Making my list of things I have yet to do for my first art festival (9/27/09) and realized i haven't figured out the credit card thing yet. This is really alien to me at this point, never worked with them before, so if anyone has suggestions on what I can do and how I do it, I would gratefully appreciate it. Just lost site of this detail and it fell through the cracks. Now I don't know if i have time to do anything. PS - I only have this festival planned as a starting point, but hope to do more next summer/fall.

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  • Taking credit cards is a must. At some shows, all you get are credit cards.

    Here are a couple of suggestions:

    1) I prefer getting a remote machine that runs on wireless technology. I used to use a knucklebuster. However, all it takes is being saved once from a scammer or bad credit card and you've paid for the machine.

    2) Definitely buy the machine. Those deals on E-bay and the internet where they give you the machine ultimately costs more with higher interest rates and monthly fees.

    3) Negotiate for a better deal no matter what you are offered. You'd be surprised at how much you can save and how good a deal you can get if they know you are deciding between services. In my latest deal, I got all surcharges waved, an extemely low interest rate, no hidden fees, and only a .25% over my regular rate for Reward Cards. And, I can cancel at any time without a cancellation fee. They are eager for your business and the competition is fierce.
  • Great question! We just did our first show and have another this weekend and then are probably dark until a show in December. We've opted to not get a machine until our December show as it is in a higher end location and has less accessibility to an ATM machine.

    The machine we are looking into is provided by First Data - does anyone here have any history with them? They were recommended to us by our Credit Union. They will wave a portion of the monthly fee due to our CU relationship but there is an annual fee and still a portion of the monthly. We can lease or buy - but are anticipating leasing for now. They can transfer the lease should we need out at anytime, but they did not mention a suspension of the account for "dark months" with no activity.

    Thanks for the info - happy fairing to all!

  • If you dont plan on doing too many festivals, talk to your bank about options for occasional credit card acceptance (rather then fulltime year round).

    2. Paypal

    3. Iphone app (if you have this phone)

    I am sure there are others.

    In addition, look into the legal ramifications of the knucklebusters. I was in a state where a lawyer (buyer) told me that because the customer's receipt also had his card's full card number and expiration date on it, that if he ever lost the receipt or had it stolen and the card # was used that I could be sued. I had never heard about this before or since, but it makes some sort of sense. (otherwise, black out the customers card number (except last four digits) and exp. date.)

    I have wireless with a Nurit machine but the monthly fee is most cost effective for those doing many, many shows. It could be something you work up to once you know how many shows you want to do a year.
    • i went around to my banks today and none could help me out with this particular situation, but we got some options for after this weekends shows to consider. thanks for the suggestion
  • One recommendation I always pass along is to check with your local bank first. Banks advertised rates are usually higher than 1st National, but they are not always set in stone. If you are an established customer with a local bank, they may waive some of those fees. At least that's what happenned to me with BB and T.

    Hope that helps, and good luck,
    • thanks for the tips. i'll check out TeaMac, Inc. too. loads of great advice coming from everyone. thanks so much.
    • thanks dave - i'll check into it tomorrow over lunch. great tip!
  • I use 1st National Processing. They cater to artists and small businesses of that sort. They often lend you a machine to try it out and if you like it - you can either rent it or buy it. If not, you just send it back - no harm, no foul and they will try and pair you with one that will work. I have used a Nurit 3010 for a long time now and, knock on wood, never had a bad card go through or problems with my machine. If I have a show where there is no electric, I simply turn the machine on when I need to (it runs on battery as well) and off when I am done processing the transaction and only once I came close to running my battery out. I also like their 24 hour customer service line - you talk to real people and they know what they are doing!!!

    I have to say this though, Sandy. IF you are only doing one show and who knows what happens down the line, is it really wise to get a credit card machine for 1 show?? So many events provide atms now or conveniently close to a bank where they can use an atm. Of course if your art is of a higher price point you might have no other choice than to accept cc's.

    Good luck with your first show!
    • Thanks Michelle. I'll take a look at 1st National Processing. I'm all for the low-maintenance route right now, but know my own spending habits - i never carry cash and I am too lazy to walk away and go and get it and come back. Hate to loose a sale just because I neglected to take care of this. My work has three price points to see where my market is at, or just to give a variety at each show. So the higher end work is what I am afraid I'll loose sales on because of that little inconvenience.

      Thanks to everyone for chiming in. I'm taking my lunch hour today to get the credit card issue resolved. Then moving on to the next thing on my list to do. I love lists. Without them, I would just wander aimlessly with no purpose or order to them.

    • Whew! I didn't know all that. I only asked for all of the information because it was part of the fraud detection stuff I found on! I have no use for some of it, it was just recommended to me for protection against charge backs... I also had some customers who asked me to call them directly when I finished creating new pieces in which they might be interested! I will definitely research the local laws.

      Michelle, I only had 3 customers the whole weekend who used cash to buy something- and I was located 15 feet from an ATM. The painter next to me didn't even have a cash box!

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