Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to deal with Credit Cards at Craft, Art or Trade Shows

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!


Gardanne said...

I have an intuit and I love it. Sometimes with any method there is difficulty getting a connection so I always charge $1 to one of my credit cards from my booth area before the show starts. If I have difficulty getting a connection I find a spot where it works, this can prevent some panic when a customer is waiting to finish their order.

Alice said...

We don't have an iphone and were not about to buy one just for credit cards. We also use Intuit, and chose a card reader that works with a laptop. It's great, and the fees are not high.

Old Fashion Halloween said...

The technology keeps improving and new readers keep coming out. Its amazing how easy it is to process cards now. I still remember the bag cell phone you had to lug around the size of a lunch box. LOL

Barbe Saint John/ Saints and Sinners® said...

That is a great idea Gardanne! Find out where the good connection is BEFORE customers show up!

Alice-I agree, no reason to buy an iPhone just for this!! These work with a lot of smart phones and tablets, but its good to know there's one for a laptop too! I think having it for a laptop would be great for typing in that customer address for the receipt. Its so hard to type on a phone.

OFH-I do too!!! Funny how you had to lug around a 8lb battery back then now they are so small they fit in a pants pocket! LOL