Etsy vs Stripe & Squarespace payment processing fees

So you have an Etsy shop and it's doing well, eh?

You might have that slightly guilty feeling as Etsy gave you your start, but the fees charged feel like just a bit more than you want to pay. You want to explore other options for an online store and determine what the difference in fees will be.

This post will outline the difference between Etsy & Squarespace/Stripe so you can determine when is the right time/what is the right amount of sales to make the switch. I'll touch on PayPal a little bit at the end too.

Just as an FYI, Squarespace is a popular drag and drop website building platform while Stripe is a payment processing company that is integrated seamlessly into the Squarespace e-commerce online stores.

 

Squarespace plan fees

Before we get to some tables and example numbers of sales and fee totals, there's something important to note. To run a store on Squarespace you must have a website and therefore a plan with Squarespace. The plans range between $12 - $40/month as of September 2016. (Check here in case pricing has changed since this post went live). Squarespace has some regular 'website' plans (with the ability to make online sales but with an added transaction fee {2-3% of sale} paid to Squarespace) and online store plans (a bit pricer per month, but Squarespace doesn't take a cut of your sales).

How much do you need to do in sales to make the more expensive monthly plan that doesn't charge transaction fees worth it? The difference the cheapest Squarespace plan is $12/month, and the cheapest plan which doesn't charge transaction fees is $26/month, that's a $14 difference. If you sell $500 a month and get 3% in transaction fees taken off, that will cost $15 a month.

Therefore, if you estimate you'll sell more than $500 a month, get an online store plan which doesn't have service fees.

 

Difference in fees between Squarespace/Stripe & Etsy

Squarespace/Stripe Etsy
Listing an item $0 .20¢ (per item, every 4 months)
Payment processing 2.9% + .30 ¢ USA: 3.0% + .25¢
Canada (domestic & US orders): 3% + .25¢
Canada (international orders): 4% + 2.5¢
U.K.: 4% + .20¢
Selling an item 0% (with online store plan) 3.5%
2% (with business website plan)
3% (with personal website plan)
Total Between 2.9% + .30¢ to 5.9% + .30¢ Between 6.5% + .25¢ to 7.9% + .25¢ + .20¢ per item listing
Currency conversion 2% 2.5%
Total for orders in a different currency Between 4.9% .30¢ to 7.9% + .30¢ Between 9.0% + .25¢ to 10.4% + .25¢ + .20¢ per item listing
:

*Note: I included the Etsy payment processing fees for the most common countries this blog is read in. If your country is not listed, you can find the fees for your country in this Etsy article

*Note: Currency conversion only applies if the sale was made in a currency other than the one your linked up bank account is in. (Eg. You sell in USD but your bank account is in GBP.) Stripe does make it possible to link up multiple bank accounts in multiple currencies to avoid the 2% fee, while Etsy does not have this option.

Example time!

Okay, now let's look at some real numbers to give you a better idea of what this all adds up to. Let's say we sell wedding invitations in the USA to only USA customers and each transaction is worth $500. We have 30 listings in our shop, and each listing lasts for 4 months each. So as this table represents just one month, we're going to divide the shop listing fees by 4. If you decide for Squarespace, you've chosen the basic online store plan for $26 a month, and don't get charged transaction fees.

Wedding Invitation Business In USA for USA customers

$500 sales/month Squarespace/Stripe Etsy
Website cost $26.00 don't have a website
Listing items $0 $1.50
Payment processing $15.10 $15.25
Selling an item $0 $15.00
Total $41.10 $31.75
:
$2,000 sales/month Squarespace/Stripe Etsy
Website cost $26.00 don't have a website
Listing items $0 $1.50
Payment processing $59.80 $61.25
Selling an item $0 $60.00
Total $85.80 $122.75
:
$10,000 sales/month Squarespace/Stripe Etsy
Website cost $26.00 don't have a website
Listing items $0 $1.50
Payment processing $296.00 $305.00
Selling an item $0 $300.00
Total $322.00 $606.50
:

As you can see, the cost of a website with Squarespace per month (aside from the fact that having a website really has a value in and of itself besides acting as a payment processor online home) becomes well worth it as sales rise.

What about PayPal?

Great question, PayPal is the other giant in the payment processing space. When I did my research into all of this I found this massively helpful Stripe vs PayPal comparison article and comparison calculator which I would suggest you check out. 

While PayPal is good for straightforward stuff, get into anything a little more complex and there's a fee for it, or a massively head-scratching fee chart table to sort your way through. Things such as processing a refund, processing AMEX cards, processing a payment from a customer not in your same country, etc. all incur additional fees.

I originally wanted to include PayPal in my above charts, but had questions related to international payments that was very confusing on their website. While the PayPal website states, 'straightforward and no surprises' I chatted on the phone with a Paypal rep asking questions about the fees that would be incurred in different situations. A good number of them, the PayPal rep couldn't answer to which I joked 'straightforward and no surprises eh'. She let me know 'customers normally don't look into the specific details so closely'. While the rep was very friendly, even she couldn't come to a conclusion of the fees that would be charged in some situations I proposed, and after 45 minutes I gave up.

 

Which to choose?

There is no one definitive answer as each shop is different. I suggest to look back at your sales over the past few months/year, find your average number of transactions, total in sales per month, amount in sales that required currency conversion, and how many listing items you have in your shop. Plug your numbers in the same way I did for our example Wedding Invitation shop and do a little calculation. It's also important to take into consideration, could your shop benefit from it's own online home/website. (The answer to this is almost always yes). 

Now, I'm curious, which option is best for your business and what is it that you sell?

 

 

BusinessPaige BruntonComment