{Business Tips}To Direct Checkout or Not to Direct Checkout That is the Question

Etsy sellers fall into one of the 4 categories of the classic marketing bell curve.  There are Early Adopters (myself included), we are willing to take risks and try new features Etsy rolls out. The  Pragmatists who will only be willing to try new features only if it solves a problem for them.  Then there are the Conservatives and Laggards who would rather things stay copacetic and who avoid trying new features if it’s their choice.  I bring up this fact because back in February Etsy introduced Direct Checkout, a nifty feature that gives sellers the option to offer their buyers additional payment options that don’t involve PayPal.  The rollout has been gradual, however, Etsy sellers are split on the whole “to direct checkout or not to direct checkout”, some love it, some have tried it and turned it off and others are just avoiding it like the plague –  this is a sign that direct checkout is going through the healthy stages of Diffusion or Hypecycle.

Etsy sellers who are on the fence about direct checkout have voice several concerns. A quick search of the Etsy forums on the topic of Direct checkout will bring them to light, however for the sake of saving you time, I’ve summarized what I consider the Top 4:

1. Etsy is asking for my social security number in order to sign-up for Direct Checkout and I don’t feel comfortable giving that info out.  Why do they need it anyway? 

2. I got nervous about the fact that you don’t know if someone is using a stolen credit card  – at least with PayPal you have the protection.  What type of protection does Etsy offer? 

3. Etsy can hold your money.

4. Etsy will only deposit my money on Mondays and I have to ship before getting your money

On June 27th, Etsy posted an update about Direct Checkout on their blog and one line jumped out at me. I can’t remember if this was in their original announcement or not, but it’s sure to bring up even more concerns:

“Direct checkout, in addition to simplifying payment, lays the groundwork for many more payment and checkout improvements, including Etsy-wide gift cards and enhanced international payment options.” 

Etsy-wide gift cards?  How would that work? Since this feature has not been rolled out as of yet and I couldn’t find any info on it, I’ll just leave this topic alone and address it in another post at a later date when more details are available. But it seems that this is just one way to entice sellers to jump on the Direct Checkout bandwagon.

I asked several of many EcoEtsy teammates who are currently offering Direct Checkout as a payment method to share their experiences with Direct Checkout. It seems that many who are offering direct checkout as a payment option have seen a pleasant increase in sales and dollars spent.  I, personally, have experienced a 50/50 split in sales – 50% of my customers are using PayPal and the other 50% are using Direct Checkout.  My customers paying with Direct Checkout are spending up to 25% more than my PayPal customers. Here’s what some EcoEtsy members had to share:


Kelly of Growing Up Wild

So far I have run 90+ orders through direct checkout.  I copy and paste my shipping into Pay Pals multi-order shipping as other have previously mentioned.  I am always worried as the room for error seems a bit greater here and it does take about a minute longer than printing when someone orders through Pay Pal.  Overall it has been extremely worth it to me to have DC as an option.  I have found that orders placed through DC tend to be larger than those through Pay Pal.  People tend to buy multiple items through DC more often than Pay Pal.  I wonder if the act of going to a third party site gives people time to think through impulse buys more than when they buy directly through Etsy.  I know for myself that when I have more time to contemplate a purchase I am more likely to scale back a bit.  That is just my guess though.  It will be great if Etsy adds a direct shipping option! 


Julia of Whispering Willows

We turned out Direct Checkout as soon as it was available and I have no complaints whatsoever.  I was only transferring money out of our paypal account once a week or so, so the hold time makes no difference to us.  A few times I have noticed the “Schedule Earlier Deposit” button is turned on and once I used it just to see what would happened.  I believe I have the money the next day or the day after.  I don’t remember inputting a social, but I know I gave Etsy our business Tax ID.  Paypal had asked for the same info shortly before Etsy asked for it (for 10-99s), so I just put them both in and honestly didn’t think anything about it.  Although we took a few questions early on about check out looking different (one customer wanted to check out via paypal and couldn’t figure out how), I’ve heard nothing since and I would guess that over 50% of our business is now coming through DC.  We’re all about offering the customer options – whichever payment method/process they prefer is just fine with me.

