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So, I bought the "Square", which attaches to your cell phone, with the idea that having the ability to take credit cards would increase my sales.I don't own a cel phone, so I had to borrow my wife's. We tried it out the week before, and it worked great. We had to take her phone out of the rubber case to make a solid connection.

When offered the option of credit card use, people said;"What would it cost you ?" My response was 2.6%. They all declined to use it.

One woman even wrote me an IOU for $30.00, rather than use the Square.

Do you have any experience with using credit cards? Would this be an option for you?

This was a two day open studio sale involving eight other artists in a group where I live.Each artist was in their own studio and customers walked or drove to the various houses/studios. One other potter has the credit card machine that you swipe, with paper receipts.

Tom.

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I've been using Square since it came to Canada and have never had a customer refuse to use it. A few raised eyebrows when their truncated email or text comes up if they are a previous Square user though. I've had to explain that the vendor doesn't see that info, it's just in the Square system. I've had a few declined cards show up, these I wouldn't have caught with the old knuckle-buster system. Another plus with the square is that it doesn't cost you any monthly fees if there are months when you don't have retail sales.

 

I've been taking c/cards for years, sales are with out a doubt better since accepting them. It seems that the younger the customer the more accepting of Square they are. BTW I did email Amazon and ask when their reader will be available in Canada and was told they have no launch date planned. 

 

I'm paying 2.75 of swiped transactions, how are you getting 2.6? (must be compensation for living in the freezing cold capital of Canada  :))

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Tom
I've been taking cards longer than I can recall (80s)
Cards really do increase the sales maybe just not at smaller local studio sales.
These days down here where the sun shines folks use cards everyday now
About 1/2 my sales are thru cards at a show.
I very rarely have anyone ask about them and I never add the fee onto it.
A few years ago they made that a legal option here in the warmer country but you need to post a sign with that stated. I do have a 10$ minuimum sign.
I just eat the 2.75%- its now for me the Amszons new reader for less %(1.5 until 2016)
At large shows like this coming weekend I use my wireless machine which spits out receipts and is faster when I have a long line.
I get so few checks anymore only cards and cash-
Sometimes customers will ask which is best for me.
At a big show say of my 250 customers in a day 1/2 will use a card for payment.
Mark

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I think people are more sensitive to the cost banks charge vendors and are willing to pay check or cash if it means the vendor gets more of the money. That might be why they declined to use a credit card. As I am wrapping an item, customers ask what I prefer -- cash, check or credit; my response is usually, whatever works best for you. Small sales, people tend to pay in cash; large sales, they pay with plastic -- and often will buy more if they know I take credit/debit cards. The processing fee is part of the cost of doing business; I'd rather pay the 2.7% than have the customer walk away from the sale.

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I have the square, which I ordered after the thread I started earlier this summer. I've been selling at markets with a bit of a younger clientele, and the customers there are expecting to see it, and they even seemed used to seeing their emails or text addresses come up. The biggest beef I've encountered is that it doesn't take our bank card debits. I've not encountered the failures that others have reported, but I haven't done any large gift shows yet, where wifi draw from everyone else is an issue.

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I've been using Square since it came to Canada and have never had a customer refuse to use it. A few raised eyebrows when their truncated email or text comes up if they are a previous Square user though. I've had to explain that the vendor doesn't see that info, it's just in the Square system. I've had a few declined cards show up, these I wouldn't have caught with the old knuckle-buster system. Another plus with the square is that it doesn't cost you any monthly fees if there are months when you don't have retail sales.

 

I've been taking c/cards for years, sales are with out a doubt better since accepting them. It seems that the younger the customer the more accepting of Square they are. BTW I did email Amazon and ask when their reader will be available in Canada and was told they have no launch date planned. 

 

I'm paying 2.75 of swiped transactions, how are you getting 2.6? (must be compensation for living in the freezing cold capital of Canada  :))

Min;

Winnipeg is where I live. I might be wrong on the percentage. It is f...ing cold right now. Minus 31 C.

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The folks at the shows I do expect to use their cards and are very aware of the Square and how it works.

The way I look at the cost, is that's it's less than 2 mug per $1,000 in sales and for those that want to use CC, I'd lose far more than that in sales.

CC's account for about 50% of sales, which is down this year from 70-80% in previous years.

The Square is cheaper than the machine I still use at the shop because of monthly fees, yearly compliance fees and a higher cost per swipe compared to the Sq.

I have yet to have anyone ask about my cost for the Sq, it's just the cost of doing biz.

Wyndham

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Is that minus 31 before or after the wind chill?

You're in the Freezing Cold Capital of Canada (title), not the freezing cold Capital of Canada (description).

I've got a conversion chart for the Americans. It's minus 23.8 F.

Tom.

