Art Fair Insiders

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

We would appreciate your suggestions on buying a tablet for taking credit cards with a new square chip reader

~Also we want to go pre-paid with no contract. your suggestions will be appreciated! Thanks so much. Kathleen Smith & Steven Hedstrom

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Comment by Mckenna Hallett on November 7, 2016 at 2:03pm

TWO ideas
1. Square will let you take transactions without internet connections and will automatically process them the moment you are connected. So you could get an ipad without a paid mobile connection.
2. Use your Phone as the "wifi" connection for the tablet. A Hotspot connection. I think that requires the same company? Iphone to ipad or Android to Android? But that way a phone call has no impact. You can turn off the hot spot in between sales.

We all need the fewest expenses possible, that having a wifi only tablet has worked fine for me using all of the above methods.

Comment by Larry Berman on November 7, 2016 at 12:26pm

Robert or anyone else. What if you put your iphone in airplane mode when making transactions?

Larry Berman

Comment by Marianne Shepardson on November 7, 2016 at 10:44am

I love my I-pad, customers like the big screen too. And then they are really impressed when I offer them a stylus to sign with! I use Verizon Pre-paid, so occasionally I can even skip a month, if my schedule is light. Also love it for the larger screen for using maps in the car. The only problem I sometimes have is I-pad overheating, at some of those really hot shows. Have literally had to let it sit on top of a ziplock bag with ice cubes sometimes. My pre-paid Tracfone is backup if I need it.

Comment by Michael Childs on November 7, 2016 at 9:57am

The telephone works well for me: few people call me and, because I sell high end furniture, the sales are few and far between. On the other hand, having an tablet would be a good way to show my work. I thought the difference in price between a tablet with wi-fi and with cell phone was more than $10.

Comment by Bernard Zalon on November 7, 2016 at 9:51am
I don't have or want a smartphone so a few years ago I got an iPad specifically so I could use Square. I use the small chip reader plugged in and it works great.
Comment by Cathy Vaughn on November 7, 2016 at 9:45am
Do NOT get an iPad mini. The sound port on mine fails frequently. Fine for Bluetooth chip reader, swipe is unreliable. I use my phone as backup, and agree that phone call interruption is a drag during a transaction.
Comment by Lisa Riley on November 7, 2016 at 9:43am

I've had a few shows where I could not get a signal on my phone but there was wifi available.  With a phone and no signal, even if there is wifi, you're still out of luck (at least in my experience).  I've considered buying a tablet for the same reason.  Hubby loves to use his at home with our wifi.  It is not part of any phone plan or internet plan, it just is and he uses it during down times at work too accessing their wifi.  A table is one of the things on my list for next year for show equipment.  I plan on purchasing something other than an "I" product only because of the price, most likely either from Amazon or Best Buy.

Comment by Larry Schneider on November 6, 2016 at 9:04pm

I use both.  The tablet is handy as a backup to the cell phone.  Guaranteed sooner or later your cell phone will not be charged if your like me.    I take pictures of items sold with my I pad so that I can mark them as sold on my website. Otherwise sooner or later you will get home and see someone ordered what you already sold at the show.   Keep the I phone  connected to the square.  I like the bigger I pad for taking pictures of my initial set up.  If I suspect later that something was stolen I can immediately check. If any grandkids show up give them the I pad to play "my Tom" games.  The I pad is better if you get a little bit of arthritis in your fingers on a cold day.  If you cant use the telephone with the square inserted you can call on FaceTime with the I pad.  Lots of advantages of having both and no negetives.

Comment by Robert Wallis on November 6, 2016 at 12:29pm

Barry, I went to a tablet after several incidents where someone was calling me on my phone at the same time I was running a transaction. The phone call has a higher priority on the cell phone functions so the transaction was knocked off line. A couple of people had called repeatedly when I didn't answer and kept knocking out the transaction. It was embarrassing so I decided it was easier to just avoid using the phone. 

Comment by Barry Bernstein on November 6, 2016 at 8:44am

I don't understand why anyone would use anything but their smart phone for credit card sales. You already have a device that fits in your hand and you've already paid for the network. No need to pay for extra lines or another device.

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