We do copy and paste addresses into usps.com, but then add the tracking number to the Etsy order page and notify the customer of shipping through Etsy.  With two people packing and shipping orders, we needed a single place that allowed us to view order status, ensure shipment, etc and that works well.  My only complaint is that you can’t change the shipping notification or “unship” an item after you have shipped it.  I understand this from Etsy’s perspective, but one time I pasted in the wrong tracking number in error (eek!) and couldn’t fix my mistake.  Thankfully, no one was upset and I learned to check carefully before submitting.  Overall it has been a good experience for us.  I was quite excited to see the message about Paypal shipping!  We’ve been taking our rare first class package to the post office and are so glad to hear there’s another option 

Penelope of Neena Creates

I’ve been using DC since it came out and create my shipping labels through Paypal, and I’m happy about that. I found out in the Forums that you can go to www.paypal.com/shipnow and I copy and paste the buyer’s info, so that’s been a good transition. My only complaint with DC is not with shipping but the amount of time for the money to get into my bank account. Having to wait 3 days after you mark the item as shipped for the money to be released and then wait another 3-4 days for the money to actually clear into my account is a hassle. But having DC has definitely increased sales…..so maybe I shouldn’t complain too much;)



I’m finding I’m running about 50/50 on customers using the direct checkout vs. paypal. The big plus for me (since I do custom orders) is payment after I ship (and therefore the order is completed)- otherwise the money is spent lonnnnng before the order is completed! :)


 Heather of Earnest Efforts

We started using DC as soon as it rolled out to everyone.  We wanted to provide the choice to those who will not use Paypal.  We had two sales the first day it was on our site and I would say half of our sales are now through DC.  I must say that after I accepted the change in my routine I have no problems with the way it works.  We don’t use PP for shipping labels, so that was not an issue.  The deposits are initiated on Mondays & in our bank account on Tuesday, which is quite remarkable.  No complaints!


Mary of MaryZoom

I am using Direct Checkout and, while it’s not quite as seamless as using paypal, the average dollar amount of each individual sale has gone up.  I think this is because it is easier for the customer to use a credit card.  As far as shipping, I did what Erin did.  USPS Click and Ship is an option, too.  Quite honestly, I think that Direct Checkout is easier on the customer overall, which is a good thing.  While, as business people, we need to closely watch our expenses (and time is money), the bottom line is it is all about the customer and his or her ease of doing business with us.


As for the question about shipping it seems that a sellers are using several methods:

1. USPS click and ship

2. Stamp.com

3. PayPal Multi-Order Shiping

3. PayPal Ship Now

4. Endicia

Did you know that you can print postage for all your PayPal orders and NON-PAYPAL orders as well and get the same postage discount?  Well, yes you can!  You can use http://www.PayPal.com/shipnow to print postage for orders not paid for with PayPal, there is a little work involved because you have to copy and paste the customers info line by line but you get the discounted shipping rate, automatic tracking info for U.S. orders and a clear record of shipping.

I hope that you find this information useful.  What has your experience been with Direct Checkout?  If you haven’t enabled Direct Checkout for your shop, why are you on the fence?  Finally, we’d love to hear back from shoppers – are you more included ot use Direct Checkout or PayPal?

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.


  1. Terrific post Myra!
    I haven’t had a lot of time to determine the pros versus the cons on this issue, so this article was super-helpful! I love how you included responses from fellow Etsians who are already tried and/or are using this payment/checkout method. It’s always beneficial to hear these practical opinions. I love how Kelly of Growing up Wild talked about the benefit of the impulse buy 😉 It makes complete sense that impulsive sales would increase when having less time between check-out and payment!! The beauty of god marketing choices, love it!!!

  2. Great post as always Myra – my thinking is still that since it is the default option when activated it is not possible to know that a customer would not just use paypal where they can use the same payment method anyway – and if Etsy really wanted to speed the customer through checkout Etsy could offer a checkout without registering with Etsy option – and I want Etsy’s phone number if they are holding my money in case of a problem or question.

    The copy and paste addresses may work for us for now, but I had a dropship customer during the holidays last year that I had to copy and paste addresses and emails for last Christmas and it added a ton of work. I like the way paypal works with my online accounting system and it only works seamlessly when everything filters thru paypal.

    I do not consider myself a conservative, but do like to party (with 7 year olds) and to drink tea (green) so maybe I am just in the closet about it …. I do think there will come a time when we could lose sales by not offering DC … Etsy pushes changes on us all the time that greatly impact our businesses, often negatively, so it makes us, I should say me, hesitate about everything.