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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:20 PM

Credit card processing-old school style (wireless machine) andwith the square up.

GEP will like this-as I did a year-end number crunch of 2011credit card fees with my processor-merchant warehouse-the total fees charged. That’severything monthly statement wireless fees statement fees per swipe charges andall the rest etc (minus the cost of the original terminal), which I have hadfor over 6 years.

I have done this every few years as its good to know what’sup.

It worked out to 3.8%

Last Show I used the square up with my I-phone

Fees-2.75%

We always thought it was about 1% less and that’s about right.

I ordered some paper receipt books with my logo and name onthem for Future Square up sales-I’m doing both for a while to see if this newway is any easier-the receipt writing will not be.
The receipt is easier for both parties with the old school machine

Keep you posted after my next show in Washington State.

Mark
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#2 GEP

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

Mark, thank you for this! This is really useful information. I got my Nurit at the end of 2010 and I've been meaning to do the same analysis to see how my fees add up compared to Square. So this morning I figured it out for 2011. My situation is a little different from yours, mainly I don't have any wireless service for the Nurit (store and forward everything), and last year I took a lot of credit card payments from galleries over the phone. My analysis worked out to 2.98%.

My charges from galleries were about 30% of all of my charges. Those were keyed in rather than swiped, which means Square would have cost me 3.5% of those sales. So when I factor that in, the bottom line is the Square would have saved me $2 in 2011. Yes, that's $2. I can't believe it was that close!

Before I had my Nurit, I used a telephone based service called CellCharge, which cost me 4% of each sale + $10/mo fee. So for anyone looking to start taking credit cards, don't accept these numbers anymore, you can do much better these days!

It will be interesting to see what my percentage is for 2012, because I am doing a lot less selling to galleries this year, and only to existing accounts. Existing accounts are far more inclined to pay by check instead of charge (so far this year only one has paid me by charge). When galleries use credit cards, they are typically "corporate" credit cards, which get processed at a higher percentage than a personal credit card. So with fewer corporate credit cards I'm hoping my percentage will go down.

For me, there's also the smartphone factor, i.e. I don't have one. So in order to use a Square I'd have to buy an iPhone and sign up for a $60/month data plan, which would make the Square far more expensive for me.

Here's how I see it ... if you already have a Nurit or similar terminal (that hasn't broken down like Mark's) there's no reason to switch. If you are looking to start taking credit cards, a terminal and a Square are pretty much the same. If you already use a smartphone, the Square is a lot easier.

Mark I'd be really interested to hear how you like the Square after using it extensively. I guess I'm still skeptical about having a startup company handling my money. Lots of people love the Square and will defend it passionately, but also I've noticed when someone mentions "I'm having such-and-such problem with my Square" then a parade of complaints will follow. You would probably give an honest and unvarnished opinion, so could you let us know?

Mea
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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:59 PM

My nurit 8000 is in Kentucky being repaired for a flat fee repair. As I'm not giving it up yet-till I see how the receipt writing goes.
The thing I did not say was that the difference in actual cost if I had used the square (I would only use it when I had card in hand and could swipe it) which is 2.75% flat rate compared to My merchant warehouse account . The square up would have been a 400$ saving. My total credit card gross for 2011 was a tad over 40 K which I know as merchant service companies now give you a 1099 at year end with the totals.
I ordered some customized receipt books with my name and logo on them so I can write them fast.
On a big show I have up to 600-700 customers and about almost 1/3 of them do credit cards so Thats about 300+ receipts to write up.This could be a time issue for sure.
I will let you know if this works-I really like my nurit 8000 as it spits out receipts like like rain drops falling from the sky.
One issue right off with the square was if my phone service does not work at a show which can happen you have a $1,200 non swipe limit per week-they upped mine to 3,000 per week but this is to low for a big show without phone service. They will up this again once I run some dollars thru the system I'm sure. So on that point alone the square does not work well.
I'll give a honest (real) opinion by late fall. As I plan on using both for awhile.
The smart phone costs as mentioned where not factored in as I use it for real time weather at a show-its a business tool for me and the credit card capture was very much secondary use. As it turned out last show I was glad to have the option when my nurit 8000 died.
Things I did not mention where the square up has two rates
3.75% for non swiped cards-limit applies per week
2.75 for swiped cards no limits

I have had at least 5 merchant services over the years and square up already has been a little slow with communicating on issues that are not on their FYI site.
Human contact is not in the mix with them.

so far if I feel if you have a smart phone and do a few visa sales the square is perfect for you-Thats not my situation so we shall see.
Mark
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#4 SShirley

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

I love my Square. I think my favorite part is that during months that I don't make any charge sales, I don't pay a fee of any kind. And the money gets to my account quicker than when I deposit checks. Our clay club uses Square for group shows and it works great there too.

