EFTPOS and Card Payments at Craft Fairs in New Zealand

This post is really for my fellow makers and artists who are trying to sell their work in New Zealand. I hope you find it useful but if you have any questions please ask in the comments I will do my best to answer, but please remember I am just a felt-maker, not an accountant or any flavour of financial whizz-kid 🙂

Before moving to NZ in 2021 I had a wonderful little card reader from iZettle, the reader cost me £20 ($40NZ) to buy (no monthly rental fee) and they charged 2.5% of each sale to use it (they even included American Express cards at the same rate). When we moved, I brought my trusty little card reader with us but soon discovered it and almost all similar card readers [Square, Paypal etc] are not supported in NZ.

I started looking into what options are available and was horrified to discover the only offering was those hefty card readers with an internal printer that you see in physical / permanent shops. They are not only hefty in size and weight but also price….. $35NZ per month for rental (plus shipping) and an eye-watering 4-6.5% fee for each sale. That might be acceptable if you have a monthly turnover in the thousands, but like most micro businesses, I don’t. The rental alone would be a substantial percentage of my monthly income. I initially wondered if I could just rent one for 2 months to get through the crazy run up to Christmas but no, they either lock you into a contract for at least 12 months or charge eye-watering amounts in the hundreds of $$ for shorter rental terms.

Curiously all the banks offer these readers at an identical monthly fee, a case of price fixing? I will let you decide.

I have spent the last 18 months continuing to search for a practical and cost-effective alternative and like buses, 2 came along at once….

The Portable Card Reader Option

I was overjoyed to discover Stripe have extended their portable card reader offerings to include NZ, as far as I can tell, they are the first international player to do this. At $137 NZ (including delivery) the reader was substantially more expensive that my iZettle reader but compared to the monthly rental on the chunky EFTPOS machines offered by the banks, I would be saving money by the end of my fourth month of trading.

I ordered the Wisepad 3, the smallest and most affordable reader they offer, it accepts PayWave and chip and pin transactions:

Before you can order a card reader you will need to set up an account with Stripe, this is pretty straight-forward but you will need your NZBN number and a screenshot of your NZBN certificate that includes your address.

You will probably notice that Stripe is geared towards software developers and their main market is online sales, that freaked me out a little at the start but I soon found an app for the iPhone (I assume there are similar apps available for Android phones but have not looked into that). If you search the App Store for, “payment for stripe” and look for this symbol you will find the app I have been using:

They will charge 1% on top of Stripe’s 3% fee but it is a very easy app to set up and use, and even allows you to automatically add a percentage to each payment to cover the service fees, mine is set up to automatically add 4%:

Order a Stripe Card Reader

How to set up the Wisepad 3

Taking card payments without a card reader

While trying to find software to work with my new card reader I discovered you don’t actually need a card reader to take card payments!

There are apps available that will allow you to point your phone’s camera at the customer’s card and it processes the information to take the payment. You still need a Stripe account and both Stripe and the app developer will charge you a percentage of each sale but this option avoids the need to purchase a card reader. You just need a smart phone.

PayNow for Stripe was the least expensive I found (0.5% plus Stripe fees) but there may be others with lower fees, please post a comment if you find another app with a better deal. I’m not sure if the Stripe fees will still be 3%, they may be higher if they deem these payments to be “customer not present” but this could still be a viable option if you want to dip your toes in card payment market without the commitment of purchasing a card reader.

I had already received my card reader before I found these apps so didn’t seriously consider using this payment method but I have to wonder how many people would be happy to have a stranger point a phone camera at their credit card and type in the CVV number? I’m not sure I would feel comfortable doing that at a pop-up market.

Credit Cards

How is it going? Any downsides?

I have had my reader for nearly a month now and taken around 10 payments with it. The first payment from Stripe to my bank account took about 10 days but the more recent payments have taken 5-6 days.

A few customers have been disappointed by the 4% surcharge (unfortunately Stripe does not differentiate between credit cards and EFTPOS / debit card sales, I am charged 4% on all card payments) but most people understand that to make card payments free I would have to increase all of my prices to cover the costs and that would not be fair to my customers who are happy to pay with cash or bank transfer.

Please post a comment if you have any questions or suggestions the other artists and crafts-people may find helpful.

Disclaimer: Other than a business account, I have no affiliation with Stripe. I do not receive any commission or payments from them or the apps mentioned above. The options described are my personal experience of trying to find an affordable way to take card payments at markets and fairs, Stripe and the apps mentioned above may not be the best option for you or your business, I strongly recommend you carry out your own research before committing to any of them but I hope this blog post will be a useful starting point.

Prices and links correct as of 28 Nov 2022.

I take my hat off to you Guildford!

Wow, what a week! Last week saw the second module of my FDAD course at West Deam, it was an incredibly intense 6 days, I was a zombie by Wednesday but made it to the end and I am so glad I did, it was well worth it. I will post about that when I feel a bit more recovered!

I got back from West Dean on Friday afternoon and had to pack the car for an Etsy Local fair in Guildford, at the time I was so exhausted I questioned if I would make it through to the end of the fair but the wonderful people of Guildford carried me through with their fantastic sense of fun and laughter 🙂

A slightly smaller space than the last fair but it still attracted plenty of attention.

