Square launch marketplace for small businesses

Square MarketSquare, the PayPal Here competitor operating in the US, Canada and Japan have launched a marketplace to compete head on with eBay and Amazon.

Square Market as the service is known, operate a free to list with a free store and a 2.75% fee on successful sales. There are no monthly or listing fees, they simply take a cut if you make a sale. Square Market aims to be an online marketplace for local businesses across the US to sell everything from handmade jewellery, housewares and merchandise, to yoga lessons and beauty services

Retailers can simply set up an online store and create listings. Sales made via Square Market and sales paid for with Square in a physical store are all available to view in the Square dashboard

Normally I’d be pretty dismissive of a new marketplace with only a handful of sellers listing on it, but Square has one advantage that others don’t – although a newcomer they’re already a payments company. They’ve plenty of big names on their board and Square have already won a deal to power mobile payments for Starbucks in the US. If companies are using a payment service why wouldn’t they add their products to the marketplace from the same company?

Square appeals generally to smaller retailers enabling them to take mobile payments in the offline world. Many of their customers are mobile businesses but retailers are increasingly finding it difficult to compete offline only. Now any retailer using Square as for payments can create an instant online store.

There is one small point which must really irk Square, there’s already an auction game site created by Oxford University students at the URL squaremarket.com. Square are stuck with squareup.com/market which isn’t the most elegant URL to remember.