While I have made many changes to the display aspect of my art fair booth since my first show in 2012, one thing that hasn't changed is my acceptance of credit cards for payment for the purchase of my prints.
Given my current pricing schedule, it actually is more important now than it was three years ago when I started doing art fairs.
Why Not Accept Credit Cards?
Some artists do not accept credit cards for their own reasons. Others do, though promote payment by check or cash. Credit card transaction fees are part of their concern.
On this topic, I’m just the opposite. I’d much rather receive the credit cards than cash payment. I view the transaction fees the same as I do the cost for mats, paper or ink. These costs are all calculated into the final price.
Why I Accept Credit Cards
When someone pays by cash, I must have change available, or be ready to discount if I don’t. This necessitates a pocket full of singles and fives.
Though not often, some people prefer to pay by check. I’ll accepted checks. Thus far, I’ve never received a bad check for any transaction at an art fair. I know, never say never.
With credit cards, I also know the payment is valid immediately. On Monday, I don’t need to make a special trip to the bank to make an after-show deposit, and wait for a check to clear.
With PayPal, the payments are automatically deposited into my PayPal account. Other services provide similar results.
A receipt is generated and emailed immediately to the customer.
Additionally, I also provide a hand-written receipt for all transactions that require shipment. A quick paper receipt works great for recording their contact and shipping address information.
If a customer is taking the print with them, then no additional hand-written receipt is necessary. I simply record the image number in my notebook and reference the sale.
Think Like A Customer
When I evaluated how to receive payment, I approached it from a customer’s perspective.
As a customer, I prefer a hassle-free buying experience. Being one who never has more than a couple of dollars in my wallet at any time, my payment option is almost always a credit card.
Imagine standing in line to make your purchase, and as the clerk sees your card in your hand, mentions: “We don’t take credit cards”, or “If you need cash to make this purchase, there is an ATM across the street”
Putting up a road block for payment is a great way to loose the sale, especially at an art fair. Because I accept credit cards, I’ve actually made many sales that would not have occurred had I operated on a cash-only basis.
Know How To Use It!
Regardless of the method of accepting credit cards, become very familiar with process and the software application. I can attest that being alone in a busy booth, something will suddenly appear you’ve never seen before. It’s happened. The card reader just worked, and suddenly it quit. What to do?
Taking the time to learn the full applications, an alternative solution will quickly fall into place.
Having the customer satisfied with their purchase is the goal. Accepting credit cards - for me - plays directly into that goal..