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Accepting cc's at shows: YES!

carrie - there’s a one word answer to your question:

 how important/standard is it to accept credit card payments at the
art/craft shows/fairs? 

VERY!!! when your ‘product’ has ‘ingredients’ unknown to the
average customer you have to have accountability. jewelry is one of
the most easily misrepresented products on the market; customers may
be ‘stone-dumb’ but they are unwilling to pay for something without
recourse to recovery of their money. jewelry is also the most
’impulse buy’ item around. there are a lot of reasons for not having a
merchant’s account, one being stupidity. (yes, i will get feedback
over that assessment!) the jewelers who say they don’t want to fork
over 1 1/2% - 3% of their profits to credit card companies don’t stop
to think that it’s better to have increased sales figures from which
to take that percentage. my partner, who started selling his rocks &
minerals as a hobby before i started making jewelry, balked at the
idea until i pointed out that he wouldn’t make any personal purchase
into the hundreds from someone in town for 2 or 3 days without a
recovery system in place for the buyer; the first show credit card
sales recouped the amount for setting up the merchant’s account. plus
sales increased 30% over the previous 4 yrs at the same show. as for
my $80 to $500+ range jewelry, there have been shows where all of the
4-digit sales were credit card charges - especially in metro areas
where one client told me she & her friends take only parking & eating
money when they go to art shows (or anywhere!). confidentially, i
admit that paying charge fees is a small tradeoff for selling a rock
(material i pro-rated at about 50 cents to $15) i cut/carved & set
into about $5 to $17 worth of sterling i fabricated, to someone for
$200 to $500+. so you can understand why i say: plastic forever -

ps: yes, there are a lot of 'i’s in the above, but if you want personal
experience in the abstract, go read a novel.

Regarding accessing the web for cc authorization – I know nothing at
all about Web authorization, but I know that the new digital cell
phones will give you Internet access for something like $10 a month
(above and beyond the access charge to activate the phone, which is
around $30 a month.). My engineer husband has it on his cell phone
–not that he needs it or even uses it, but engineers always have to
have all the newest techie toys :wink: If you can authorize over the web,
perhaps this would be a good solution? Has anybody tried this?

And just my 2 cents regarding accepting cc: I never go anywhere
without my credit cards and ATM/debit/check card. However, I rarely
have more than $20 in cash on me and my checkbook lives on my desk,
where I pay the bills. If I’m not going to a craft show with the
intent of making a big purchase – and I rarely go intending to buy
expensive jewelry, although I’ve done it more often than my bank
account likes – no credit card means no sale.


The following URL will take you to photos and description of a
popular wireless remote credit card/debit processing unit. While it
is bigger than a cell phone, it transmits data much like a cell phone
and can be worn on a belt. It needs no phone line or power cord to
operate but does need special paper for printing receipts. It
authenticates and processes the transaction while the sale is closed.
I recommend that you choose a popular unit because then you can switch
processing banks if you should become unhappy with the first one you

I also recommend that you shop around for equipment costs and
processing rates as they can vary by as much as 400% from one vendor
to another. For a start with your comparison shopping you can print
out the detailed costs that are available for both wireless Point of
Sale processing and on-line real-time (web) processing at