Folksy Ltd

Selling Expensive Goods at Fairs

(Stitchcity) #1

Does anyone have any advice regarding selling items for £100+ at markets? I am planning to take a couple of pieces to fairs this Xmas, largely for display. I really don’t expect to sell them, but I need a plan in case someone is interested in buying, and they probably won’t have that kind of cash on them!
My issue is I don’t have a card reader, and I can’t really justify buying one when I do so few events a year! So what other good options are there? Other than cheques (which people dont seem to use anymore) or some really complicated procedure where I give them paypal/bank details and somehow get the item to them after the market… I can’t think of any other way of doing it. What other methods of payment have you used at markets? Is there another way? It would be such a bummer to have someone interested in these works and then lose their interest because its just too complicated!

(Susannah Ayre) #2

A lot of people who use paypal have the paypal app on their phones. If you don’t use it yourself then they would just have to put your email address in on the app and the money transfers almost instantly- I’ve had a couple of people do that and it’s worked fine.
If people haven’t been able (or want) to do that at the time because for some reason they think it’s more complicated than it is- then yeah- I’ve just done the ‘sold’ thing and waited until they’ve transferred the £. Some people like to pay a deposit to ‘secure’ it.
Not sure of any alternatives. Sorry!

(Stitchcity) #3

Thanks! Yeah its an awkward one… I guess I just have to hope that if someone wanted one of the big money pieces, they would be prepared to put up with the complicated payment!

(Susannah Ayre) #4

I think at a fair if people want to commit to something expensive they usually just accept it’s not going to be super easy.
I don’t do many craft fairs- usually just the odd one at Christmas and I sell a lot of prints for around £50- which people usually have cash for- but that may be because of the time of year when people are purposely looking for gifts so may carry more cash in their pockets than usual. I hear from a lot of people that buyers constantly want a bargain and won’t want to spend more than £10-£20 but I’ve not come across that problem yet thankfully.
Good luck with it all- I’m sure it’ll all be fine! :blush:

(Helen Smith) #5

If you have a smartphone you don’t need to buy a card reader, companies like iZettle give them away for free. I don’t do many fairs each year but I find my card reader invaluable, for smaller purchases as well as bigger ones. People really expect you to have one these days.

(Leathermeister) #6

If you have these items listed in your shop and your shop is open they can just pop on and buy it in the usual way via their phone or IPad. I have then refunded them the postage. Once the payment has gone through you are notified and transaction is complete.

(Deborah Jones) #7

Like Helen ,I don’t do many-only 4 a year but my card reader has increased my sales massively, people joke that it is painless shopping with plastic and often buy multiple items. As cardreaders these days are a one off purchase they don’t cost anything to have sitting in a drawer between fairs. Well worth the investment.

(Sasha Garrett) #8

I’ve just been singing the praises of the iZettle pro unit on another thread - there is no monthly fee you just pay a % based on value of transactions (starts at 2.75% and drops from there). Works with an app on your phone and you can pick up the cabled lite version for free. I wouldn’t be without mine now as people make impulse purchases when they know they can pay by card. (If you are interested in one I can give you a referal code which would get us money off transaction fees if you sign up and use it within 30 days)

(Rosesworkshop) #9

The only problem I’ve had with my card reader is occasionally there is very poor phone signal and it can’t connect. I’ve been trying to figure out an alternative for those situations too.

I used to know an artist who sold fairly large canvasses. He would take a deposit and the customer’s address, and arrange a date for free delivery. The customer would then have had time to visit the cashpoint and he would be paid the balance at their house.

(Grimm Exhibition) #10

Could you reserve it for them, they pay via your site but you offer them free P+P. Itl be a secure and easy way of payment for you, but they get the free P+P as a kind gesture.
Does the venue have a rad reader? I sold at a garden centre and they were happy to take card payments then give us the cash.

(Stitchcity) #11

Well this is all very useful stuff, thanks everyone :slight_smile:
I don’t drive so delivering an item personally after the event is not really an option but I like the idea of offering free shipping as an incentive for paying online. Lots to think about!

That izettle reader sounds so great! How annoying that they don’t work with windows phones though, I shall have to have a think about a way around that, perhaps I could swap phones with my partner for the duration of the market (he has an iphone)

(Sasha Garrett) #12

Something else to think about if you get them to buy via your folksy shop whilst at a craft fair you will end up paying the folksy commission (6%+ vat) as well as the paypal commission (3.5% +20p) rather than just the card processing fees (for izettle that is 2.75%). On a £100 item the folksy commission would be £7.20 so you would need to think about how many sales you would need to make by that method for it to have cost you as much as getting the card reader and a phone to use it with. You would also need to make sure that every item was listed in your shop before going to the fair (I know that I sell much more at fairs so tend to take items to fairs first and then if they don’t sell list them here).

(Helen Smith) #13

I don’t know if it has changed with the advent of paypal here but the Paypal t&cs used to say that it was not for use in face to face transactions. How they’d know I don’t know but maybe something else to bear in mind.

1 Like
(Susannah Ayre) #14

Probably because they couldn’t score for even more £ through a transaction whereby a card machine is used? And it would mean businesses could avoid even more charges by saying it’s to pay a friend? Just my cynical attitude to large businesses maybe. Haha

(Helen Smith) #15

Sorry, I wasn’t clear there, what I meant was using paypal via a laptop the way we do on Folksy wasn’t allowed for face to face transactions, obviously the paypal card reader and paypal here app is allowed! And of course it may have changed now.

(Grimm Exhibition) #16

How about giving them your paypal address so they can pay you direct, then you wont need to pay Folksy fees (sorry Folksy) and still offer free P+P.

(Valerie Bryden) #17

Hi everyone, I found this post interesting because I am doing a table top sale at work and I have never done one before.
I had thought about taking some of my more expensive pieces with me to sell, but like Stitch City, thought people wouldn’t have that kind of money on them.

I would appreciate any useful advice from anyone who has had some experience, as I have been told that if it is successful, that it might become a regular thing.

(Deborah Jones) #18

If there is a cash point machine near your work place that can be an instant easy solution, alternatively if people know in advance they can bring their cheque books or reserve the items and pay you the next day.

If you have a smart phone it is relatively cheap to buy a card reader , but I would think it would be worth testing the water first, before going down that route.
If you have a computer at work you can always take paypal payments by invoicing them and them paying instantly.

(Karen Nelson) #19

I find a lot of people use craft fairs just to view products, so if you have plenty of business cards, you may find someone that likes your work will contact you later. The trouble with a Xmas fair is that a lot of people have already spent up, so are just coming for a wander. You could also take an album with photos of your more expensive pieces, so people can at least see what else you do. That way there would be no potential damage to your expensive pieces but you are still getting your products viewed.