Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How do you pay?

How do your customers pay for your wonderful handmade items? Most of you have an Etsy shop which provides their own service. PayPal has been around for quite awhile and is the norm. Propay is another service. Using the same service to accept credit cards while you are at shows and also being able to accept CC's on your website can be a dilemma. Researching these options can make your head feel like it's going to explode.
I recently cancelled my credit card service that I had through my local bank. The fees were too much (surprise and otherwise) plus I could no longer justify the cost for the privilege of being able to accept credit cards. Customers have been using Google Checkout and PayPal on my website. For shows, I was using the knuckle buster and keying in when I got home.

I am excited about a new service I found for artists/small business person. Actually, it was developed for everyone to have the ability to accept credit cards.
Square will send you a credit card reader, FREE. Let me say that again, FREE! How many companies will send you a credit card reader for free? None that I know of, at least without strings attached.
The "Dongle" plugs into the earphone jack of your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android Phone. You can literally accept credit cards where ever you are. This is great while at shows. The more options you have for payments, the higher your sales. I haven't had an opportunity to test many sales yet, but I will let you know how it is working out.
There are so many options available to accept payments, I can only touch on a few. Let me try to list some I know of that may help in your quest.

Please let me what services you use or prefer to use.

31 comments:

Creative Arty Facts said...

Wow! It's not often you get something for nothing! I wonder if this offer only applies to US residents?

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Thank you so much for this information! Mom and I just started using credit card machine (knuckle buster)this year and the fees are outrageous for how many shows we do. I am going to have to share this information for her!

Alice said...

I can count on one had the amount of sales I missed due to not being able to take credit cards. If I had a much higher volume of sales from shows I would think about forking over the money to accept credit cards.

This Square sounds like the ideal way to go. Unfortunately I don't have any of the devices it connects with (I'm old school, and just have a simple mobile phone).

I'd love to hear your experiences with this. Thanks so much for sharing!

dawn said...

I find this a real headache, I don't do many shows at all, so find it impossible to be able to take cards because I can't afford the charges or contracts you need to take out for merchant services etc.

For My Sweet Daughter said...

This is great information, I am going to share it on my blog. http://www.ForMySweetDaughter.blogspot.com
I am hoping to get an ipad for Christmas so I am thrilled to hear you can use the application with that!!
Thanks,
SHannon

Judy said...

I am currently using Propay on my I-phone. I have already signed up for Square and am waiting for the reader, it will make the transactions so much faster and easier!I can't wait to get it!

Barbara Lewis said...

Hi Tari, I have a similar thing with Iterminal, but it hooks up to my usb port. What do you do for receipts? I'm checking into small printers. Other options?

Marie Cramp said...

I have my own Credit Card/Debit machine that I got through my bank. I do find it expensive, but at the same time my sales are normally double what they would be if I did not have it. I am really interested in this "Square" you mentioned. I will have to look into it and find out if it is available in Canada!

Thanks for the info!

Sara said...

I started using the Square setup after I read about it in USA Today. I had a show this past weekend and used it for the first time. It worked awesome! I highly recommend it....fees are reasonable and there are no equipment charges or contracts!

Sara Levitt

lunedreams said...

hmm, something to keep in my back pocket for the distant future. thanks for the info! i wondered if there was something like this out there. although i can't imagine what on earth i would do with an iPad beyond this. i don't even have a cell phone. loathe them.

Orion Designs said...

I've been using a merchant service separate from my bank. I have a wireless terminal (it was free) that I love.

I also love the idea of the Square because the fees are virtually non-existent (how do they do that??) but I'm concerned about not being able to print receipts. Call me old fashioned, but I like some paper!

Patty said...

Just heard about Square the other day and I'm tempted. I'm using Propay with a knucklebuster I got on eBay (pretty cheap), but I'm tired of the effort required to get a good imprint on the carbons.

I held out as long as I could without taking cards (I did local shows only), until I lost a handful of sales at one show and I figured it was time to do it. But if someone local offers me a check I won't turn it down. :-)

giftsgalorebyteniera said...

I've used paypal, etsy and propay! i am currently with propay for shows but take paypal on my website. this square sounds interesting but i dont have an iphone! geesh! life sucks for non-apple users! i was thinking about getting the micro card reader w/ propay tho. has anyone had success w/ that?

miramecreations said...

