Square Online Store Review

Square Online Store Overview

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Square’s Turnkey E-Commerce Option

Formerly known as “Square Market,” Square Online Store (squareup.com/online-store) is an e-commerce solution offered by Square. The service, which is free to set up, is available both to merchants who already use Square credit card processing at their retail locations and to merchants who simply wish to create an e-commerce website for selling their goods.

No Custom Coding Required

Similar to Etsy or eBay, Square Online Store allows a business owner to create a basic website for his or her store complete with pictures, pricing, and product information. This website can then be found in the Square online store directory, and merchants will only be charged a flat fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction processed through the service. Customers can browse the site, order products with an online shopping cart, and securely pay their totals at checkout.

Square Online Store Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Square Online Store charges only 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for its base service.
  • Complaints & Service: Square has received more than 2,000 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Square Online Store has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 2,112 complaints and 363 reviews in the past three years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Square Online Store does not hire independent sales agents and clearly discloses its pricing and terms of use.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Avoided Fund Holds With Square Online Store

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Products & Services Offered

  • Mobile-ready online store
  • Pre-orders available (for physical pickup or shipping)
  • Inventory management
  • Social media integration
  • Built-in shopping cart and checkout
  • QuickBooks integration

Types of Businesses Served

  • E-commerce

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Square Online Store Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Flat Rate 2.9% + $0.30
Early Termination Fee $0
Monthly Minimum $0

Fixed Rate Pricing

Square Online Store offers simple, straightforward pricing of 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction with no monthly fees, long-term contracts, or termination fees. It also has a number of additional software modules that can be integrated with Square’s processing service at varying costs. In general, it is hard to find cheaper merchant account providers than Square’s online store.

Frozen Funds a Concern

Although Square’s pricing may be attractive to a number of business owners, the company has one major contractual drawback that appears to be responsible for many of its online complaints. Square’s easy signup is made possible by omitting a thorough underwriting process. This means that Square’s primary means of protecting itself against fraud is to place sudden fund holds on large or suspicious transactions, often without providing any advance notice to merchants. This policy, which is the topic of hundreds of public complaints, is unfortunately part of the processing service that comes bundled with the Square Online Store.

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Response from Square Online Store

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Square Online Store Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 2,000+
Live Customer Support Active Merchants Only
Most Common Complaint Fund Holds

Positive Aspects of Square Online Store

Square Online Store provides a no-frills approach to e-commerce for many small businesses. The service is free and easy to set up and has a low, flat transaction fee that is similar to the average seller fees of all of its competitors, including eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. As an additional perk, Square Online Store is built so that its product listings can be easily linked to through Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. This means that social media-savvy business owners can utilize free social websites to promote sales or new items and provide direct links to their products for customers. For a merchant willing to invest the time and energy to cultivate an active social media presence, the leap to e-commerce can come at virtually no cost thanks to Square Online Store. Square merchants who are satisfied with the company’s service have very little to lose by opening a store in the Square Online Store.

Some Feature Shortcomings

Square Online Store does come with limitations, however. Each product listing is restricted to only one product image, and the layout of the online store is very basic in appearance. Additionally, a merchant’s Square Online Store site must be hosted within the Square directory and can’t be easily integrated into a preexisting domain that a merchant might own. Merchants who are seeking a high degree of customization or a specific domain name might find Square Online Store lacking.

Square Lawsuits

In 2018, Square settled a class action lawsuit filed against its food delivery service “Caviar”. The company was alleged to have withheld money from delivery workers left by customers as gratuities from 2012 to 2015 and agreed to pay $2.2 million dollars under the settlement.

No Live Customer Support

The other major drawback to the Square Online Store is the issue that plagues all of Square’s services: the lack of live customer support offered by the company. Square prefers to conduct its customer service almost exclusively through email and social media, although it does offer phone support to merchants who have active accounts (see: How to Contact Square). Hundreds of merchants have posted online about receiving responses from the company far too late or not at all, and the company has been very slow to adapt its customer support strategy to address this need. The possibility that a merchant might have issues with the Square Online Store and be unable to contact a customer support representative in a timely fashion makes it difficult to recommend Square Online Store and Square as an overall company.

