January 20, 2012

Accepting Credit Cards

Today's post was written by Ky from BookInz. If you enjoy reading and are looking for the perfect bookmark go check her site out!

If you’re a crafter who sells at shows, you really should look into accepting credit cards, if you don’t already do so. Not only do we sell at craft shows, we also BUY! And I won’t name names, but a certain vendor lost my sale last weekend because I didn’t have enough cash to buy all the products I wanted to buy and they didn’t take credit cards! A $50-60 sale, easy, but lost to another vendor who happily took my card for her goods.

There are several programs and systems out there, some require a contract, some require equipment purchases, some require electricity. And as a small vendor, we don’t really want to get locked into expensive contracts. Some of the shows don’t even offer electricity as an option. And purchasing equipment requires a cash outlay that isn’t always convenient for the business…

Meet Square (www.squareup.com), a nifty little gadget that hooks up to your smartphone via a FREE app for use with iPhone, iPad and Android. No contract, no equipment to buy, no electricity needed…unless you need it for your smartphone! (And I have a handy gadget for THAT, too!) You sign up online, enter your bank information and VOILA! You are set up to accept credit cards. And not just the ol’ Visa/Mastercard, either…you can also accept Discover and AmEx, with NO ADDITIONAL COST! That’s right, it costs the same amount to accept Discover and AmEx as it does for Visa/Mastercard! And let’s discuess those costs, shall we?

2.75% for each swiped transaction
3.50% + $0.15 for each keyed transaction (sometimes the magnetic stripe is worn down, tell your customer to get themselves a NEW CARD!)
New users get the first $1,000 of each seven (7) day period deposited the next business day.
Accounts are periodically reviewed for deposit amount increases.
The little reader accessory is shipped FREE to you! (We like FREE, a LOT!)
NO contract. NO equipment to buy. LOW costs. The fee is deducted before the deposit is made. Each transaction results in a nifty little email telling you how much, where and what your daily tally is. Not only that, but your app also lets you see what transactions have been made on your Square.

So enough about the technicals…here’s my personal experience:

I started using Square at the Funky Finds Spring Fling. GREATEST crafter thing EVER. I LOVE this little white plug in. LOVE IT. (Did I mention how much I <3 it?)

Show was on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s money showed up in my account Tuesday AM. Sunday’s money was there Wednesday AM. Direct deposit, baby! And the other sweet thing? Bank fees (including Square) are 100% tax deductible! So you really didn’t spend a dime on those processing fees, did you? Of course, you have to be a registered business to take those deductions, but still, how much more convenient does it have to be?

And as for sales? There was a noticeable uptick in multiple quantity sales when my customers saw that I accepted credit cards. The average credit card sale was $30. My average cash sale is $6. You do the math…

All of the above to say, if you don’t use Square, you need to. Really. It’s a great convenience for your customer and an instant sales booster for YOU! And while we’re in this for the passion of our craft, I’d like to think maximizing our sales is somewhere in the next four items down the list. This little white plug in gadget is your not so secret sales booster.

Go. Sign up now. You’ll thank me later.