Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Accepting Credit Card Payments

Claudine & Max at the ExpoTomorrow, October 6th, is the Women’s Expo at Middle Country Library in Centereach. It’s from 10am to 6pm. If you’ve never been to it—make some time in your day to attend (and if you are a vendor, definitely DEFINITELY put this one on your list for next year).

I don’t do a lot of fairs but when I do accepting credit cards is a must. I have a few low-priced items but mainly, the stuff I’m dying to sell is pricy. If I didn’t accept credit cards I’d lose a lot of sales.

Last year I did some research on accepting credit cards. I’ve used PayPal for years as an ETSY and EBAY seller. It works great for online payments. But if I wanted to use them for credit cards at the expo, they would charge me a monthly fee in addition to all the other fees built in per transaction. Right now, I average 2 fairs a year. Why would I sign up for a monthly fee? Last year I tried a company called ProPay. Instead of a monthly fee they do an annual fee.  I used to write down the CC info on those carbon papers you can buy at Staples and then input the information on the web once I got home. Taking a risk? Yes, but I’ve never been burned (yet).

Now with smart phones it’s even easier (IF you have connection) to capture credit card info at the fair. If you don’t have connection, you’ll need to get the information somehow, so that’s when I use the carbon imprint papers. When I went to sign in for the fair this year I noticed that my ProPay membership had lapsed and I’d have to renew—for $50 bucks.

So I went to twitter and asked the masses. I have a TON of fellow handmade crafters and twitter friends that were really helpful. Check them out: @ittybittybag, @easton_place, @cheekymaiden, @uffishL, and @thecoastalchick.  Overwhelmingly they all said, “I use @square.”

Here are the benefits to Square:

  • No annual fee
  • No monthly fee
  • Pay small fee per transaction (and you don’t need a flowchart to figure it out) 2.75% per swipe for all cards
  • Next-day payout with automatic direct deposits to your bank account
  • Free reader, free app for iPhone, iPad and Android
  • Available when your friends that stop by your house and do some “shopping”

I signed up on Sunday and had an official account linked to my checking account in minutes. I don’ t have the swipe thing yet and the fair is tomorrow—but I can still accept cards. I will just input them later (with a slightly higher fee at 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.) It’s STILL better than laying out $50 bucks before making any sales. I’d have to have more than $1500 in credit card charges to hit $50 in fees. While I like to be optimistic—I doubt I’ll sell $1500 worth of jewelry (but boy—wouldn’t that rock?)

Hope to see you there tomorrow!!


  1. Congrats and happy swiping :) Hope you have a fabulous show!!!

  2. Hope you make lots of sales!

  3. I find it fascinating how easy it is now for crafters and food trucks and other types of indie businesses to process credit card payments. Makes things a lot easier, and as a consumer, I like using plastic whenever I can because I earn rewards and pay off my balance in full each month. Good luck at the fair!

  4. Hope the show is good for you. This is some valuable information. Soon, I'll be selling some items and didn't know about Square. I'll check it out.

  5. I hope you'll be swiping a lot. Back in the day when I did sales, we were still using the old machines and sending in our carbons!

  6. What fun! I love the picture with all your posh items. And great info on the credit cards, too. I have to look into this for my site, because I'd love to accept credit card payments for my syndicated family movie/tv columns, as well as other upcoming goodies I'll be featuring on the site.

  7. It's true I don't tend to carry around cash nearly as much anymore. Here's to great sales using cash or credit!

  8. Great idea for accepting credit card payments - especially at craft shows. Love the photo of you and your blingy stuff. Wish I could see it in person.

  9. I hope the day went well ... here is to your gorgeous creations!