I often get asked "whats the best/easiest/cheapest way for someone to take credit cards at a craft, art or trade show. You must be able to take cards or you risk losing about 75% of your potential sales. Most people don't carry a lot of cash or checks with them, but everyone has their credit/debit card. I use to a couple of different companies where you call in the card, but often times you are just too busy to make a slow phone call while dealing with customers. Thank goodness you can get a reader for your phone today!
If you do a lot of shows and process a lot of cards, you are best to get a merchant account and credit card processing system. You will pay a monthly fee and will have to buy or lease a credit card machine and printer.
However, most artists aren't at that point in their career just yet. Perhaps you only do a couple shows a year or just the summer flea market from June to Sept. If you have a smart phone, there are a lot of options out there for immediate card processing.
I use to use Square, which is a very convenient service.
They send you a reader for free and the fees aren't too bad.
I just also signed up for Intuit's GoPayment.
Their fees are slightly better than Square but they also have the option of lower swiped fees with a monthly service charge (great if you are doing a few large volume shows back to back). It feels sturdier on the top of my phone then the Square reader does. Also, they offered a GoPayment debit card so you can track, manage and spend your GoPayment funds on line as well as have instant access to the funds.
So if you are wanting to find an easier way than using a knuckle buster and calling in cards after the show, check out these two and see which works for you!