…And I’m back! The Jess LC Pop Up Shop was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us despite the heat wave. I first and foremost need to thank Susie, Melissa, Michelle, and Ali (our new friend and intern-for-a-day) for all of their help. There is absolutely no way we could have pulled off such a successful event without each and every girl. Not to mention a few bags of ice.
I’d like to do a more detailed recap in a bit (we have some great pics coming in from a local photographer), but I can also point out that Racked Chicago did a feature on Jess LC and The Style Cooperative – founded by our good friend Rachel Brooks. There are some great pictures there to give you an idea of how we set up our shop.
Credit Card Possessing at Trunk Shows
One of the most successful aspects of the sale, in my opinion, was the success of processing credit card payments on the spot. In the past, we’ve had to take down credit card numbers by hand and then process the payments on our online shopping cart days later.
Why credit card payments at trunk shows suck:
- You have to trust no one is giving you a bogus credit card number (rare, but possible).
- You need to make sure you write down all the info, and in our case we needed to take their addresses as well, which takes quite a long time when there is a line of people waiting to pay.
- You may accidentally misspell a word or number and need to reach out to the customer later for the correction, which is a hassle.
Why Square makes credit card payments awesome:
To sidestep these troubles without a wi-fi connection, we used the new Square App on my Android phone (the app also works on iPhones). This sidewalk sale was the first place I tried the app and I am quite impressed. It was easy to sign up, a cinch to process the cards, and customers found it really cool.
I think this app is perfect for those who may just be starting out and may not have a credit card processing system already on their website. This app is free for business users and personal users alike – think of it like the mobile phone version of PayPal, if you will.
To get started you just sign up on their site and they automatically send you a little square white attachment you put into your headphone jack on your phone. This is where you run the cards, and it’s totally free. Once your square attachment has arrived (shown on my phone above), you can get started processing immediately. Just make sure to connect your checking or savings account to your Square profile online before you run a credit card (you only do this once).
After that, it’s smooth sailing.
To charge a credit card with Square:
- Turn on the GPS setting on your phone and open the Square App after it’s downloaded from the Android or iPhone app store (the app is free).
- Enter the order total. Enter a description of the items sold (I just entered Jess LC each time).
- Swipe the credit card (all major credit and debit cards are accepted automatically).
- Have the customer sign their receipt using their finger on the smart phone touch screen (super cool).
- Send the customer their receipt using a text to their cell phone or via email. This is entered after they’ve signed.
That’s all there is to it. After the payment goes through you also get an email letting you know the total and the balance of your total charges thus far that day.
Each evening the funds are sent directly to your checking or savings account. There is no contract or monthly fee. It’s a straight 2.75% fee on all payments.
Comparing this to PayPal which is 2.9% + $.30 on each transaction, this is cheaper and more efficient. However, if you have a sophisticated online shopping cart and have an app to connect directly to your site, you may have less expensive transaction fees that way. For me, I think the stupid simple layout and process of Square is worth the slightly higher transaction fees.
Please note, I am not speaking on behalf of Square in any way, they don’t even know I exist. However, I just love and recommend it that much for budding business owners to get up and running.