Last week we discussed how we don’t do many craft shows a year, but darn it, we’re going to do a few. Before our last show, around Christmas, we found a little gadget which we pretty much fell in love with and which allowed us to have a much more successful show than we otherwise would have:
Square. It’s a credit card processor-and, unlike the old school credit card options, it’s cheap and straightforward. You just need to sign up for a free Square account at Squareup.com, wait (semi-) patiently for the reader to arrive in the mail, have an ipad, iphone, or android to plug it into, and VOILA! You’re set up to accept credit cards.
Square charges 2.75% of every swiped transaction, or 3.5% plus fifteen cents of keyed in transactions. And that’s it-there are no activation, monthly, early termination, or hidden fees. If you don’t use it, you don’t get charged. They accept all the major players-Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover…which means now you can too.
When you make a sale you’re even able to add a note for yourself and/or the buyer (an easy way to keep track of inventory for us sellers) and there’s even an option to attach a photo-an even easier way to keep track of inventory AND remind your customer what this charge on their card was for.
Granted, the swiping takes some getting used to and doesn’t work every time…but it is easy to keep trying, and, if all else fails, you are able to type in the card number manually (although beware, this does result in a higher percentage taken out as well as the additional fifteen cents).
Your customer can authorize their purchase by signing with their finger (or, if you prefer, a stylus) right on the touch screen, and then he or she is given the option of being sent a reciept. If this is a return customer Square even remembers their e-mail address for you, making it quick and easy.
When it’s all said and done, you’re able to check your account status on-line, where it gives you an itemized reciept of every sale Square has processed. They send the first $1,000 directly to your bank account, and after that it’s up to you to tranfer your funds.
For those of us who don’t need to process credit cards on a daily basis but still want the freedom to offer our customers the option, darn it, Square has come to the rescue.