Watch out for gift or prepaid credit cards

This just in from Tina Mammoser.

Hi all – this info was given to me by another artist who lost some credit card sale income:

We're getting more "gift" and "prepaid" credit cards here now so it's relevant. If you do take a giftcard Visa or similar at an art or craft fair or other event be sure to process it right away. These are basically just pre-loaded cards. The problem can be if the person buying doesn't pay attention to their balance right and continues purchasing on it later in the day, before you process payment – then your payment can fail later. The preloaded and gift cards just take money off the balance as each transaction is processed.

One way of spotting these is that they don't have a name on them since they're generic and preloaded. (I use them a bit in the US, friends and family give my money that way rather than cash.)

It's not that the buyers are at all dishonest! Just that misjudgments in spending can happen.

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4 comments to Watch out for gift or prepaid credit cards

  • I recently read (and can’t seem to remember where) that in economic hard times people turn to art as a life-enriching investment. With this in mind, I feel collectors will still be buying artworks, despite our current economic crisis. They will probably be more selective in their purchases and will spend more time thinking about a specific piece before buying, but will still purchase those works in the end. This just makes sense, for works of art do enrich one’s life by allowing one to escape reality for awhile and enter into an extraordinary world of imagination, creativity and beauty.

  • RE: credit cards: Yikes- With all the art fairs and gallery sales I’ve done over the years only once did I have a serious rip off. And then it was kind of sad, and sort of speaks to both the credit card & Hap’s comment. The guy bought an armful of giclees, a small original and a handful of cards. I was thrilled. He seemed a little odd, but had all the right id’s etc. I didn’t have a radio powered card machine in to run the card with, but that night in the hotel the card bounced. The next day I went to the fair managers and told them. Their response was a big shock: oh, we’ve heard about him! But they hadn’t spread the word!!!! I went to the police and reported it, but my loss didn’t amount to enough for them to take action. It wasn’t until all the artists who he had ripped off reported their losses that it mounted up to enough for the police to bother with. About 6 months later I got almost everything back and the guy went to jail. The really sad thing was that as Hap said, the guy had taken the stuff because he loved it. He had everything hung on his walls. I think he was actually a sufferer of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Having taught in many classrooms for years, I realized afterwards that the reason he had seemed odd were the minor facial distortions that sometimes accompany that condition. One of the manifestations of that condition is that they just don’t understand the difference between right and wrong. The fair now has a policy in place that if one artist reports a bad card the info is couriered around swiftly. Other fairs I’ve been in use loudspeakers. The smart thing would be to acertain the fair’s policy before the show.

  • You should try to have best credit card to fulfill it.

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