The people of Guildford really surprised me, I expected to sell a couple of my more conventional styled hats but it was the really quirky ones that everyone wanted to try on and buy!

The horned hat was very popular…

But the prize for the best reaction had to go to this gent’s youngest son, his delighted laughter when his daddy turned around to face him in the hat was the most endearing and honest response I could have wished for, his wonderful reaction had us all laughing along with him 🙂 And that is how the horned hat found its forever home! I hope to see it out and about around Guildford 🙂

Almost as soon as I put the alien hat on display to fill the spot vacated by the horned hat this lovely lady came along and snapped it up!

Well done Guildford, I was pleasantly surprised by your willingness to embrace the unconventional, I will bring more of my wacky hats next year! 🙂

Everybody was in such good spirits, there were a lot of conversations along the lines:

Friend 1: “Ooooh that’s lovely, I really like that”

Friend 2: “Oh no, that wouldn’t suit you at all!” while nudging me or giving hand signals to say, “could you put it aside, I will be back to buy it just as soon as Friend 1 can’t see me getting it for him/her”.

This was a very successful event and one I would gladly take part in again, the only snag is I have sold about 25% of my stock, I need to get making again! 🙂

Lastly (thank you for reading this far), the new dates for the FFS online classes have been posted on the FFS website, and I will be hosting a new class on making seamless felt bags, from small pouches to rucksacks, please check them out and drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

Christmas is a comin’

Today was a very good day, it was my first Christmas fayre of the year and it was at a company where I worked for more than 10 years, I sold a few prints but the best part was catching up with everyone, most of whom I haven’t seen since this time last year. The lady who organises this event said they are planning a much smaller scale event next year but I hope I can persuade her to repeat a similar event next year, or make it even bigger and better, I just need to network with a few more sellers who might be interested. If you are in the Surrey / Berkshire border area and would like a table next year please drop me a line via the contact form at the top of this page.

It is funny how the stuffed kitten was the only thing on the table not for sale but it was the one thing everyone made a bee-line for, I could have sold him a dozen times over! 🙂

 

It was quite a luxury to have 2 x 6 ft tables today, I could really spread out…

This week I made a start on 2 new felting hangings during my life drawing group, they both need more work, some embroidery for the hands and a mixture of needle felting and embroidery for “Chantelle”. I am liking the random dyed backgrounds, I will be making more of those…

Chantelle

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, I hope you are having a lovely day with your family and friends.

 

Guildford Soroptomists

If you are anything like me you are probably thinking “soropto-what?”

I first encountered the soropotmists through a friend’s post on Facebook a few weeks ago and promptly went off to look them up. It turns out they are a charitable organisation focussed on empowering and enabling women across the globe. While the Western world has seen the benefits of the suffragette movement and decades of feminism, although we may sometimes feel less valued than our male counterparts, there are dozens of countries where women really are still treated as second class citizens and the soroptomists have made it their goal to help these women.

If you would like to know more about the soroptomists you can access their website here.

Purely by accident, I was looking through listings of upcoming craft fairs trying to identify the ones that I would like to attend and noticed that the Guildford soroptomists are organising a fair in a village hall not too far from here. Their table price is a little more than I would usually pay but when I discovered the proceeds from this fair are going towards the Ebola crisis in West Africa, it was a no-brainer for me.

If you are in the area I would love to see you there, approx 30 stallholders selling home made food and gifts will be there supporting this cause:

10 am to 4 pm Sat 29th Nov at, Cranleigh Village Hall, High St, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8AF

On a more light-hearted note, I shared this picture with you last time and asked what you thought it might be:

Ruth was the closest, it is indeed a pod. I had some hand-dyed silk left over after completing my dress a couple of weeks ago and it was so pretty I wanted to use it rather than resign it to my inspiration bag. I settled on making a decorated pod. This is the result, it’s about 25 cm (10″) across:

Blog Centenary

The last few weeks have seen quite a run of achievements for me, this blog reached its first birthday at the end of October, last weekend my City and Guilds certificates arrived, and today this blog has reached its 100th post.

It seems quite fitting that this post should be about another milestone; my first felted dress. Being a nuno felt dress the template was HUGE, 1 m wide by 2 m long, forcing me to work on the floor. Not something I like to do as I ache for days after spending all day crawling around on all fours.

The dress didn’t quite go to plan, no matter how much I rolled and worked them the shoulder straps were still far too long so I resorted to cutting them down and sewing seams across the shoulders. Here it is drying on the mannequin.

The front
The back
Close up of the silk panel

Now I just need to pluck up the courage to wear it to work!

Here are a couple of other pieces I have been working on too. They are both winged pods but very different styles.

This first one reminds me of undersea creatures so I am thinking of dyeing it aqua blue / green colours.

The second one reminded me of a helter skelter so I dyed it red and yellow. Here it is before dyeing.

A helter skelter slide

And after dyeing

I will be attending the Rural Life Museum Christmas Fair this weekend in Tilford and would really love to see you there if you are in the area.

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

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