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Taking card payments at fairs - worthwhile?

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  • Taking card payments at fairs - worthwhile?

    I know this has been touched on recently and discussed in detail a while ago, so apologies if people think I'm going over old ground but I was hoping for some up to date information.

    Can people please post their experiences of accepting card payments at fairs, parties etc? Do you think it has boosted sales for you and have the costs been worthwhile? I know it's expensive through the banks, but do spe******t providers like Chip and Pin Solutions provide a better deal? Their website gives no information about pricing unfortunately....

    Has anyone used the service whereby you can use your mobile to accept payments? I have to admit that my first instinct as a customer would probably be to avoid that purely because it isn't something I'm used to.

    Any information/views/advice would be very welcome! Thanks in advance. Handcrafted Sterling Silver Jewellery Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads
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  • #2
    Card payment

    I pleased you've asked this question - I'm looking forward to finding out myself.



    • #3
      I haven't done it myself, and was thinking about this last week, and I came up with a thought.

      If you have a website, and have a 'hidden' page, which you can access, and you can put some items on there, like misc item £3.00 etc to cover all your prices, and then someone wants to pay by card, can you go to that page, make up the order as if they were putting stuff in a shopping cart and then process it through paypal (assuming you have paypal on your site). I mean it's not different from them ordering from your site, and the only fees would be the paypal fees (and of course hoping that you have internet) I have unlimited internet on my phone so they could do it that way, so would this work and or am I thinking stupid ideas?


      • #4
        Hey CeeGee. I'd not heard of the mbile thing - that's interesting! I guess whatever you do, it sort of depends on the cost of your items. As a lot of my stuff is pocket money amounts then there is no point for me but if you are selling more expensive stuff then that makes sense - esp at a Craft Fair. Wheneevr I've been to them as a buyer, I take cash and my isisal cards but never my chq book - I've often rejected buying things thinking 'oh I've not got enough cash' not thinking that the people might have a machine so if you do get a way of paying on card make sure all your customers know about it!

        The traditional hand held thingys (what's the technical term?!?!?!) from the banks I have heard work out very expensive. i can't remember how much but they are a lot of the actual rental of the thing (which you have to pay even when you've not used it) and then there is a comisison fee they charge when you use it.

        Sorry hope thta helps but as I don't have one myself I can't say too much I'm afriad though if you find out about the mobile thing I'd be most interested! Have you spoken to Nattynetty or someone? they do a regular market stall so they may know...

        Diamond Ideas

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        • #5
          Originally posted by craftsensations View Post
          Have you spoken to Nattynetty or someone? they do a regular market stall so they may know...
          Not me, think you mean AuntyNet (I know too many Netties - we're taking over the forum ). Yes would be interesting to hear whether they use a credit card terminal or not and their (sorry lumping you together with your hubby Net) views on the whole thing.

          We have one in our shop (obviously) and we've got quite a good deal through the Fed. of Small Businesses but think we still end up paying somewhere between £35-£45 a month including fees - would imagine a mobile one would cost more as there's a bigger chance it'll get lost or nicked - so probably only worth it if you sell high value items.
          Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


          • #6

            I had a chip and pin thing from Barclay Card, too set up the mechant account and the machine initial costs it was about £300.
            I then paid a monthly fee of £45 for the rental of the machine and about 1-2% on card transactions (£20 minimum fee).

            For the first year (last year) it was great and doubled my sales, this year not so people spend more with cash and don't even ask now if I take cards! This being the case I thought to close my account and return the machine as spending around £60 a month was ridiculous.

            I was very very lucky I was able to get out of my contract as there was a glitch on there system, otherwise I would of had to pay about £750 to them to complete the contract. ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!!!!

            I feel that at the moment people are being very careful with their spending and mostly using cash. I would hold off from investing in a chip and pin thing until the economy picks up.



