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credit cards-long

updated thu 31 jan 02


Dale Neese on wed 30 jan 02

Not until five or six years ago did I start taking credit cards at =
fairs. I am surprised how much sales increased when I finally did. Last =
fall at a fair, just right after 9-11, I was dreading how slow sales =
might be. Most all of the purchases were to credit cards. More in one =
day ever I think because Saturday was a total wash out with heavy rain. =
People sure were supporting the economy at this fair!
I have a manual machine and print their card. Then with the customer =
still in the booth, I call with the cell phone the toll-free =
authorization number for card purchase amount approval. Takes only a =
minute. While I am doing this I ask the customer if they would like to =
be on my mailing list, gives them something to do while I do the paper =
work. Plus for future shows in the area I will use their address to send =
them a postcard with the dates and booth number, etc.
I have gotten only one bad (stolen) card in all these years and if I =
had called while the customer was still in the booth, the credit card =
company would give me $50 to keep the card. ALWAYS call the card in! The =
purchase was from a nicely dressed friendly lady that I would never have =
suspected as using a stolen credit card. Got away with 6 goblets. =
Learned my lesson.
Add the authorization approved number to the paper receipt. At the hotel =
room or friends house that night I plug in the electronic machine and =
enter in all the numbers for the receipts that day. Bingo! into the bank =
account. Now the processing company will charge you more for a "forced =
sale" rather than swiping the card into the machine directly but it is =
just a few cents more per transaction. When I have electricity I can use =
the machine to capture the swiped card information then transmit the =
batch later and avoid the extra fee charge. Even though I swipe the card =
in the electronic machine I also make a copy with the manual, letting =
the customer sign the receipt for my records. You have to have a paper =
transaction doing it this way so if there is any trouble in the future =
you can provide proof of sale. Happened to me this year.
Getting an "all in one"battery operated point of sale electronic =
machine is on my list but I can do without for now. They are expensive =
plus some cell phone operated machines won't make a good connection for =
the transactions if you are in a small town and so you have to manually =
swipe the card anyway. Companies have a top of the line "radio =
frequency" point of sale credit card machines which are better for =
reception. Top of the line in price too. At the end of the month I =
receive a full statement with charges by brand of card and fees deducted =
from my account for the transactions.
Dale Tex=20