#5 Dinah

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:55 PM

Square is a good product. I use it on my Sprint Evo Shift. I don't have a land line anymore and combined about a year ago. I also like Square because if for some reason I can't get the card to "take" when it's swiped, I can manually enter the card's numbers. If you have a Square you should read through the FAQs.
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#6 Mudslayer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

hi, am looking for CC info. Do not have a smart phone as of yet, but have been getting these pop ups from the Paypal card reader where you just plug in their free device, and the fees are just 2.7%, no monthly fees, just the sales fee. Anyone got or used this? I have seen the Square info, but they have a monthly fee if i am not mistaken.

any info would help!



this would be just for my brick and mortar store, nothing online.

#7 Mark C.

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

hi, am looking for CC info. Do not have a smart phone as of yet, but have been getting these pop ups from the Paypal card reader where you just plug in their free device, and the fees are just 2.7%, no monthly fees, just the sales fee. Anyone got or used this? I have seen the Square info, but they have a monthly fee if i am not mistaken.

any info would help!



this would be just for my brick and mortar store, nothing online.


The square has no monthly fee at all-I suggest calling Merchant warehouse and talking about all your options until you get a smart phone.
Mark
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#8 JLowes

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 03:05 PM

I use Square at shows and have had no problems so far. Unfortunately...lol...I have not run up against a dollar limit issue yet, but that is a concern if I become more active with the Square. My sales with Square versus cash/check are 75% Square and 25% cash/check. Square takes Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, all at the same 2.75% rate to me.

Like Mark C. , I do think it is weak on the communications side; if something comes up they FAQ suggest you email them (or Tweet if you use Twitter; I don't, so do not know if that is faster), I have emailed several times with questions about their new product "Register" a point-of-sale application for the Ipad. They have answered each time, but there is typically a few hours, to a full day lag, in the answer. You can imagine that crafting the question properly will help a LOT if you have that much of a lag between question and response. This could be a big problem if they issue an update with a bug. Or a bigger problem if there is a issue with a transaction.

I like the Register application, although I don't think I am taking full advantage due to its poor instructions (brevity/lack of instructions) and the difficulty of getting answers promptly. I keep my inventory, with pricing and pictures stored, so when I make a sale it is easy to see that I am selling / charging for the right piece at the right price. It also can send an email receipt with the purchased item's picture included, location of the sale and my shop's logo.

John

#9 Laurie

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:34 AM

I have never done credit card sales at my shows, and want to know how to get started. I have a smart phone, but need some detailed instructions. I have a show coming up on next weekend that I would like to be able to take cc payments.



#10 GEP

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:58 AM

I have never done credit card sales at my shows, and want to know how to get started. I have a smart phone, but need some detailed instructions. I have a show coming up on next weekend that I would like to be able to take cc payments.


If you only have one week, then your only option is to get a Square. Go to http://squareup.com to get the details. You can buy the swiper device at several retail stores, such as Best Buy and the Apple store, which will save time compared to ordering the swiper online.

Mea
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#11 Brian Reed

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 02:33 PM

Just an FYI,

You can use printed receipts with Square as well. You need to use the iPad version of the square app and get a LAN printer, they have a few suggestions on their site. They even has a cash drawer function if you wanted to go that route. The cool thing is that the ipad version of square has a better cash register touch function. Check it out.
Brian Reed

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#12 DirtRoads

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:12 AM

Got started with Square and love it. 

 

I'm not exactly sure how but the processor I was using, Leaders Merchant Services, kept adding  and raising monthly charges.   I have no idea how they legally kept adding to the monthly fees.  They also denied me reimbursement of my machine costs.  You had to ask for it in writing within a 30 day period after one year and I called about it 3 months too late according to them,  did not put it in writing and never got the reimbursement.   Even though my contract said they would pay me $800 for the machine after 1 year.   Also I paid about double the market value for "their"machine with the idea that I would get the $800 back.     In the end the  rate was  about 7% when all was added it.  I left when my contract ended.    I made a huge mistake with this company by not doing my due diligence.

 

I had another bad experience with another processing company called Transfirst  that wanted a copy of the deed to the property where the business was located.   I refused to give it to them and about 1 month later after hearing nothing they automatically signed me up, sent me a machine and tried to lure me into thinking they had a contract.   I had already (unfortunately) signed with Leaders.   I did use a Mississippi law to get out of this, with no money lost.

 

I was in a hurry to get credit cards before my first show ... do NOT make this mistake.

