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Daily Wire Tip: Taking Checks at Shows
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
I’m about to set up a stand at my first ever arts and crafts event. Jewelry making is only a hobby for me, not a real business, as I am disabled and physically can’t put in a lot of time bent over beadwork. I would like to sell some of my work to pay for my hobby, plus no one person really needs 100 sets of rosary beads!
Some of my pieces are made of very expensive gemstones and lampwork beads as well as silver and gold. These items I am pricing between $200 – $300. This is not unreasonable, as I paid that much for a very nice rosary made of silver and amethyst years ago before I got into the craft myself.
I really can’t afford to lose that much money from a bad check, but that’s how most people pay at this event. What do you think about the risk of a check bouncing, as opposed to not selling anything at all and not even covering the cost of the stall? What recourse do I have if a check does bounce? Thanks.
-Deborah in Winter Haven, Florida
First Deborah, Congratulations!! I am always excited when I hear about someone participating in their first show – especially with what sound like really lovely works.
Now, about taking personal checks at a show or anywhere else. Speaking from experience, most of the WS Faculty agree that people will bounce a check for milk, but not for jewelry. However, there are those few that could really set an artist back.
Myself, I will always take a personal check. I always get the buyer’s current home and cell phone number (also ask for their work number if you want to be really cautious), making sure that I also see their driver’s license (write that number down on the check too), and to make sure that their mailing address is correct. First off, because I take the time to get this information, the customer knows I am serious, and if the check should bounce, I will call and hunt them down!
Now, if you do not wish to have a check bounce and have to do the “hassle/hunt” thing, you could check with another vendor who is set up close to your booth, and ask if they accept credit cards. If so, you can ask if, in the case you have to save a sale by taking a credit card, will they process it for you. Most folks will say yes and charge you a fee (like 5-7% or whatever they need to pay for the processing and sales percentage fees that they will be charged by the credit card companies). You and they can decide if they will pay you cash in full (minus the fees percentage) or pay you 50% cash at the end of the show, and after the card charges clear, they will send you the balance. Usually this works well when you know the vendor, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Another venue for your particular work, rosaries, might be to inquire about consignment sales at religious gift stores or schools. Good Luck Deborah, I hope you sell out!!
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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