Anyone using on-ste card swipers?

wordwizMay 10, 2011

I admit it, the idea came from the Suzie's lemonade stand commercial. But I suspect accepting credit/debit cards would lead to increased sales. There is likely a minimum sale point that I would set ($5-6?) in order to use one, but to me if I can sell a lot more, the costs would be another one of those base charges, such as starting media, seeds, trays, equioment!

Mike

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myfamilysfarm

Our meat people at the market uses one. In earlier years, they used a knuckle-buster, but called in to get the approvals.

Marla

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:44PM
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teauteau(KC5/6)

Two markets in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas use debit machines which also take our state's Vision Card (food stamps). There is one machine for all farmers. The marketmaster gives the farmer the debited/food stamp amount in tokens. At the end of the day, the farmer turns in the tokens and a check is written within 3 days. It may seem a bit cumbersome, but it has increased sales at our innercity markets and also opens the markets up to food stamp recipients, ie. women and children, elderly, disabled, etc. Personally, I am glad for the program and the debit machine has been a blessing.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:54AM
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wordwiz

I talked with a rep from the phone company and the fees seem reasonable, though I still need to find out what the company that processes the transactions will charge, both per transaction and equipment. The phones (Blackberries) are free, unlimited data, 500 minutes/mo. (I use maybe two minutes every six months, Linda maybe 100/mo) for $65.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of info about EBT (Food Stamp payments) on the web - it would great if they could be processed by the same card-reader.

My theory is that the easier I can make it for people to buy, including going to them and taking CCs, will translate into higher sales.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 4:51PM
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trianglejohn

I saw a promo once where you just use your cell phone. You set up an account (I don't remember there being a fee). You dial in to the service when a customer hands you their credit card, the system prompts you to enter in their card info and gives you an approval code. They charged 65 cents per transaction regardless of size. The collected charge was placed in your account. A lot of it was free because they wanted to handle all your business banking (I think). It was a year ago or so when I saw it but it looked do-able and not expensive.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:00PM
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myfamilysfarm

I had checked into it a few years ago, and I found (at that time) it wasn't cost effective unless I was going to have $25,000 sales on credit cards.

The food stamp card can be read on the same machine. I believe you might need to check with the food stamp people.

Marla

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:15PM
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wordwiz

Marla,

I'll post the cost breakdown. I like the idea the food stamp card can be read on the same machine - I can understand needing to set up an account.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:23PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

Mike, see link for information about taking EBT/SNAP

Here is a link that might be useful: Ohio EBT at farmers markets

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 6:04AM
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wordwiz

boulderbelt,

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it appears I have to sell at least three varieties of four different food groups each. I won't have any meat/fish or dairy products.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:48AM
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harvestingfilth(6-6B)

Hi folks,
I'm new to this section of garden web...just joining a local farmer's market starting at the end of June.

Anyhow, I just started using Square to accept cards for my fiber arts business--with that I sell mostly through shops, but for the few craft shows I do a year, thought it would be good. I used it for the first time this weekend and it was amazing. You need an I phone or Android style phone or Ipad. You can take a photo of the item sold, send an email receipt to the customer, etc. You need good cell reception at your market, and a fully charged phone. It was simple to sign up and use. They only require that you make a written receipt out for customers who you do business with this way.

The fees are per transaction (no monthly, no equipment charge) and the card reader is literally an inch square and sticks into the phone jack. I am now waiting for my bank account to be verified, and they say they will deposit once/day.

Amazing! Wish they had this years ago when I did more shows.
--Carrie

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:13PM
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myfamilysfarm

Carrie, can you give us more details? transaction fee? Link for us to check it out.

Marla

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:53PM
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wordwiz

Marla,

Go here.

2.75% per transaction, but it doesn't seem to support Blackberries, only Apple phones.

InTuit seems to offer a similar plan but with slightly lower rates.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:17PM
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myfamilysfarm

I don't have an IPhone, I thought perhaps someone else will need the info. My sales are not enough to even worry about it. Biggest sale so far -- $22. If I didn't have all these plants, I wouldn't have anything but baby radishes that were planted before I found out that I didn't have a market.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:51PM
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