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.
I knew then that I had to start selling my art if I wanted to continue making it.
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.
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.
HOW I USE SQUARE
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 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.
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.
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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.