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Etsy takes a stab at real world sales with free credit card readers

Chris Velazco, @chrisvelazco
October 23, 2014
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Etsy is best known for being an online marketplace of folksy gewgaws and crocheted everythings, but it's making moves to help its sellers do more out in the real world. Case in point: The company just took a page out of Square and PayPal's playbooks by offering free, smartphone-friendly credit/debit card readers to its users. The idea's simple enough: Etsy crafters hawking their wares in public can use the reader just like any of the other ones out there, but once they swipe a card, those products automatically get deducted from their online Etsy inventory. Buyers who already have Etsy accounts can leave reviews too, just to make sure everyone knows how rad their new minimalist wallets are. Voilà: sellers get to make money and build deeper connections with actual, physical people, and Etsy gets a sweet (if tiny, think 2.75 percent) cut of each transaction to help fuel its growth.

Now if you'll excuse us, we've got some funky brass steampunk corsets to prep for the big craft show next week.

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