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Chris J
06-08-2007, 08:41 AM
Which among you accept credit cards? This is something I've been meaning to set up for a long, long time but I still haven't gotten around to it.
Is there any pointers you could give such as the type of processing equipment that is easiest to use in the field? I asked a company about this before, and they were going to charge 3% of every sale, plus a $35 minimum fee per month. This just didn't seem fair to me. I could'nt see handing over 3% of my sales just to put it on a card. I also heard it was illegal to add a fee to a customers bill in order to defer these costs if they opted to use a card. Have you heard of this. One guy told me that he simply charges more up front, but offers a discount for cash.
Any of this make sense to you guys? Do you know of any good CC companies that I could call?
Thanks,

Pro-Scapes
06-08-2007, 09:09 AM
swiped i pay 1.72% if I key it in then it costs more. Monthly minimum is $20.00 in processing fees and I think I pay around .25 cents per authorizations too.

I have only taken 2 credit cards for lighting. They had the cash but wanted the airline miles or something.:cry: figure out 2% of 9k. In the future I will ask payment method ahead of time and offer that cash discount :) I dont think you can charge more for CC's but I may be mistaken.

Another option is team up with a smaller local finance co. Many offer 12mo same as cash. You get paid within a week and zero fees to you.

Turf Troll
06-08-2007, 11:41 AM
Shop your rate, credit card acceptance is a very competitive market, you don't need a machine if your going to do just a few transactions.

Your local bank probably will charge the most that has always been my experience.

High Performance Lighting
06-09-2007, 01:02 AM
Which among you accept credit cards? This is something I've been meaning to set up for a long, long time but I still haven't gotten around to it.
Is there any pointers you could give such as the type of processing equipment that is easiest to use in the field? I asked a company about this before, and they were going to charge 3% of every sale, plus a $35 minimum fee per month. This just didn't seem fair to me. I could'nt see handing over 3% of my sales just to put it on a card. I also heard it was illegal to add a fee to a customers bill in order to defer these costs if they opted to use a card. Have you heard of this. One guy told me that he simply charges more up front, but offers a discount for cash.
Any of this make sense to you guys? Do you know of any good CC companies that I could call?
Thanks,

It's the cost of doing business. I've been going through costco for around 8 yrs or so now. Novus I think the service provider is. When I first started they were the lowest game around. Now I don't think so. I bought the electronic machine outright for $450 and 2 yrs later they told me I had to buy another one for $650 because the one i had was outdated The new law stated that the printer had to place x's where the #'s are except for the last 4 digits on the receipt. I called them and said what choo talkin bout willis. What am I to do with this $450 relic? They took pity and told me to send in my old and they would send me the new and they did.
I don't advertise that i take visa and mastercard but if i feel it may help close a sale I dig down deep into my bag of tricks and pull it out. Got burned this evening though. Got a call from a new client who saw the visa/mastercard option on the bottom of the contract after i left with her $2,000.00 deposit check. She told me to rip up the check and she gave me the mastercard # over the phone. A sale is a sale though. I've also heard that you cannot add cc fees to a client's bill. Wonder how the gas companies get away with it though. One price for cash one for credit.

Turf Troll
06-09-2007, 06:44 AM
Having a charge for using a credit card is becoming more evident my last printing company has the notice on their web site. Maybe the law/rule whatever it was has changed, I was told before that I couldn't charge an additional fee for the card but it was the people setting up the machine that told me that so maybe they were covering their own interest.

Pro-Scapes
06-09-2007, 09:43 AM
If you cant charge a fee then just make the 2% built in and offer cash discounts ??? Wouldnt this work ?

If you use quickbooks thier system is the easiest. If I get busier later I will get a cellular swipe terminal but for now its no big deal to key it in and make sure it goes thru before I order materials.

extlights
06-09-2007, 11:55 AM
We usually just call the card in. Excepting credit cards has almost become a necessity these days. We started taking credit a few years ago and although we would rather deal in cash or check, credit allows a business to help close a sale that could otherwise go south.

I don't remember what we get charged from the merchant company, but then again we don't get many credit cards. I look at it like this. The price of everything goes up yearly, we just take into consideration the costs for excepting credit cards and that becomes part of our quote.

When you figure a quote you have to take everything...as far as overhead into account. Accepting credit cards is part of your overhead. Anything that you have to pay for is overhead...that includes credit card fees.

niteliters
06-09-2007, 06:01 PM
dave, a little off the subject, do you know of a guy in chicago, Steve, with lightscapes or maybe litescapes? What's the nameof your business, I remember reading about you reconfiguring your website. What is your web address?

extlights
06-10-2007, 12:34 PM
Chris, I don't know of the person you are speaking of. It's possible that he might do business further south of us. We work in the northern and northwest suburbs of Chicago. We also go as far as 30 miles north of Milwaukee and further northwest towards Madison, WI.

As far as the website goes, I'll post the link when the site is completed. The designer said it should be ready in about a week or two.

David Gretzmier
06-10-2007, 08:17 PM
My Sister sell the machines and service, It is around 1.75% of purchase and 60 per month, with a minimum .35 per transaction. 2 year deal, free machine.

