Hip To Be Square

☆ June 26, 2013

A few months ago I was contacted by Square. It was a very brief, vague email, which basically said, “We’d like you to be involved with something we’re doing, but in order for us to tell you what it is, you have to sign an NDA.” And I said, “Nothing gets me curious like ‘Non-Disclosure Agreement,’ send it over!”

So they did, and I signed it, and a phone call followed, where I was told that Square was creating an online marketplace, similar to Etsy (which I’ve used in the past) and Big Cartel (which I currently use) and would I like to be involved in beta testing? I jumped at the chance because I feel like Goldilocks when it comes to online shop services – I’ve tried a few and investigated even more and haven’t found anything that is just right. Until now? Square might be it.

So without further ado, I introduce you to my shop with Square. I’ve made a number of pieces that I’ve been saving for this launch ~ lots of turquoise, new arrowhead necklaces, and one very, very old arrowhead necklace made from a Native American artifact Mike found (I never find arrowheads).

You can check out the other shops involved in the beta testing at Square’s marketplace, and my shop is HERE.

Disclaimer blah blah: I am NOT being paid or compensated to promote Square or their new marketplace. I just got to participate during the early stages, and it was fun, and I look forward to their growth.


31 Responses to “Hip To Be Square”

  1. Lindsay
    June 26th, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    Beautiful pieces!!! Wow

  2. PATR
    June 26th, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    Very cool! Sadly I’m just not impressed with Etsy now….

  3. Martha E.
    June 26th, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    Shreve, this is very cool. What a fantastic opportunity for you to be in on the beta testing. It looks like you still have your other store open too. Can you have both Square and Big Cartel? Or in my case could I keep my Etsy store and have a Square store too?

  4. shreve
    June 26th, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    Martha ~ Yes, you can have other shops as well as a shop with Square. They are awesome because there’s no flat monthly fee nor a listing fee, they only take a percentage of each sale as commission (smaller % than paypal). The first link in my post will take you to their page, and from there you can get the low down and sign up with them if you so choose!

  5. Maranda
    June 26th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    Well, I’M signing up! Seems like a really cool system. Their pay-in-person option is really cool. I like the ‘no listing fee’, too, and maybe this will be a good escape from Etsy’s dark side.

  6. Kate
    June 26th, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    Maranda, what is etsy’s dark side?? I’m clearly out of the loop.

    As a buyer, I don’t like Big Cartel; it’s not nearly as easy to navigate/search as etsy. Will check out Square now….Love the stuff you have listed, Shreve!

  7. Carla at Loves Moose
    June 26th, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    I’m getting ready to open a bookshop on Etsy. I have over 1,000 vintage books to upload, which is a huge investment of time, not to mention the listing fees.

    I really love Etsy as a marketplace. eBay seems to have a larger audience, but it’s such a generic selling venue that I would much rather invest my efforts in something that feels supportive and encouraging of new shop owners like Etsy.

    Etsy’s fees are better than eBay’s, and I really love their vibrant community. I’ve been a fan for years and am excited to get my shop rolling along. But I wandered over to Square and love the fresh design. And the only fee they seem to collect is 2.75% per sale. I’m not sure if the percentage is based on the item price plus shipping, but no one can top that.

    I need to learn more. Their pricing explanation confuses me. It does say 2.75% per sale, but there’s another page that mentions swiped transactions versus manual. Since I’m coming from the Etsy world, I’m not sure I understand what this means.

    I’m going to make a list of detailed questions and then see if I can find answers on their website. If I can’t, I’ll contact them. My primary concern is promotion and how online customers will find my shop. Some traffic will come from my website, but I need to feel that I can trust an audience will be there.

    And how will they handle transaction problems and disputes? Will their be a moderated community forum? The shops on Square seem like standalones, very detached from anything else, so I would really miss the sense of community that Etsy has worked so hard to develop over the years.

    Etsy has also worked hard to create communities of sellers and buyers around their different categories. It’s only natural to compare Square to Etsy, so the fee wouldn’t be enough to bring my small shop over to Square. But it’s definitely worth looking into.

    I would say that right now my primary concern with Square is that they’re going to get swamped with international sellers shipping from factories overseas and that their branding efforts and community building could get swept away in the process. Square could quickly become just another generic marketplace. But they run a fantastic company, I know that, and so I’m hoping I will be able to better understand what they have to offer and how my business can benefit.

    Thanks for taking this leap and sharing it with us, Shreve!

    Carla :o)

  8. Nancy
    June 26th, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    have you looked into Goodsmiths? if you have, i’d be interested in your evaluation.

  9. Carla at Loves Moose
    June 26th, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

    I ended up having to send them a support request. The sign up process was a bit confusing. When I tried to select an option from the “How are you going to use Square” menu, I was really concerned to see medical and legal services and other categories that I couldn’t at all relate to. Retail wasn’t listed anywhere, nor was vintage. So I had to select “individual” without really knowing what that means.

    The wonderful artisan feel on Square’s homepage on launch day could quickly disappear as car parts and resellers from China start flooding their marketplace. I’m just not seeing any clear explanation that tells me who they cater to and why I should open a shop there, aside from the lower fee.

    It’s still all very charming with such a nice design, but even their search engine confuses me.

    Since it’s Square, I’m hopeful they will develop their marketplace into something artisan and unique, but from what I’m seeing, it could look quite different by the end of the year from how it looks on launch day. I’ll reserve a shop, but I’m not sure that this is the right choice for me.

    But I’d love to know if I’ve overlooked something, so hopefully others will chime in.

    Thank you!! :o)

  10. hello haha harf
    June 26th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    sure does look great. hope to soon have the funds to buy something from you!

