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Etsy Announces Gift Cards In Time For Holiday Season

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In a move sure to thrill Internet shoppers, e-commerce site Etsy has announced it will begin offering gift cards in October.

The website, which serves as a clearinghouse of sorts for all types of handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, art and toys, will sell the cards separately or give customers the option to buy one at check-out.

According to Etsy’s product marketing manager Natalie Schwartz, site-wide gift cards have long been a requested feature by the site's shoppers. "Gift cards will allow us to be more aggressive in our own marketing efforts by distributing gift cards to partners and creating promotional offers," she wrote in an Etsy blog post.

Cards will work in the form of a code, but users can print out the code or email it to a friend as a gift. The codes can only be used in conjunction with the site's Direct Checkout platform.

Direct Checkout, which launched six months ago, is meant to streamline checkout and payments between shopper and vendor.

In 2011, Etsy generated more than $525 million in sales revenue, according to Business Insider, and is on track to break that record this year.

Founded in 2005, the company makes its revenue by taking a 3.5 percent cut of every transaction, according to TechCrunch. In 2011, 875,000 active sellers took part in the peer-to-peer model, that is based a lot off eBay's, but has generally lower overhead, according to Mashable.

As an added incentive, for the month of September, the site will waive all credit card processing fees for new and existing users of Direct Checkout to help promote and test the feature in advance of the busy holiday season, according to Etsy's blog.

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