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best credit card account for newbie doing very occasional shows

I'm doing just a few events a year (hopefuly more, though), including simple tabletop displays, and am reluctant to go for a full credit card processing plan with monthly fees, etc. that I wouldn't use to the fullest. Is there anything for folks like us? I definitely want to take cards if I can.

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Propay.com
that's what I plan to look into-sounds like teh best option for more sporatic c card payments...
Just why do you want to take plastic in the first place? Are your prices over $50 on average? Do you plan to do shows with large attendance or small church and school shows?

What type of equipment are you going to use? A knucklebuster or a terminal? There are new cards coming onto the scene that don't have raised information so a knucklebuster is going to be useless with them. The card companies have been wanting to eliminate the knucklebusters for a number of years and now they're starting the process.

Also you must make yourself aware that you also cannot record the phone number of the customer anymore. Many states have also passed legislation forbidding it. Those pesky privacy laws, you know. So unless you get that card authorized at the time of the sale, and the card is bad, you just gave away your merchandise. And even if they do give you a number, if the card ain't good, either is the phone number. Personally, I haven't given out my real phone number in over 15 years. And nobody is the wiser.

So at least be prepared to call in the card. Put the 800 number on speed dial on your cell phone and take the 15 seconds to authorize the card. It's for your own protection.

Chris in VT
My suggestion, that I've made to several people, is talk with your primary bank first. Really talk to them, not just look at their published rates. My bank waived most of the setup fee and the monthly fee, when I told them I was looking at one of the online places. They are selling a service, and the published rate is sometimes negotiable. It helps if you have had a long relationship with the same bank, especially if they "own" your house and car:-)
You can put a card on seasonal hold. But I am curious to know whether this group feels it is absolutely ncessary to take cards. Feels like a rip off for us. I suppose one can give a discount for cash or checks but there is still the monthly fee. What do folks think?
What really decided me on taking cards was losing a couple good sales at a show because they only had "plastic". More and more people are using credit cards in place of checks now (I'm one of them!). I don't pay any monthly minimum, but even if I did, the lost sales would have paid for a year's worth of fees.

The real decision may be based on what kind of shows you are doing. If you are doing local Arts & Craft shows, then they can't expect everyone to take cards. If it's a bigger show, especially with out of town artists, then cards are more generally accepted.

cate woolner said:
You can put a card on seasonal hold. But I am curious to know whether this group feels it is absolutely ncessary to take cards. Feels like a rip off for us. I suppose one can give a discount for cash or checks but there is still the monthly fee. What do folks think?
If you don't pay a monthly fee, what do they charge for each purchase?
The difference between the transaction charge if I had a monthly fee and without a monthly fee amounted to a few cents. That could add up with a lot of transactions, but it's almost nothing now. As I said earlier, I got a good rate because I've done business with the same bank for many years.

cate woolner said:
If you don't pay a monthly fee, what do they charge for each purchase?
I signed up with First National processing and have been very happy with them...you sign up for a year (about $88 I think) and there is no monthly charge and no monthly minimums required...I got a refurbished machine from them for $36.00 that works great...Just don't sign up for American Express...they charge you $7.95 per month just to have their service...Visa, MC and Discover have been all I need to accept and there is no charge to accept those cards except the percentage they take out of the sale for the service which is around 2%??? I think....Their link is on the right hand side of this page...call and see what you think.
Propay is really easy. www.propay.com. I am going on my 3rd year using them.
Hi, I'm looking into propay. Any problems or tack on fees you didn't know about. It took me 3 hours to read through their small print. I've read some good things from people and some bad online, but have never talked to anyone who has used them for awhile. Any suggestions. I only do a few (10) shows a year and am trying to get into some bigger ones this year. I have had to turn away a few customers in the past because I didn't take cards.

Brandie Butcher-Isley said:
Propay is really easy. www.propay.com. I am going on my 3rd year using them.
There is an anual fee. I pay $60.00 per year, but it depends on the level of business you choose. No hidden fees that I have run into. Although, I think the rates may be a little high per transaction compared to other merchant accounts.
I like that it is user friendly, and that I have had zero problems entering transactions or accessing my money.


Lydia Morrison said:
Hi, I'm looking into propay. Any problems or tack on fees you didn't know about. It took me 3 hours to read through their small print. I've read some good things from people and some bad online, but have never talked to anyone who has used them for awhile. Any suggestions. I only do a few (10) shows a year and am trying to get into some bigger ones this year. I have had to turn away a few customers in the past because I didn't take cards.

Brandie Butcher-Isley said:
Propay is really easy. www.propay.com. I am going on my 3rd year using them.
Do you use your cell phone to call in? Also do they hold any of sales for a period of time. That was one to the complaints I read.
Thanks

Brandie Butcher-Isley said:
There is an anual fee. I pay $60.00 per year, but it depends on the level of business you choose. No hidden fees that I have run into. Although, I think the rates may be a little high per transaction compared to other merchant accounts.
I like that it is user friendly, and that I have had zero problems entering transactions or accessing my money.


Lydia Morrison said:
Hi, I'm looking into propay. Any problems or tack on fees you didn't know about. It took me 3 hours to read through their small print. I've read some good things from people and some bad online, but have never talked to anyone who has used them for awhile. Any suggestions. I only do a few (10) shows a year and am trying to get into some bigger ones this year. I have had to turn away a few customers in the past because I didn't take cards.

Brandie Butcher-Isley said:
Propay is really easy. www.propay.com. I am going on my 3rd year using them.

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