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Midland Spinner

Paying for handmade

I found this and thought I'd share.

Small businesses have been getting a bit of a pasting recently.

For instance someone said "don't buy from people who don't take cards." - We don't take cards - we mostly sell in cash at events, there have been 1 or 2 people in the last 18 months who definitely didn't buy because they couldn't pay by card. The rest either paid cash, cheque, or offered a deposit and sent a cheque in the post. We've looked into the costs and have decided that on the basis that most people pay cash, the overheads from having a card machine would cost more than the extra sales. Yes we could charge a surcharge on the cost of the card transaction, but there are monthly overheads to service a card account as well, and they would be what eats up the profit on the sales - so effectively we would be making more stock just to cover the cost of selling it. Every so often we re-visit the idea, but so far it's still coming out in favour of not taking cards, but on the basis of the advice quoted above, we wouldn't sell anything because we don't count as a "proper business".

As it stands, our business is too small to benefit from any of the perks of being a business, but we still have all the overheads of running a business - accountants, paperwork, insurance etc. We don't yet make a living wage (I wish!!), but are living off savings while we grow the business to a stage where we can draw a sensible amount out of it. With the sort of advice given above, the 'help' the the gumment provide (like real time PAYE) and post rises, I sometimes wonder if it's worth battling on to the stage where we do make money.
Rob R

Start taking cards - there are now so many more payment options with no monthly fees, some even have no setup fees. The Worldpay one I use costs 60 one off fee & since I've had it I've got more sales & bigger purchases, even though hardly anyone asked if we took cards before. Before I used to get people saying they didn't have the cash & would come back, they rarely ever did.
Treacodactyl

Why do people want to pay by card? Is it because they don't have the cash or because they want the protection that comes by paying by credit card? (If so, that only applies to purchases over 100 these days).
Midland Spinner

Find me a way to accept cards on a mobile terminal at events (which often have limited phone signal), for an affordable price and I'll consider it.

All the options I've seen need a monthly rental, a good phone signal, and, most critically - for you to take payments (or at least turn the machine on) every week or so (our events are spread out - most in the summer, few in the winter, so it wouldn't be used much in the winter months).

I've looked into it and there's no good option for us that I can find. I'm waiting for them to bring out an app for phones that makes them into a mobile terminal - last time I looked there was something, but it was only for customers of one particular bank.

In the mean time, we have only lost a couple of sales - probably less than 50 in 18 months - the majority of our transactions are less than 20 so the fees would eat into that a lot.

For what we are selling which (like the person in the link) are luxuries, if someone's spent up the cash they brought to spend, they aren't going to put it on a card, they are going to wait until the next time they see us at an event.
earthyvirgo

I don't take cards either Midland Spinner and have found the same as you, at 'Open Studios' people generally come armed with a cheque book, or, as you say, pay a deposit and then send a cheque.

Online, people use Paypal.
I can't recall one lost sale since I've been printmaking full time. I've had the occasional 'Do you take cards' but no grumbles that I don't.

What I would like to be able to offer is the Welsh Arts Council Collectorplan - interest free 12 month scheme but I'm pretty sure that's only for galleries.

EV
Midland Spinner

I don't take cards either Midland Spinner and have found the same as you, at 'Open Studios' people generally come armed with a cheque book, or, as you say, pay a deposit and then send a cheque.

Online, people use Paypal.
I can't recall one lost sale since I've been printmaking full time. I've had the occasional 'Do you take cards' but no grumbles that I don't.

What I would like to be able to offer is the Welsh Arts Council Collectorplan - interest free 12 month scheme but I'm pretty sure that's only for galleries.

