It looks like Square addressed most of the issues I brought up in my first review!

If you are selling stuff (and you don’t need Quickbooks integration and therefore don’t already use Intuit’s GoPayment app), there’s no reason not to use Square!


The original release of the app was a little too simple:

Now after about three years, it’s on its way to becoming a full point of sale system! (..pretty close, but still “on its way.”)

For the three of you not yet familiar with Square

In 2010, it was started by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter. He was — heck, it’s about as ubiquitous as the iPad itself. If you want to know the history, read Wikipedia! :)

Here are the basics. It’s an app that allows you to process credit cards when you sell stuff. Instead of hand-typing the card numbers, you use a little square card reader (you knew the name would be relevant eventually) which plugs into the headphone jack.

The pricing scheme is turbo simple: swiped transactions are 2.75%, and hand-keyed transactions are 3.5% + 15 cents. (So don’t forget your dongle!)

That’s it! The app is simple to use, and the fees are simple to decipher. It’s free to sign up, there are no monthly fees, no PCI compliance fees, no inactivity fees, no cancellation fees, no “nickel question tax“, none of that! You pay just a little bit when you sell stuff.

The fine art of selling stuff

The scenario — someone walks up, points at a thing you’re selling and says, “I wanna buy this!” and you say, “excuse me while I whip this out!” — and out comes Square.

Who wants some pictures!

Click on the thing they want, select the options (size, type, color, model).

Big ones cost more

Swipe the card, pack up the item, shake hands and smile, wait a day or two, and boom! You got money!

Pull up to the loading dock

Out of the box, the app starts empty. No items, no nothing. So just how did I get all that data entered so neatly into the app?

Steve Jobs once referred to PCs as being like trucks. They do the heavy lifting, while mobile devices (the “cars” in this analogy), do the everyday stuff. When it comes to the “point of sale” process, the tablet is the front-end, and the PC is the back-end.

Long long ago in the before time, we used to add items to Square directly from the app — go into “Edit” mode, press the plus sign, press “Add New Item”, hand-type the description, set a price, then if it had another price, click that option, click and type and click some more, and then repeat all that for the next item.

Now you can you use Excel to do all that. Then again, why shouldn’t you be able to use Excel? It’s been doing for that 28 years. Tablets aren’t built for this kind of stuff  (yet).

  1. Log into
  2. Go to the “Items” tab
  3. Download the template file
  4. Open it in Excel (see below)
  5. Add details
  6. Save it
  7. Import it back into Square, done!

Specific Details:

export an excel file with the import button
export an excel file with the import button

Once you open the file, you’ll see something like this:

Much bigger screen than my iPad.


The instructions on their website have more details than are relevant for this blog post.

Specifically, here’s how I got my titles (and thumbnails) of all 60 of my new Italy photos:

(My prices listed below are my prices. Yours are probably different based on manufacturing and economic factors which are beyond the scope of this blog post.)

Still to do

Since there’s a “Still to do” section in this post, I’ll add a few things I think Square should add.

That’s all the nitpicking I have for now — let’s get back to thanking Square for taking us so far from the days of having to use an old-fashioned, knuckle-busting receipt imprinter!