            • #7
              Paypal do something called virtual terminal, if you have a verified business account you can use this, you enter the details just like phone orders, card no. exp date etc etc and the 3 digit security. Not sure though if customers would be willing to give this info at a fair as if anyone wanted to they would have all the details to use the cards for future use, not talking about the stallholders but if the info was stolen. I think most visitors to craft fairs bring cheque books with them, just in case, they see a larger item.
              I have a friend who does the mobile bit but if the reception is poor this does not work, me thinks back to good old cash! You could always offer to lay away the gift if you are local, take a holding deposit and then say they must collect within say 7 days, or you deliver with COD.


              • #8
                Ooops! Sorry Nattynetty!

                Diamond Ideas



                Diamond Ideas is also on facebook!

                Go on, add some sparkle to your project!


                • #9
                  Thanks for all your replies - seems the general consensus is that there's still no cheap way of doing this! Maybe AuntyNet or Urbtaf will post what they do....
         Handcrafted Sterling Silver Jewellery
         Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads
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                  • #10
                    Hi all,

                    I've been looking into this too - and will probably go for it early next year.

                    Basically, about £32 (inc' vat) a month over a 36 month contract gets you going - with a minimum commision of £5/ month, typical rates are about 1.8% per transaction *.



                    Federation of small businesses also do a good deal I believe, but if you're not a member it's quite expensive to join.
                    Last edited by Works-in-Wood; 23-09-2008, 06:22 PM.


                    • #11
                      We're no experts on this by a long way!!!!!

                      In the past it has always been massively expensive to set up but now its around £150 to set up which isn't bad. Also the percentage that they want off each sale has come down a lot. The only problem now is that once you have opened your merchant bank account, you have to guarantee to put a certain amount of money through each month and that's why we decided not to go with it. If we have a bad month or everyone pays cash, then that's where your problems arise.

                      Over the last few months we have looked at 4 different schemes but none of them suit us because, working the markets, we are primarily a cash business, we can't guarantee to do enough card transactions to cover the costs.

                      The other thing is that there is a cash machine about 200 yards from our stall so its never been a problem.

                      Another reason we decided not to use Visa/Mastercards is that if someone purchased goods from us and then a month later they decided for whatever reason they didn't want them, they can stop the payment and as far as we know, the onus is on us to argue the case for us getting our money.
                      Last edited by auntynet; 23-09-2008, 10:50 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I was asking about this elsewhere yesterday and was pointed in the direction of the Federation of Small Businesses, as people seem to think that you can hire the machines of them on a temp basis. Haven't investigated it much further, as at the moment I have other things to worry about before I can come up with the first year subscription and the registation fee.


                        • #13
                          I think Deltas first post on this subject may be the way to go. If you have a web site and a lap top, you can compleat the sale there and then. Plus you can show a greater range of goods to a punter that you already know is interested in your goods.
                          The only problem is the internet connection, its not nationwide or am I out of date on this
                          This system has got to work out cheaper than a mobile card machine, which are not dear but its the banking system that you have to sign up for thats the killer, usually a 18 month contract!
                          Missed a much needed £30 sale yesterday because she didnt have the cash and didnt have the time to go to the cash machine. She was on a coach trip from Wales so not much chance of her coming back
                          The whole day was £1 or £2 sales, a lot of hard work for little return, but it is the week before pay day for many so it happens.
                          So have we got a computer wiz on here that can explore this?
                          As a footnote to this thread, I was reading the local paper and the once very good Barnsley market, which I last worked 15 years ago and used to pay £18 perday rent on, has anounced that the rent now is £7 per day and there are many empty stalls (it used to take 3 years queing to get on that market)
                          Ive been told that Stockport market is talking a rent free 3 month period As a tip to anyone who is offered a deal like those, dont bother, if the markets were any good the stalls would be full and youd be paying the £30 to £60 a day that is about average


                          • #14
                            The only thing about using the laptop idea is that people have to put a password in to acsses their accounts And I would be wary of putting mine into a strangers machine.
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                            • #15
                              Very good point Gill, I dont think I would be happy doing that either