There is a much easier way in today's technological world. It's easy, it's inexpensive, and there are a number of providers out there willing to tailor a package that works with your business. Merchant accounts are set up with merchant account providers – these are third party providers that set up your service with a major credit card company.
They can provide a variety of options for accepting credit cards, including:
– Card swiping machines (good for craft shows that have Internet access)
– Internet Access Accounts (you type the customer number in and it provides you with authorization)
– Remote card swiping machines (wireless units that provide you flexibility for making sales
You can discuss with the merchant account provider what the best package would be for you and your craft show business. But, there are a few things to watch for when dealing with merchant account providers:
Hidden charges – This is not a free service – so do not let anyone tell you they can do everything you want for nothing. Do your research on the company you choose and find out where they are charging you. Some companies ding you for everything from Internet access fees, to handling charges, to EFT charges, etc. You are going to have to pay for the service, but find the service that shows you all of the charges up front.
You are the customer – Many merchant account providers will tell you what service you should get. They are the professionals, but it does not mean that you have to be pushed into that type of account. Figure out what your needs are and then find a merchant account provider that will give that to your craft show business.
Low cost – Compare the difference in charges between the different merchant account providers. After providing essentially the same service for your craft show business, the transaction charges each one has vary greatly.
Not the banks – Traditionally, going through the banks for merchant account service is going to cost you a little more than one of the private providers. Do not be lured in by the security of the banks. Reputable third-party merchant account providers are just as secure and they can provide a better service for a fraction of the cost.
24 hour support – You never really know when your system is going to go down, and you need to find someone to help you get things back on track. A merchant account provider that can give you 24-hour support is the way to go. They can get your system up and running so you limit the loss of sales from malfunctioning equipment in your craft show booth.
Taking credit cards is essential for increasing sales – in my humble opinion. Merchant account providers are your key to getting into accepting credit cards easily and effectively. Do your homework and find the best merchant account provider for your craft show business and it will certainly help you boost the bottom line.