I must have those shoes. And your little dog, too. The truth is, when a gal like me gets swept up in an impulse-buying jag, there is no force on heaven or earth which can stand in the way of that purchase.
Except, of course, a merchant who can’t figure out how to break a 50, or a 20, can’t make change, doesn’t take debit or credit cards, or wants me to write a check (what’s that?). Good news for me, for the freestyle merchants who stand to make a bundle off me at the nearest farmers market, flea market, swap meet, yard sale, garage sale, estate sale, craft fair: this cool thingie called “PayAnywhere”.
It’s the new breed of credit card reader. It just plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone – and it’s compatible with iPad, iTouch, and late-model Androids. Get this: it even enables merchants to take my AmEx and Discover cards, meaning that I can truly abandon any vestige of self-restraint. Merchants who have kind of gotten hip to the mobile payment concept, using the previous technology in a predecessor reader called Square, get pale when they see an American Express card (I’m the one who should be getting pale, trust me) or Discover. But to a merch with a PayAnywhere reader, it’s all money, and it’s all good. Ka-ching!
So, here’s the sitch. I’m just not a Nordstrom shopper. Department stores and malls are for people with no imagination. I like to hunt, forage, pick, root, burrow and scavenge for my treasures. One of my best purchases ever: a turquoise ring purchased at the Tesuque flea market in Santa Fe. Yes, the stone, softly glowing, spider web-veined and green with age, is choice. The Old Pawn sterling setting is Navajo, understated, and old. But what makes this ring my favorite was the process of getting it.
It was raw and drizzly that spring morning, and the front of the glass case which contained the ring had been shattered by a few loose bricks bumping around in the flatbed of the merchant’s truck as he drove down the sun-baked, semi-frozen hard pack road into town. I literally pawed through shards of broken glass to get at the ring. The seller was impressed— my fingertips were bleeding when I peeled those damp Benjamins out of my fanny-pack and handed them over. He knocked 20 bucks off the price.
This is the sort of devotion and abandon that an outlaw shopper like me brings to the shopping, buying and transaction process. And it requires spontaneity and flexibility. When something—a vintage handbag, Bauer ringware, anything Bakelite, anything with the lolling tongue Rolling Stones logo, old illustrated children’s books, a beaded cashmere cardigan, a faded patchwork quilt, a pink teapot, a purple suede jacket with trippy Mongolian lamb trim, a strand of big faux baroque pearls – crosses my reptile brain, I am faster than all get-out on the effing draw. And this means that the seller better be ready to stand and deliver, and conduct mobile payments at a moment’s notice, on the spot. Otherwise, I’m moving on to my next kill. I don’t want to hear that American Express charges you too much. Please.
So, mobile business owners, heed my tale. You have no idea how many sales you’re losing, and how much return you’re missing out on when my eagle-eyes cross your booth at the local lemonade stand. Merchants also should note: PayAnywhere currently offers the lowest transaction fees in the industry—lower than any competitor—and offers a dedicated 24/7 phone support to assist sellers. The BBB gives them an A+. A few grumbles about the company holding funds while they verify the source to protect against fraud seem naïve, but even with this complaint, the company still earns A-ratings. This means they can take my money, day or night. That late-night convenience store with great sunglasses? Ka-ching! Those embroidered gauzy hippie blouses, spread out on a blanket in the parking lot? Ka-ching, I’ll take four, Christmas is coming. Thank-you, PayAnywhere, for enabling my addiction.