Card reader recommendations please

Hi everyone, please could you share your recommendations for a card reader. I don’t do many craft fairs so do not want to spend too much or pay too much in fees, but do not want to lose sales by not being able to offer an alternative to paying by cash. I know this was discussed before but it was about a year ago, so perhaps others would be interested too. Thank you in advance, Jacqui (Jax Enamelled Jewellery)


I have SumUp chip n pin. Find the connection when out on my iPhone brilliant and never had a problem with them. Do not use much now as do not do fairs.

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Many thanks Caroline, that is most helpful.

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Hello, I’ve been looking into it too, as I’m just getting back in to doing some in person fairs!
I was looking at the square reader and I’ve seen that I can download the app and just take payments on my phone without having to buy the reader…does anyone do this? Does it work ok for you? The reader is £20 ish I think , thanks, Helen x

Same for me, Ive never had any problems with my Sum Up machine and got it at half price when I looked around.
My brother uses Zettle and gives it a thumbs up too. Im not sure there’s much in it really.

I use Zettle and find it very simple - there’s usually a deal on the card reader to be had somewhere.

I’ve got a zettle as well - runs through an app on my phone which means that so long as I’ve got wifi or phone signal I can take payments. (No monthly fee so it doesn’t matter if it sits in a draw not being used, and the % commission is low, card reader is currently £29)

I have used SumUp and Square card readers, both work well for me especially contactless. I moved from SumUp to Square because my website wouldn’t tie in with SumUp.
I get nervous using the square reader with sales over £100 as you have to hand the customer your phone/tablet for them to enter their PIN, then look away out of courtesy. I’m always relieved to look back and find them still there with my phone.
The SumUp reader has its own keypad so this perhaps a better option if you’re not a good runner!

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Would definitely recommend Zettle - originally had SumUp but didn’t work for me (but was a while ago!)

We use Zettle and would highly recommend. Have used it for several years and never had a problem.

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I also use Zettle and never had any problems with it. I can use it on my iphone really easily. It’s great because you can give the machine to the customer and they can see the amount on the screen while you process on your phone. The reader also keeps its charge for ages. Would definitley recommend

Many thanks for all your contributions, I’m
very grateful for your help. Hope your own craft fairs go well this season.


I have had a bad experience with SumUp. My keypad worked for several months after I bought I last year but then I jus got an error message telling me that my software was out of date. I have been in touch with SumUp several times since, trying to understand what is going on and have been assured that it is a known bug and they are working on in but I still do not have a working keypad. I will be replacing SumUp with something else.

We have used Zettle for years with no problem

Thanks both, we did actually buy a SumUp device last week but haven’t tested it yet. Fingers crossed it works and hope your issue is resolved soon.

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I’ve had zettle and now use sumup. The ONLY reason I have changed is that my zettle is old and didn’t hold its charge, and I didn’t have time to order a new one online, so picked up a sumup from Toolstation :smiley:
I prefer zettle’s interface but like the actual machine of sumup. Other than that, not much to choose tbh.

I use Square and have a Sum Up for back-up ‘just in case’. It is super-efficient and I get an email after each transaction as well as being able to see them on my phone, and then I get a pay-out information email at the end of every day’s trading!

Just used my new SumUp for the first time this weekend at an Art Fair. It was so easy and I am really impressed with it.

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I have an all-singing all-dancing Square Terminal connected to my inventory. My customers can see every line item they are purchasing, it prints receipts, and emails or texts receipts as well.

A seller next to me at a fair last weekend had a basic SumUp reader but couldn’t get it to work at all.

Just been googling card readers as we are about to replace our rather aged Zettle machine so just wanted to check recommendations and came across several like this:

Is Zettle or Sumup better?

Although it’s a little pricier, Zettle comes with more integrations, better scalability, and slightly better quality overall – so it wins out as the best POS system for small businesses between the two.23 Aug 2023


SumUp vs Zettle: Why Zettle is Better Than Square in 2023 - Startups

See full article here: SumUp vs Zettle: Why Zettle is Better Than Square in 2023.