Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I just picked up my Mac from the computer repair facility and while the gal at the register checked me out (read that rang up the cost of the repair) I checked out the swiper device on her phone. Seems there is yet another new player in the POS biz. Payments is supported (in the fine print) by Wells Fargo. Their POS system boasts a low rate of 1.8%+15 cents per transaction. Doing the math shows this to be a far lower rate than either Square or Paypal at 2.75 and 2.7 respectively!
The free APP runs on your iPad iOS 6, iPhone and I think Android. They can also program some handheld devices, unfortunately my Nurit 8000 was not one of them.
I requested the swiper and received it in about 2 days via UPS, plugged it in and, as I already had downloaded the APP, was up and running in no time. For me the interface was fairly intuitive given that I've already had a go with Square and Paypal. The APP provides some ready made templates for a variety of businesses like a salon or photo studio but given that I am neither of these I choose to make up my own categories. Doing so is easy however if your category has a lengthy name it automatically gets truncated. In addition to this there are also some automatic discount tabs at the bottom if you choose to use them. Another nice feature that I haven't seen on any other system is the ability to add personalized messages on the receipt as-well-as an image if you wish. I know Square allows an image to be added but the personalized message on the receipt is a leg up on the others. I put my name, business name and web address on my receipts.
The APP only allows you to enter one tax rate at a time so, as an itinerant artist, you'd have to change the tax rate each time you go to another venue. I guess that isn't such a big deal but I like the Square interface that allows you to make and save many different tax rates so as I travel I can just pick the one I need for the current city location. I called their support number and the friendly service guy verified that fact and said that was a good suggestion for an upgrade to their software (good customer relations!)
I'm only just getting into the ins and outs of it but its worthy of a look given the low rates, direct customer service number and ease of use. The only down side that I've run into so far is the lack of foresight on their part for the itinerant merchant.
They do verify your checking account for automatic deposits but any merchant account does that. They put in two small deposits, you verify the amount in your user account and viola! You're ready to take charge cards. I'm going to do one this evening with my first repeat sale from this weekends show in Castle Rock.
If you go to their website be aware that there are two different business solutions one for restaurants which is a subscription service and one for POS users which is free.

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I signed up to use Breadcrumb earlier in the summer.  Since I only do shows a few times per year, it seemed like a good idea.  Very easy setup - I'll agree with that.  Easy to use, the swiper always read the card on the first try.  Couple of things to watch for, though - these happened to me:

1.  They set a weekly limit on transactions.  Anything over my weekly limit, and I wait 30 days for  funds to transfer.  (I requested that it be increased, as if I had a good show...I could potentially exceed the limit they set in one day.  They had me answer a few questions about my business, and then they removed the limit.

2.  Card-not-present transactions:  Funds are held for 30 days before being transferred  (I can live with that...I have another CC processor that doesn't hold funds.  Higher rate, but it happens infrequently, so not a problem)

3.  They did not tell me that they had a problem setting up a merchant account with Amex, and that I would need to contact Amex myself.  And of course...the first 3 sales I had using the Breadcrumb were all Amex, and of course all declined.  Thank goodness for understanding customers - and their other cards :)

These thing applied in my case.  It's quite possible they will not be the same for you.  Just thought I'd share.  All in all, I'm happy with it!  I had heard a lot of rather negative comments about Square and their (lack of) support.  I will say the support at Breadcrumb is quite nice, and responsive.


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