Win $2500 in Grants For Your Business
Enter by August 1st 2015!

Review of Etsy Merchant Services

55 Washington Street, Suite 512, Broolyn, NY 11201

DISCLOSURE: Ads, Affiliates and Conflicts Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to potential conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.


Etsy allows merchants to accept payments in ten different currencies through a variety of payment methods, including the new Etsy Direct Payment option. This credit card processing service is only intended for Etsy sellers, and offers a mixed bag in terms of quality and pricing. In general, it's expensive, and the customer service isn't ideal, but the entire setup is very convenient. So for small volume Etsy sellers, it's a decent choice. But, if you're doing significant volume selling on Etsy, a third-party credit card processing company will offer significantly better rates.

Etsy is a global shopping mall filled to the gills with shops that offer hand-crafted items, art, art supplies, and vintage merchandise (20-years-old or older). Founded in 2005 in a Brooklyn apartment, Etsy now supports 580 employees and boasts 43.9 million members with 1.2 million active shops. Gross sales in 2013 amounted to $1.35 billion dollars.

No small potatoes, for sure, and Etsy has expanded within recent years to include more services and options for their merchants, including Etsy Direct Payment. This credit card processing feature is in addition to the normal third-party option provided by PayPal. Now Etsy merchants can attend shows or sell their merchandise in stores and sync their inventory to their mobile phones via a card reader and software.

As always, opening an Etsy storefront is free, and each listing costs only $.20 every four months. So how does Etsy make money when those setup rates are so low? When items are sold, the merchant pays a hefty 3.5% fee per item, but increasingly, Etsy is making even more money through marking up add-on services like Etsy Direct Payment. In this review we'll cover Etsy Direct Payment - the Etsy credit card processing service - and help you decide whether you should use it, stick with Paypal, pick your own credit card processing company, or use another alternative.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of Etsy Merchant Services offering. The review is broken down into the following categories.


Depending upon the type of business you own, some of the following features may or may not be important to you.

Etsy Direct Payment and its shopping cart venue offer standard features that any artisan, art supplier, or antiques dealer might want from their merchant services account. One major limitation to the Etsy app is its ability to show discussions or comments the merchant might receive from customers. Merchants do receive notification of those comments via email and can sign in to their accounts through a mobile phone or computer browser to continue the conversation. The Etsy app doesn't streamline that vital part of the sale.

Software Compatibility:
Intuit Quickbooks Yes
Sage 50 No
Microsoft Dynamics GP No
Hardware Compatibility:
Windows / Blackberry No
iPhone / iPad Yes
Android Yes
Alternative Transaction Types:
Phone Orders Yes
Internet Orders Yes
Wireless Orders Yes
Mobile Orders Yes
Snail Mail Orders Yes
American Express (AMEX) Yes
Add Tips to Bills No
eCommerce / Shopping Cart Yes
International Sales Yes
Recurring Payments xxx
EMV Chip Cards Yes
Contactless Cards Yes
Loyalty / Gift Cards Yes
eChecks / Electronic Checks PayPal
Welfare Benefits (EBT/SNAP/TANF) No
Security / Fraud Prevention:
AVS Fraud Protection No
PCI DSS Secure Transactions Yes
Industry Specific:
HIPAA Compliance (Healthcare) No
Trust Account Debiting (Legal) No
Fleet Cards (Petroleum) No
Online Menu Orders (Restaurants) No
Countries Served:
U.S. Yes
Other Countries Yes
International Yes

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up


Almost every merchant account services company uses either Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing (to learn the differences read here). Where companies allow us to disclose pricing information, we show the deals that our secret shoppers were able to achieve. When companies offer both Interchange Plus and Tiered Pricing, we try to get a quote on both options.

Our Experience: Etsy truly is an international marketplace, offering rates for every country where they conduct business. While the rates below may seem outrageous, remember that everything is included in these prices. By "everything," we mean all but the $.20 per item listing fee that Etsy charges every four months and the automatic charge of 3.75% per item sold. That doesn't mean it's great pricing (frankly, its definitely not), but it also isn't as bad as it first appears.

Location of Bank Account

Direct Checkout Fees (% of total sale price + flat fee per order)

Australia (domestic orders)

3% + 0.25 AUD

Australia (international orders)

4% + 0.25 AUD


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR

Canada (domestic orders; orders from the US)

3% + 0.25 CAD

Canada (international orders)

4% + 0.25 CAD


4% + 2.50 DKK


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR

New Zealand (domestic orders)

3% + 0.30 NZD

New Zealand (international orders)

4% + 0.30 NZD


4% + 2.50 NOK


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 0.30 EUR


4% + 3.00 SEK


4% + 0.50 CHF

United Kingdom

4% + 0.20 GBP

United States

3% + 0.25 USD

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Contract Fine Print

The following fees, which are non-existent for Etsy, eliminate headaches for the merchant who doesn't have the staff or the time to deal with fine print, annual survey renewals, or other financial issues.

