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Topic: Taking checks at craft fairs  (Read 18380 times)
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« on: June 03, 2004 05:57:16 PM »

I'm getting ready to do my first outdoor craft fair.  I feel more comfortable running things cash-only, but some people, (ok, just my sister), are predicting doom and gloom if I am not willing to take checks. 

All of my stuff is priced $35 and under, and this particular fair will be in a downtown area, where the city closes off a few blocks of the street.  There are bound to be atm's nearby, if people need to get cash.  I was thinking that as a compromise, if some one really insisted on writing a check, I would offer to hold their item until the check cleared, and then mail it to an address they provide.  That way, if the check bounces, I am not out my products.  Of course, my sister thinks this is a stupid idea, and will drive away business.  Of course, she's never done a craft fair, but she's a busy body, so you know how that goes... Wink

Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?   
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2004 06:08:36 PM »

I took checks at a fair once and had no problems.  What I did was request to see a drivers license so I could match up the address on the license and the check.  If you want more security, you can ask for a phone number or write down the license number.  Chances are, very few people will want to write checks anyway, so the risk is pretty minimal.

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2004 07:09:56 PM »

I wouldn't take checks. I have been burned so many times, and 35 bucks here, 35 bucks there adds up. Perhaps you should ask your sister if she wants to guarantee any checks you might take? *grin*
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2004 06:27:50 AM »

I have taken checks at sales. So far I have not had any problems. i would say if you are that concerned, and there are plenty of ATMs nearby then go ahead with cash only. Where I have done fairs there isn't usually an easy access ATM, so I take checks.


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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2004 08:38:24 AM »

I think it depends-- If you're going to have a lot of older people (who are basically the only ones who write checks) then I would say, yeh, go ahead and take them. You could take them on a case by case basis-- For example, only do it if the total is over $20 and the person says "Oh, darn it, I don't have enough cash. Can I write a check?" DEFINITELY get their license and phone number though. I would also make sure your bank doesn't charge you if a check bounces from someone else (If I deposit a check from "BOB" and his check bounces, not only am I out the money, but my credit union charges me $5... so I never, ever accept checks!). ^_^


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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2004 08:52:19 AM »

I think you'll know right away if the check is good or bad - if it's a low number and has absolutely no information - don't take it.  Getting the driver's license information is a great idea - and the phone number is key - you can also offer to send the item once the check has cleared (but that's postage costs on your part). 

Of course if you do receive a bad check the next time you attend your craft fair inform you fellow vendors (in some way) so that they don't fall victim to the same situation.

If you're able to actually take the check in back of your booth to "verify" it - it could potentially spook anyone who's writing bad checks - just open a binder and look at pages (you're pretending to be looking for something)

You might also check with your fellow vendors - perhaps the person next door has a mobile check verification system - they are really cool - but pricey.

Good luck!  What are you selling?

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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2004 05:37:11 AM »

I take checks at shows, but I let everyone know that there's a fee (20.00) if it bounces.  I also check licenses and take a phone numbers.

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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2004 06:14:08 AM »

How do you charge the $20 fee? Do you have a way to electronically resubmit the check?

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2004 08:02:33 AM »

Many of my best sales have been made to customers who paid by check (and probably would not have been made otherwise).  I always take checks, but those who say to check IDs and get phone numbers are absolutely right.

I've done tons of craft fairs, and taken lots of checks; and I haven't gotten burned yet...
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2004 06:38:02 AM »

I think it would be fine to take just cash, since all the items are less than $35.
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