Art Fair Insiders

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

I realize that a lot of you are in the queue to receive the new Square EMV enabled reader. There are actually two options; 1) For $49 you get the EMV enabled contactless + chip reader version, can be used with ApplePay, 2) For $29 just the EMV chip card reader and swipy version. You must read all the way down on the Square site to see the less expensive version. But I digress...

The update, got my first $29 version used it extensively at Rio Grande, worked fine (as long as I remembered to charge it each day). Brought it to Tempe for the fall show and, for some stupid reason, during the show I squeezed it at one point and then found it wasn't working anymore, was that coincidental? By the way, the unit was taking a long time to charge, and not holding a charge for very long, prior to my squeezing incident so I suspect there was something going afoul with it anyway. My iPad informed me that the unit was defective. Hmmm,

Good news, when it doesn't work they send you immediately to the warranty/replacement link where you can have it replaced for free***Beware***you MUST send the old one back within 14 days of receiving the new one or you WILL BE CHARGED for the replacement, so don't dwaddle!

Got the new one today, plugged it in out of the package and it wasn't working...called Square support and the helpful lad on the other end of the phone informed me that indeed these new readers are quite sensitive and are made to break, can't remember his explanation but had to do with some agreement or other. He couldn't understand why it wasn't working just from shipment and handling as they are not THAT sensitive.

Moral of the story, when you get yours treat it kindly!

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Comment by Greg Little on January 22, 2016 at 8:53pm


That might be a question you could ask Square. I'm thinking it can only be picked up by the device it is paired with. I emailed square and asked if I could also pair it with my Samsung telephone so either me or my wife could process a transaction simultaneously. Their answer was no and it had to be unconnected with one in order to be used with the other.

I would imagine that in theory this is currently correct until the hacker people figure out how to do it.

The vast majority of shows I do not have no parking available within a 30 ft range as you mentioned

Comment by Larry Schneider on January 22, 2016 at 6:04pm

Greg.  I also have never had anyone ask to use the cell phone payment.  I do see it more and more at the food market checkout. Some women are not carrying a purse full of credit cards and discount coupons. I would feel bad to loose a nice sale to one of these.

MY concern about the remote is can anyone sitting in a vehicle behind my booth pick up the credit card number of a customer by using the right electronic hacker equipment. The reader seems to have a range of about 30 ft.  My booth is only 10 ft. X 10ft.

Comment by Greg Little on January 22, 2016 at 11:56am

I have one and it seems to work fine...but that is just doing the same...a $1 test at home.

I was easily able to read the serial # off the box it came in...much easier than the microscopic print on the reader. I will still keep my other $29 chip reader on hand as a backup as well as the old style readers...I would not want to have a non working card reader at a show and miss out on that million dollars of sales...

I have yet to have the first person ask if I accept that cell phone payment method that the bluetooth reader is capable of doing. I guess if someone ever does i will be prepared.

I ordered the docking station for the bluetooth square reader and should be getting it Tuesday. I like the way it will give a bit more angle to the reader in addition to keep it continually fully charged.

All these new toys...

Comment by Larry Schneider on January 22, 2016 at 10:57am

My experience with the Square wireless chip reader with I-Pad Mini 2.

I finally received two of the $49 versions.  Two were ordered because they are cheap and I like a backup of anything electronic. The $49 version was ordered to have the cell phone pay feature which is preparation for  the future. The wireless unit, plug in swipe unit, and a battery charger were in a well-made nicely packed box.  The wireless readers were fully charged. The swipe readers are slightly larger than the old free ones.


First, get a magnifying glass. You must have the last four numbers of the serial number when setting it up and no human can read the numbers. There are no instructions in the box but an enclosed sheet tells you to go to   Excellent instructions here. You must have ISO greater than 9.0 from Apple but they alert you first and show you how to easily get it.


Set up was very easy using the screen prompts.  Very good tutorial videos are also on the screen for every step. The reader is remote but you can also use the included swipe chip if plugged in.  I put the remote 10 ft away and even in another room and it still worked.  The second remote was added in the same way.  You must be sure you are using the correct remote to match the serial number of the remote selected on the I- pad.

I charged myself $1 as a trial run. It worked perfectly on both units.  I suggest printing a sticker on your label maker of the Model and serial number in bigger readable letters and putting it on the reader. I also put a Sharpie marker line on the lights location as they are totally invisible unless on.  Battery power is shown by pushing an almost invisible button on the side. I circle this also with a sharpie to make it easily visible.


I hope now to go out to my first show of the year and enter thousands of credit cards. The first $1,800 of charges has no fee with the $49 reader deal.

Comment by Lynnea Bennett on January 8, 2016 at 1:18pm

ok.. not at a show but I used the new $49 one yesterday at the salon I do hair in... it paired easily (only problem was operator error) once I actually read the instructions.  Worked perfectly and was much nicer than having to swipe a card 90 times and fidgeting with keeping the square from spinning on my phone.  Oddly enough the company that the salon processes thru also brought in their chip/cc machine to replace the one that was there.  Had a nice chat with the tech guy.  In comparison the wired machine in the salon took slightly longer and it is uncomfortable for use to ask.. would you like to leave a tip and add it before finishing the sale... on my square it automatically allows the client to add a tip either a percent or they can type in an amount.  I have a show next Sunday I'll use it at.  

Square also sent me an email after the first use saying you have free processing for x dollars in the next 3 months (they deducted that first sale).. just checked my deposit and sure enough.. no fees taken out.

Comment by Greg Little on January 5, 2016 at 8:44pm

I just checked and my wireless chip reader is supposedly being delivered Friday. Since i have no shows till the end of March I will most likely not get the offset charges they promoted when I ordered it last summer. It has to be in a 90 day period...Sucks...! Great timing on Square's part

Comment by Lynnea Bennett on January 5, 2016 at 7:48pm

Just charged the contactless one and it paired with a tablet and my phone easily.  I will test it on Thursday

Comment by Andy Kearney on January 5, 2016 at 7:47pm

I see at the top of this page Square are advertising. I wonder if they have read any of these comments. Can someone get them to read these comments or give them to the New York Times to write something on the stock page and then see what happens to Square stock price.

Comment by Andy Kearney on January 5, 2016 at 7:44pm

Yes I too have had problems with the $29 chip card reader. The only way I can make a sale is enter the numbers manually. Not good.

Comment by Ann Campbell on January 5, 2016 at 7:43pm
I ordered 2 of the $29 version. I found they worked well until said it was defective in the middle of my day. Luckly I had the spare (I always have a spare). I went online and requested the replacement of the defective unit. They sent a box with a new reader and directions to return the defective one and the charger - which I Did by return mail. The replacement reader works great. Then a couple months later I saw a charge for the $29 + tax on my account. I called them and a few minutes later they took the charge off. But bottom line the reader seems to be working ok - as I write this! However I really like using Square.

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