Accepting Credit Cards as a Craftsperson

A couple of years ago I vowed to try not to use my credit card for any local businesses after I found out from my local food co-op how much credit card fees can add up.  At our annual meeting they asked us to think twice about using our credit card.  That year they had spent $65,000 in credit card fees!   Whew!

As a potter I started to accept credit cards three years ago, knowing (I thought) full well about all the fees.  I must admit… people do buy more when they have that little card with them. So the reality is that I have made more sales since accepting credit cards.  But those darn fees… I just remind myself, ” it’s a write off on my taxes.” 

This past week I started doing some research on the credit card app for the iPhone.  I wanted to compare my current fees with what they would be with an iPhone app.  It was then that I learned that not all transaction fees are equal. Did you ever think about when you earn bonus rewards, or flyer miles, etc. where that extra bonus money comes from?  Each time you purchase an item from a merchant, the merchant pays a little extra in transaction fees.  So in essence each time you buy a pot from me and earn your rewards points I pay 3.61% per transaction fee rather than the 1.92% standard fee for the non rewards card.  Whew… that really made me think about the whole credit card industry!  We all just so blindly use these convenient little cards without asking any questions.   Like Forest Gump said, “well… that’s all I have to say about that!”

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7 thoughts on “Accepting Credit Cards as a Craftsperson

  1. Yes, I try not to think about the nearly 4% of each sale we can loose to credit card fees. I let my customers know I prefer checks/cash over credit cards – but it is so easy to just carry those little cards…and I must admit that I like “earning” my sky miles. I am glad to know though – that I should try and earn sky miles from gas stations and super markets – and not small businesses. Thanks Lucy.

  2. I signed up for square. They had some troubles getting started due to high demand and the slow availability of new units, but it has arrived and I am thrilled. I was using Paypal Virtual Terminal before. which was $30 a month just to have available, but I could turn it off during slow months. Square is Free for the swiper unit and the charge is $0.15 + 2.75% fee for each transaction, nothing else.

    If you want to check it out the website is squareup.com

  3. I haven’t actually used it since I got it. My next opportunity will be in a few weeks. Reading through the forums, I see that the biggest problem has been the wait for the unit. I’ve got that now, everything is set up, I just need some sales to try it out. I am most excited about the emailing receipts. When you travel for sales people often question a charge from PA when they live in NY, forgetting about the fair and the pottery they bought from a traveling merchant :)

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