EV


Yes, we take payapl too - and have the option of offering people to paypal us from their phone & we'll release the goods as soon as we get the paypal email on ours. It's not perfect, but it's the only solution we can think of which doesn't have the drawbacks I outlined above. A lot of the traders I know who do take cards either spend a whole event running up & down to the battlements trying to get a signal, or have to get the box out & do a Z reading every week between fairs or risk having the machine need a whole re-boot from the supplier at the start of the event because they hadn't realised that they needed to keep using it.
Nick

Why do people want to pay by card? Is it because they don't have the cash or because they want the protection that comes by paying by credit card? (If so, that only applies to purchases over 100 these days).


Because its not the 1970s. It means you can buy without planning and this is a good thing when you make impulse purchases.
Sally Too


Yes, we take payapl too - and have the option of offering people to paypal us from their phone & we'll release the goods as soon as we get the paypal email on ours.

Wow! Good idea! I never would have thought of that!

I tried to buy a basket one time & didn't have the cash. It was a bit of a palava as I went out (3 miles) to local village to the cash machine & then back....
Behemoth

A lot of accounts don't have cheque books any more and I tend not to walk around with more than 20 cash, if that, after the family have robbed me. As Nick says, I'll use the card to buy things I really like on impulse. If I have to walk to the cash point I have time to think that 150 for a print is probably a luxury and the stairs need a carpet. Rob R

Why do people want to pay by card? Is it because they don't have the cash or because they want the protection that comes by paying by credit card? (If so, that only applies to purchases over 100 these days).

Because its not the 1970s. It means you can buy without planning and this is a good thing when you make impulse purchases.

Exactly. To add to EV's not losing payments because you don't take cards - how can you possibly know that? My impulse purchases have shot up since & it costs less than Paypal.
Rob R

Find me a way to accept cards on a mobile terminal at events (which often have limited phone signal), for an affordable price and I'll consider it.

What is affordable to you?
Jamanda

I would not want to carry cash (beyond food and beer money) or a cheque book at a show. If they didn't take cards I woudn't be buying. Treacodactyl

Why do people want to pay by card? Is it because they don't have the cash or because they want the protection that comes by paying by credit card? (If so, that only applies to purchases over 100 these days).

Because its not the 1970s. It means you can buy without planning and this is a good thing when you make impulse purchases.

Exactly. To add to EV's not losing payments because you don't take cards - how can you possibly know that? My impulse purchases have shot up since & it costs less than Paypal.

I think I'm just too considerate. Laughing I'm very much a pay on credit card person, as I find it easier to manage and track compared to cash, but if I go to small traders, shops, markets etc I make sure I take cash.
earthyvirgo

I would not want to carry cash (beyond food and beer money) or a cheque book at a show. If they didn't take cards I woudn't be buying.

Interesting and useful info Jamanda. I guess I would be the same at a trade show.

Would that also apply if you were visiting an individual artist's studio or would it be more acceptable for an artist to be old-fashioned and not know what a credit card was? Smile

EV
earthyvirgo

Why do people want to pay by card? Is it because they don't have the cash or because they want the protection that comes by paying by credit card? (If so, that only applies to purchases over 100 these days).

Because its not the 1970s. It means you can buy without planning and this is a good thing when you make impulse purchases.

Exactly. To add to EV's not losing payments because you don't take cards - how can you possibly know that? My impulse purchases have shot up since & it costs less than Paypal.

I think I'm just too considerate. Laughing I'm very much a pay on credit card person, as I find it easier to manage and track compared to cash, but if I go to small traders, shops, markets etc I make sure I take cash.

On the whole, I think most people are like Treacodactyl.
They'd expect a gallery to take credit cards but not an individual artist.

EV
Nell Merionwen

hmmmm, I suppose I need to stop ignoring threads like this now I have shows booked. Jamanda

As long as I knew in advance, but I would generally expect to pay by card. I know the shops here that don't take them, and am prepared, but that only tends to be small purchases. If there is a cashpoint near by I suppose it helps, but people may not want to stand in the rain and get the cash out. I guess the pay off is making it easy for the customer versus what you have to pay out. Rob R

Would that also apply if you were visiting an individual artist's studio or would it be more acceptable for an artist to be old-fashioned and not know what a credit card was? Smile

EV

I would bet good money on you getting more sales with a card machine.
Rob R

Find me a way to accept cards on a mobile terminal at events (which often have limited phone signal), for an affordable price and I'll consider it.

