Thursday, July 7, 2011

iPad and Square Love

I've been looking at the iPad ads and the apple website thinking that when I paid every bill and the economy turned around and sales were great that I could get an iPad... Well none of that happened, but what did happen was my 15 year old visa terminal finally quit.
I had been reading about Square for a few months. It's a new way to accept visa and it works with an iPad, iPhone or android phone. Well, that's all it took to justify getting an iPad. To get another visa terminal and pay for the software so it could take visas while on the road at craft shows was going to cost $$$$$$ at my old service, so I decided to spend my money on an iPad which I can do so many other things with, and get Square for FREE!
Yep, Square is a free service invented by the fella that started twitter and after using it for a few months, it is a real godsend to people like me who dont have a high volume and need to use a visa on the road.
I filled out an online application which took just a few minutes, and received the wee card reader within the week. It is AWESOME! It takes a few times to get the feel of swiping a card, but that is the biggest problem I had, everything else was smooth sailing.
My favorite part of using Square is that I can enter my inventory onto virtual store shelves with photos, price and color variations. You can even add an item during a sale, take it's picture with the iPad, and add details in a few seconds. If you need to, there is a numerical keyboard to just add in a price as well.
I can key in the sales tax which I can change with one of the setting buttons, which is great as I do shows in different states. I can even do several lists, because I also sell wholesale, so I've got one store section with all my wholesale and one with all my retail.
You can even use Square as a POS or cash register, as you can input sold items, then choose cash or charge. It'll even tell you how much change to give back. The great thing I noticed during the show, is that it started to make a new category, which was popular items. Since I sell lots of earrings at a show, this made it quick and easy to input a new sale as I didn't need to scan my shelves, just look at the bottom of the page and there were the earrings.
After authorizing the card, your customer signs the virtual sales slip with their finger, then inputs their email or phone # to have a receipt sent to them. The receipt has your business info and all the sales info. People were delighted with this technology. No paper to keep track of, nothing for an identity theft person to swipe, it was great!
There is a running list or history of your sales, which you are able to download from the site for your records.
If you need to key in a card, like I do for wholesale accounts, you can do that as well. The fee for keying in is slightly higher, 3.5% plus .15 versus 2.75% for swiped cards. The program tells you immediately the net amount which will be deposited.
One thing my bank tried to get me away from using square was that you can only deposit $1000 a week, anything over that is held for thirty days. Since this might become a problem, I asked square about a higher limit and received approval right away, so don't let this sway you.
You can also take Discover and American Express which would have cost me extra before.
I give Square two thumbs up, their online service has also been prompt and courteous.

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