Trying to sell gift certificates directly from your Etsy shop is both problematic and costly. First, you have to create a listing for the gift certificate and create a code for the buyer to use in a convo when he or she uses it. When someone buys the gift certificate, you pay your usual Etsy fees for a sale. And then you pay again when the certificate is used and you are charged Etsy fees for the item. And if the desired item is more than the gift certificate? You must send a revised invoice and wait for them to pay. Whew! Way too much trouble for me.
Last night I discovered a great alternative. I learned how to sell gift certificates on Facebook. You add a tab to your page with a 'buy gift certificate' button (instructions to follow) and Paypal takes it from there... processing payment, managing balances, designing the certificate and printing it or emailing it to the recipient.
Here is a link to my page so you can see what it looks like:
Now for the how-to:
1. Login in to Paypal and click on the Merchant Services tab.( Note: this feature is only available for business accounts, not personal. I upgraded so I could use it.) Under 'Create Buttons,' you will see 'gift certificate.'
2. Click on 'gift certificate' and follow the next steps to create your button.
3.Note that you can customize the look of the gift certificate where it says 'gift certificate style,' you can add a logo image by providing an image url. I used my etsy banner. To do this, go to your etsy shop and right click on your banner and click 'copy image url' and paste into the paypal box. You can then preview what your gift certificate will look like.
4. Click 'create button' and copy the code.
5. Go to your Facebook fan page and click 'edit page.' Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see 'More Applications' and click 'browse more.' Search applications for Static FBML, click, then 'add to my page' on the left.
6. Next, click 'edit page' on your page. Locate the static FBML application from your list and click 'edit.' Here you will change the name of the tab to Gift Certificates and paste the code from Paypal. After pasting the code, you can add any text you'd like. Save and publish.
7. All that is left now is to make sure your new tab is showing. If not, go to the + sign on the right of the tabs and choose the gift certificate tab.
Done and Done! Now you are selling gift certificates!
The only fault I have found is that I get an error when trying to buy a gift certificate in Chrome. But, it works perfectly with Explorer and Firefox. Don't know about Safari, maybe someone could come back and report.
Here is Paypal's very detailed guide to the gift certificate function, including a description of the checkout experience when both purchasing and redeeming a gift certificate. https://cms.paypal.com/cms_content/US/en_US/files/developer/MerchGCs.pdf
To add the button to a blog or website, just copy and paste the html as you did in Facebook. As you can see, I added the button to a page on my blog.
I would love to know what you think about this feature and whether you will use it and if you will , how. Please comment!