Accept Bitcoin on Etsy

etsy + bitcoin

Although Etsy doesn’t currently have an automated system in place for accepting Bitcoins, it is very easy to accept Bitcoin payments from customers for your shop. The process works like this:

  1. When the customer goes to checkout, they select the ‘Other’ payment method, and optionally write a note that they’d like to pay with Bitcoin.

  2. Etsy notifies you of a new sale. You contact the customer directly with a Bitcoin payment address and the Bitcoin amount to pay.

    Or, if you use a Bitcoin payment processor (this is recommended), you can use it to generate an invoice containing a Bitcoin payment address and amount, and email it to the customer. The payment processor accepts payment on your behalf, and optionally converts the Bitcoin payment to national currency and sends it to your bank account.

  3. The customer sends the Bitcoin payment, you get paid, and then you mark the order as paid on Etsy.

That’s the short and skinny of it. Follow these steps below and start getting paid in bitcoins!

#1. Determine If You Want Bitcoins or Cash

If you’d prefer to have Bitcoin payments immediately cashed out to national currency and transferred to your bank account, visit the Accept Bitcoin for Your Business page for instructions on getting setup with a Bitcoin payment processor. I recommend Coinbase (for sellers in the United States). The Bitcoin payment processor will handle the technicalities of getting paid in bitcoins — you’ll just use the service to email an invoice to the customer, which will include a Bitcoin payment address. Then the payment gets automatically converted to your national currency and transferred to your bank account. Or you can opt to have a portion of payments kept in Bitcoin, while the rest gets sent to your bank account.

But if you want to accept bitcoins as payment and hold on to them, checkout the Getting Started page and get yourself a Bitcoin wallet. When customers checkout, they’ll notify you that they want to pay with Bitcoin, and you’ll provide them with a Bitcoin payment address (see Doing It Yourself at the bottom for more info).

#2. Add the ‘Other’ Payment Method in Your Etsy Settings

In order to keep your Bitcoin sales in good standing with Etsy, you’ll need to have the buyer go through the standard purchasing process and choose the ‘Other’ payment method when they checkout. Etsy will still get their cut and thus not care what currency is used between buyer and seller.

Login to Etsy and go to Your Shop > Shipping & Payment > Payment Methods. Enable the ‘Other’ payment method.

It’s not a good idea to skip this step and try to sell your goods under the table — this could be harmful to the Etsy Bitcoin seller community and could also result in your shop being shut down.

#3. Update Your Shop Policies

List Bitcoin as an accepted form of payment on your shop policies page (found on Your Shop > Info & Appearance > Policies). If you don’t already have policies set up, now would be a good time. Many customers will not purchase from a seller if they don’t have policies set up.

As an example, you might state the accepted payment methods, that you also accept Bitcoin, and how to pay with Bitcoin:

I accept PayPal, credit cards, and Bitcoin.

If paying with Bitcoin, please use ‘Other’ as your payment method when checking out, and write that you’d like to pay with Bitcoin in the “Note to Seller” field. Once the order has been placed, I’ll contact you with an invoice containing a Bitcoin amount and an address you can send payment to.

#4. Improve Your Bitcoin SEO

Drive Bitcoin centric buyers to your shop by updating your Shop Announcement, tags, titles and descriptions with the words ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘Bitcoin Accepted’.

#5. Join the Bitcoin Etsy Team

Join the Bitcoin Etsy Team and list that your shop as one that accepts Bitcoin as currency. On the team page, click on the Join this Team button.

How To Process Payments

Okay, you’ve informed customers of how they’ll need to checkout if they want to pay with Bitcoin. Once Etsy notifies you of a Bitcoin sale, you’ll need to give the customer a Bitcoin payment address and an amount to pay.

Using a Bitcoin Payment Processor

If you’re using a payment processor, write a short note to the customer explaining that you’ll be directly emailing them an invoice with a Bitcoin payment address and an amount. Then login to the Bitcoin payment processor’s website and choose to generate a new email invoice. Enter the details of the order and the prices of each item in national currency (the payment processor will handle converting the prices to Bitcoin). Enter the customer’s email address and send it off to them. Once the customer has paid the invoice, your payment processor will notify you that it’s been paid (usually by email). At that point, you can mark the order as paid in Etsy and ship the order to the customer.

Doing It Yourself

If you’re handling the Bitcoin payments yourself, open up your Bitcoin wallet and generate a new receiving address — this is the address the customer will send payment to. Then determine the total price of the order in Bitcoin:

  1. Go to bitcoinaverage.com — it displays the average Bitcoin exchange rate from all the major exchanges. Get the current Bitcoin exchange rate for your local currency. In this example, 1 BTC = $650 USD.

  2. Convert the total order price to Bitcoin by dividing it by the exchange rate, and round it to 8 or less decimal places. For instance, if the total order price was $120, the Bitcoin total price would be .18461539 BTC (i.e. $120 / $650 = .18461539 (rounded)).

Then send the customer your Bitcoin address and the total Bitcoin amount to pay. Check your Bitcoin wallet periodically to determine if the customer has sent the payment. Once it’s been sent, be sure to wait for at least 6 confirmations on the payment before marking it as paid on Etsy and shipping out the order. Waiting for the Bitcoin transaction to have at least 6 confirmations will protect you from any possible double spend attempt by a malicious customer.

It may also be a good idea to request that the customer make the Bitcoin payment within a few hours of receiving your payment request. The Bitcoin exhange rate is volatile — if the customer waits days before making the payment, the price of Bitcoin could go down in the meantime, leaving you with less than the original price. If you use a Bitcoin payment processor though, you’ll be protected from changes in the Bitcoin exchange rate.

For more details, see Accept Bitcoin On Your Own.