Antique Shops: improve profits by accepting cards

Small Business Advice 7 June 2011

Everywhere you go these days you’re likely to see a card terminal on the counter. People have become very accustomed to paying for their goods and services with a debit card and are more happy to do so than ever before since they became more secure with Chip and PIN technology. However, there are still some shops out there that don’t feel as though they need to accept debit cards; this can be a dreadful mistake when you consider how much it actually costs to set up a merchant account and begin using them.


Some antique shops still operate in this way and it has long been a cash business simply because of the highly negotiable price of many items in store. But having a debit card terminal on the counter needn’t be a reason not to haggle, after all, the agreed price still has to be paid. The only problem that an antique dealer may come across is the fact that the customer may feel that their negotiation will be significantly improved by using cash.

This is a problem that will eventually disappear as soon as you accept card payments because the fact remains that statistically people prefer to pay for their goods and services with their debit cards; no matter what they may be. Over the last ten years debit card usage has risen fourfold, at twice the rate of overall spending! This is for a variety of reasons, but chiefly among them is the fact that using a debit card gives them instant access to all the funds in their bank account whenever they need them.

Sell more

With this in mind, it’s worth noting that many people who use their debit cards will be enabled to spend more money than they have on them. They may well enter your antique shop with a pocket full of cash, but they will no doubt have more in the bank, and with this temptation in their pocket, if they see something particularly interesting (which is why they’re shopping in your store) they will use their card to pay for it.

The credit card

The credit card may well be the bane of many peoples’ existence, but it is in no way bad news for your antique shop. As soon as you open a merchant account, get your card terminal and begin accept card payments you will be enabled to take payments via credit card too. This of course allows you customer to spend money they simply don’t have. If they see something they must have, and you accept their credit card, then they are going to get it; most shoppers in antique stores are impulse buyers and they are they to get something original at a good price; if they have their credit card with them it’s highly unlikely they’re going to leave with nothing.

Get a merchant account

A merchant account is simply the account you open with an independent payment processor that processes all the transactions you receive through your terminal. You shouldn’t be charge to set one up, but you will be expected to pay a leasing fee for your terminal and of course the merchant fees connected with each transaction you take through the terminal. These fees will seem negligible when you fully realise just how much more money you can make.

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