How to take payments at trade fairs
I’ve had some cute printers come into stock and (although I don’t usually write about the products I sell on eBay) it prompted me to think about what sellers need if they’re going to be selling at local markets or other sales in the run up to Christmas.
First and foremost of course you’ll need transport for your stock, but once you’re at the show you’ll need a method to take payments. Unless you already have a merchant account you’re unlikely to have a portable credit card machine, but 2nd best is PayPal Virtual Terminal on your laptop.
PayPal Virtual Terminal allows you to take payments even if you don’t have a website. You don’t need any to buy any hardware or install software, but if you want to swipe credit cards rather typing numbers in the USB Swiper looks like a great solution.
To use Virtual Terminal you will of course need an Internet connection so the second item that you’ll need will be a 3G USB broadband dongle. This will allow you to connect to the Internet anywhere in the country that you can get a 3G mobile phone signal. (If the venue is away from major towns or inside a building it’s worth checking you can get a phone signal before the day of the sale!).
Finally it brings me back to printers. Offering a receipt to customers is courteous, looks professional and printers like the Citizen PD-04 allow you to print via IrDA (Infra Red) from your laptop. As the printers operate by battery you don’t even need a power socket to print professional receipts. They are thermal printers so there’s no ink or toner to worry about – all you need is a roll of thermal paper and remember to charge the battery the day before the show.
Don’t get carried away with technology though, if it’s a sale where the general public attend make sure you remember to take a float of change as it’s more than likely the majority of your customers will trade with cash. However if you’re offering high ticket items for sale ensuring that potential customers can pay on the spot might gain you some extra sales.