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee None
Setup / Application Fee Yes, on some products and services
PCI Compliance Fee None
PCI Inaction Fee None
Gateway Fee Yes
1099-K Fee Yes
Statement Fee None
Online Reporting Fee None
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee None
Accept International Pymt Fee Yes
Voice Authorization Fee None
Monthly Min. Process Fee None
Daily Batch Fee None
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee None
ACH Charge Fee None
ACH Return Fee None
FANF Fee None
Chargeback Fees None


  • The Etsy Card Reader is provided free to merchants who request the swiper. We heard that Etsy fell behind in fulfilling these orders to merchants, but we haven't seen any complaints about the inability to acquire the reader lately.
  • Store setup is free, but merchants pay $.20 per item to build that store. The merchant can renew that item when it expires in four months for another $.20 charge.
  • Etsy's partnership with Google's Product Listing ads to feature merchant products. Although merchants currently don't pay for this partnership, which can prove invaluable for bringing in traffic, there's a good possibility merchants may be removed from this service in the future as the plan moves into a payment option.

Our Take: Despite all the front-end marketing to prospective merchants about a free storefront, we couldn't find anything free about Etsy other than the items noted above. Although merchants aren't paying for any "gotchas," the payment comes with each sale. If you're a high-volume high-ticket seller, you might benefit from the extra hassle to find a third party merchant account services company instead of using Etsy so that you can save some money.

There's something to be said about being an Etsy merchant, however. Etsy offers a streamlined process that is easy to use and that focuses on the arts and vintage products. Although the back-end payments are high, we discussed Etsy's fees with a few users and one merchant stated, "I could have an Etsy shop and pay about 7% for using their format and their credit card services...or I could put my items in a gallery and pay that gallery anywhere from 40% to 60%." When put into that perspective, along with the ability to be seen by a global market, we feel that Etsy may be doing many artists a favor.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up


Etsy Seller App and Card Reader

While your transactions usually take place electronically, the actual device that you use to swipe a customer's card is referred to as "the equipment." This equipment includes hardware and, often, software or apps for that hardware to function properly.

To open a shop, all a merchant needs are product photographs, product descriptions, ability to use Etsy's online shop software, a credit card, and a PayPal account for third-party credit card processing. Now Etsy merchants have the option of using Etsy's Card Reader and software to make things a bit easier for face-to-face sales. If merchants are puzzled about any aspect of this program, Etsy offers plenty of documentation, videos, and forums to help the merchant through the process.


  • Etsy Card Reader: Etsy offers a free credit card reader to an Etsy merchant upon application for their Direct Checkout plan. This reader, which is large, orange, and stamped with the word "Etsy" in bright white letters, comes stored in a wood box that doubles duty as a card stand during events such as trade shows.


  • Software: The "Sell on Etsy" software is easily downloaded and ready to use. Merchants can check stats, make sales, and even use an option for cash payment without the card reader. Be aware that this app is different than the Etsy buyer app, which doesn't allow merchants to view their dashboards.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Countries Served

Esty offers their merchant services around the globe and in many different currencies. Etsy sellers not only can accept other currencies, they have other payment choices. They can continue to use PayPal, their own credit card merchant accounts, cash, checks, money orders, and they can swipe Etsy Gift Cards as if they were credit or debit cards. Although Etsy doesn't have integration with QuickBooks, Etsy sellers can find a team that focuses on manual operations. Additionally, specific apps such as Zapier can transfer data from Etsy to your QuickBooks.

Back to top

Contract Length / Termination

I generally don't like long-term contracts or termination fees in merchant services agreements, because the ability to cancel keeps the credit card processor on its best behavior, including the willingness to make you happy if there's a dispute. Plus, this ability to cancel gives you the ability to move on if you find a better deal.

Etsy sellers can delete their storefronts anytime without termination fees. There are no monthly fees, so surprise charges won't be a problem. Etsy only asks that you fulfill payment on your items listed fees or any other charges, and they'll subtract those fees accrued either through the credit card you submit for payment, your merchant account, or your PayPal account. Once those fees are paid, then you're done. Kaput. Finished. Supposedly no more surprises.

