Accepting Credit Cards at Yard Sale

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Accepting Credit Cards at Yard Sale or Garage Sale is Easy!


We will discuss Step by Step instructions for accepting credit cards at your garage sale, yard sale, estate sale or flea market booth using your personal cell phone and secure servers such as Paypal and Square.The benefits of accepting credit cards at your garage sale are tremendous, and there really are no drawbacks as long as you are following general garage sale safety guidelines, as outlined on other pages here at

Using Square credit card payment at flea markets and garage sales is very easy and can directly improve your garage sale profits.Here you will learn the best options for accepting credit cards at flea markets and yard sales, and we will take you through the processes of 1) obtaining the credit card processing service and 2) how to swipe credit cards at a garage sale to accept payment.Imagine: A customer sees your Big-Screen TV, but does not have enough cash with them.  Years ago, 95% of these people would leave and not return.  Now, with one swipe, you can take their payment and sell your big ticket items in one swipe.  Awesome!!

credit card reader

Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards at Your Garage Sale or Flea Market Booth


  • Convenience for your customers:  The ability to be able to swipe a card to pay for items will directly make you more sales!  Many people do not carry cash in their wallets anymore, especially large amounts of cash.  If you offer credit card payments at garage sales and flea markets, you will sell more big ticket items.
  • Faster payment processing equals more transactions and happier customers: This is especially true for flea market hosts.  You can move people through with one quick swipe.  At garage sales, hosts can even walk around a talk to customers, and then when they decide to buy a big ticket item, immediately accept payment by swiping a card!
  • Security:  For both you and your customers.  You can accept large payments without having the security concern about having hundreds of dollars in your cash box.  You customer does not have to carry large amounts of cash with them while they shop.  Win-Win!
  • No more personal checks: Accepting credit cards at your garage sale allows you to accept large payments without the concern about bounced checks.  The credit card processor automatically checks to ensure that the payment is covered before completing the sale.
  • Easy to install and use.  It’s actually faster and easier than taking cash.  Type in the amount, swipe the card, get a signature (if using Square), DONE.
  • Bring in more customers:  Face it.  People like cool technology. You can advertise that you accept credit card payments in your garage sale classified ad or flea market ad, or sign.  People will notice this amenity, as most garage sales do not offer it.  Garage sale shoppers and flea market shoppers will naturally think that your sale or booth must be worth going to because you have gone the extra mile to make them happy and accept credit cards.  It gives you automatic legitimacy.




All Major Credit Cards Can be Accepted at Flea Markets, Garage Sales and Yard Sales Using Services like Square and Paypal

The Service Costs About $3-4 for a $100 Transaction.



The Square Reader Allow Flea Market and Garage Sale Hosts to Accept Credit Cards, Obtain Photo ID, and Collect Signatures for ID Verification.

Accepting Credit Cards at Yard Sale or Garage Sale:  How It Works


There are several different ways to accept credit cards at your garage sale or flea market.  You can even offer your customers different options to pay using their credit cards in order to address security and identity theft concerns.

Here are several methods for taking credit card payments:

1)  Have your customer pay you instantly from their own cell phone.  You Need:  A Smart Phone, Tablet, or Laptop at your location and an active internet credit card payment account such as Paypal.How to do it:  You give the customer the total amount they owe you and the email address associated with your account.  The customer goes to their Paypal account from their smart phone and sends you a payment via Paypal to your account.Paypal processes the payment within seconds.  You access your Paypal account and ensure that the customer’s Paypal payment was accepted and cleared.  Payment completed.  Paypal sends both you and your customer an email with a receipt.  You can print out a receipt from your PC, if you choose, but it is not necessary.

Concerns:  Be very careful when you log in to your Paypal account when there are people around.  DO NOT LET ANYBODY SEE YOUR PASSWORD when you log in!  Obviously, you will have to accept payments yourself – co-hosts and helpers should not be using your Paypal account.  Also, double check to ensure that the Paypal payment was an Instant Transfer and that it was completed.

Paypal also offers ‘e-check’ payments for non-verified accounts.  These payments take 5-10 days to clear.  Do not accept e-check payments on site, as they are not verified completed payments.  They will occasionally bounce, just like a personal check.


2)  Accept Credit Cards at Yard Sale via a  Credit Card Swiper:

You Need:  A Smart Cell Phone or computer, a card swiper, and an active account with an online credit card processor.

How to do it:  You give the customer the total that they owe you.  They give you their credit card for payment.  You swipe the card through a credit card swiper that is connected to your own cell phone or PC.  Payment is processed via Paypal, ProPay or Google payments.

Concerns:  Some customers are legitimately concerned about handing their credit card to a person in a garage sale setting, or having their credit card number scanned through another person’s cell phone.   Most people will not have a problem with this method, but there is always option #1, which allows customers to send you payment through their own cell phone.


3)  Accept Credit Cards at your garage sale on your smart phone via Square.

You Need: A Smart Phone, PC or I-Pad, Wi-Fi connection, the Square application.

How to do it:

Step by Step Directions for Accepting all major credit cards with the Square Reader

Both the set-up and the application are very easy to use.  Hosts can either use a credit card reader or manually enter items and the customer’s credit card number.  The customer can even be billed via telephone, email, or Skype for the manual method.  The reader is shipped to Square users for free after sign-up, or you can pick one up at your local store for a low cost.  Square is probably the most complete payment processor.  It allows users many functions, including photo ID, detailed receipts sent by email, signature entry, and much more.  It is quickly becoming part of doing business for larger flea market vendors, and they are popping up more at large garage sales, as well.

Concerns:  Same as #2.


Credit Cards at Yard Sale: Fees Comparison 05/13

% of Sale                                       Transaction Fee                         Per $100

Square:       2.75%                                0.15                                     $2.90

PayPal         2.90%                                0.30                                     $3.20


Paypal reduces the percentage for high volume users.  Square costs slightly more for manual payment entry.

Due to per transaction fees, garage sale hosts may elect to allow credit card payments only for transactions above a certain amount such as $10 or $20.


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