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Thread: Craft shows

  1. #1

    Craft shows

    I didn't see any place else to put this so I will ask here. How many of you take credit cards at shows? Do you think it makes a big differance or maybe just enough of a differance. Which one do you like to use?
    Dennis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    59
    Depending on your price point it makes a huge difference, anything over $25 I would say is 100% credit card.

    There are many wants to do it, mobile terminal, PC with wireless networking (Clear or 3g), cell phone, batch terminal and more.

    Cost depends greatly on how you use it, there is transaction cost, monthly cost, machine rental or purchase, wireless charges or Internet access, monthly statement charges and I am sure I am forgetting something.

    We use a batch terminal designed for crafts vendors, at the time it was the lowest cost terminal and come with not monthly fee and only a $10 statement fee, initially we had the ability to start and stop usage monthly but they no longer support that feature. On months where we don't use the machine at all it costs $10 which is by far the cheapest.

    Most companies have a $20-$30 minimum charge but generally no statement charge so if you reach the minimum it would be cheaper than what we pay.

    In addition to statement charges and extra charges to use Amex, Diners and Discover, you also pay a per transaction charge which varies by provider, your hardware, transaction amount, which credit card is used.

    Is your head spinning yet?

    If you have Internet access look into a PC based solution with a USB credit card scanner they are generally cheaper than buying a dedicated terminal. Also there are now some cell phone based solutions that may be reasonable.

    Lastly you can get call an 800 number to verify a card without any equipment (at a charge of $1-$4 per transaction) and then enter the actual transaction at home. With this solution you have the option of not calling for small $ sales. I don't recommend paper only solutions because the transaction fees are very high and in my experience subject to more fraud.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,002
    For my price point, being able to accept credit cards seems essential. I do a low enough volume that I couldn't justify paying the $20 to $30 monthly fees lots of companies have, so I use ProPay, which charges a flat rate of something like $50 per year, but takes a bit higher percentage in transaction fees. For me, it was more financially prudent. If I was selling more months of the year, then I'd be real interested in an arrangement like Paul mentioned above.

    Although ProPay offers card readers (for an additional fee), I just use the old fashioned manual card scruncher and do handwritten receipts. When I get home after the show, I enter the transactions on a website and the money is credited to my account in a few days. I don't verify the card before the sale. As I said, I do a pretty low volume, and so far I've not had any issues with getting paid. (I also accept checks without batting an eye.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    59
    $10 per month min is the best I have found so ProPay might be interesting though I have a preference to use a printing machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,350
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    For my price point, being able to accept credit cards seems essential. I do a low enough volume that I couldn't justify paying the $20 to $30 monthly fees lots of companies have, so I use ProPay, which charges a flat rate of something like $50 per year, but takes a bit higher percentage in transaction fees. For me, it was more financially prudent. If I was selling more months of the year, then I'd be real interested in an arrangement like Paul mentioned above.

    Although ProPay offers card readers (for an additional fee), I just use the old fashioned manual card scruncher and do handwritten receipts. When I get home after the show, I enter the transactions on a website and the money is credited to my account in a few days. I don't verify the card before the sale. As I said, I do a pretty low volume, and so far I've not had any issues with getting paid. (I also accept checks without batting an eye.)
    Same here... I do about 10 to 15 shows/farmers markets per year... I started taking CC's about 2 years ago and I think my sales have increased by a good 50%-75%.... also take personal checks without problem....

    I use Propay like Vaughn, with an old fashion knucklebuster and hand write the sales slips... I make sure I get a phone number in case there is a problem, but to date have never had to call on a card. I'm cheaper than Vaughn, I only use the basic service at Propay, but think this year I'm going to have to up grade... last year I had a single sale of over the limit allowed on the basic... hoping it will happen again, so I will need the upgrade.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    140
    I also use Propay. It is a must in today's society to accept cards, one way or the other.

    That said, I think before one goes into any of the systems it is a good idea to watch the webcast that propay offers. There are some new regulations coming regarding keeping any sort of printed record of customers information that I believe will remove the option of using a knuckle buster or any sort of written record of the account number.

    I use the USB reader that takes care of all of those issues. It seems to me that it gives my customers one more level of comfort knowing that I don't have their account number where someone might have access to it.

    Doug

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    936
    I don't take ccd's, but accept local checks and at the market I do, there is an ATM within walking distance. If I get out of local shows, I will have to look into it. Haven't been bit yet, so don't tell anyone, OK?

    Bruce
    Bruce Shiverdecker - Retired Starving Artist ( No longer a Part timer at Woodcraft, Peoria, Il.)

    "The great thing about turning is that all you have to do is remove what's not needed and you have something beautiful. Nature does the hard part!"

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