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Accepting credit card at shows


#1

I sell my jewelry and enamels primarily through galleries and
museums. However, I will be demonstrating enameling techniques at a
large art and craft festival in June, as well as having my work for
sale for several days. I don’t want to lose sales due to not having
the ability to accept credit cards. I am wondering if anyone knows of
a way I can do this on a temporary basis. I presume any of the
services want a year contract at the least. What I have figured out
so far is writing them all out by hand, and processing them manually
through the business of a friend later. However, even asking for
driver’s licenses, phone numbers, addresses, etc., does not protect
me fully if cards used are maxed out, for instance.

Linda Gebert


#2

If a friend lets you use an account they have a 1-800 call number
for you to verify the purchase then that number you write on the slip
and know that the funds are held for up to 3 days for you to go back
to friend and run charges on a keyed in terminal or a virtual
terminal. Get the slips and use the clunky zip zap and get s
signatures but you shouldn’t have to send in slips.

Teri
Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry
www.corneliusspick.com


#3

Linda:

Secure a Cellular Telephone that will do Text and Sign up with
PayPal and you can run your sales through PayPal.

E-Mail them and they will give you their details for signing up.

Yours Bill Bates
royalminiatures.com


#4
If a friend lets you use an account they have a 1-800 call number
for you to verify the purchase then that number you write on the
slip and know that the funds are held for up to 3 days for you to
go back to friend and run charges on a keyed in terminal or a
virtual terminal. 

I would be careful doing this. When I signed my agreement with the
bank for processing credit cards there was something in it about
running other people’s charges, and losing your account if you were
discovered doing this. This was a long time ago, not sure if I
remember correctly but it’s worth checking out so you don’t get
busted.

If you do go this route, you should pay your friend sales tax as
she’ll have to claim it with the state board of =, and you should
deduct her discount rate from the bank.


#5

Oh um yeah you are right I forgot not allowed to share merchant
accounts on some agreements. Hmm I just got my own service you ought
to go to your bank they have many flexible programs for traveling
sales.

Teri
Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry
www.corneliusspick.com


#6

Hi,

I think its best to avoid credit card sales when the technology is
not available to you to check that the details are valid and the
funds available. Stick with taking orders and sending on the purchase
when a bank draft or postal orders has arrived to your door. Its just
too much of a risk to take.

What about holding the item until the customer sends on a bank draft
or postal order to the value. Then it can be posted on at a later
date and you will not have lost the sale. Its the only way to cover
yourself.

Best wishes
Tina Ashmore


#7

Has anyone mentioned ProPay on this thread? I use it constantly, and
they have many ways, including by phone, to charge credit cards. I
have used it for about 8 years and have never had a problem. They are
great to work with also, if a problem does come up.

I suggest you take out a Premium account which allows you to take
American Express and Discover as well as Visa and MasterCard. It is
MUCH cheaper than taking out a merchant account with a bank.

Here’s the URL: propay.com

Hope you take advantage of this. It is a wonderful resource!

Laura
Laura H. Hastings
Eclectica Jewelry
Tucson, Arizona
USA
http://www.rubylane.com/shops/eclectica


#8
If a friend lets you use an account they have a 1-800 call
number... 

Running your sales through another person’s account is called
"fronting" and is illegal in some states. Check with your bank that
handles your credit card business to be sure this is OK in the state
where the show is held.

^…^<
Susan Maxon


#9

Merchant services are a challenge. the pay pal path would be best if
you can set this up. Some shows offer the service at a fee to
artists who do not have a merchant service account.

Also, if you do take charges on occasion there is a card service for
trade show and art show people that do not use the service on a
regular basis. It is very inexpensive considering what a regular
account would cost. The rate is reasonable too. You could do a
search for trade show merchant services and find this group. I go
through by personal bank now, I had gone through another one, but
have not been happy with any of the programs. they always seem to
come up with oh by the way we have to charge you for… in addition
to the regular fee that seemed so reasonable. The fine print is a
killer.

Good Luck
Cynthia


#10
What about holding the item until the customer sends on a bank
draft or postal order to the value. Then it can be posted on at a
later date and you will not have lost the sale. Its the only way to
cover yourself. 

No offense, but I think you’ll lose a large % of your sales this way.
Customers don’t want to work that hard to buy something. Most don’t
want to wait to have it shipped, either. Immediate
gratification, baby!


