Monday, July 15, 2013

Accepting card payments at Markets

Loss of Sales

One common theme I've had at markets is the fact that many potential buyers did not have enough cash on them to make impulse beanie purchase.  Time after time I've been asked "do you take credit cards" and I've had to say "No". This has costed me many sales.  I've tried to keep these customers by handing out discount vouchers to entice them to purchase through my online and offering free postage but it only saw 1-2 people purchase after the market.

Having a credit card facility would of been perfect in these situations!

Accepting Card payments at Markets

I spoke with Christina Coleman from Billymac Clothing about accepting credit cards at the markets she attends.  Christina noted that she has a clearly visible sign that states that she accepts credit cards.  She also mentioned that "people will spend more with you if they know you accept cards and will save their cash for stalls without card facilities".  

Wireless EFTPOS machines

Regular market goers tend to use the traditional EFTPOS machine from their bank.  There are many benefits to using these machines including customer convenience, value-added extras from the bank to the vendor, trusted machinery etc

Jen Campbell from Multiplied Magazine uses a traditional EFTPOS machine from Suncorp. She suggest that you shop around and don't be too shy to bargain.  "I was able to bargain my credit and debit card fees (% of sale per swipe), the monthly fee, and even negotiated the first 12 months free of the monthly charge!"

Personally I've avoided getting an EFTPOS machine as I only do 2-3 markets a year and I couldn't justify the monthly fee plus it never occurred to me to bargain with my bank!

Smartphone Credit Card Readers

PayPal Here

Last year Kasia from Ink.Paper.Cloth spoke about PayPal Here.  Since then I've heard some pros and cons about this service.  To be honest back in August 2012 when we first spoke about PayPal Here I didn't apply due to reports from some handmade sellers about the lengthy application process and reports of sellers having issues with the swiper. From what I can tell PayPal stopped issuing their swiper in December 2012 and they have recently released in the UK a swiper that looks more like an eftops machine.

When I asked about Paypal Here on the CHA's facebook page last week most sellers had praise for this product.  Jacquie South from On a Whim Designs has been using her PayPal Here swiper for some time now and she loves it.

Jacquie did mention that she has only had one issue with PayPal Here and that was to do with a customer who opened up a dispute regarding a payment they made at a market. The customer said their credit card was used without their authorization. According to Jacquie she had done everything right, including checking their signature and inserting all the details of the purchase.  The customer chose not to have a receipt sent to them via email or phone, which meant that she was unable to offer that receipt as proof of purchase.

Jacquie further explained that "I had the disputed amount of money taken out of my account, plus a $15 fee, as the customer is always protected. I'm glad to say that PayPal took it up with their bank and I was finally reimbursed with the $60 the customer had disputed but not the $15 fee! I now make sure that EVERYONE enters a phone or email details so they are sent a receipt"

Paymate OnTheGo

Last week I was reading a post within the sellers group on Facebook about accepting credit cards at markets.  Some of the members mentioned using Paymate and being very happy with this service.  I hadn't heard of Paymate before so I decided to take a look.

After reading the recommendations and doing my own research I decided to join up.  It was an easy and fast process - after completing the necessary paperwork I was approved and I received my Paymate OnTheGo Encrypted Swiper within a week.  The iPhone app was easy to download and so far I'm impressed.

Holly from Puppy Dogs Tails also has a Paymate Swiper.  Her main issue with the product is that event though you can activate signature capture and have the customer sign it with a stylus it doesn't actually save it anywhere as proof of purchase.  I suppose that is where the customer details and receipt generation come into it.

Like PayPal Here there are some fees associated with this service and I suggest that you shop around to find the right service for you.  I'm okay with paying transaction fees as am able to capture those impulse beanie buyers who have eluded me at past markets.

What device/App do you use?  

Leave a comment below so others can benefit from your experience.

About the Contributor: 
Christine is a Wife and a Mum of 3.  She is the owner of C Percy Designs.  Chrisitne's next market will be the Dreamers Markets on 20th July at Parramatta Riverside Theatre.  She is also the the Editor of The Contemporary Handmade Alliance and the Handmade Cooperative - Australian Handmade 4 Kids.  she is also is a little obsessed with all things crochet. 
To find out more about Christine go to her blog or follow her on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks this is great information. I have been trying to get the Paypal swiper for a while but it doesn't appear to be available. This seems to be a fantastic alternative.


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