Design at Etsy

Etsy Credit Card Reader

Over a quarter of Etsy sellers take payments at craft fairs and other events using credit card readers. We saw an opportunity to create a payments product that in addition to processing in-person transactions, syncs with the seller’s online shop and promotes their brand. Additionally, we hoped the reader would encourage sellers who don’t yet sell in person to make the leap.


Our reader works with the Sell on Etsy App (our app for sellers) to capture information about the items that are sold in person in the seller’s Etsy Shop Stats and to adjust online inventory in real time. Email receipts highlight the seller’s Etsy shop and features their listings. And in-person buyers can rate their purchases in the seller’s Etsy shop, resulting in increased shop credibility.

Until this, Etsy had never produced a physical product. Through multiple rounds of prototyping, we created a reader and adjoining packaging that is economical, useful, and thoughtful. The reader sits snugly inside a wooden block that can be used as a base for a table sign or as a carrier for the reader while traveling. (We intentionally designed the block to be a blank canvas so the seller would make it their own.) The double-sided card fits inside the block’s groove. The second card succinctly introduces the seller to the product and outlines its benefits.

The packaging is also good to the environment: The CNC-milled (composed of post-industrial re-consumer waste from lumberyards; formaldehyde free) wooden block is locally produced by Leelabs (they’re just two blocks away from our Dumbo HQ); the cards are printed with soy ink on post-consumer paper by Prestone Printing in Long Island City, New York; and the rubber band is produced by Arkansas-based Alliance Rubber, an independent, women-owned small business.

This project was cross-team effort between Payments, Seller Development, Research, Mobile, Product Design, and Brand Design. Its success exceeded our expectations: In just 30 days, orders from sellers exhausted our entire initial production run, and early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Additionally, our mobile onboarding UX generated some buzz from the product design community.

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