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Bookseller Soft Launch

An announcement, and a question

I'm going to be a book dealer at the (very soon upcoming) Foolscap! Ursula Vernon, author and artist of the amazing Digger as well as many other fine works, will be the Guest of Honor and I wanted to make sure that her small press books from SofaWolf would be available. So I got a couple tables, and arranged for copies of her books to be shipped over.

As part of setting up for this I want to sign up with one of the payment services so that I can take credit cards. There are three options I'm considering:
Swipe is an iPhone/iPad app by AppNinja that was one of the first portals for letting folks like us do this sort of thing. They have solid software and servers that never seem to get overwhelmed, even during the chaos that is San Diego Comic Con.
Square is the better-known service, and probably has the fastest, least bothersome account setup procedures.
Shopify is an ecommerce site that lets you easily set up an online store, and handles the payment processing. There's a monthly charge, ut it would let me list the books that I have available on a longer term arrangement than a one-shot convention dealer table. It's an option I've been pondering for some time, and perhaps this is the motivating factor that gets me to make the jump.

Any comments or feedback? Any experiences with these providers? anyone else coming to Foolscap?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2015 01:04 pm (UTC)
The small vendors I know in general all use Square. I have not done the research myself, but presumably at least some of them have and so I presume they chose Square for good reasons. And the fact that they all use Square is probably not a coincidence.

I use and love Square's person-to-person cash transfer app/service, which is faster and easier than PayPal.

Edited at 2015-01-12 01:04 pm (UTC)
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I have no opinion on these.
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Moebius Theatre has used Square for box office at-the-door sales, and it worked great. The only part of that job that's challenging is handling the flurry of ticket sales at 7:55. Which Square managed without a hitch.
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)
We've had excellent luck with Square. They also have their market which will let you set up a rudimentary webpage and shopping cart.
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
Square is quite easy to use, though I've been sticking with the Paypal Here swiper since so much of my business goes through paypal anyway. But I take both readers, on the rare occasion I am doing a show, in case one gets stupid.
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
SanSFiS (i.e. the parent of Conjecture and Westercon 68) has been using Square for several years for both fan table sales, and at the door sales. I don't know if we were using it the last time we were officially in charge of Anime Conji, so we may have only used it on Conjecture/Conchord sized events (~300 total maybe 100 at the door).

The application has been getting better with each release - at least once you poke deep enough to find all of the neat things you can do. I've actually been (trying to) use it to record even the cash and check sales at fan tables to give us yet one more record of the transaction.
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
I've heard good things about Square, and that's what CrossingsCon is planning on using for merch sales at the convention itself (we're using Paypal and Indiegogo for online donations). All the vendors at the ren faires around here use Square, and they've had no problems that I've heard of.
Jan. 12th, 2015 08:35 pm (UTC)
After overwhelming positive opinion, I set up both a dedicated credit union account and a linked Square account today. They are sending a reader which should get here in plenty of time to be used at Foolscap.

Now to check out the Square Marketplace option (later this week).

Thanks all!

Edited at 2015-01-12 08:35 pm (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )