Art Fair Insiders

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Ran across an interesting website.  They basically are a site that allows you to have credit card processors 'bid' for your business.  Interesting concept. 

They also have a blog of some great articles, with information like making sure that you are getting interchange plus pricing rather than arbitrary markups on your transactions.

There is also a useful tool for comparing Square pricing to a more typical processor.  Tool is a bit buried but the link is since the Square seems to be revolutionizing the way credit cards are charged.

Got my Square swiper this week.  If you have an Ipad you can load a photo of your art piece with description and pricing which will flow through to creating the invoice and then the email that goes to the customer.

One other thing I learned is that we all seem to focus on the lowest rate for a fully qualified card yet nearly 80% of transactions today are at the 'mid rate' since they are done with affinity cards.  And that rate is almost always higher than the the lowest rate.



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Gary, Please explain what an affinity card is.
Any card that gives back points, dollars, airplane miles would be considered an affinity card.  I don't have a single card that isn't linked to some type of program thus none of my cards are at the lowest rate.  Someone has to pay for the points and that is you, the merchant with the higher fees.
That's interesting, I didn't know what an 'affinity card' was either. Thanks for the elucidation Gary. My card is not linked to any 'program'. I'm bombarded by card offers-we all are. I didn't know those 'carrots' are paid for in higher fees. Makes total sense.
The fee fighter thing is nice but the best way to get a good rate is to negotiate with the credit card companies.  Here's a tip:  They all want your business and they are all willing to give you a lower rate on all percentages and fees.  This is what all the experienced businesses do.  Only the naive, which most of you are, take the published rate.  Do this before you commit to a certain length of time.  Also, read the fine print on the contract and make sure what you negotiated with the seller is what is on the contract.  I signed up with a company a few years ago and negotiated with the salesperson that I could get out of the contract after 6 months with no penalties.  The contract read that I would pay a penalty if I ended it within 30 months.  I got an email from the seller stating that I could opt out after 6 months. I actually used the machine for 24 months and when I opted out, the provider said I would have to pay a $150 penalty for early termination.  I sent them a copy of the email and I had no problem.

Great been-there, done-that story. Thanks Barry for your insights.



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