 

Steer clear of online processing companies.  They all have 2-3 year contracts.    Square has no contract.  I've noticed several options to Square now that do not have contracts.    My advise would be to avoid any company that has a contract.  If you opt for something other than a Square type company, go through your bank.

 

Very impressed with the ease of Square.   Adds your sales tax and has fast touch screen.  Very good at adding multiples of the small items I sell.   The Square app serves as an adequate Point of Sale too.   Going to add an IPad, stand and lan printer soon.

 

Cheers to Square!  Free swiping devise.   If you are new to credit cards, look no further. 



#13 Wyndham

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 04:13 PM

For shows. I switched over to the Square and everything went smoothly. Only do 2 to 3 shows a year but it's better than keying in the sales when we get back to the shop, as well as a higher off site rate.

Wyndham



#14 PSC

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:30 PM

What is the advantage of printing the receipt? With my square i just email or text the receipt to the client.

#15 Wyndham

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:01 PM

we write out a paper receipt and put the last 4 digits on the recipt to reference the email from square and something for the customer to have along with biz card. not a   time issue

Wyndham



#16 Roberta12

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:16 PM

I have the Pay Anywhere that works like the Square.  It had a slightly lower rate at the time I got it.   customer service is good.   The reports you can print out are great.   The only problem (Mark mentioned this) if cell service is poor or non existent, you are out of luck.  And if they update the app, I have had to call and find out how to use it again, but they answer the phone and will answer an email.   Yes, you can text or email the receipt to the customer and to yourself.  

 

Roberta



#17 bciskepottery

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:22 PM

Re: paper receipts. I like giving one for each sale, electronic payment or cash/check. Makes my record keeping easier as I have all sales in one place.

I use Propay; they offer both a cellphone device (Jax) and a card scanner that captures payment info that you later upload using your PC. I do shows where the cell coverage is not good, so I'm not limited since I can use either device. I've had many chuckles at shows watching vendors line up at windows, doors, etc. to try and get a better signal, while the customer waits back in the display area.

#18 Mark C.

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 01:16 AM

I have used the NEW improved square card reader a two shows and it reads the card 1st swipe every time.Its a huge improvement over the old readers. I just got my second reader as  a spare.

I can say that its my favorite of all others as far a software user friendly.

I still have my wireless device that prints a reciept and is super fast which I need at 3 shows now but the rest the square works great and as the square customer base grows more have their e-address in the thing and they are getting very comfortable with itrs use

Mark.


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#19 Pugaboo

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 06:05 AM

I use the Paypl Here card swiper. I have been very pleased with it. I went with it since I already had a Paypal Seller account and it was fast and easy to get it sent out. The rate is good 2.7% and the funds go directly to my paypal account. If at a show I can check my account and see the sales sitting there waiting to be direct deposited in my bank account at the end of the show. The receipts are great with a lot of info on them and I can print them out once I get home. At the show people sign the screen with their finger and have the choice of text, email, or no receipt options. I also let them know they can check their Paypal account, if they have one, for the transaction and how the transaction will look on their credit card statement. So far have had no issues with any of it but have only been using for about 6 months.

I have set up an item list so I just scroll through tap the items purchased. I have my sales already set up with tax included so don't have the sales tax option turned on. I do this for ease of cash sales that way I don't have to carry a can of coins around with me. I figure the item with tax then round to the nearest dollar and that becomes my sales price. Carrying a mountain of one dollar bills around weighs way less than coins to make change.

So far I have had only one time when a cell signal could not go through but it allowed me to swipe the card and hold it in memory until I could get one. I did NOT like that very stressful until I saw it to through a few minutes later. But in all honesty when I was doing festivals years ago I used to hand swipe with a knuckle buster and then key everything in to my machine after the show. Having the option of getting my funds during the show and not paying a monthly credit card fee whether I use it or not is fabulous and I couldn't be happier.

I do give out handwritten receipts with each sale, mostly because of the cash sales, the credit card sales are just done to keep my receipt book consistent and most people don't even want the paper receipt. At the moment I am using generic 2 part receipts like you can buy at Staples and such, I am just starting out once again on this venture and my next investment will be nice bags not printed receipts.

I hope this helps anyone considering getting a smartphone credit card swiper.

Terry
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#20 DirtRoads

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 10:46 AM

I've had a few customers that want a paper receipt.  I've been writing down amount on the back of a business card.  Going to order some business cards specifically designed for a receipt and delay getting the lan printer.  With Vista Print, 500 would cost you about $10.

 

My experience thus far is that younger (35ish and under) are used to Square and like a receipt sent as a text or email.   The older ones want the paper copy.






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