Thanks for the information and link. I will be sharing this with my guild members. This is awesome! Looks like I will have to get a new phone!

Tari of ClayButtons.com said...

I haven't used it much yet. I was really hoping the reader was going to show up before my last show but it did not. Sooooooooooo, I am working on an order and will get to use it soon.
As for the receipt issue, a receipt is sent via email or text message. One is also sent to you and the list is accumulated on their website in your account. That being said there is a way to add your most popular items to be selected and added. Also you can take a pic of the sale and it is included in the receipt. I need to figure out the individual item process so I can add a generic $8.50 button, $7.50 button etc. My plan was to take a photo of the entire sale and have it on the receipt for my reference and theirs. Probably right up the sale until I have it figured out. Unfortuantely my iPod touch doesn't have a camera but there is an iPad in my future!
It can be used with non-Apple products, Android based phones.

Tari of ClayButtons.com said...

OK, it's WRITE not right! Riiiiiiight. Some days....
"Probably right up the sale until I have it figured out."

Tari of ClayButtons.com said...

Interesting articles

http://blogs.forbes.com/bruceupbin/2010/11/05/names-you-need-to-know-in-2011-square/

http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/mary-kate-cary/2010/10/02/square-personal-credit-card-reader-will-changeeverything.html

My Life Under the Bus said...

Thats fantastic - I'll have to pass this on!

Jewelry Queen said...

Thank you so much for the information about Square. I got set up in just a few minutes and will have my square within a few weeks. I have been paying $18 a month to MerchantOne even though I only use it 2-3 times a year. Great information!

Riki Schumacher said...

I signed up for this the minute I saw it. Haven't received the hardware yet, love the portability of it for shows. Thanks for posting about it. Riki

Lisa Tracy said...

Tari, THANK YOU for sharing the hot tip! I've been using ProPay and manually keying in credit card info at craft shows. What a pia!

It took only a few minutes to download and install the Square app on my Android. I then was able to log on (with my laptop) to the Square website and set up an account for accepting credit cards. I got a message saying they'd mail my credit card reader in 5-10 business days -- very cool! And it was totally painless.

I found their identity verification process reassuring. They actually asked me whose birthday was May 15, and the answer was a relative whose birthday I never can remember! LOL Good thing it's multiple choice and I was able to spot his name from the list.

I also like that there's no monthly or annual fee and their processing rates are very competitive -- only 2.75% plus $0.15 for swiped transactions.

Interestingly enough, their website gave me a message saying I can key in transactions manually until I receive the reader. Just for grins, I gave it a try using my own credit card and it worked! It was pretty fast, too, much faster than trying to muddle through ProPay's website using my phone's browser. The app even captured my signature -- I'm glad I saw that, I'll make sure I have a stylus handy.

I'm hooked. Thanks again for the insanely hot tip!!!

Gardanne said...

Thanks for this information Tari, I don't do enough shows to justify a bank program. I used propay at my last show and it worked out well. I will definitely look into this gizmo.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Wow! I'll have to look into this! I have been using Propay and love the low fees, but you can't beat free!!!!

Pixybug Designs said...

Thanks for sharing Cindy! I have it downloaded on my iPod Touch but haven't gone further. Does it work if you don't have access to a wireless connection (we do outdoor shows not near internet).
Thanks
Stephanie

TesoriTrovati said...

That is so damn brilliant! I might have to get a phone upgrade though. But I am considering adding some more shows and this would be a smart way to accept credit cards. I will be looking into this. Thanks for sharing this timely information!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

I LOVE color! said...

Thanks for the much needed information. Be Blessed
cc

Anonymous said...

Any Apple/Android phone has this ability without needing this adapter, all you need is the PayPal app and your good to go. I don't know what I would do without my iPad :)

JanA said...

I recently started using the square card reader, if you would like to read more about my experience, you are welcome to visit my blog:

http://janatherton.com/janatherton/?p=204&preview=true

Salzanos said...

I just got the Square too, I used it on one sample sale, and all went very smoothly. Receipt was in the mail. I have a very large show in march, so the real test will be then. I will take pictures and review it all too for others. Really love this whole concept. I use it on my Ipad. ;-)

Country Diva said...

Awesome! That was something that was holding me back from selling at shows! Your tip just gave me the boost I need!

Tari of ClayButtons.com said...

Thanks all your comments!!