Back to top

About the Company

The merchant account services industry is multi-layered. Understanding how those layers fit together can be confusing (Read More in this Article). A good thing to know, however, is whether or not your company is a direct processor (good if yes) or, if not, then to know who they process with and whether or not that processor is reliable. The second thing to know is whether or not the service or sales staffs are in-house or outsourced. In-house staffs are preferable for you, as these staff members may have more access to sources that can resolve your issues.

Processor: Etsy is a prime example of a merchant aggregator, and as such can offer merchants the ability to take credit card payments without upfront credit checks or outrageous setup fees. That's the upside to Etsy for startups, because merchants don't pay for any services other than the minimal listing fee until an item sells. To that end, Etsy definitely seeks out successful merchants and markets them on their front pages and in articles as a reward for those sales.

Account Sales: At this time, Etsy Direct Checkout is not compatible for integration with any third-party online markets, so marketing is geared only toward new and existing Etsy merchants. Anyone can read the information about Direct Checkout through the link provided by Etsy located at the bottom of their pages. There's a lot to be said about Etsy's online pricing transparency, which is apparent but scattered throughout the site. This transparency is important, as any new or existing Etsy merchant may find it difficult to contact a sales or service representative.

Account Service: Etsy is notorious for its lack of contact information for both sales and service. Most complaints are centered on that issue. But, we found this information buried in the site: "Etsy phone support operates 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern US time. We will call you wherever you are in the world, but we can only offer phone support in English at this time." To contact support, users need to use the "Request a Phone Call" tool. That tool provides a limited range of options for complaints or issues. Once you fill out that form, Etsy guarantees they will respond to you via email or by phone within 15 minutes.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Customer Service

As part of our review process, we try to test merchant account service companies' claims by placing test calls and working through the customer service process.


1/9/2015; TIME: 10:29 pm EST


Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

I registered as an Etsy user and attempted to contact Etsy via that contact form, and I was successful. They returned my request with a call and a follow-up email. I'm not sure if only fifteen minutes went by between my request and the call - I didn't mark the time. I just know that they contacted me within 30 minutes and they answered my questions within five minutes.

Frankly, we feel that merchants and buyers need to tap into forums, help articles, or other lines of communication with other members to resolve minor issues. Major issues - such as a shop suspension or termination - are more difficult to manage, especially if Etsy eliminates your membership information. Without membership, a person can't navigate to that contact page. With that said, we learned that Etsy won't hesitate to contact a merchant if they feel the merchant is violating terms and agreements.

As for buyers, Etsy states, "In the unlikely event that a transaction does not go as planned, the buyer and seller should work together to reach a resolution," meaning that Etsy would like to stay out of the transaction portion of any sale. However, if a buyer has an issue with an Etsy seller, that buyer can open a case against the seller. That case is contingent on how the buyer paid for the item or if the buyer instigated a chargeback.

Back to top

Common Customer Complaints / Our Verdicts

We scoured the web to find past and current customer complaints about Etsy's services. Then, we investigated those complaints that seemed legit, and provide our verdict on how well the processor handled the issues. Most of the complaints we found were from buyers who had bad experiences with individual sellers. That's not our focus here today - the focus is on complaints between merchants and Etsy regarding the Etsy Direct Payment.

"Sell on Etsy" Software Limitations:
Customer Complaint:

When it comes to the Direct Payment program, this is the most frequent complaint. We also read that the app doesn't display correctly at times on tablets, which can be a huge concern for merchants who want to sell face-to-face.

Our Verdict:

The software could be improved to be a stand-alone feature that isn't reliant on a browser or a computer to gain access to the full merchant dashboard. The app is limited to displaying "Activity," which shows who "favorited" an item in your shop, stats such as the number of views, items viewed and favorite, revenue for any given day, week, or month, and the number of orders within those time frames. Although we're very fond of the "Sell Now" feature that includes a way to sell by cash without any charges other than the standard 3.75% per item, that feature is worthless if a person cannot use it on a tablet. We hope Etsy works toward fixing those issues soon, because it would be to their benefit.

Poor Customer Service:
Customer Complaint:

This complaint comes from Etsy sellers toward Etsy, but those complaints actually are few and far between considering the number of shops on the Etsy site.

Our Verdict:

Granted, it isn't easy to reach Etsy, but Etsy supplies a plethora of resources that do answer just about any question a seller might have about selling on Etsy. Among those offerings are rules and regulations that the seller cannot, for any reason, violate. Etsy seems to smell those violations from a mile away, and they can suspend or terminate your shop or your account for any reason known or unknown to the seller. If the seller uses the contact form for major issues, we feel that Etsy will respond.

High Fees:
Customer Complaint:

This is a rare complaint.

Our Verdict:

We feel, considering the fine print "gotchas" and fee breakdowns are upfront and reasonable, that Etsy is fair enough for a global market.

