10 October 2013

If anyone has any advice out there, I'd love to hear it.

I need a solution to a problem.

The problem is that I need a way to get at people's money. The solutions that I have found are all blocked to me.

I'll elaborate. I have started doing craft shows- well,one or two- with younger. The one we did last year was so so for me and a bust for her. I think I have identified part of the problem: People aren't carrying money around any more. When I did the shows in years past, the people who came arrived with cash, ready to do some serious Christmas shopping. It wasn't uncommon for people to walk in with one or two hundred dollars in their pocket and ready to spend.

That was then. Now, people are so used to using plastic to pay for everything and are out of the habit of bringing cash. They may show up with a twenty in their pocket, and although I have stuff that they may like which costs twenty bucks, they are unwilling to part with the bill because that's all the money they have and they don't want to spend it all in one place. So nowadays, if I want to get to their money, I need to get to their plastic.

There are a few solutions hooked up to modern technology that would allow us to access their plastic, but each comes with another set of problems. There is the Square which can hook up to a large number of mobile devices. The problem is, we don't have any of those mobile devices. Some of the cheaper ones have wi-fi capacity, but the church basement is not wired for wifi. We need something cellular. Puff and I must be among the few people left who don't have a cell phone. We have been looking into getting a cell phone. A prepaid would seem to be the best option for us, as we have no plans on using it very often. We contact the square people who tell us no problem, there are prepaids out there which are compatible with their product. The best one seems to be Samsung, but, they warn us, we need to get a 730g, not the 730m. Okay, says we, shouldn't be too hard. There are 730 phones all over the city, one of them has to be a 'g'. Except they don't: every single one of them is an 'm'.

We can get something called a sim card and upgrade something that has wifi capacity to cellular, and we have found the card that you would use to charge up a prepaid sim card, but never the prepaid sim card. Every time we talk to someone at one of the stores about prepaid sim cards, they start talking plans, and I don't want to be on a plan. The whole point of this blasted affair is to not be on a plan. What I am saying is that I have a non perpetual problem that needs a non perpetual solution. Getting a phone so that I can make money off it a few times a year but paying for that phone every single month of the year makes no sense to me. I don't know for sure that this plan will work, and I don't want to get stuck dumping six hundred bucks down a three year hole for nothing.

So, does any one out there have any experience with the stuff who can steer me around these roadblocks? To put it bluntly, I need a cheap and legal way to get at people's credit and debit cards. Please give me an answer if you can. I've had one comment in the last fifteen posts. I could really do with one or two right now.


Matthew said...

If you don't need a phone then you can get an iPod Touch. It works with square just fine.

For internet you can get a mobile hotspot. It converts cellular to wifi so you can use it with your iPod Touch or any other wifi only device. (https://www.orderrogers.ca/rocket/hotspot/#/overview)

To avoid contracts you would have to purchase it $199, and if you only use it few times a year the charges would be small.

Bear said...

That is a possibility into which we were looking. It is a bit more money than I wanted to spend, but, on the other hand, far less than a contract or plan.

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