I started writing this post on “Accept Credit Cards and watch your business grow” back in January before Covid19 Pandemic became a real thing.

Once the virus hit and the world shut down, accepting credit cards no longer seemed all that important. All Shows were being canceled. I had just gotten my account set up on Zapplication, uploaded all the required photos and even applied to several shows before the virus hit. I know many of my artsy and crafty friends were doing the same thing.

This was my year to step out of my comfort zone and apply to some bigger shows.

All my shows that I applied for or had already been accepted in have been canceled through October (and its only May and the world is starting to open back up, slowly).

I get why they are canceling and I applaud their decision but I hope that by the holidays, all will be back up and running,  shows will be held and the world will return to somewhat normal.

With that being said, I think it’s still appropriate to write this blog post so that when the shows start up again, we are prepared.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

Back when I was making art using gourds and pine needles I came to the realization that unless I started to sell my work, I, as well as my friends and family, would soon be overrun with gourd art and pine needle weaved bowls.  They might even start avoiding me, like a gardener who grows too much zucchini!!
 
I knew then that I had to start selling my art if I wanted to continue making it.
 
The same holds true for my pottery and any other artistic endeavor I might enjoy. This was a hard decision to make. I am sure many of you understand this. It was time to put myself out there, to sell my art.
 

What if no one liked it.
 

I started out doing small, local community shows. I made sure I had a money bag filled with change and bills ($100), a receipt book, a pen, and a calculator. (Smartphones were not too smart back then).

 

But you know what? People liked my stuff. People bought my stuff. People commissioned me to make something special for them. It was a thrilling realization that I really was an artist.

 
 
Accepting payments in cash and checks served me well for several years as I grew in my skills and my experience. At one show though I had more people ask if I accepted credit cards because they “only brought so much money” to the show. I realized on that day that it was time to up my game and start accepting credit cards.

Square had just hit the scene and at the time they were pretty much the only game in town. Today there are all kinds of options and companies to choose from so chose the one that makes the most sense to you but for me, Square was and still is my #1 choice for accepting Credit Cards.

Not only does it allow me to accept Credit Cards but also manage my cash and check payments. I can attach my Etsy shop during Shows to make managing product easier and at end of the month I have all the information I need to calculate and pay my sales tax obligation.

For me, SQUARE WAS A GAME CHANGER.

It was scary, I must admit. Like all of a sudden, I was a big shot (I am not) or something! But it made a HUGE difference in my sales at shows.  People whipped that card out and BOUGHT!  Square collected their money, took a small amount for themselves, and deposited the rest right into my bank account!!!
I have been using Square now for years and have had wonderful service from them.
(The above links are pretty cool because if you click them and sign up with Square you and I both get Free Processing for the first $1000 in sales for the next 180 days….YEAH)

HOW I USE SQUARE

When I first started using them they did one thing. They allowed me to accept credit cards.
 
Since then they have been adding all kinds of services, some I use and some I don’t.  Their fees are fairly reasonable.  As of this writing, they charge 2.6% plus .10 per transaction. To put that into perspective, Etsy charges 3.5% merchant fee. You can accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
 
 
I have a swiper (Reader for Magstripe) as well as a chip reader which Square sent me when I set up an account. I also have a chip reader which I rarely bother with the chip reader because I always forget to charge it. The swiper plugs into your phone via the headphone jack or Lightning Connector. They will send you a swiper free when you sign up.
 
 
No internet at the show, no problem, Square has you covered.  You can accept credit cards when you are offline. You have to tell the app you are accepting offline payments and you are responsible for declined cards but its a great option. They charge a bit more for that convenience. Learn more about Offline and Card not Present Transactions
 
You can now connect Square to many popular e-commerce platforms. They even have a pretty decent free e-commerce solution through Weebly. At first, their on-line solution sucked big ones but once they took on Weebly it got better and they continue to make it better. Of course, the free version is pretty bare-bones but they do offer a nicer paid version. The Free version is great for when you have a customer already to purchase or you do some social marketing.  Its a great place to send them to complete the purchase.
 

With Square you can also invoices, schedule appointments, connect your Etsy store, log cash and check sales and the list go on.

Personally I use the Invoice service quite a bit for when I sell something on Facebook or Instagram. The cost as of this writing is 2.9% plus .30. Its pretty easy to set up, and use. It will email the customer the invoice but it also gives you a URL to share with the customer and all they have to do is click and pay.   You can also do reoccurring payments which  I have never used but its there. You are notified when payment is made. I use Paypal invoicing more that I use Square invoicing mostly because people seem to prefer Paypal but also because I can create a shipping label through Paypal, which is not currently an offering through Square.  But people are people and there is always the folks that distrust Paypal. For them I use Square and I create shipping labels through PirateShip

 

Are you an Etsy Seller?

One thing that was always a pain in the butt for me as a One of a Kind Potter Seller, is maintaining my Etsy Shop when I was at a show. I only make so much stuff so when I go to a show I bring all my stuff which is also listed on Etsy. I could shut my store off for the duration of the show but that means I have to make sure everything I sell at the show is taken off Etsy before turning the storefront back on.  I could also remove an item from Etsy as I sell it at the show but there is always that one item that you forgot to take off that gets sold on Etsy. (Definitely an “Oh Shit” moment.)

Etsy and Square came together to allow us to connect our Etsy store to our Square interface. Once you connect it (via the Etsy dashboard) all your products are regenerated in Square.  When you sell an item at a show, use Square to accept payment and select the Etsy generated Item on Square. It AUTOMATICALLY takes it out of Etsy.  And it only costs .20 to do this. Etsy does not charge their fees for these sales!!  That makes maintaining your Etsy store VERY EASY during shows.

Make sure you turn this off in Etsy after the show or anything you sell through Square you will be charged .20 by Etsy

You turn it on in Etsy, under  Sales Channel.

You can also create a second “location” in your Square account and used that for gallery store sales and Social Media Sales. One location is for Etsy sales and one location is for not Etsy sales. This helps me when it comes time to pay my taxes and other reporting times.

I hope this helps a little bit and you make the decision to start accepting Credit Cards. Feel free to leave a comment or a question below.

Happy selling.

Nikon D3500


A few years back I decided to up my online game by taking better photos. At the time Nikon offered the D3400. I never regretted that purchase. Its a lower end Nikon but has some great features. One of my favorite features is that the camera connects via Bluetooth to my phone which I have set up to automatically upload to Google Photos so they are easy to download to my PC or adjust on my phone and upload to Etsy.

Analog scale

This is the type of scale I use when weighing out clay. Its perfect for clay weighing, doesnt need batteries and cleans up easily

Phone Arm for Overhead Videos

I bought this so that I could record video while I am making stuff. It works great.  The arm attaches to the table with a thumb screw. The part that holds your phone is spring loaded and almost too strong of a spring. I pinch my fingers a lot but I know the phone won’t fall out into my clay water!!

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© 2018 All Rights Reserved. Dani Montoya ~ Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dani Montoya and Yellow Cottage Studios with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© 2018 All Rights Reserved. Dani Montoya ~ Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dani Montoya and Yellow Cottage Studios with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Yellow Cottage Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as well as other Affiliate Advertising programs. This is a way for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

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