What is affordable to you?

How about this?

2.75% on debit & credit cards (Paypal starts at 3.4% + 20p per transaction) and a terminal purchase price of 60. You also need a smart fone which uses an app.
Rob R

No phone required;

http://www.payatrader.com/

Quote:
AFFORDABLE

You can rent PayMate for just 3.00* per week, inclusive of SIM data charges and terminal support. When you apply you will be required to pay a 50.00 deposit that is fully refundable if you return the terminal in good working order.

Alternatively, you can buy PayMate outright for 199*. With this option, there is a weekly charge of 1.50* to cover SIM data charges and terminal support.

Rented terminals can be returned after a minimum of 12 months.

Please note - a minimum term of 12 months applies for the payment of the weekly SIM and support charges for both purchase and rental options.

* Prices quoted exclude VAT.
Chez

You still need signal to do it, though - that's one of Midland Spinner's issues re shows.

I think it might be useful for me, though, will investigate.
Rob R

You still need signal to do it, though - that's one of Midland Spinner's issues re shows.

I think it might be useful for me, though, will investigate.

Sorry, I didn't quote Embarassed but I was responding to this;

I've looked into it and there's no good option for us that I can find. I'm waiting for them to bring out an app for phones that makes them into a mobile terminal - last time I looked there was something, but it was only for customers of one particular bank. Rob R

It's also worth checking when you book shows whether they offer wifi as an option or many offer it free to get punters in. Bodrighy

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the plug in terminals for phones such as Sumup and Izettle but like others I have been wary due to the need for a good signal. Fine when I am doing a fair or market in the middle of town but not when it is a show in the middle of nowhere. I'd also like to hear from someone who actually has one and uses it regularly as some of them seem to just have the % fee per transaction which for the casual user like myself would be ideal.

Pete
Hairyloon

Re: Paying for handmade

I found this and thought I'd share.
I don't agree with the author.
Fair enough if you don't want to haggle, but if you're going to get upset about people trying, then you're in the wrong game.
Rob R

Re: Paying for handmade

I found this and thought I'd share.
I don't agree with the author.
Fair enough if you don't want to haggle, but if you're going to get upset about people trying, then you're in the wrong game.

I agree, I don't mind people asking because at least they've asked & not just walked on by.
RichardW

We used to sell computers & parts. Mostly at shows. Two things really improved our takings. Starting to take cards & then going VAT registered.(it might have been the other way round it was a long time ago)

Each one increased takings by nearly 50%.
sally_in_wales

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be. Hairyloon

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.
Is it no phone signal, or no phone signal for the network you are on?
sally_in_wales

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.
Is it no phone signal, or no phone signal for the network you are on?

between us we use two networks, even so, many places down valleys or inside castles in the wilds of Wales have no signal full stop
Hairyloon

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.
Is it no phone signal, or no phone signal for the network you are on?

between us we use two networks, even so, many places down valleys or inside castles in the wilds of Wales have no signal full stop
True enough. But might be worth doing a scan to see if the other network has owt there so you know.
Rob R

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.

Why dither then? if some shows do have signal you're not going to lose anything more by at least having the izettle.
sally_in_wales

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.
Is it no phone signal, or no phone signal for the network you are on?

between us we use two networks, even so, many places down valleys or inside castles in the wilds of Wales have no signal full stop
True enough. But might be worth doing a scan to see if the other network has owt there so you know.

the difficulty is until you get to a given show, as they move around regularly, you have no idea if a signal will be possible. I reckon at least 50% of the time at the shows last year, neither of us could get a signal. So even if we had a widget to take cards, it wouldnt work. I'm loathe to spend on an expensive card service that we can't use, especially as we tend to do shows in clusters with nothing for months at a time in between, si it wouldnt get used. I'm hoping that these new izettle variations will evolve in the next year or two to be something that works for intermittent use and that magically the mobile networks will improve in historic locations. I'm sure it will come in time, just so far, it hasn't looked as if there were many practical options for traders like us
sally_in_wales

I'm dithering about one of those izettle or equivalent things, but the shows we do are so often somewhere with no phone signal that I'm currently nervous of how useful it will be.

