5 Easy No-Cash Ways to Sell Your Handmade Jewelry Face to Face
By Cathleen McCarthy
There are plenty of options you can offer potential customers who don't have cash in hand to buy your handmade jewelry designs. Here are 5 Easy No-Cash Ways to Sell Your Handmade Jewelry Face to Face: It helps to have a smartphone or iPad ready to sync up with whatever mobile payment option your customer uses. If you want to be ready for anything, you should have a few different apps preloaded before you hit the road. Most of them are free or almost free and take only a few minutes to load.
If you and your jewelry customers both have PayPal accounts set up, the customer can send a payment from her smartphone to yours on the spot. If she has a PayPal account but not a smartphone, she can do the same using your device. An iPad or other tablet can make this transaction easier and more official. Many small shops are foregoing credit card processors now and simply setting up an iPad on a revolving stand attached to their counters. This gives customers easy access to their own mobile payment accounts, whether PayPal or Google.
Gadgets like Square that connect to an iPad, or a smartphone like the iPhone or Android, are one way to take a payment on the fly, but you have to sign up and download their software first.
If you plan to take payments on Apple devices, you can download the Square app. As of June, you can also connect the Square to an Android, using this app from the Android Marketplace. Another recent addition is Square Register, an app that allows you to skip credit cards altogether by letting customers put their purchase on your "tab," using Google-style analytics to keep track of payments, receipts, and buying trends.
Another clever way to transfer funds is Bump, a free iPhone app that lets two iPhone users tap their phones together to transfer cash from one PayPal account to another. You can also use iPads or iPods, or any variation of these devices.
Xipwire is a free app that lets people make purchases or do peer-to-peer fund transfers via texting. You can download Xipwire from the iTunes app store. When customers want to buy your jewelry, you text them and they reply with their personal security code.
FaceCash is an app that works with iPhone, iPod, Android and Blackberry, using a barcode technology. If customers have this one loaded on their phones, they may request that they make their payment using it, so you'd better have it as well. It's free to sign up, but customers will have to shell out $2.99 for identity verification if they use a free email account.
Once this is set up, you can use FaceCash instead of a written signature to verify that the customer's real face matches a digital image linked to their account. A barcode and photo ID is displayed on their cell phone screens, which they hold to the barcode reader on yours. Once authenticated, the purchase is debited directly from a bank account. Repeat customers can even add their credit card account numbers to a keychain for your jewelry business, so they're conveniently stored on your phone. Then they can buy jewelry from you as easily as ordering a book on Amazon. Now there's a habit you want to encourage!
NET PROFITS is regular feature about jewelry business and selling jewelry online that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about ways to accept payments on the go in "Mobile Payments," November 2011.
CATHLEEN McCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, TheJewelryLoupe.com