Whimsical birdcages, colorful jackets made of recycled fabric and other arts and crafts knick-knacks on Etsy can now be purchased with gift cards, which the online marketplace introduced Oct. 16.

Etsy announced its gift cards in August, and yesterday the new feature launched, allowing users to send mailed or emailed gift cards to friends and family.

“We all have those people on our lists who are seemingly impossible to shop for — and this is the perfect alternative to settling for a generic gift card or the ever-impersonal check,” says Camilla Velasquez, director of the payments team at Etsy, on Oct. 16 in the marketplace news blog.

To accept virtual gift cards, Etsy sellers are required to use the company’s Direct Checkout tool, an alternative to PayPal. 

According to Etsy, customers who buy through Direct Checkout spend $3 more than buyers using other payment methods. And more than 40% of all orders handled through Direct Checkout are repeat Direct Checkout users.

Direct Checkout is available only in the U.S. Early next year, Etsy will be looking at providing Direct Checkout to international sellers, Valesquez says.

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