Getting in the Ground Floor of Square Market

If you use Square, that little gadget that plugs into your smartphone, to take credit card payments on the road, you've probably heard about Square Market, the company's new online marketplace. You can set up shop there without paying any more than what you're now paying – 2.75% – to process credit cards with Square. In other words, you don't pay a thing until you make a sale and you don't pay to relist, as on Etsy.

Better yet, when someone buys a piece of jewelry from you via credit card and gets their email receipt, a live link appears that leads to your Square Market shop. This is a nice way to solve that dilemma that often occurs at craft shows. Somebody sees a collection, buys the earrings but later regrets leaving the necklace behind. Or they get compliments on the earrings from friends and don't know where to send them because they lost your contact info and don't know where to find you.

Now it's stashed in their email box and you're accessible online, so they peruse those collections, pass them along to friends, pin them to their Pinterest boards, share them on Facebook and Twitter. You just took your local customer base and generated national and even global buzz from it – free of charge.

Who's doing this? A few jewelry sellers being plugged by Square at launch time:

  • Jewelry makers William Knopp and Jessica Tata who produce their jewelry in an Austin studio, open by appointment, under the handle Son of a Sailor.
  • Shreve Stockton who made her name with a blog and then a book and newsletter chronicling her adoption of a coyote in the wilds of Wyoming, and is now selling her own Western-style jewelry collection made from elk antler, turquoise, fire agate, and obsidian arrowheads – along with postcards, signed copies of her books, and bamboo T-shirts.
  • San Francisco jewelry artist Alice Drougard who sells handmade fabric-covered bead jewelry under the name La Valise d'Alice.

Put up nice photos (shot on a white background) of a well-curated collection of colorful jewelry, let Square know you're media-friendly, and there's a chance you'll be promoted as well. It's early in the game and they're looking for merchants to spotlight.

Square Market is a nice solution for jewelry makers who use Square and sell their work locally, but don't yet have a website or online shop. Setting up on Etsy is another option, of course, but you can at skip the relisting fees with Square. Also, if you're set up on Square, people in your own town are more likely to find you. Why? Because when they search for "jewelry," what pops up are jewelry venues in their immediate area. If you find the bulk of your customer base is local, this is a good way to build on that online.


CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in "Square's New Marketplace."

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