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Announcing Etsy Gift Cards!

Full Blog Post:

Site-wide gift cards have been a long-requested feature for buyers and sellers alike, and we could not be more excited about introducing them for the holidays!

Gift cards will be the perfect present for the Etsy-obsessed shopper in your life, but even more importantly they’ll be a way for us to introduce new buyers to Etsy. Our community of buyers has grown incredibly in the past year, which can be attributed largely to people like you spreading the word and marketing your shops. Gift cards will allow us to be more aggressive in our own marketing efforts by distributing gift cards to partners and creating promotional offers.

So how will Etsy Gift Cards work?

Starting this fall, any member will be able to purchase a gift card with a US credit card. You can email the gift card directly to a friend or print one out to give in person. The gift card credit will be in the form of a code, which buyers will use towards purchases at any shop accepting direct checkout.

Therefore, you will need to have direct checkout enabled in order to accept gift cards. Why? 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. 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.

We’re encouraging all shops who haven’t yet signed up, to set up direct checkout before the arrival of gift cards. Since we’ll be using gift cards as promotional tools this holiday season, you will benefit directly if you sign up now.

For those shop owners who haven’t tried direct checkout yet, we’d like to invite you to do so before October with an added bonus: no credit card processing fees now through September 30 — saving you over 3% on all direct checkout orders. We’re covering direct checkout fees on all orders placed during the month of September — not just for those who sign up now. We’ve made a number of enhancements to direct checkout since launch, and encourage you to give it a try. We hope you join in our excitement: Etsy Gift Cards are coming!

25 Highlighted Responses

observation from observation says
"We’ve made a number of enhancements to direct checkout since launch"
Hi observation,

You can read more about the updates on direct checkout in this blog post:
seabornpress from seabornpress says

Will there be some sort of symbol to let buyers know whether a shop accepts them?

Yes, there will be a symbol so buyers know where they can redeem their gift cards.
Monday from MondayMorningStudios says

Will there be an easy way for gift card holders to seach for shops offering DC?

Hi there - yes, we will be offering buyers a search filter option to quickly find shops and items where they can spend their gift cards.
lostsentiments from lostsentiments says
forgive the question - but does this mean etsy will be paying the shop via the gift card once it's applied by the customer or will the shop be taking the cut?

Thank you!
Hi lostsentiments,

You will be paid for a gift card purchase in just the same manner as direct checkout purchases. You will see on the receipt that a gift card balance was used to pay for the order, and your money will appear in your shop payment account as normal.
Barbara from AnotherTimeAntiques says
.... where do customers buy these gift cards - from shops? or something specific on Etsy?

When Etsy Gift Cards launch later this fall, a link to purchase will be featured prominently on the site. Customers will be able to purchase gift cards from Etsy using a credit card. They will not be shop specific, you'll be able to use them at any shop offering direct checkout.
Holly from GingerRootVintage says
This is great!

I am wondering though, how will returns and return policies be handled under gift card purchases?

I currently only accept returns for store credit, can I still do that for gift card orders? What if a shopkeeper wants to give a refund? Will it go back on the gift card?
As always, we allow shops to set their own policies around returns and refunds, and you will not have to change these to accommodate gift cards.

If a shopkeeper wants to refund an order paid via gift card, the money will go back to the customer's account as a credit.
Luly from All4Brides and WoodAndGlass from WoodAndGlass said

Gift Cards and no fees for September sound like a good idea, but DC still won't work for me.

For anyone that has questions about how direct checkout works or the improvements we're making, please discuss in this thread

Jen from jenzenorganics says
Maybe this was covered in the 14 pages that are up right now, but are sellers allowed to purchase gift cards to give away as purchase incentives?

Hi Jen- Sure! We hope they will be a great incentive for new and repeat shoppers.
In response to your comments about international participation-- this is a priority for us too. We have addressed it in this post:

It's a complex problem we are hard at work on. We need to make sure we are compliant with international laws and regulations and build functionality that allows for multiple currencies, payment methods and languages. We will be adding new countries in 2013.

Hi All! If you have questions or comments about direct checkout could you post in this thread?

Let's keep this conversation around gift cards. This will help us admin to address your questions! Thanks!
janinebrasher says
I'm wondering, since Direct Checkout processes credit cards from all countries, why only people with US credit cards can purchase these gift cards?
Hi Janine,

Good question. This restriction is based on the complex US laws and regulations around gift cards.
Sleek Styles from SleekStyles says
Nat, 3 questions:

1) Can we buy gift cards in any amounts?
2) I assume there will be no expiration date, and that I can make multiple purchases with the gift card code until I use up the money on the card? And conversely that I can combine multiple gift cards to make a single purchase?
3) If I make a purchase > gift card, I will have the opportunity to pay with another payment option for the balance?

