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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Anyone using Square credit card reader? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

imgic
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Was at a Starbucks today and saw they were selling the Square Credit Card reader for the iPhone for $10, but you then get $10 credit with first use. Device charges by use: 2.75% of each charge (this was part of a promotion of small businesses)

Gor me wondering...anyone using this? On one hand with so few people carrying cash, I could see how it could fatten hats. But would think it'd really damper the flow of getting by stopping to swipe credit cards. Plus, if I was spectator, and saw an iPhone with credit card reader, I'd wonder why would this guy need any money?

Any experiences? Thoughts?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Stperformer
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Methinks that a paper trail of one's income (hats) is the last thing a busker might want. But then again if you have nothing to hide.....
David95
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I use one in my business. It works really good. It does take a while to complete a transaction. With the swiping,punching in the amount, and the customer signing, putting in their info for a receipt it would definitely slow down the process.
David
Poof-Daddy
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I have one that I take to flea markets ( non magic) cause a lot of people don't carry cash and when they do its not enough sometimes. It's worth having. To me: any way to get paid is worth having. You can mention that you have a really cool trick with an iPhone, and go on to explain to the crowd that if they take the time to swipe their card through this handy little gadget - you get to eat this week. Or whatever type of line you use to ask for money. You could put in the item description "personal gift" or " donation " might want to check with a tax person.
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Robertology
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I don't think I would give a tip with a card. That just feels weird. If you were selling items after your show it would work there, but otherwise I wouldn't think people would want to. They get pleasure from giving and there's no emotion in a credit card transaction. Plus it becomes a process like they have to apply for permission to give you a tip. I just wouldn't think it would work well, but of course I could be wrong.
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strat1227
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A friend of mine uses one for busking but just says its a $10 minimum. That way even though it does slow down the process a bit, its still probably worth it.
Magician Shaun
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The last two days I was out, a spectator asked if I had one, said she didn't have cash. You can get them free for Android, not sure why you have to pay for the Apple version. They are common enough now that people feel comfortable using them so I think it is a good move. I am going to start using one this week I think.

I imagine that it will greatly increase the amount of tips you pull in over a day. Just think about how many people are going away from using cash. Basically everyone except buskers take cards now. I understand even some of the people that deal in more nefarious and illegal goods are using them now.

I got one a while back as a novelty for my Android phone, guess I need to start using it. I will let you know how it goes. It comes with a nice sticker you can put on your sign so that everyone in the crowd knows you take cards for tips!

Plus I can imagine people will be more generous when they are using plastic to tip you instead of cold hard cash. I imagine $5 will be the norm with a square reader, just my thoughts though.
Magician Shaun
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Update:

I just setup my account and you can set pre-priced items. So I made 5 Tips, $2.50, $5, $10, $20, and you choose. I named them Budget, Average, Good, Great.

I will report back on how it goes. I am also going to work it into my hat lines!
LeoH
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I use Square for my b'day shows and other appearances but have not tried it for busking.............seems like it would slow down the pace between the hat and starting the next show, but I could be wrong!
ringmaster
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Baby sister takes hers to kid shows. It's stepped up her tips, especially if dad's in the house.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
Robertology
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Quote:
On 2013-02-13 21:01, Gr8gorilla wrote:
Plus I can imagine people will be more generous when they are using plastic to tip you instead of cold hard cash.


I then to think that as well but it would be an interesting experiment. Maybe for smaller crowds it wouldn't make a difference but if you have 30 or 50 people, and they ALL had no cash, my guess is some will leave because it looks like a hassle. Not sure how often that would be the case so perhaps in a real world situation, it could only benefit.

Also, I'm not sure people would expect that some guy on the street would take a credit card. You'll probably have to find a way to let them know - without looking like a greedy big business type. Smile
- Robert
strat1227
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Quote:
if you have 30 or 50 people, and they ALL had no cash, my guess is some will leave because it looks like a hassle.


But in that case, ANY money you get is more than the 0 you'd make without one, since nobody has cash Smile
Robertology
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Quote:
On 2013-02-15 10:34, strat1227 wrote:
Quote:
if you have 30 or 50 people, and they ALL had no cash, my guess is some will leave because it looks like a hassle.


But in that case, ANY money you get is more than the 0 you'd make without one, since nobody has cash Smile


:) No, in that case they would give you jewelry and pledge their children as servants.

This is bound to be the way things go (paying with cards I mean, not the children thing) so why not get started now, right? I personally would find it odd to tip with a card but I'm also the type who likes to have some cash on hand.
- Robert
Magician Shaun
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With square, when you get the free reader, they send you two stickers to announce that you accept cards. It has their logo on it and everything. I slapped it on my sign last week when I got it. The weather was horrible this week and I finally got out Sunday. What I did is work it into my final hat lines.

I added a line that went like this "And for those of you that don't have cash, I also accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover through Square." I say this while pointing to the sticker on the sign.

One person tipped yesterday with a card. He had a dollar and thought I deserved so he used his card and tipped $10. Square charged me .23 and sent the money to my account last night. It is an electronic credit so it will take a day or two.

People are more and more familiar with Square and comfortable with it because a lot of small business types are using it. Especially at festivals. I think it is a good thing. In this case it caused me to get $9 more than I would have otherwise. If that only happens once per day, it is worth it.
Powermagic
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Why did they only charge you .23 on $10? There is no swipe fee?
imgic
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My understanding is no regular service fee. They charge 2.75% on amount charged. So about 27 cents on a $10 charge...since Gr8 got charged 23 cents I must be a bit off.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Magician Shaun
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No you are right. I double checked. It's 2.75% so it was $0.28. But more importantly it works. People no longer can say to you, " so sorry I don't have cash, I only have a card." Funny addition, I had a Lady use that line Sunday and I hadn't added the new hat line yet. I pointed to the sticker and said that's OK, I take all cards add as well. She looked flabbergasted a and grabbed her kids and walked off. That's when I added the new hat line.
HowaboutBob
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Collected payment for a gig at the end of the night. The organizer asked me if I took visa? I whipped out my iphone and my square reader, swiped card, emailed her a receipt, and done. She thought that was the best magic trick of the night.
Magician Shaun
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Just wanted to add that since I have started using the Sqauare reader I have gotten a tip on it every day that I have busked. The tips are typically $5-$10. Never any less. People don't mind at all!
Dynamike
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I do use it for paid shows. I might give it a try for busking. You will receive Square for free if you purchase it directly from the manufacture.
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