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Credit/debit card facility at craft fairs - is this necessary - advice please.

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  • Credit/debit card facility at craft fairs - is this necessary - advice please.

    I am doing my first craft fair in 6 weeks time and am worried that I should have a credit card facility for customers to pay. Is this necessary or will cash payments be acceptable?

    Advice please.
    www.austrianspicecraft.co.uk

    http://austrianspice.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    Other people may well have other opinions but to be honest I think if you didn't accept cards you may well lose sales. Yes they may well go home and buy from your website later but as we all know it's easy to talk yourself out of spending the money when the product isn't directly in front of you and you've had time to think about the bills due next month.

    Your items are absolutely beautiful and are probably priced at the higher end for a lot of craft fairs - I wonder how many people would go to a craft fair with that amount of cash in their pockets, and if they did can you be sure they won't have already spent some of it elsewhere before reaching your stall.

    I went to a higher end craft fair last year and only took £50 in cash as I expected the stalls with the more expensive items would accept cards.

    Edited to add: Maybe you could find out if there is a cashpoint near to the venue - if there's one very close by you could always direct the customers to it and offer to have the item wrapped and ready when they return???
    Last edited by nattynetty; 27-02-2011, 04:01 PM.
    Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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    • #3
      I'd love to have a chip & pin machine but can't afford it yet! I think it's only worth it if you are sure your items will bring in enough trade to cover those costs. A friend of mine has one and it costs him about £30 per month whether he uses it or not. But his items are more expensive than mine, so even if he only sells one item at a fair it's worth his while.

      Up to now, I've never had anyone ask me if I accept cards; they always seem happy to pay cash; I do get the occasional cheque (with guarantee card) too. Some of my venues are luckily not too far from an ATM!
      Daesul

      http://www.clairemanwani.com
      http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
      http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

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      • #4
        I think you are right. As my items are priced at the higher end I will probably need to consider a chip and pin facility.

        Thank you for your thoughts.

        Susan
        www.austrianspicecraft.co.uk

        http://austrianspice.wordpress.com/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Austrianspice View Post
          I am doing my first craft fair in 6 weeks time and am worried that I should have a credit card facility for customers to pay. Is this necessary or will cash payments be acceptable?
          Cash payments are perfectly acceptable. A card machine is a "nice to have" item, but can be costly and certainly not essential.
          www.greatbritishcraftbazaar.co.uk

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          • #6
            Chip 'n' PIN

            Originally posted by Austrianspice View Post
            I am doing my first craft fair in 6 weeks time and am worried that I should have a credit card facility for customers to pay. Is this necessary or will cash payments be acceptable?

            Advice please.
            Try this thread I began some time ago....

            http://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showthr...g-credit-cards

            .Grenville Allen.
            -------f i n e a r t i s t-----
            www.grenvilleallen.com
            Twitter~Facebook~Blog

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            • #7
              Have looked at the thread and found it really informative. However it reminded me of a craft fair down the road at Christmas which I visited. I tried to pay by card but the terminal had no connection. I live in an area where I can't even get mobile phone connection so it could be a bit of a problem. Oh dear decisions, decisions.
              www.austrianspicecraft.co.uk

              http://austrianspice.wordpress.com/

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              • #8
                It would be nice to have a chip & pin terminal but as Daesul says, the cost is a little on the high side. At the fairs I attend I am rarely asked if I take card payments but I do take several cheques. I'm a little concerned about the end of the cheque guarantee scheme in June.
                Heather
                Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pretty things View Post
                  I'm a little concerned about the end of the cheque guarantee scheme in June.
                  I didn't know the cheque guarantee scheme ended as early as that. When I asked my Business Account manager about it a couple of months ago, he told me no decision had yet been made and no date had been set.
                  Daesul

                  http://www.clairemanwani.com
                  http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
                  http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daesul View Post
                    I didn't know the cheque guarantee scheme ended as early as that. When I asked my Business Account manager about it a couple of months ago, he told me no decision had yet been made and no date had been set.
                    Yep, it ends on 30 June 2011 - it was actually announced a couple of years ago but I only found out when I got my new debit card last July and rang my bank because it had no hologram thingie on the back, and I thought it was faulty!
                    Heather
                    Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                    Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                    Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                    New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      I've lost sales through not being able to accept credit cards. Most of my items are lower end (under £20 with majority below £10) but people (especially near Christmas) will buy more if they can pay by card. It's not an issue if you're near a cashpoint.

                      I used to take my laptop and accept cards via PayPal on my website but it was embarrassingly long-winded, especially when the mobile connection was slow so I gave up on that idea.

                      I don't do as many fairs now, so I'm not sure if it'd be worth it, but it is something to think about if you do a lot of events.
                      digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
                      blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
                      hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
                      blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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                      • #12
                        I have a machine through Cardsave. As others have said it does cost approx £30 per month whether I use it or not. I wouldn't be without it. I do still take more in cash than through the machine but then I do a lot of fairs and I am certain I would have lost sales without it. Your items are at the higher end, so as others have said customers may not have enough cash on them. I think it depends on how many fairs you are planning on attending.

                        cj
                        www.curiouscatcreative.co.uk
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                        • #13
                          I don't have one, then again I sell cards so unless someone was buying half my stall I don't think I need one yet as a machine would work out far to expensive at the moment.

                          As a customer I only take a small amount of cash with me when I go to fairs as I would expect to be able to pay for more expensive things by card.
                          Michelle

                          http://www.michellescraftycards.blogspot.com

                          http://www.folksy.com/shops/CShellDesigns

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                          • #14
                            If the cheque guarantee is ending then less cheques will be accepted at craft fairs so surely one of the financial institutions has got to address a cheaper form of card acceptance for sole traders, even if it is in the form of higher commission but no monthly fee, this has gone back to the days when you needed a name and address on a cheque in case in bounced but still no guarantees.

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                            • #15
                              I have a chip and pin machine (plus a manual swipe card machine back up in case of connection problems on site) and have covered the cost many, many, many times over!

                              Yes, there is a rental cost involved which you are still paying if you don't use it but that is about the only downside. I didn't get mine straight away - my average product price is around £6 so certainly not at the high end of the market and I wanted to check that the fairs were working before committing to any additional costs which I could not afford in the early days.

                              When I had a large agricultural fair booked, I knew (as I had been a previous visitor) that it would be wise to be able to accept cards and paid for the first two months rental on one day of that show so it was definitely a wise move. Before that time, I know I lost at least one sale from someone who wanted to use a card but other than that, I didn't really have much problem only accepting cash or cheques (although many people don't even carry chequebooks around with them anymore).

                              I would say, do a fair or two first if you really aren't sure about whether you need to accept cards - the rental agreements can be for a long period if you decide it isn't worth the costs. If you are confident that you will cover the month costs (which if you are selling higher-end goods could be done in one or two sales) then it is worth doing in my opinion.

                              I got my facility via the Federation of Small Businesses as it offers discounted deals on your rental, commissions, merchant account and also free business banking (you will need a business account before being able to accept card payments). www.fsb.org.uk if you want to have a look at what they offer to members.
                              Ali x

                              Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
                              Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
                              Follow me on Twitter:
                              @AlisCraftStudio

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