How to Accept Credit Cards at Vendor Fairs and Flea Markets

If you regularly open booths at vendor fairs and flea markets, you may not have considered the idea of setting up a way to accept credit cards from customers.  Many people will spend more money when they can swipe a card rather than get cash out of their pockets.  If you make it possible for customers to pay using credit card at flea markets and vendor fairs, you are likely to experience an increase in sales than when you attend the same events on a cash-only basis.

(Update:) The following products are now available.

Small Businesses Have Concerns

If you are a new business or don’t have a huge budget for expanding your business at this time, you might be concerned about the price of equipment that would allow you to swipe a credit card at your booth or other nundinal location.  Luckily, there are several ways for you to accept credit cards without having to purchase special equipment, and sometimes, there isn’t even a need to open an official merchant account with the bank to make it happen, either.

Methods of Accepting Credit Cards at Flea Markets and Vendor Fairs

1. Telephone Credit Card Processing

One of the easier ways for a small business to begin accepting credit cards while on-site at a vendor fair or flea market is through a phone-in service.  There are some merchant accounts through banks that offer a toll free number to call in with credit card orders. An automated system verifies the credit card details you enter and let you know whether the funds are available to make the purchase.  Phone credit card processing merchant accounts are often offered with lower fees than traditional merchant accounts.

2. Process Credit Cards by Internet

If you have an iphone, ipad, laptop or other mobile device which allows you to connect to the internet while at a vendor fair or flea market, you can use a system which allows you to process credit cards online.  Most of these services offer a form you can fill out including your customers name, address, and credit card details.  The form would be submitted and then instantly  show you whether or not the card is valid or declined.

3. Mobile Devices (see list above!)

Many of today’s modern cell phones allow business owners to accept credit cards on the go using their phones.  Apple’s iphone, ipad and ipod touch products can process credit cards from anywhere using the iSwipe app.  The credit cards are processed through a Paypal account, which makes it extremely easy to set up and get started.

When you make it possible for customers to buy from you with credit cards at vendor fairs and flea markets, you will increase the amount of your average sale.  People spend more when they can buy with credit cards.  Now, when people say they don’t have cash on them but they want to make a purchase, you don’t have to refer them to your website or give them your card and hope they come back to make the purchase when they have the money; you can just offer to accept payment by credit card and get the sale taken care of right then and there.

Posted on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010