Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Accepting Credit Cards Can Hurt You

When it comes to customer service, you will be hard-pressed to compete in the art market if you do not accept credit cards. Whatever blocks you have had about accepting them in the past… Move Beyond Them!

If you are doing things correctly, regardless of what you are selling, you should have a diverse array of price points. Some of the higher priced items will fall in the range beyond pocket change. Most people don’t keep that kind of cash in their wallets, and some not in their checking accounts either, even those with higher disposable incomes. Be prepared to offer clients the convenience of credit card purchases.

Let’s face it, we live in a world of convenience in the U.S. and that is what our customers expect. I know, I rarely carry cash myself. I have become dependent on the convenience of my bank debit card. If you are worried that merchant fees are going to suck up all of your cash flow if you offer this convenience and service to your customers, think twice. I assure you, the extra sales you will make by offering the service will by far offset this small expense to you.

I have done research in this area and can save you hours of painstaking work trying to chase down the best deal when it comes to merchant accounts. Navigating this arena can be tricky, as I know there are many predatory merchant services who are poised to take advantage of small business owners... which is probably why so many of you get the notion that accepting credit cards is not for you and your business.

I can help you find the right merchant account match for your business in a one on one personal consultation or low cost email session. I assure you, you will make more money in the long run by accepting credit cards. Clients really appreciate and expect this service in this day and age. It will encourage them not only to purchase your work, but to purchase more of it.

Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking that as long as there is an ATM close by... you don't need to accept credit cards. Marketing research points out that sales are an "in the moment" act. By the time a potential customer walks to an ATM machine, they have talked themselves out of buying your work.

You can find much more information about this topic and more valuable customer service tips, designed to help you increase your sales and profits and live up to your full business potential in my white-sheet The Art of Customer Service and Sales Techniques. A wealth of information and only 9.95

Freea L. Sarti
Pro-Arts Advocate

Find this low cost white-sheet
on my website along with cool FREE stuff at


  1. Recently Marguerite Holloway sent me an email asking me the following question pertaining to this post
    Hi Freea - You commented on the importance of artists using credit cards for the custormer, but my question is doesn't PayPal cover this issue? Thanks, Marguerite Love your blog by thw way, very helpful!!!

  2. Thank you so much for your question Marguerite!

    Anything you sell online can be done so simply by using paypal. So yes, you are absolutely on track. Paypal is convenient, easy and creates less liability and head ache for online sales. It is perfect for small a business

    However, most visual art in general does not sell well online. The "Artist" Website, acts more as a credibility builder, a way of reaching your idea customer, and as a means of communicating(staying in front of your audience). Photographers and painters may sell greeting cards, magnets and those sorts of items on their sites(but these make up a small fraction of revenue usually) and generally... for most artists, sales are not actually "happening" online.

    The #1 goal of the artist website, is to capture the email contact info. of the potential customers who land on your site. Strategies for doing this involve various creative offerings and a communication plan. My offering is the Chronicles of Artnia Newsletter/Free Program. This is how I keep in tough with my potential clients and how I provide them with free valuable content.(which is essential to any "communication plan")

    Always remember that people LOVE to be invited to things, but they HATE to be SOLD to! When you invite them to join a newsletter or opt in to a free offering if they attend your next event...It invites them into your sales funnel.

    The sales funnel is an authentic zone for your clients to enjoy where you provide valuable content without asking for anything in return, other than their email contact information.

    Your contact list is your absolute #1 asset as a business owner and artist! So use your website as a leveraging tool, to collect this info.

    Once the customer, or potential customer, is on your list, you can invite them to an event where they can actually see and experience your work in person. Most art is a very aesthetic product...which will not sell online easily in most cases. This is not where most of your art sales are going to take place.

    In addition, you should always think about having multiple streams of revenue for your art business, so this means selling in a variety of venues as well as selling it independently. Diversification is KEY! So when you are not selling your art out of a gallery and not selling your art online you want to be sure to have a merchant account set up that allow you to accept credit cards.

    When I co-owned Centered Pottery, we did a lot of art shows and I encountered many vendors who surprisingly, did not take credit cards. This is exactly the type of venue you want to accept credit cards at.

    Thanks for writing and I am happy that you are enjoying the blog. Stay tuned for new content coming soon!

  3. Sorry guys I had trouble getting the above post to actually show up on the wall and the text went a little weird. The post was too large! That should read.
    "A small business" and
    "touch" not tough. I think it did some weird spell check or something strange.
    As long as you get the info. right?