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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Default Accepting credit card payments

    We really need to start taking credit cards and am amazed (and overwhelmed) at all the options out there. I have talked to several merchant account providers -- the fees are all over the place. One of the better ones I think is through Sam's Club with First Data. Anyone have experience with them?

    There seems to be 3 main choices:

    1--Standard phone line swiper
    2--Wireless swiper
    3--PC based processing

    1 is traditional, but most farm markets and craft shows don't have phone lines available. Numbers could be stored and processed later (at your risk because the customer already has the merchandise)

    2 doesn't require a phone line but is a bit more expensive. But some craft shows are in arenas where there are no signals whatsoever and your stuck with the delayed processing risk

    3 seems to be the wave of the future with things like Paypal Virtual Terminal or ProPay. Can be done with wireless internet access. Not sure how customers would feel about seeing their CC numbers go into a PC vs. a swiper.

    I've talked to a couple long time craft show veterans who use the old knuckle buster (manual card imprinter) with carbons at the show then put it through their terminal or PC for processing later. They claim that declines are almost never a problem. When they do occasionally happen, they call the customer and they give them another card that works.

    Any advice here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default

    Declines are rare at events like that but many folks are going with option 3 using wireless cards or wireless wans. In some cases, you can get a "wedge" that attaches to the PC that will convert the swipe directly into your pc based payment program. First Data might be of some help in that respect. I don't think that many customers will object to having their credit card data keyed directly into a PC. Those that do, you can simply handle it manually and, in fact, are as likely as not to just pay you cash to begin with.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    but many folks are going with option 3 using wireless cards or wireless wans. I don't think that many customers will object to having their credit card data keyed directly into a PC. Those that do, you can simply handle it manually and, in fact, are as likely as not to just pay you cash to begin with.
    you really have to be careful with using wireless cards and storing the data on your pc. Bj's was using the wireless cards inside of there stores and people were outside intercepting the cards#'s and information.(you would think someone that large would have used encription) I would also have a problem with my data being stored on someones pc. I'm on my third visa card in the last year do to the information being stolen from bj's or other credit processing system's and I don't use my card that much, haven't lost any money over it but it does get to be a problem, went to dadant with my brand new visa card(had beed activated) and it didn't work.


    mike cash is king

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    The knuckle buster ones seem to make al ot of since. Especially when doing craft fasirs because al ot of times, there is no wireless or land lines.

    You are taking the same risk as would would if you took a check. Make sure that you have their address and phone number. We have to make sure we get all that stuff on the check so I would assume it is equally important to do so when you are dealing with credit cards.

    I have found that paypal works best for us. Yes, some people only pay with plastic but people know how to use an ATM.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    McLennan,Tx,USA
    Posts
    82

    Default

    If you have access to the internet and a laptop where you are paypal is the absolute easiest and most secure way to do it.

    If not there are apps for cell phones that cut the cost of buying expensive machines, like this one for the iphone -- http://www.processaway.com they charge you a little more per transaction but are very convenient.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brewster, NY USA
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I use http://merchantanywhere.com/. I have an old PDA that I plug their printer/reader into and it goes over the cell phone system. If I'm at home and I don't have my PDA/printer ready I do it over the computer. It's really easy. And they have probably close to the best rates around too.
    Whatever you believe you can or cannot do, you're right. - RusticElementBees.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Default

    Thanks for the info. I will check out the suggested providers.

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    cash is king
    I totally agree but an undeniable business truth is that people buy more with plastic and don't like to carry as much cash (or checks for that matter). I don't know how many times people come to our booth and say they've spent all their cash at another booth, could we take a credit card.

    Actually l've gotten to where I really like using my American Express rewards card for everything I can -- everything from gas and groceries to the cable bill -- I keep it paid off and get some serious money back every year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default

    I totally agree but an undeniable business truth is that people buy more with plastic and don't like to carry as much cash (or checks for that matter). I don't know how many times people come to our booth and say they've spent all their cash at another booth, could we take a credit card.
    Things have changed dramatically in the past six months. MANY consumers are going back to cash, rather than using plastic.

    If they can't afford to pay cash, they can't afford it period. Normally there is an ATM local.

    If you sell at several shows, be sure to tell people the nextshow you will be at so they can be sure to get honey there. Or give a business card and contact info.

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