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i understand the various reasons sellers have for insisting on cash or check only, but as a potential customer, the minute the seller tells me he or she doesn't take cards, I'm outta there (with rare exception, when I really-really-really must have something), and taking all my invisible money with me!  So I have a good idea how much I end up NOT spending when people only take cash. Gee, I guess our NH cold ain't so cold after all!! Except when the furnace goes on the fritz, like mine did for 3 miserably cold nights last week! 

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I had the Pay Anywhere CC swiper but they kept changing their software and it became rather challenging to use.  I switched to the Square and really like it.  Yes, about half of my business is with CC.   A friend of mine attaches hers to her ipad and enters all of her sales into it.  Cash/check/cc.  That way she knows exactly what was sold.   The only problem I have had with it is limited cell signal (you can take charges offline) won't read a card (you can manually enter a number) and this weird thing with the sales tax that happened last weekend.  I just started over and it was fine.  I think it helps sales.

 

Roberta

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Because we sell in many different states, we used to just deal with the taxes at home, after a show. It was way easier than computing them and having all that change for cash customers. With the square, we have taxes added to the sale, and cash customers get a bit of a discount because we don't bother adding them. If someone asks about it, we just tell them. Sometimes they change how they're going to pay.

It's touching that your buyers were willing to pay cash so that you didn't have to pay the processing fees.

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Because we sell in many different states, we used to just deal with the taxes at home, after a show. It was way easier than computing them and having all that change for cash customers. With the square, we have taxes added to the sale, and cash customers get a bit of a discount because we don't bother adding them. If someone asks about it, we just tell them. Sometimes they change how they're going to pay.

It's touching that your buyers were willing to pay cash so that you didn't have to pay the processing fees.

Yes, I was touched. It was my first time using the square, and I have taken cash and cheques for years, so most people brought wads of cash. I can see that my sales would increase with having another pay option.

TJR.

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I take credit cards too but use the PayPal Swiper on my cell phone since I have a merchant account through them and use PayPal on my website and other online sales venues. Sticking with PayPal was an easy choice since it meant sticking with a system I was already familiar with.

 

Credit cards are about 1/2 my sales and have had younger people use it for as little as $5. What I have done is set my prices then added 10% to them to cover the credit card fees and sales tax. If someone wants a discount on an item I ask if they are paying in cash and if so know I can safely reduce some and not really lose money. It makes those bargain seekers feel like they are getting a deal and I don't feel bad about being asked to discount my work so everyone is happy. Most of the time they are only asking for a dollar or 2 discount and that's within the margin of profit. Getting rid of my knuckle buster was a no brainer the yearly fees, monthly fees whether I sold or not and the percentage on top of all that was just bad business.

 

I have received a few bad checks over the years so would really rather just take a credit card and with the new cell phone systems know that the money is mine. I have found recently that people paying with $100 bills has increased so have had to learn how to check those onsite. This last weekend I got 3 of them which is a record for me as I usually only average 1 per show.

 

Terry

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I have received a few bad checks over the years so would really rather just take a credit card and with the new cell phone systems know that the money is mine. I have found recently that people paying with $100 bills has increased so have had to learn how to check those onsite. This last weekend I got 3 of them which is a record for me as I usually only average 1 per show.

 

Terry

 

Terry,  I bought one of those Dri-Mark test pens.  I have yet to need it during a show, but I have tested it and it works as advertised.  Amazon sells them for around $ 5.00.  Check it out, here.

 

BTW, I have been using the Pay Pal swipe for over a year now without an issue,

-Paul

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For the Square, as a customer, I have to say it is very convenient. I don't always carry cash with me and if sellers didn't have the square, I just wouldn't have been able to buy anything at all the markets I've been to.  I also had to use it as a seller not so long ago, and I have to say, it makes everything easier for everybody. Even though there is a fee, if you don't have a big volume of sales, I believe it still is cheaper than renting the credit machine that prints receipts.

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Just a quick update for you guys. The one person who used the Square for credit card-it failed to work. Turned out that it was the fault of her card. She really liked the bowl, so I said;"Take it and pay me later."

I received a cheque in the mail yesterday, and a nice note explaining that the credit card glitch was her fault.This also goes back to another post about trusting clients and letting them "pay later".

So, good news all around.

TJR.

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TJR

I processed 276 smart phone transactions last 3 day weekend using the Amazon reader at a big Art Fair.

I took one check and had over 700 customers. I would say many people use credit cards these days-almost 1/2 of the public at an Art Show for my work at least.

I like the Amazon reader although it has a few issues yet to be worked out with the software.Its to easy for the signer to hit the wrong button and move forward with the next next screen.My rate is 1.5% until 2016 as I signed early with them. then it goes to 2.5%

I like the square software but Amazon has a better register screen. and better suppport on the phone.

Mark

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