Hey Sleek Styles,

1) We'll be offering gift cards for purchase in late fall. At that time you can buy gift cards in a range of amounts from $25 to $250.
2) Yes, you're correct, gift cards will not expire. You can make multiple purchases with a gift card until you redeem the full amount. You will also be able to combine gift card credits towards one purchase.
3) Yes, you will be able pay with another payment method for the balance of a purchase made using a gift card.
Angela from Beads4YourNeeds says
Is this going to be a real physical gift card that we can purchase and send out to people in a Christmas card?


I this really just an online thing that we would purchase and then give the recipient a code?

Hi Angela!

You'll be able to send Etsy Gift Cards via email, or print the card out to give in real life. There won't be a physical, plastic card.

Whether you email or print, there will be a redemption code that the recipient will use to get credit for purchases when they come to Etsy.
Rebecca from kalliedesigns says
Hi there.. yes!! Gift cards sound great... this may have already been hit upon in the now 30 pages of posts so I will be brief.

Will shop owners be able to promote gc? Do you need to make listings for gc?

You will not need to make listings for gift cards-- we will have an icon that shows that your shop accepts them so customers are aware. Once a customer receives a gift card they will enter a redemption code and they can chose to apply that credit to any shop that accepts direct checkout.
Gina from WallCakes says
Yes, Camilla says that in the thread, but the article that she refers to does not, as far as I can tell.

It's alluding to the fact that alternatives like eWallet and local debit cards will be added for other countries, not DC. Nowhere is DC mentioned by name.

It's corporate speak IMO...made to look like it's saying one thing, but actually saying another.
Hi Gina,

What we meant to imply was that international sellers will be able to accept payments through the direct checkout platform using those payment methods. We truly want to make direct checkout available internationally and are actively working on it. International sellers will start to see direct checkout being made available to them in other countries starting in 2013.
YellowViolet from YellowViolet says
I feel that I am being forced into using DC. I just read the mechanics of it and I really don't like the delay time of getting it into my bank account. Etsy is making TONS of $$$ in interest on top of the fees they charge us by keeping everyone's money that long. And now they're making it difficult for those of us who don't want to use DC to compete. Nice.


Hi YellowViolet (and others) -
I am moderating a direct checkout thread here:

I'm sorry that there are feelings right now that Etsy is doing something specifically for money purposes. I can assure you that this is not the case. The best way for us to manage risk and be legally compliant, based on having direct checkout in place for only 6 months, is to have some limits and restrictions in place, and they are manifesting themselves right now as US shops only, and with some holds in place. As we move forward with more experience and history, we'll be able to do more and increase flexibility.

If we could make gift cards work for every shop, believe me that we would. Further, having buyers come and use the cards is pretty critical to us too - that's the only way everyone benefits. Our motivation is bringing new buyers to the site, not to trick people. I do invite everyone who has questions about direct checkout to join me in the other thread.

Since we are starting to head off on a tangent, let's steer things back on topic. I know it's come up a couple of times, but direct checkout was a crucial prerequisite for us offering gift cards. From our blog article announcing gift cards:

"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. 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."

We would love absolutely nothing more than for Etsy gift cards to reach people who had never shopped before on Etsy and to lead them to buy, not just with the gift card but beyond, from sellers in the US and all over the world.

In the meantime, we will continue our work on extending direct checkout to other countries!
Corinne from SeptemberHouse says Edited on Aug 30, 2012
Candice from Candies64 says
My issues with this GC is that the buyer of the GC is WELL aware it does not work for every shop on Etsy!

You're going to have a lot of pissed off buyers if they are not given a heads up on this prior to purchasing.
Again YES to this!

Any word from Admin on this concern?? Any word on how this will be presented to gift card buyers????? Not just an icon on shops that accept DC once they get here but something that tells them from the get go what the facts are?

Hello Corinne,
When receiving a gift card and redeeming the credits, the buyer will be made aware of how to use the card and how to find shops, yes.

Hi everyone,

I wanted to update you on the state of direct checkout in terms of the number of shops using it. Every time we provide an update or information to the public about DC, we like to update with the number of people that are using it. So, you may have seen numbers around the site that are out of date.

Currently, we have over 100,000 shops using direct checkout. This number increases every day. Since we announced Gift Cards and the fee promotion, we've seen people signing up at a higher rate, so we can expect this number to increase faster over the coming days/months. To date, these sellers have made almost $50 million bucks through direct checkout.

The improvements we are making to direct checkout are being made at the request of sellers; probably many of you have participated in discussions that we've read and taken to heart. We do truly want this option to be useful to everyone.

