Friday, September 9, 2011

iSquare Rocks!

I LOVE iSquare, do you?  If you're an author and make appearances where you sell copies of your book (and if you don't make appearances, why not???!!!), do you accept credit cards?  No?  Processing fees too high?  Well, then, check out iSquare!

Several years ago, I investigated the possibility of accepting credit cards at events.  At the time I had several books out and was losing a few sales per event because I didn't take credit cards.  I'd been hesitant because most of my sales were tied to the fall/holiday season and taking credit cards meant paying monthly fees year round.  But I finally bit the bullet and signed up with a bank that was recommended as having favorable rates for small businesses.

There was a fee for the card swipe machine (monthly rental), a monthly fee, a transaction fee (percentage of sale), plus a set per sale fee (tiny, something like .25).  Oh, and then there was an hour long phone call to receive training on using the card swipe, etc.  Ugh.  The company "forgot" our first scheduled training call, had to re-schedule, wait, and so on.  When the session finally started and nothing the woman said fit with my card swipe machine, we realized they'd sent me the wrong machine.  Argh!  Then I learned that the machine worked on wi-fi and if an event didn't have wi-fi, I'd have to accept the card, enter its number when I got home and hope/pray that it went through.  If it didn't, well, I'd be out that money.  I'd had it.  It wasn't worth the few sales I was losing.  I canceled the account, sent the card swipe machine back and thought I was done.  But wait!  The bank wouldn't get out of my bank account, kept taking their fees, month after month.  Argh again!  I came close to shutting my account.  I finally got *most* of that money back and vowed to never take credit cards again.

Enter iSquare, the, IMO, best ever app invented for the iphone, ipad, and other mobile devices.  It's incredibly easy to use, the card swipe "thingy" that attaches to your phone/ipad is FREE, there's NO monthly fee, just a small (smaller than those nasty banks mentioned above) percentage of total charge fee plus .15/per transaction charge.  I luv it, luv it, luv it.  It is SOOOOO easy to use that even this tech-challenged author learned to use it in no time.  If you haven't heard of it, or have but haven't signed up, go to their website (www.squareup.com) and check them out.  You'll be glad you did and it will hopefully help your sales.  I've already had several sales that I'm sure I received only because of my ability to take credit cards.  Example - long time customer (gift shop) had sold out of my books.  They wanted more when I called but hesitated because business was slow.  Then she asked, "do you take credit cards?"  Got the sale, had the funds in my account in a few days, and I kept a customer and kept a customer happy.