Credit Card Machines for Craft Shows

Calling all crafters.
Do you accept credit cards?

We have been using 1st National Processing but it costs $40 + per month and a per-item fee. We are re-evaluating if we should continue to use their service or not. Because of the high cost of processing and the low volume we do, selling my wife’s lovely handmade bead jewelry has become more of a labor of love than anything remotely close to being profitable (the word unsustainable comes to mind for some reason).

That said, I’m sure that many of you have had days at craft shows where you could not make a sale simply because you did not accept credit cards—we had several of those in the past which is why we are accepting credit cards, but how much does one have to pay to be able to get your name out there? My understanding is, if I purchased the card reader, my monthly charge would go down and I would own the reader instead of renting it. I have considered getting a “square” for iPhone because there is only a small percentage charge per item but I have yet to jump into the smart phone arena because I don’t want to pay so much for phone service + international calling + data.

UPDATE: July 2012
I was able to get the price down to $11 a month plus transaction fees by becoming PCI compliant. Then I received a call from a company called Securus which offered even more bells and whistles for about the same pricing, I moved to them but my price has gone up. Not sure what happened, it’s looking like a he-said she-said issue. I’m thinking of changing back to 1st National Processing.

Image graphic of CorseCraft icon art.

Author: mgilvey

Mark Gilvey is husband to Marie Antoinette and takes care of the website, advertising, and helps out at craft shows. He speicaizes in commercial photography, branding, and web design/SEO. As owner of Mark Gilvey Creative, his goal is to help clients find creative visual solutions to improve their public image in print and online. Mark also has a website where his personal fine art photography can be seen.

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2 thoughts on “Credit Card Machines for Craft Shows

  1. My husband and I both have iPhones, but we dropped our Credit Card company for the same reason you are complaining of above. Too expensive! We have signed up with Square. I found it in the app store and my husband has a retail store for Blinds, Drapes and Upholstery. They send you the small reader for free, just for signing up. He tells me it works and the percentage is so nominal, it is a good thing! He just got one for me as he wants me to start selling my crafts! Good luck with your decision.
    Warmly,
    Mary Elizabeth Bloom

    1. Thanks for your great feedback Mary. We’ve been looking into Square. I would get it if I could afford the mobile service plus the iPhone/iPad. Right now I have an old t-mobile phone which costs only about $100, plus I can take it international which is a must have. It’s a tough choice. Going to be out of work soon to.

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