#11

Hi Linda,

You might want to check out what Guy McDonald offers:

http://www.craftsreport.com/april99/businessbasics.html

He understands the needs of artists and the show circuit. I was very
impressed after meeting him at a workshop. I have no need for his
services at the moment, however, he will be the first I call when
the need arises.

Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures


#12

Hi Laura,

I just started using Propay and have been very pleased. I do have
one question…they need a zip code for each person when processing
the transaction online. When you’re at a show and someone purchases,
do you simply ask them for their zip code and write it down, do you
take their entire mailing address, etc.? And have people been at all
reluctant to give you their mailing info?

Thanks,
Beth


#13
If you do go this route, you should pay your friend sales tax as
she'll have to claim it with the state board of =, and you should
deduct her discount rate from the bank. 

I would add to this, choose the friend carefully. I did this once at
a show, to avoid losing a significant sale, and I had to bug my
"friend" for 9 months before I got my money. She deducted the
discount rate (and a bit more), but did not pay me interest for the
long wait.

Noel


#14

I use Telecharge, through CardServices, which requires full address,
zip and phone number. I explain to my customers that the company
requires it, and no one has had any issues at all.


#15

Beth,

The zip code is to double check it’s not a stolen credit card. My
system requires the entire billing address, so I always have to get
the billing address from everyone I take a card from. I’ve never had
anyone not want to give it to me. If they don’t want to give it up,
I’d be concerned.

As a matter of fact, when I order services for tradeshows they ask
for the billing address on the credit card I’m using, even though
I’ve worked with them before.

Better safe than sorry!
Amery


#16
No offense, but I think you'll lose a large % of your sales this
way. Customers don't want to work that hard to buy something. Most
don't want to wait to have it shipped, either. Immediate
gratification, baby! 

Yeah your right! The majority of gift sales are induced by the
instant access of funds available on credit cards. Immediate
Gratification is right, boy have I experienced that a few times!


#17
Has anyone mentioned ProPay on this thread? 

Oh God no not ProPay, I had an account with them and it got totally
fouled up with only two charges. They continued to email me and state
they where going to bill me as much as 6 months after the account was
settled and closed. I can’t even type the words here I would use to
describe their service.

Thank You from
gWebber - Feverdreams.com


#18

Hi

Customers don't want to work that hard to buy something. Most
don't want to wait to have it shipped, either. Immediate
gratification, baby! 

I’m probably a difficult customer, but here are some of the reasons
I may be inclined to pass on a purchase:

  1. It’s hard for me to pay (ex. I can’t use my credit card and the
    item costs more than 100 dollars)

  2. The exhibitor doesn’t acknowledge my existence or talks on
    his/her cell phone while I am in their booth

  3. There is a gathering of friends or associates of the exhibitor
    gathered and it’s hard for me to get in the booth

  4. The exhibitor is not there

  5. There is something I want, but it doesn’t fit and the exhibitor
    has only brought one size

  6. I look from a bit away and there is nothing in the booth to draw
    me in

  7. I look from a bit away and there is “too much”. This is hard to
    explain, but when i see about 1000 of what looks to be the same kind
    of thing, it kinda scares me off. I go for unique things.

The credit card issue is probably less important than some of the
others. If the artist can be flexible and work with me on shipping
and what not, I will probably still buy, even if I have to find an
ATM to do it.

The cell phone thing is huge for me though…I hate those things

Best Regards
Kim Starbard


#19

Hi Tina here,

I’m really interested to know how this might work in Ireland, is
there any service available that resembles Propay??

I’m hoping to do the National Craft Show in Dublin in December and I
really don’t know what I’m going to do if a customer does not want to
use any other method of payment.

Any Irish Orchidonians out there in the know??? I would really
appreciate you input and advice.

"Thanks"
xx Tina in Cork


#20
When you're at a show and someone purchases, do you simply ask
them for their zip code and write it down, do you take their entire
mailing address, etc.? And have people been at all reluctant to
give you their mailing info? 

All you need is their zip code. Since I don’t ask for their mailing
address, unless I need to mail something to them, there hasn’t been
any problem with that.

I think ProPay is the way to go. When I see what banks require of
you, it gives me the shivers. Why would anyone use a bank for a
merchant account, when ProPay is available?

Also, I guess Pay Pal now processes credit cards without the person
needing an account now (I mean the customer). I haven’t used that
service, but I imagine it would work well also.

Laura