setting up a credit card merchant account?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lizza, May 9, 2006.

  1. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :help:

    Does anyone take credit cards for their business? We really need to get a wireless machine (and account) for some big craft fairs we are doing. Does anyone know how to find a decent company to sign up with or if there is a company that leases the machines. The wireless ones are very expensive and we would really just need to lease one for now. I certainly don't want to get burned!

    I've looked around our bank's web site and didn't see that they offered credit card merchant accounts (Washington Mutual, we have a business and personal account there) but I was going to call them first.

    Any help would be very much appreciated!
     
  2. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    We used to have a merchant's account with Wells Fargo. However, since my husband sells his product seasonally, the $30 a month flat fee was too expensive to justify it. I recommend that you go with an internet gateway versus leasing/buying a machine. That way (since you are obviously computer literate), you can input all of the charges for that day on your computer nightly.

    You might check paypal. They have a "virtual merchant account" if you sign up with a business account. It's about $20 a month I believe, plus their regular fees.

    donsgal
     

  3. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    We've been using a Nurit 3010 wireless for a couple of years. We had a wireless palm pilot system prior to that. Lots of problems. Most companies have some monthy fee plus a wireless gateway fee. If you are going to have large sale days where you need to process more than a couple thousand you need to let them know that because most accounts have a daily limit. If you hit that on a weekend you are out of luck.

    If you have a Bank of the West near you, give them a ring. They are just starting a new small business credi card program.

    Make sure you have the machine in plenty of time to learn it and get any bugs out.
     
  4. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    Our CC terminal stays at home, and when we go to show we use the old-fashioned manual imprinter. When we get home, we enter the data into the terminal. Most wired terminals can be used in "batch" mode, where you enter the CC data at the show and when you get home or back to your hotel, you just plug it in to the phone line and transmit the entire day's sales at once.

    Check with your regular bank, most of them have a merchant services program. In fact, check with a couple of local banks, sometimes the rates are better. We are in the process of changing banks (moving to one right here in town instead of one two towns away) and the difference in discount rates is going to save us upwards of $1000 per year!
     
  5. auntieemu

    auntieemu Well-Known Member

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    We use Pro Pay - www.propay.com on our farm sales unless they want to use paypal.
     
  6. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are still calling around. With the old fashioned imprinter do you run the risk of taking bad/stolen credit cards? With the wireless I know that (I'm assuming) the charges get approved on the spot. I will definetly check into the daily limits! That would be a real bummer if we hit our limit and couldn't take anymore. We only do a few bigger fairs a year and I'm really trying to find the best option. Going without a credit card machine just doesn't seem to be an option anymore, everyone wants to pay with a debit/credit and I certainly want them to spend the extra $$$$ (even with the extra fees to take the cards).
     
  7. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is this only for internet sales? I need something to take to craft fairs. Thanks!
     
  8. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    This is pretty interesting and as Dashley and I will need something like this in a few months, would one of you please start at the beginning and go in baby steps walking us through the process .....

    I want to sell crafts and or farm produce ... What all do I need to allow someone to purchase them via credit card? How will it work? Who gets the money and when? What's involved in using a credit card machine? What about tax and such?

    Please start at the VERY beginning and go through it ......
     
  9. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    If you have a merchant account, you can use a cell phone at outside events to check credit cards and use a manual swipe machine. There is of course a charge/fee for the phone in.

    I'm hearing good things about............ MobileArtisans.com at http://mobileartisans.com/
     
  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use CCNow. They are at www.ccnow.com and have a user friendly website. If you go there and are asked who referred you, use Thumb Knitting.
     
  11. auntieemu

    auntieemu Well-Known Member

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    If someone calls in their credit card I can take it over the phone and run it through by going up to the website. You don't get a machine or anything.

    Why not talk to your bank and see what they can help you set up?
     
  12. JGex

    JGex Pragmatist

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    Call your bank and ask them if they have a merchant solution.
     
  13. Michee

    Michee Well-Known Member

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    Banks generally won't be able to offer you the best rates unless you are doing high volume but it defintely doesn't hurt to check and talk to them. Other places to check is Sams Club and Costco, I'm told they offer good merchant rates (you have to become a business member). I checked a couple years ago but while their rates were good couldn't beat my current rates.

    Technology changes too fast for me to say what is best for current wireless but some hints to watch out for....make very sure the areas you will be traveling to will be covered. I'm no longer doing shows (did for 15 years though) but wireless won't cover about 30-40% of the areas I traveled. I used the old analog cell phone systems for 10 years with a tranz 420 machine(still use the machine but I don't travel anymore) which pretty much no longer will work as analog is gone but in trying to switch to wireless, it wasn't a solution for me(Alabama and surrounding states has huge gaps in wireless coverage). Also make sure you check out the wireless system you choose with someone other than the seller(bank, whatever), some towers are being changed 2005-2007 and some systems will become unusable, I don't remember the exact details but my rep mentioned it last year.

    On a real merchant account(not propay or ccnow) you won't have acceptance limits. Quote" With the old fashioned imprinter do you run the risk of taking bad/stolen credit cards? " Absolutely. With the old fashion way you will have to call in after the show or use a cell phone during the show. If you don't call in and the card is stolen or declined you will just be out the money. The actual manual imprinter these days, is used to just prove the card was present at the time of the sale. This helps in the case of a chargeback later and is only for your security and is not required to run a charge.

    I've used TeaMac Inc(they have a website I think) for the past 3-4 years for my merchant account provider. Monthly rates are low, merchant rates are good they don't raise prices often(once in 4 years and that was only the merchant rates due to changes that affected everyone not just them). They specalize in artists so are very used to dealing with folks that do shows and may not use their account every single month (called seasonal). That's the other question to ask....what happens if you don't use the account every month, some will close you account on you if you are too seasonal.
     
  14. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much for all the helpful advice! I really appreciate it! :)