And for international sellers, it's not a lie when we say that we are actively working on bring direct checkout to other countries. This is in the fore front of our minds and we're working hard to deliver this to you. You can expect to see other countries with DC starting in 2013.
Cindy from cindylouwho2 says
HI Nicole - which countries are on the direct checkout list? I know there are some where even Paypal can't get in, so I assume Etsy will never be offering DC there either.
Hi Cindy,

I know you guys are anxious to hear which countries are next, but unfortunately we can't share this info yet. We are working with a lot of legal and regulatory issues in bringing DC to other countries--and each country has its own rules around this. We can't really more information than that until we have this nailed down.
Sharyn from DesignedToCharm2 says
To date, these sellers have made almost $50 million bucks through direct checkout.
Really? My husband can quit his day job now!

Just to be clear, that's how much DC sellers have made together. Some sellers might be new with just a couple sales, while others have been using direct checkout for a while with lots of sales. Although, if any one seller was making anywhere near that amount of money, I hope they would be able to quit their day job....
Marmalady from Marmalady says Edited on Aug 31, 2012
Well charley -- you're entitled to your opinion just as we are to ours

And if Etsy really were changing for the better in the way they treat non_USA sellers, they would not be advertising this as "great news for all sellers -- site wide giftcards"

On twitter last night, Etsy were tweeting "coming soon to an Etsy shop near you - gift cards"

It is not great news for ALL sellers -- just those accepting DC
it is not coming to a shop near me --just to USA shops & buyers

They could at the very least temper their announcement with some sort of recognition and apology for not being able to offer giftcards to non_USA sellers
They could come up with some sort of promotion to counterbalance all the publicity that will be given to shops accepting DC / giftcards
Hi Marmalady,
Good morning. I see a lot of the complaints regarding international being left out for the time being, and I understand it. As I mentioned in a few posts, and in the Update on Direct Checkout blog post, we are hard at work on this - it hasn't been an either/or situation. We want to offer the platform to as many people as we can, but we didn't want another holiday season to go by if we could provide gift cards to some shops. We are starting something that can be huge, but we needed to start somewhere and build on top of that.

Again, I'm sorry that this is making some shop owners feel left out, and I certainly can understand that.
mia from miascloset says
I didn't see this question answered, sorry if it was, please point me to it if is was.

How will refunds be handled?


refunds will be handled just the way refunds are handled for direct checkout now (from the shop owner's perspective), except that if a buyer used a gift card for any piece of the purchase, that portion of the money will be refunded to their account to be used for another purchase. The shop owner doesn't manage this, it will be automatic based on the buyer's purchase.

Ashley from digitaldoodlebug says Edited on Aug 31, 2012
Sarah Quiara and Debbie Gunckel from sarahQhappybooths says
I have had DC from the start with no problems at all. What problems with DC are people talking about?
probably not having much rules in place for disputes. not havig phone support.
i would like to see more outlined (which they said they are addressing, yes it should have been outlined from the start). but i haven't had a problem.
i haven't had many problems with paypal either, but i have had horror stories about them.


Hi Ashley,

Thanks for bringing these two points up. Both of these are things that we're working on and want to make available to our members.

As Camilla mentioned in the DC post,

"We're finalizing some updates to our transaction policies and dispute resolution tools. These changes should make expectations for both buyers and sellers clearer and the process for resolving disputes more intuitive. You can expect detailed information about this before Etsy Gift Cards launch."

In addition, we are researching more varied support options, including phone support. I don't have many details on that now, but it's something that we know is important to many sellers and we're looking into it.
Kate from thebluebirdshop says
not sure if this question has already been answered, but are the september transaction fees covered by etsy ONLY for those who sign up NOW? I've had DC for a few weeks and I'm wondering if the offer applies to me. thanks.


Kate -
Processing fees are waived for everyone who has direct checkout, regardless of when they signed up, until September 30. This covers sales made in that period.


1582 Responses

still have to pass on it, but good luck with the gift cards! great idea. :)
Gift cards - Yay! I am a little bummed that they'll require direct checkout, but I understand why.
Good luck! I didn't sign up for Direct Checkout so I'll miss out but I'm okay with that!
Will this be posted in Announcements as well?
"We’ve made a number of enhancements to direct checkout since launch"

What would these be?
Yay! Since Etsy doesn't really advertise (although they are/were featured on TV and magazines at some time I think) this is a great way to give a easy holiday gift AND to advertise Etsy and bring in new customers who will be able to spread the word! Great Idea!
I like this!!!
Sounds great and I do understand all the ins and outs but when will you be able to offer similar facilities to those of us based in the UK and other countries?

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