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Etsy Runs Out of Card Readers

Etsy has run out of its new card readers that allows sellers to process payments in-person using the device with their smartphones. The company reported an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the Sell on Etsy Reader.

Since its launch in October, Etsy has shipped readers to sellers in all 50 states. Boston- based ROAM supplies the card readers to Etsy.

While similar to a Square or PayPal Here card reader, the Sell on Etsy reader offers some unique advantages to Etsy sellers, including electronic sales receipts (even for cash transactions) that drive traffic directly to sellers’ shops on Etsy, and inventory sync to help sellers avoid inadvertently selling out of products.

Initial response to Etsy’s card reader was positive, as we reported in October, but some sellers were concerned about the necessity of having Internet connectivity at the time of swipe.

While it appears to be a good sign for Etsy that demand outpaced its apparent expectations, it’s unknown exactly how many sellers who requested the device are actually using it. However, it likely has boosted adoption of Direct Checkout, since in order to order a reader, sellers must be enrolled in Etsy’s own payment processing service. Direct Checkout lets sellers offer shoppers as an alternative to PayPal and other third-party payment services.

The card readers are only available in the U.S. Etsy requested international sellers interested in the readers to take an online survey. See more in Monday’s announcement.

Sellers who want to get their hands on a device will have to wait until after the holidays – Etsy said it would not have more card readers available until early 2015.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.