Woo Hoo it is summer festival & craft fair season. That means we get to get outside, set up our pop-up shops & tables to show off our wares. Since I sell warm weather cozy wear, Summer festival season is something I enjoy only as a spectator and customer. But I do love the vibes.
One question many handmade artisans have is about payment processing, especially since not many people carry cash anymore. I did some research when I was starting to sell at the One Of A Kind Show in Chicago and found that I am a fan of Square. Here is a link to sign up and get a free reader and get your first $1000 free processing. (Yes I get credit for this link but no that is not a factor in my analysis)
For me, it is just easy and the fee is not too bad. I like the fact that I can get unlimited free card readers so when the booth is busy more than one of us can process sales. I like the reporting analysis because it is easy to read and lets me know what my best selling items are.
The inventory management system was a bit labor intensive to set up but they all are so this isn't a deterrent to me. I would have to set it up anywhere. It is extremely helpful to go through this step to know what really sells and what trends are happening with my products. It also gives me a good overview of traffic patterns in my booth which is extremely helpful.
I have a friend who uses the Etsy reader because it helps her presence on Etsy by increasing sales in her shop. For me, that is not a factor. Plus, I do not like the fact that it makes me subject to Etsy TOU which means I cannot directly market to those customers unless they explicitly sign up for my emails. Similar to why I don't like Pattern by Etsy, it means I am doing work for the Etsy brand instead of my own.
Whatever card reader & POS system you choose, be sure it is right for you and your needs. Below is a breakdown of the three I researched. I know that Intuit also has a card reader / POS system, but I am not familiar with it so you may want to explore that as well.
Happy Market Day season everyone