My first show of the season was also my first juried art show. It was a HUGE success! Although, I know I could've had at least 4 more sales had I been able to accept credit cards. So I went home and seriously looked into getting a credit card reader and a new phone to use the reader. Having heard the names Square and GoPayment passed around the Etsy forums, I started doing my research.
Before I go much further, I think it is important to state that I went into this leaning towards the Square. It is more popular in the forums and I've even watched TV commercials for it. And it made sense to me that customers would be more comfortable handing over their credit card if I were using something they recognized from TV.
So to start my journey, first I had to find a phone that would be compatible with both credit card reader apps. (You can find more information on their websites about compatible phones.) I ended up going with a certified pre-owned smart phone from my provider so I wouldn't have to invest too much to get started. Once I ordered the phone I started browsing social media to see what real people were saying about both Square and GoPayment.
I first searched their Facebook pages.
Square on Facebook: The first thing I noticed about Square is that you couldn't post to their wall, although, they did allow anyone to open a discussion. However, all of the discussions seemed to be people trying to find answers, and from what I could tell, no one was answering the questions.
I also noticed that when Square would post something, if anyone commented on that post with a question, the questions went unanswered. I also left a question to see if I would hear anything back - never did. Well, I figured, hey, this is a huge company, surely they can’t answer all of their fans questions? So then I go to their website to see if they have a customer service number you can call just in case any of the issues were being brought forward - no number…what? No customer service number?!? So then I hit Twitter.
Square on Twitter: Twitter seems to be where it’s at with Square! They have lots going on over there and they even have a separate Twitter account just for Support. So if you need answers that’s the best place to go! I tweeted “Can you guys expedite me a Square Reader?” And, within no time, I got a reply telling me I may be able to buy one from a local Apple store (I could not, but if you can, you will get a credit for the purchase price, I was told). Or, you could find an inner Square member to get one from. The only way you can find one is to search Twitter for the term “inner square” in relation to your area. I was out of luck with that as well.
I was using “Expedite a Reader” question as my test question to see how their customer service worked. I wasn’t actually expecting to get one overnighted to me. This was on a Thursday and my next show was that Saturday. You can use the credit card service without the credit card reader. You just type in the credit card numbers manually and run them that way. Then start swiping once you receive the reader (there is a difference in fees).
Okay, at the same time I am doing all this on Squares Facebook and Twitter , I am doing the same thing on GoPayments Facebook and Twitter.
GoPayment on Facebook: WOW… they actually let you post on their wall! Cool! So I read a lot of posts - look at that! Someone is actually replying to the post! Wonderful! So I leave my question, and low and behold, I get a reply pretty quick! They tell me they are going to look into the matter and get back to me….hmmm. So I go to their website - Oh look! A number to call! So I call the number. Apparently, because of higher than normal call volume, I get a guy who obviously is not used to working with Gopayment. He takes my number and a message about expediting the reader and says someone will call me back….hmm. But after asking other Gopayment users, this was actually highly unusual. They all got in touch with Intuit GoPayment easily using the phone number. After further explorations into their site, I realized that these are the same people who bring us QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. I love Mint! So I think…maybe people WILL recognize the Intuit name!
So, I then popped over to their Twitter. I tweeted my question about expediting a reader. Within no time, someone direct messaged me on Twitter from Intuit. They tell me if I can send them my address they will have it the credit card reader out to me as soon as humanly possible….hmmm. So I send my address and within minutes someone e-mails me from Intuit. They want to confirm my address and they send me the link to get pre approved for the service. So I confirm my e-mail and save the link for later. But I still haven't made up my mind yet. I don’t make my mind up until the next morning.
Who did I choose?
I went with Intuits GoPayment. Why? Because, even though I ordered my cell phone (overnighted) several hours before the Intuit Card reader. The card reader made it here (GA) FROM CALIFORNIA early Friday morning. And if you remember, I did all this searching and contacting on Thursday evening. So I have to say, I was impressed with their customer service. Having done the same thing with SquareUp that got me no reader, with Intuit, it got one overnighted to my door step! So Intuit GoPayment won me over!
Keep in mind this is just MY experience. I was rushed and this was all the info I could dig up in a short amount of time. Someone who has more time to devote may come up with more information. But, for me, as a very small business owner with a part time job and working on my product almost 24-7 I needed someone who could be RIGHT there to help me at any time. I feel I made the right decision for me. I suggest that everyone do the research and find out which works best for them!
If you have any question please feel free to ask!
Be sure and read my next blog post on how it went downloading the app attaching the credit card reader and actually getting my first credit card sales!