Why dither then? if some shows do have signal you're not going to lose anything more by at least having the izettle.

I'm dithering about that type of model mostly because I keep reading things about them only liking mastercard and being a pain to run visa debit cards on, and the system getting stroppy if you use it heaily for a weekend then not for several months. Some reviews say its fine, others suggest its not good for traders doing occasional shows, other ssay customers are suspicious of them. Its been a bit confusing and last time I tried reading up on the different models I got so muddled I gave up. If I was sure it woudl work when we could get a signal, I'd try it
Rob R

That's the advantage with the WorldPay/Payatrader terminals, they are actual terminals - I don't think I'd use a plug in device on a smartphone, as a customer. Worldpay have started charging for the terminals now but I'm still very pleased with mine,and the transaction costs have come down considerably & it also has Cardholder Not Present capability, which I was paying Paypal 20 a month for before.

If you have different shows with better networks for some you can always have a number of P&G sims.
Rob R

Referring back to the blog though, the lady is seeing it as an insult that people are asking for money off, but at least she knows they appreciate her work, even if they can't afford it. If everyone was like her & didn't ask then, if she was too expensive for everyone at a show she would at least know that people liked her stuff, when they could just go away and she'd be left thinking people didn't like it. She should take it as a compliment that people are trying to buy her stuff. Midland Spinner

Re: Paying for handmade

I found this and thought I'd share.
I don't agree with the author.
Fair enough if you don't want to haggle, but if you're going to get upset about people trying, then you're in the wrong game.

Which bit don't you agree with? The majority of the article which says that she works out a fair price for the items and politely sticks to it when people offer her a much reduced price on her best sellers which are already fairly priced and over which she has worked very hard for little money? or the half paragraph where she says that she believes that people asking for a discount is insulting?
Jamanda

I would never haggle. I would assume that they need to charge what they are asking. I don't think it's always necessarily deliberately insulting, but I think the opposite of what Rob says, that it it means they appreciate the work - I'd say it indicates they don't appreciate the time work has taken. In fact, with some on DS I've told them their price is too low and sent more!

If it was not something handmade and the price was to too high I would just look else where.

(I'd never buy a cupcake decoration either though, so maybe I'm not the target audience)
Rob R

I would never haggle. I would assume that they need to charge what they are asking. I don't think it's always necessarily deliberately insulting, but I think the opposite of what Rob says, that it it means they appreciate the work - I'd say it indicates they don't appreciate the time work has taken. In fact, with some on DS I've told them their price is too low and sent more!

If it was not something handmade and the price was to too high I would just look else where.

(I'd never buy a cupcake decoration either though, so maybe I'm not the target audience)

The trouble is, as a trader, you can sit there on a stall all day and people browse & wander off. If they at least ask for a price reduction you know that they actually want the stuff you are selling, if they don't ask you have no idea whether it is either a) too expensive or b) stuff that noone wants. They're going to ask for a reduction whether you like it or not, so you may as well accept it as a compliment and feel good about yourself rather than building up resentment and going home feel terrible. Customer feedback is better than no customer feedback, as it gives you something to go on.
Rob R

What's worse is someone coming up to you and telling you you're too cheap, and then going away having not bought a single thing... Ty Gwyn

Customer feedback is better than no customer feedback, as it gives you something to go on.

