Society (including your fans) has been heading towards becoming more and more cashless. While no ones banning you from accepting cash, you would be alienating a large portion of concert attendees by not having the ability to accept payment by credit and debit card. Luckily, there are extremely simple options which allow you to sell merchandise at your gigs without hassle.
Your fans may prefer to pay with cards because they are convenient, traceable, safe, they can ear rewards points on purchases, and because cash be outright annoying at times. As a merch seller, you won’t have to deal with change, can sell to more fans, and have access to easy accounting and record keeping tools (unless you weren’t planning on reporting your merch income, ehmmmm). The good news is, no merchant account is required to begin accepting cards, which means no monthly fees and no complicated application process.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- A smart phone (iPhone or Android)
- A bank account (either in your personal name or that of your band/business)
- A card reader. This will be supplied when you setup an account with any of these three providers: Square, PayPal Here, or Eventbrite At The Door.
Here’s how it works:
- Create an account with one of the service providers mentioned above. You will have to link your bank account in order to receive your deposits. You download the application supplied by your partner onto your smart phone and sign in with your account.
- Insert the reader into the headphone slot of your device and you’re ready to go.
- When a fan is ready to make a purchase, simply input the amount to be charged and scan the card. You can even capture the customer’s signature right on your phone.
- You receive your deposits as outlined in your agreement, can view your sales receipts in a meaningful way, and your fans go home happy.
The fees for using the service are similar to that of PayPal or Google Checkout in that no reoccurring fee is charged to your account, only a small fee around 3% (or less) of the purchase price is deducted before being deposited. Like anything, the fees add up, but I think it’s a fair price to pay for widening your market and customer base.
Do you have any experience with one of these services? Do you accept cards through a different method or not at all? Share your thoughts…