use paypal an option to checkout via "other" in your Etsy shop. Presently, you would need to enable the use of the "other" option as well as specify in listings and shop policies that you want people to use Google Checkout and give them a time deadline for making payment.
Cons: Not as popular as Paypal so it requires sellers to look up if a buyer has paid before shipping. Many sellers report that by allowing the "other" option, buyers can checkout without actually paying and it causes a hassle for both parties.
Each of these services has arrangements for returns and fraud protection. I'd love to hear if our team members have had great customer service experiences or other helpful tips when it comes to using these services to make returns or buyer and seller protection from fraud. Coupon codes are also important to some sellers, let us know if you have a favorite for that!
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!