Wendy Hampton on wed 11 aug 99
I have used Visa/MC for about 7 years and have not had a bad transaction. I
run the card through the encoder and after the show I call all the receipts
at one time to get authorization. I know I stand the chance of not getting
the money if the card is bad but so far things have worked out well.
Philip Schroeder on thu 12 aug 99
In a message dated 99-08-11 10:30:20 EDT, you write:
<< 'm interested to know how those of you doing shows/fairs handle credit
card sales with and without electricity, without a phone line. More
specifically, how do you, or do you get authorization?
Looking into cell phones, it's not possible for me to get a decent rate, or
a one rate deal, due to my location. The combination of merchant service
fees and phone rates for long distance and roaming make verifying with a
cell phone out of the question! Do you use manual imprinters and risk the
charge backs... or?
Many of you have solved this problem. I'll appreciate your suggestions and
Not that I have solved the problem; but several years ago I looked into all
this stuff pretty carefully. Mobile equipement/good quality cell phones/
good battery power/all that stuff was pricey 4-5 years ago but may have come
down a bit. I just felt that decreasing my discount rate by 2-3% did not
justify the $2400 that the equipment priced out at then. So...We imprint
manually, risk not getting an authorization when we verify at home after a
fair. Charge backs are a different thing/ guy buys a pot with his
plastic/gets his statement/can't remember what the charge is for/calls
Plasticard to complain; you have a hard copy and his John Henry so these
things work out.
In 5 years, I have never had a truely bad Plastic money card(knock wood);
there were several that I had to work damned hard at to get verification. (
I always ask for a phone number [which I don't think one is supposed to do]
explaining that if i should have trouble authorizing I may need to contact
them. Most folks understand.) Most folks who buy clay are a pretty honest
lot. Jewelers and leatherworkers are most at risk for credit card fraud.
Some creative individuals have devised an inexpensive point of sale system
circumventing the pricey stuff available by getting something called an
"interface" which links cell phone and terminal. Couldn't track this down.
So you save a few percentage points, and are assured verification. I do have
a cell phone and if someone wants to charge an extrordinarily high sale, I
can call in for voice authorization, but I have never bothered even with the
few $400-500 sales i have had.
Of course, even if you get point of sale and a smaller discount , you don't
get around all the service fees/ maintanence fees/terminal fees/ BS fees/ and
hidden costs that your bank makes big bucks on. (The rich get rich, etc.
My discount rate is 3.92% and my sales average about 65-70 which seems to be
a magic number to the bank; ie, rate goes up if sales don't average $60. I
figure that it costs me about 5% when someone hands me plastic/ it is passed
on to the consumer, of course. Don't bother with Discover or Amex, If they
have those, they surely have visa/MC, too.
Plastic is a necessary evil. Some fairs, i have had only plastic/no cash/ no
checks, that's the way the world goes round. There are still a few on the
curcuit that do't take plastic but i fear they lose at least some sales, if
not a lot. I use plastic; why shouldn't my customers.
hope this helps! If you find a really good deal/ please pass it on, I just
hate it that the bank makes sooo much when I am working sooo hard for sooo
little, comparitvely speaking, of course.
Phil Schroeder in Chicago
Jeff & Melanie Boock on fri 13 aug 99
Couldn't you just go to St.Louis and get an AT&T phone with the no
roaming/no long distance plan and use it where you are? I realize
that you wouldn't have a local number, so if people in your town were
trying to call you they'd have to call long distance, but if you were
going to use this on the road for cc verifications, that would be
less of an issue. Up here where I live, the cheapest onerate plan is
89.99 a month for 600 minutes, no long distance, no roaming.
Just a thought.
>I'm interested to know how those of you doing shows/fairs handle credit
>card sales with and without electricity, without a phone line. More
>specifically, how do you, or do you get authorization?
>Looking into cell phones, it's not possible for me to get a decent rate, or
>a one rate deal, due to my location. The combination of merchant service
>fees and phone rates for long distance and roaming make verifying with a
>cell phone out of the question! Do you use manual imprinters and risk the
>charge backs... or?
>Many of you have solved this problem. I'll appreciate your suggestions and
>In the Ozarks where there is no AT&T or Sprint and it's very hot... very
>dry... but still... absolutely GORGEOUS!
The Buchanans on fri 13 aug 99
Did anyone else catch the public radio segment this afternoon about the
small business web server offering free everything. a catalog page , news
letter for your customers and a merchants account with no monthly charges or
minimums. check out www.bigstep.com Judi Buchanan
From: Wendy Hampton
Date: Thursday, August 12, 1999 11:53 AM
Subject: Re: ? Visa/MC at shows
>I have used Visa/MC for about 7 years and have not had a bad transaction.
>run the card through the encoder and after the show I call all the receipts
>at one time to get authorization. I know I stand the chance of not getting
>the money if the card is bad but so far things have worked out well.
Bobbi Bassett on fri 13 aug 99
I think we have been very fortunate. We do the old fashion paper printing on
the monster machine at the show. When I get home I call for authorizations. I
do ask for addresses and although you cannot demand it, no one has ever
said,"no". I remove the carbon (customers copy) and write the address on my
copy only. Knock on wood.......... we have never in 14 years had a bad card.
My cards "average" about $75. per sale and I gamble on my judgment.
Bobbi in PA
Tetsuya Shimano on sat 14 aug 99
my roommate actually sells visa/master card processing machines. and he gets
lots of questions from artists who have shows at art festivals. the thing is
that if u are going to use the machine yearly, it's worth becuase the bank is
gonna charge you the minimum charge every month. (as long as i know, my
roommate's bank charges $10.00 for the statement fee and $20.00 for the
minimum transaction fee. if you don't have any transactions in a month, the
bank charge you $30.00.) plus, every transaction, the bank is gonna take
1.6% of your sale which inculdes the phone line fee. for example, if you
sell $100.00 peice and the customer charges to his/her credit card, the bank
is gonna take $1.60 automatically. that's the visa/master card/discover rate
for electric machine. if you wanna have amax, then, the rate is slightly
higher than other cards. and if you are interested in non-electric, then,
the rate might be higher too. it's about 7.0%. the electric machines are
about $500.00 -$800.00. probably, you need the built-in printer type so,
$850.00. for electric machine, you need a cell. phone too. couple cell.
companies have wide service area such as at&t, and air touch...and reasonable
so u might check it out.
if you have any question, e-mail me.
Tetsuya Shimano on tue 17 aug 99
u can have the address verification feature in the electric processing
machine. that will be the option. my roomamte also says that u don't have
to have a cell. phone at the show technically. the cell. phone is for faq to
the customer service at the bank. if u have a machine, u can do keyed-enter
the card numbers at the hotel u are staying or home after the show. (the rate
will be little bit higher than the swiping enter.) i think still the machine
works for artists!!!