Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Advice From a Full Time Artist: Payment Options When Selling your Products

I was at a Holiday Bazaar earlier this December, I found a man selling handmade Pizza pans and baking sheets, he made them out of steel and aluminum, they were awesome! 
He had a lot of customers,
How cool would it be to have a handmade steel baking pan? I thought it would be, so I looked at all his products, picked out what I wanted to buy and waited in line.....
When it was my turn to pay I pulled out my debit card and he said "Oh! I don't take cards, only cash or check"
Well, there went not owning one of his pans....
For one, I NEVER carry checks, not sure if I know anyone who still does and I rarely have the right amount of cash on me.
So what to do? Nothing... I didn't buy one, they venue didn't even have an ATM. I watched him turn down three more people who wanted to pay with cards. I asked him for a business card and he didn't have any.... I walked away bummed out and with no way to find him in the future...
(read my post on business cards here)

As a seller and wanting to make as much money as I can (I have bills to pay like the rest of us)
I suggest EVERYONE take credit card payments. 
It's so easy now!  
I accept every form of payment except bitcoin (honestly, I still don't quite understand what it is)
My main form of collecting payment is Paypal  they accept all card types, including Apple Pay
I also have it on my website 

I also have Square, and of course accept Cash and Check too.

Square is new for for me, I was selling at a local art festival in July and Paypal crashed, it was the first time it ever happen to me, I called them and their whole system crashed! I had a customer waiting to buy a painting! I panicked and decided to gamble with my sale, gathered her credit card and personal info on a piece of paper and told her I would ring it up later, I let her take the painting... 

But what was I going to do the rest of the day while Paypal was down? 

It was either trust everyone's payments to go through later and let them walk away with my art, or figure something else out, my vendor neighbor said he had an extra Square reader I could use, but I didn't have a Square account, so I hustled and downloaded their app, set up an account and BOOM! I was back in business, it took about 15 minutes and I didn't miss any sales.
All you do is download their app to your smart phone, add your info and your ready to payments from either company, super simple!
Once your done collecting payments you just transfer the money to your bank account. 

Having a back up plan is always good, so now when I'm vending at shows, I carry both Square and Paypal, just in case.They both are about the same in what they charge, about 2-3% of the amount collected, which is really nothing compared to loosing sales!

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