Etsy Gift Certificate Guide
Here’s what I discovered after combing through the Etsy forums and looking at examples of other sellers.
Creating the certificate wasn’t the hard part. I created mine using Microsoft Publisher and then saved as a .jpg file. The hard part was figuring out how the gift recipient would redeem the certificate and my policies regarding use of the gift certificate.
Have the gift recipient shop as usual and check out as usual, but include a “Note to seller” with the gift certificate number indicated. I would then back out the gift certificate portion of their payment via Paypal essentially giving them a refund in the amount of the gift certificate.
This method seemed very clunky, non-professional, and requires a whole lot of trust on the part of the buyer.
Have the gift recipient shop as usual and then send me a convo indicating what they would like to buy including their gift certificate number. I would then create a custom listing for the purchaser adjusting for the gift certificate.
This method also seems clunky and time consuming for everyone. Meanwhile, someone could buy that item out from under the gift certificate recipient prior to me pulling the listing to revise into a custom order. Not cool.
Change your shop payment options to include “Other” option. At checkout the gift certificate recipient chooses “Other” and then waits for me to send a revised invoice prior to completing the order. Once I send the invoice, they can pay the remaining amount if they went over the gift certificate amount.
This method seems cleanest. The forums, however, show that when you have “Other” as a payment option, regular customers will click that attempting to pay with a credit card or something, only to be hung up and unable to choose another option after they click it. So this method can introduce a whole new realm of headache for you.
I opted to go with Method 3 for this first go around. Take a look at my gift certificate listing to see how I set it up. Be sure to think ahead about how you will track certificate amounts (if someone only uses part of the amount, you need to keep track of what is remaining). Also think about expiration dates, if any. You will do your own thing and I’d love to hear how you decided to manage it in your shop.
Oh, and another thing. You will be charged twice from Etsy. You will be charged for the gift certificate purchase and then again charged when the recipient redeems the certificate in your shop. For instance, if someone buys my $50 gift certificate, I pay Etsy 3.5% of that sale. Then when the $50 is later spent
elsewhere in my shop, I pay the normal 3.5% of that sale, too. Is it worth it? I think so, but what do you think?