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Response from Square Online Store

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Square Online Store BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 1,425
Billing & Collection Complaints 541
Advertising & Sales Complaints 57
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 11
Delivery Complaints 78

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Square’s BBB Complaints on the Rise

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is reporting an “A+” rating for Square despite 2,112 complaints filed in the last 36 months. This complaint total is slightly up from the company’s total at the time of our last update (1,930), which may indicate that Square’s BBB complaint total could increase further. For perspective, the total is up from 812 complaints as of our January 2014 update and 603 complaints as of our July 2013 update, and has skyrocketed from just a few dozen complaints since we first published this review in April of 2011. Surprisingly, the BBB has also raised Square’s grade from a “B+” in July of 2013 to an “A+” despite the rising complaint volume.

How the Complaints Break Down

Of the total complaints, 1,425 are regarding problems with service, 541 with billing and collection disputes, 78 with delivery problems, 57 with advertising and sales issues, and 18 due to guarantee or warranty issues. The BBB has also added a note stating that it has received many complaints regarding Square’s fund withholding procedures. Square has responded by quoting its Terms of Use policies and referring to the help section of its website. It does not seem to have made any tangible change to its fund holding policy in response to this notice. Square has successfully resolved 272 complaints, while the remaining 1,658 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Square has also received 363 informal reviews to its BBB profile, only 16 of which were positive on tone. The most recent review describes an issue with Square’s Cash app:

Cash App needs to be Terminated for the simple fact after they allow people to steal money they continue to allow them to have and account with them I’ve sent the wrong person money try to reach out to this person through app requesting a refund they block me so I emailed cash app and they told me to go my bank for the refund amd disputed it but on another note cash app know the person stole my money and the the money wasn’t Intend to be sent to this person that they accepted that money know it wasn’t rightfully for them why let them keep and account to steal other people money

It’s unclear what this user’s specific problem was, but all Square Cash users are advised to watch out for Square Cash app customer support scams.

A “C” Performance

Due to the company’s high complaint count compared to its relatively short time in business, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

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Response from Square Online Store

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Transparent Pricing

Square Online Store is advertised in the same way that Square’s credit card processing is advertised. The company is exceptionally transparent when it comes to its transaction fees, contract terms, equipment costs, and add-on services. Square Online Store has a very simple pricing structure and does not bury hidden costs in a complicated contract. Its quoted pricing for additional software modules is clear.

Problems Below the Surface

However, all Square products do have two major shortcomings: their lack of live customer support and the company’s fund holding policies. These two aspects of Square’s service are not fully addressed in its promotional materials, and thousands of merchants have reported that they were blindsided by problems related to these two specific issues. This can be described as either a marketing issue or a service issue. Since customer support and fund holds are generally unrelated to the Square Online Store product itself, they will not count against the company in this review.

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Response from Square Online Store

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Square Online Store Marketing Example

Square Logo

Our Opinion of Square Online Store

A Decent Option for Small or New E-Commerce Businesses

Square Online Store provides merchants with a no-frills, easy-to-use online store for a very low price. The marketplace’s processing fee is highly competitive for the service provided, and it shows a lot of potential from a social media marketing perspective. The primary drawbacks to the Square Online Store are its limited customization options and the fact that Square provides virtually zero customer service. Square Online Store is recommended as an additional sales channel for merchants who already use Square in their stores or who already have a thriving retail presence, but merchants relying on it as their only e-commerce option may desire something more robust with better customer support.

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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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9 Reviews Leave Your Review for Square Online Store Below

  1. iido says:

    Stay away form these guys and their bullshit tactics..

    They lure you in with low transaction fees, free card swiper and “How to Set Up a Free Square Online Store in 8 Simple Steps” crap.

    For one (this is my experience based on the Account Setup in Canda) the free online store does not exist – they basically directed me to a page with a choice of three third party website builders, two paid and one free (that actually costs $79 wtf?) and the square site editor for their own free store was nowhere to be found.

