View Full Version : excepting personal checks

05-02-2004, 05:15 PM
I will be going to a couple knife shows this year. I will have tables and will be selling my knives at shows for the first time.
My questions are these.

How do you handle it when some one wants to buy a knife with a personal check? Do you tell them that will be fine and turn over the knife right there? or do you accept the check and tell them it will be sent as soon as the check clears?

I don't want to appear rude or like I don't want to sell my knives.

I don't have a way to accept credit cards. Are there any free or very low price ways to do this portable at shows?

cash is always great :D

What is the case with most people that attend some of the smaller shows (the buying public) do you see allot of personal checks ? or are most aware and come prepared with case?

Thanks Darren

05-03-2004, 06:54 AM
There was a huge thread on this one at Blade Forums. It also pops up here from time to time.
My wife collects. She uses credit cards and checks. We do not travel with large sums of money, and some shows are in towns or area of towns where I don't even want to be carrying that.
She spends happily away. When she encounters a cash only type, she tells them she might come back later. Then, if she hasn't found a similar knife elsewhere, and If after several more thoughts about it, she sometimes makes arrangements to send a money order while of course they hold the knife. Some tax avoiders and conservatives dodging taxes or creating their own paperless world will lose the sale because they refuse even that. But then they didn't need the business anyway. The problem for the buyer(actually the seller's problem) is that impulse buys go out the window and the hassle of travelling to the post office to sign for insured packages now becomes an issue.
The maker now has an extra layer of paperwork and trips to the post office.
Usually when the makers talk to us awhile and see that we have been buying from other established makers, they have no problem with a check. We have been on the circuit now for 3 years and she has been pretty happy.
Just my 2 cents worth, is get together with a couple of vendors and share a credit card machine. It is not strictly legal/policy, but most buyers will understand if you ask for the 3 or 4 % extra to cover the cost of the transaction.
Enjoy, Ken

05-03-2004, 07:24 AM
Darren, I do quite a few art shows (furniture, not knife related, yet). I take checks, and hope that I did the right thing. I do require all the usual, drivers license, phone numbers, etc. So far I've been lucky I guess. For credit cards, I take CC slips (the old kind with the carbons), and fill it out, and imprint their card, or at least write it in. When I get back home I run the cards by manually punching in the numbers. This has worked for me for many years. Maybe my time is coming though, it's a different world out there every day.

Frank J Warner
05-03-2004, 08:35 AM
I don't have a way to accept credit cards. Are there any free or very low price ways to do this portable at shows?

Hi Darren,

There are several low-cost ways to accept credit cards at shows. One of the best, I think, is using your cell phone to process cards.

Here's a link you can check out for basic information:

Cell Phone Credit Card Processing (

Or, do a google search on "credit card" AND "cell phone". You'll get lots of hits. It's just a matter of choosing the program that's best for you.

-Frank J Warner

Chuck Burrows
05-03-2004, 11:05 AM
Darren - if you are not setup for credit cards at all let alone for on the road you need a merchant account first off - check out
Total Merchants (
They can set you up for $99.00 and their service is excellent - usually takes about 48 hours to set you up. If you have any questions feel free to call me although their wesbsite should answer them all. (PS I've used other services and these are the best in my experience)

As to checks I'm like most of the above - I normally take them with all the basic ID info but you can get burned so......????

05-03-2004, 07:13 PM
Hey thanks guys for the answers, and the links.

Very good, that was just the help I was looking for.

I will be prepared when I hit the shows.

Thanks, Darren

07-02-2004, 04:33 PM
In California with my wifes Amber Jewlry buisness, we take checks at fairs and shows all the time. We take all the usual information. We have been burned only a couple of times in the last 8 years or so. And I believe we recovered the funds in all but one of those cases.

State law will usualy help you recover moneys on bad checks. And our state makes it easy for a small merchant to do so. After all it is in the states interest to create a possitive climate for small buisness people.

The only place that won't protect you is on out of state checks.

The other thing we do is stay in contact with other merchants on bad check writters. And I believe several other merchants groups also keep track of that info. Maybe your local knife makers club could keep a list and publish it to the members to keep in your cash box.