Ahhhh Square. Every crafter's reasonably-priced credit card processing friend. This lovely company recently started an online marketplace so customers could purchase items from local businesses without leaving home. I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it turned out to be my least favorite option as a free Etsy alternative. Click on the image above to take a look at my Square shop.
- Operates under your existing Square account if you have one. When you add an item, it also becomes available in your Square app that you use to process credit cards.
- New look. My Square shop looks vastly different from my Etsy shop, which I like. I think Square's look is sleek and pretty.
- Unlimited free listings! Buyers use their credit card to purchase items and Square takes a small percentage of the purchase price. The rest is deposited into the seller's bank account. I love the fact that Square only makes money when its sellers make money.
- Items are only available to buyers who live in the USA. Others might see this as a "con," but it makes shipping profiles a lot easier to handle. With the skyrocketing price of international shipping and those pesky customs forms, I can't say I miss it here.
- Difficult to set up. When you first start, your items are "online" but not "for sale." You have to check a box in your shop profile to sell publicly. For the longest time, I tried checking the box, and it would uncheck itself. It finally "stuck" after about 20 minutes.
- It takes FOREVER for your items to show up in a search on Square's main page. We're talking weeks.
- Only one photo per item. Come on, Square! ONE photo? REALLY? I feel like I have to link to an entirely different web site with alternate views of my products. Or create one photo that's a montage of many photos. Ain't nobody got time for that.
- There's a semblance of a "quantity" feature there, but it's so limited I can't use it. The options for availability are "one" or "many." What if I have 10, list my quantity as "many" and someone orders 15?
- Square has a variation feature (so you can add options for size etc.) but your customers only see it if they're using an iPad. Wait... what?
- Items and sections are listed alphabetically. I wish it was arranged by date or relevancy. I named my sections "section 1 - rings," "section 2 - necklaces," etc. to get them in the order I wanted. I'm tempted to do the same thing with my items. "Amazing necklace," "beautiful necklace," "cute necklace," "delicate necklace"...
- Listing items is pretty easy, but it's also sort of easy to skip over the "price" section while you're filling in other things. The default price is $0, and they don't stop you from posting items for free. Every time I put something up, I have to check to make sure I'm not giving things away ;)
- No shop stats at all. Nothing. I have no idea how many times my shop or items have been viewed. It makes it very difficult to gauge the potential of this site.