    And most people may be thinking, oh – ok let me just deactivate the account since this is useless (they make it really easy to sign up and deactivate btw)

    but guess what, they now have access to your personal info and sensitive bank details that you are required to provide at the time of signing up – I am kicking myself for not reading up reviews on these bozos prior to signing up.

    Just pay the extra transaction fees and go with already established big players who not only provide great customer service, but also include merchant protection.

  2. Diogo vieira says:

    Just the most worst company ever
    , they are able to do what they want with your linked account, they keep your money , I did a job for a costumer and tha lt costummer toke advantage on me , resquesting he’s money back after the job complete done and square just old money from other costumes just because I got a issue with a different costummer so if you got a dispute going on don’t make any transaction if you do you will lose that money intel they decide what to do .
    Obs : I just found this after 4 attempts to Faulk with some one and every Time was a different story . They will never call you saying : hey you got a problem let’s solved, they just block your money .

    Pice of garbeg it’s what they are

  3. Nik says:

    Terrible customer service. Spent 20 mins (after waiting on hold for 20 mins to even speak with an account rep) on the phone speaking with a rep who obviously couldn’t fix my problem. When I asked to speak with a supervisor he immediately refused and claimed that since I wasn’t the account owner, he couldn’t let me speak to a supervisor. The “account owner” they have listed is our web/graphic designer (who technically isn’t even employed by our company) because he had initially set up the account. When I placed Van on hold to go get the “account owner” he decided to hang up.

    Spent another 20 mins on hold, only to speak with another rep who was much nicer, albeit just as unable to help as the first rep. She explained that the only way to get the name of the “account owner” changed is to set up an entirely new account, rebuild our entire store and start from square one.

    Orders refunding themselves without notification, the sloppy and, at-times obnoxious, back end navigation and their lack of customer service have all lead us to seek a new platform.

    The fact that they will let someone not even associated with the checking account linked to the processor open an account and list themselves as the account manager is absurd. All of the sales we have processed for this year have been recorded to the incorrect business tax ID and they have absolutely no way of fixing it. Obviously mistakes were made on our end, but as a paying customer we expect our vendors to be able to provide solutions. Instead of solutions, we received no help whatsoever. the second rep even acknowledged that we were not the first people to run into this issue, yet Square refuses to adapt its procedures to appropriately accommodate their customers.

  4. As a new business owner finding the right credit processor was stressful. After trying out a different company our first 7 months we were not pleased at the charges and % we were paying per transaction. It was a lot more than promised. We switched to Square 4 months ago and are very pleased. We pay exactly what they tell us we will be charged with no hidden fees at all. We also receive nothing but great customer service when we call with questions. We did not get that with Shopkeep. Thanks Square for saving us 100’s a month.

  5. Richard Speer says:

    I have no business with square…leave me alone! stop sending me emails!

  6. Square is stupid. Their website does not allow for you to customize the online payment method so a customer who is paying a bill has no way of being able to pay a custom amount.

  7. Massimo says:

    By far the worst yet. Do not use this company.
    I have been accepting cards through my merchant services for a long time.
    After giving square a shot they totally screwed me and my customer.
    I accepted a $2200 payment (this is normal for my business as a contractor) 2 days later I get a Questionaire from square with privacy questions about myself and my customer. Long story short they claim they are holding the deposit from my customer until further review not giving a crap that the just put the customers job on hold. Gave me a bad rep with my customer and will definitely never use them again.
    All who need their money available for production should not use them, you can expect many surprises once they have the money, they have no customer service (like all others have 7 day a week calling).

  8. Samantha says:

    Im having issues getting my store to show up when I enter the addy. http://squareup.com/Market/Skygr33n

  9. Sabrina says:

    I have also had issues with customers who go into the square market from their mobile device and can’t get their shopping cart to go through. All of my customers have had to use a PC to process their orders. I don’t know why mobile devices have trouble placing orders.

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