>Inability to Close Account:
Customer Complaint:

Again, a seller issue, and just a few complaints in this arena.

Our Verdict:

We can't know why the inability to completely close a shop is an issue for the few merchants we encountered, but we suspect that the merchants owe money. We thought we'd add this complaint to beef up the list, because we found few other complaints about Etsy's Direct Payment services.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor


  • Small Merchants: Etsy offers a different global venue for creators and curators to sell their goods, especially starting out. The fact that Etsy Direct Payment is a little more expensive than third party providers is outweighed by the convenience of using it. So, it's a good option for many artists.
  • International Businesses: Etsy offers a strong international venue for artists and antique dealers. Be aware that there is a deep learning curve on postage, which Etsy doesn't calculate for the merchant.
  • Non-Detailed Oriented Business Owners: If you don't want to deal with details, then Etsy direct payments is for you. It's the easiest option you have as an Etsy seller. However, just know that you're paying quite a bit for that convenience in the form of higher fees.


  • Medium-Sized Businesses: If you're an established antique or art supply dealer, or you're otherwise doing a significant volume of sales each month, you'll likely find that it's worth it for you to go through the added hassle of setting up a third party merchant account service with a dedicated company, because the cheaper rates will really add up for you.
  • Large Businesses: If you're doing a lot of sales, then I might question why you're on Etsy generally. But assuming it's working for you, you'll definitely want to look for a cheaper merchant account services company. The roughly 1-2% you can save with them over Etsy Direct Payments is going to mean a ton of money.
  • Price Sensitive Business Owners: If you want the cheapest deal, this isn't it. Far from it, actually. Use a third party merchant service instead.
  • Detail-Oriented Business Owners: If you're organized, you can save quite a bit by skipping Etsy Direct Payments and using a third party provider. But its an extra hassle, so decide if that's worth it for you.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up
Etsy Merchant Services
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
3% - 3%
  • Flat Fee Pricing
  • Etsy Integrated
  • Intl. Payments Accepted
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$0.00
PCI Compliance Fee$0.00
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.00
Gateway Fee$0.00
Chargeback Fee$0.00
Termination Fee$0.00
Contract LengthMonth-to-Month
Sign Up Now


DISCLOSURE: Advertising, Affiliate and Conflicts of Interest: Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.

About the Reviews: These reviews, and for that matter any reviews, are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion, not as a statement of fact. Selecting a merchant services provider is an important decision, and we urge you to use no single source of information as the basis of that decision.

About the Pricing: This pricing is an estimate based on limited available information. In some cases, the Processors' pricing information was provided directly by the company, in others, we obtained it from public information, through calls to the company, or through past or current clients of the company. Where, despite these efforts, we were unable to obtain any information about certain fees, we used estimates based on similar providers in the industry. While we're working, in some cases, with the company directly to get more accurate pricing, even in those circumstances, we can't guarantee the pricing's accuracy. Complicating all of this, is that for some companies individual salespeople are given authority to modify terms on a deal by deal basis. In any case, if you know of an error, please let us know and we'll fix it.

About the Calculations: With respect to your estimated savings, this is based on a lot of factors and some hard math. The reason we do it, along with the "Actual Gross Rate" calculation is that every Processor prices their product differently (e.g. interchange v. 3 tier v. 4 tier v. flat v. membership, etc.) and some make it intentionally complicated or opaque. Trying to convert their pricing structure to a consistent "Overall Cost of Processing" is the only way you, the merchant, can do an apples to apples pricing comparison and know whether an offer is actually a good deal. Our system isn't perfect but we're trying.

Conclusion: In sum, these rankings, ratings, and scores are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion and not as a legal statement of fact. Moreover, use these prices and estimates at your own risk, and make sure to verify the pricing you see here in any formal contract you receive. Finally, if you do find something wrong in our pricing, terms, etc., tell us and we'll try to fix it. is now offline.

Thank you to all of our site visitors for a great three years!

Much of our team has transitioned to join Soar Payments, a merchant account provider. If you need a mid or high risk merchant account consider, Soar Payments.

Soar Payments is the #1 industry leader for mid and high risk credit card processing, as reflected by their many satisfied customer reviews. Click here to read real life customer reviews for Soar Payments.

How to apply in 3 easy steps


Apply Online Via The Secure Online Application

Complete the online application process (it takes 5 minutes). Click here to begin.


Get An Instant Quote From The SoarPay Team

You'll instantly receive a quote with Industry Minimum Pricing to DocuSign.


Start Accepting Payments With Your New Merchant Account

Soar Payment's Houston, Texas based Customer Support Team will help you get set up. The setup process is fast and easy.