Well put,fully agree

Something i have noticed they don`t like over on RC,lol.
Jamanda

I might say, "that's nice, but I can't afford it today", which I suppose is customer feedback. But It it isn't really any use to the trader. It just tells them about the woeful state of my bank account. Not whether their product is priced correctly. Rob R

I might say, "that's nice, but I can't afford it today", which I suppose is customer feedback. But It it isn't really any use to the trader. It just tells them about the woeful state of my bank account. Not whether their product is priced correctly.

It tells them that you like it, and it indicates that if it were cheaper there is a good chance you would have bought it. You don't know their margins but they do so it is valuable feedback to them, even if you don't think it is.
MornieG

I agree with sticking to your price. No one intentionally overprices their products on the assumption that everyone is going to try and haggle.

Pete had a beautiful large spalted and pyrographed bowl that he brought up with him from Cornwall. It was priced very fairly based on the fact the wood was free and the time it took to make. It sat proudly on the table at almost every fair for 18 months. Looked at and admired many many times a day, but when it was turned over and the price was evident it was quickly put down again. But it did sell before christmas. Someone appreciated the time and effort that went into it and was happy to pay the price.

The only time we have what might be called a reduction is where there is the option of buying a single item or a set of three. We have a set of candlesticks now like that. Three different complimentary colours and graduating sizes, but would look just as good as single items. The set is X amount and the single slightly more, so in the customers interest to buy the set. The pricing is done though based on the set, with the single having a little more profit on.

Mo.XX
Nicky Colour it green

I use cards for just about everything I can - because we are on a budget and I like to account for where my money goes - and expensive purchases can go on the credit card- giving me some cover and a month to shift money about to pay for it.

if there was something I wanted to buy but it was cash only I would ask them to hold it whilst I nipped to the cashpoint - but if it was just a whim, I probably wouldn't bother.
Rob R

I agree with sticking to your price. No one intentionally overprices their products on the assumption that everyone is going to try and haggle.

Pete had a beautiful large spalted and pyrographed bowl that he brought up with him from Cornwall. It was priced very fairly based on the fact the wood was free and the time it took to make. It sat proudly on the table at almost every fair for 18 months. Looked at and admired many many times a day, but when it was turned over and the price was evident it was quickly put down again. But it did sell before christmas. Someone appreciated the time and effort that went into it and was happy to pay the price.

Do you calculate the cost of keeping stock though?
Bodrighy

I agree with sticking to your price. No one intentionally overprices their products on the assumption that everyone is going to try and haggle.

Pete had a beautiful large spalted and pyrographed bowl that he brought up with him from Cornwall. It was priced very fairly based on the fact the wood was free and the time it took to make. It sat proudly on the table at almost every fair for 18 months. Looked at and admired many many times a day, but when it was turned over and the price was evident it was quickly put down again. But it did sell before christmas. Someone appreciated the time and effort that went into it and was happy to pay the price.

Do you calculate the cost of keeping stock though?

How do you do that? I can see that with cattle etc there are obviously overheads as there is with meat etc but with wooden objects I don't see that keeping stock actually incurs a cost? This is where no doubt I get a lesson in finances LOL.

Pete
Rob R

I can't put a figure on it but I presume it takes up space & can't be kept damp & it'll need transporting & time. I was just wondering if that bears any influence on your pricing. Of course if it's a showcase piece it probably draws people in to buy the less expensive pieces. MornieG

I can't put a figure on it but I presume it takes up space & can't be kept damp & it'll need transporting & time. I was just wondering if that bears any influence on your pricing. Of course if it's a showcase piece it probably draws people in to buy the less expensive pieces.

Stock is a problem if you overstock and have too much to take to fairs etc unless you are purposely overstocking for a time to build up for an event like Christmas. If those expensive pieces are displayed to the detriment of less expensive items that you might otherwise sell then of course it costs. If you have stock that deteriorates then it costs again, which we don't, and we have a store to keep it in good condition. Expensive pieces can also be used as a show piece which brings people to the table. We try and have one or two, generally large and or unusual and they do sell eventually but in the meantime they have worked for their space.

Mo.XX
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