credit cards at craft fair?

danaohAugust 28, 2008

I will be doing only one craft fair this year, a 2 day big one. The last couple of years I did 2 little ones, not worth setting up. I need to accept credit cards, selling felted wool sweater purses for $25 and up, and believe that I could sell more that way. Haven't talked to the bank yet. I don't have a business account, this is really just a hobby that I am trying to support. Has anyone used them just for a weekend?

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I've never used them but have used a card at a craft fair when I wanted that extra something special but didn't have enough cash left in my pocket. Some of the craft magazines have advertisements for credit card use at fairs. You might want to type in "credit card use at craft fairs" into your web browser line. I'm sure you'll get a lot of sites to check out info you'll need when going to the bank to set up an account. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 6:20AM
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If you're only doing one show, taking plastic might cost you more than you'll make. Many processors have monthly minimums, or monthly fees.

The ONLY one I might have you look into is PRO PAY. Maybe they have a plan for the one timer, I don't know.

But there are rules you as a merchant must follow. In the eyes of the credit card companies, we are no different than Wal Mart and must follow the same regulations. The number one rule is to GET THE CARD AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF THE SALE! Too many crafters just swipe the card throught the "knucklebuster" and wait until they get home. If the card is bad YOU LOSE! You see, many states are now making it ILLEGAL to demand a phone number unless the item is being shipped. And when you look at the slips supplied by the bank there's NO PLACE for the phone number or CVV. And that's for a reason. You cannot write them down. Those pesky privacy laws, you know. So what do you do? You put the 800 number on speed dial on your cell phone and simply call in the transaction. It'll take about 20 seconds, but you'll KNOW if the card is good or not.

Now some will say they get the phone number all the time. Really? If someone's gonna give you a bad card, do you really think they're gonna give you a good phone number?
I haven't given anybody my real phone number in 20 years. And they never knew. My phone number is none of their business. I just rattle off seven numbers or the phone number from my childhood and they're happy.

Now I do some pretty major shows. One time a rep from VISA was at the show making purchases. If the exhibitor demanded the phone number OR had a minimum charge amount, they were politely informed this was against VISA policy. And they could have their merchant account revoked. And once it's gone, you never get another one.

You must accept the card for ALL purchases, no matter how small. Yeah, it's a pain when somebody buys a $5.00 item and hands me a VISA, but I must process it. Thank God my profit is 96% on that $5.

So do you really want to go through all that for ONE show?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:47AM
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I have up to twenty craft show a year and have had only two people ask in the last five years. I do take checks however.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Thanks for all the info- Think I will check with my bank. I think that for over $25 items, it would take too much of their cash, and I don't know many people who carry checkbooks any more. Worth asking about.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Many areas where craft shows are held have ATM's there or close by. For just one show, I think the expense and hassle will be too great. If you were going to do allot of shows, then I'd say "go for it" and post a nice sized sign advertising that you accept credit cards--might attract even more sales.

I would think you would get less nsf cards than nsf checks. Grandma Bonnie, do you run into problems taking checks?


    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:21PM
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We used Propay for a number of years....I think I only had one lost sale due to a bad card. But most of my stuff is low dollar items so I quit taking the plastic.

I think you would be surprised how many people do still carry their checks and will do so for a craft shows. I haven't had a bad check in 25 years.

I think you have a good idea on the plastic (since your items are higher dollar)...just have to decide if it will be worth it for only one show.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:20PM
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