  11. Carla at Loves Moose
    June 26th, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

    I was very disappointed in their cut and paste response to my questions. I think Square Market is going to quickly lose the artisan feel as all kinds of services get added to the wash and my collection of vintage books gets buried under pages of medical services and other things.

    And they don’t seem to offer any kind of shop or category promotions. They don’t even have categories.

    But if you already have an established customer base like Shreve does, then it makes sense because of the savings in fees. But most small online shops don’t have that following, so I don’t feel Square is a good choice for people like me.

  12. Woman on Wild Mountain
    June 26th, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    Excellent! I use Etsy and really love it, however, I am heading right over to check out your shop. I may love Square more than my current shop. Yay.

  13. shreve
    June 26th, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

    Carla ~ I wouldn’t jump to conclusions too quickly. Today is their launch after months of work, so I’d wager they are insanely busy today……

  14. Carla at Loves Moose
    June 26th, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    No conclusion jumping, just running with what they’ve put out there. There’s a nice discussion on Etsy about this:



  15. Anna
    June 26th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    I couldn’t get the links to work …. :(

  16. sherry
    June 27th, 2013 @ 6:24 am

    I can’t see anything – it won’t load, and it’s too wide and there are no scrollbars. So I can see things listed, but there are no thumbnails, and when I clicked on one, I waited for 5 minutes for the page to load and then gave up. I’m dying to see what you have, but it doesn’t seem like the site is functioning properly or something. fooey!

  17. Mary
    June 27th, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    I was able to open the Square shop and very easy to navigate. I did purchase an item & the checkout was a breeze to go through – with a prompt email summary of the purchase. All good on my end, as a buyer.

  18. shreve
    June 27th, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Sherry ~ what are you viewing on? Let me know, and I’ll pass this along to Square.

  19. Jennifer
    June 27th, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

    I’m having the same problems as Sherry. If I do get the intial Square marketplace page to load, the formatting seems off and everything is cut off on the left. When I click on any shop, that page loads with hyperlinks to items but pictures don’t load. When I try to click on one item to see if I can get that to load I just get the circle spinning. From what I see, Square looks neat.

  20. Carlene
    June 27th, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

    I’m having the same problem. No pictures, won’t load, can’t get anywhere. I’m on Explorer. I’ll try at home tonight (newer version of Explorer and much faster computer) and see if I can get in. Really wanted to see your shop :(

  21. Rachel
    June 28th, 2013 @ 5:50 am

    Beautiful items, Shreve! I’ve been wondering for a long time: is jewelry making something you got into after moving to Wyoming, or has it been a lifelong endeavor?

  22. Valerie
    June 28th, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Everything looks good using firefox. (lovely layout) I went ahead and set up an account. Hopefully they will be able to have combined shipping at some point–as right now I can’t seem to find a way to have a reduced rate for additional items. I’m hoping there will be different ways to browse stores versus just the search bar like categories, etc.. to make shopping a little easier at some point.

  23. shreve
    June 28th, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    R ~ Since I was a kid! So much of my work is non-tangible, so I really like/need to create THINGS every now and then…. jewelry is especially perfect in the WY winters when you can’t build anything outside :)

    V ~ They are doing a TON of fine-tuning and upgrading right now – I believe the things you mention are being addressed.

    And to everyone ~ They are reading the comments here so feel free to keep chiming in with issues/questions!

  24. Rachael
    June 28th, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    The two stones on the left in the photo in this post are amazing! Where can I find those to buy?

  25. shreve
    June 28th, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    R ~ They sold already! sorry :(

  26. Scotty
    June 30th, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    great pic of all your outgoing packages and mailings. the hippie chick hacienda trailer looks to be in fine working order. love that it’s so retro.

    where do y’all find the time to be so…. organized? i would like to see a pic of your work area for your jewelry because you are well organized, but..i was taking photos to help out a friend to sell her jewelry creations, her work area was fascinating, but she really didn’t want me taking shots of it because it is a very personal space.

    i do get that, that area is where you want your privacy to do your thing and have some coffee and make it your own. i’m the same way with my garage, i clean it all up, the tools and such then sit in a lawn chair and guard the entrance to the man cave. no pictures please!

    with all this store and shopping info i may have stumbled into the woman cave. i still like your idea of a cheese cave. and in a resulting pic i would probably discover where you hide the chocolate. in the sugar shack lol.

  27. Wendy Smith
    July 10th, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    I am getting the same problems as some of your other readers Help! I am on explorer

  28. Candi
    July 23rd, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    I love your shop on square (especially the turquoise) and was planning to purchase the 2 inch antler and turquoise piece, but square only seems to take cards and not paypal or echecks. I don’t have a card, so I’ll keep checking back to see if they update. If not – are there other options? Thanks tons!!!! Your pieces are gorgeous!

  29. Andrea
    August 2nd, 2013 @ 4:27 am

    I like etsy simply for the fact that I can usually purchase things there even though I’m not from/ in the US. I would’ve loved the arrowhead necklace and an elk self-defense tool but I just can’t order them. So sad :(

  30. Wendy Smith
    August 3rd, 2013 @ 6:03 am

    Still cannot access your shop. Do you have any updates on how I can fix the problem?

  31. shreve
    August 13th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    Andrea ~ I am HOPING square will soon be set up for international orders – in the meantime, if ever you would like to get something you see in the shop, just email me and we’ll make it work in other ways.

    Wendy ~ I don’t think the problem is you! I’ve been away from the computer but will check in with square about this. Only suggestion I have is to try a different browser, like if you’re using IE, try Firefox to get online and maybe that would do it? If you try this and have the inclination to share your results, I’d love to hear and can pass along that info to square.

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