I have only had one customer in 7 years ask for a credit card transaction and we did it through paypal, which cost us twice that.

Until I get more folks asking for cards, even though my sister sells them, I'm gonna stick with cash.

High Performance Lighting
06-10-2007, 08:31 PM
My Sister sell the machines and service, It is around 1.75% of purchase and 60 per month, with a minimum .35 per transaction. 2 year deal, free machine.

I have only had one customer in 7 years ask for a credit card transaction and we did it through paypal, which cost us twice that.

Until I get more folks asking for cards, even though my sister sells them, I'm gonna stick with cash.


4 credit card deals this month alone. 1 this morning. Deal probably wouldn't have closed if I didn't offer credit card payments. Reluctance to make a deposit. Once I offered visa/mastercard option deal signed immediately .

Pro-Scapes
06-10-2007, 09:34 PM
60 per month is outrageous. Different markets will bring different clients. Here there seems to be more trust. If my memory serves correct after a few adult beverages the only client to bark about my deposit requests is the local hospital whom we have done a great deal of work for. Sorry Im not fronting 10k in materials for any body.

High Performance Lighting
06-10-2007, 09:39 PM
60 per month is outrageous

more than covers the cost of the "free" machine

David Gretzmier
06-10-2007, 10:10 PM
the 60 per month is variable based on the contract you agree to. if you go 3 years it drops to 45 per month, and 4 years is 30, etc.

it is to pay for the "free " machine, but also to send a bill and service the account. different folks get different deals on whatever they run through the machine.

I've heard of guys getting charged just the percentage and no monthly fees, but the percentage was higher.

I've heard that the more you run through the machine it is less, etc.

I think the sales folks will do whatever it takes to close a deal, but there is a floor to what they charge, and they ain't doing credit cards for free.

msouthard
06-11-2007, 09:05 PM
Accepting Credit Cards is a huge advantage for a contractor, especially in todays world where every credit card company give's it's members points, miles, cash rebate, Etc. EXTLIGHTS is right on, the costs should just be added in as a cost of doing business, add to your overhead costs. I personally just chose one landscape contractor over another (all things being equal) because he took AMEX and the other did not. All things being equal, I would rather get the membership miles versus not(plus the extra 30 days to pay). I have a friend who owns a large furntiture store (millions of dollars in purchases) and he pays all his invoices with AMEX at their due date. He accumulates millions of membership miles and uses that for vacations for his family, etc.

David Gretzmier
06-12-2007, 02:22 AM
I think it is a volume thing. mike g does 4 credit card deals a month, it is worth it. we had a machine 7 years ago, tried to use it one time and it didn't work. we had the logo in our yellow page ad, and we spent about 2 grand in fees over 2 years and cancelled the thing.

we were on track to do over a million a year when I sold that business, and not once did I feel like we got a sale because we took credit cards, because only one person ever gave us one !

That being said, I do use mine for miles, and I would gladly buy my lighting job on one, but I'm not about to sign a contract committing me to 30, 60 per month until I get customers asking me about them. and that ain't happening much.

once or twice on Christmas lights, and I can run a credit card through paypal for that little volume.

Really, every one can TAKE credit cards, all you need to do is set up a paypal account online and pay 3%. once that 3% gets to be alot of money, buy a machine or get a contract for around 1.75%

seolatlanta
06-12-2007, 03:18 PM
for those of you using Quickbooks you can use their service which is called Innovative Merchant Solutions.

If you have QB click on "accept CC payments" and it will guide you through it.Of course you will have to fax in a voided check and set up banking info etc but once you do it is so easy.

poolboy
06-12-2007, 07:52 PM
We use a service form Cardservice International. We use their web base site to make the transactions linkpointcentral.com. No equip to buy, we just do it on the internet.

Chris J
06-12-2007, 08:57 PM
for those of you using Quickbooks you can use their service which is called Innovative Merchant Solutions.

If you have QB click on "accept CC payments" and it will guide you through it.Of course you will have to fax in a voided check and set up banking info etc but once you do it is so easy.

David,
What's their charges?

seolatlanta
06-12-2007, 10:16 PM
Hey Chris

It is 37.99 a month and 1.5% for VISA and MC and 3.15 for AMEX.


I look at it as a cost of business and it has definitely paid for itself. It is a real timesaver - Atlanta is so big it makes it easier to recieve payments over the phone instead of sitting 2 hours in traffic to go get a check.

If anyone here does holiday lighting you have to have the ability to run CC's because folks will charge that.

J&T Kiev
06-12-2007, 10:30 PM
I like accepting credit cards, I get paid FAST while the customer floats the money .When I place a bid with a customer, I build the fees into my bids, but the up selling of services will many times over pay the processing fees. We pay an average of 1.80 % on charges, 14.95 a month fee. Iíll have to ask my wife about the setup costs, I do remember they were minimal. The posterís 60$ a month fee, is unacceptable.

Chris J
06-12-2007, 11:12 PM
I like accepting credit cards, I get paid FAST while the customer floats the money .When I place a bid with a customer, I build the fees into my bids, but the up selling of services will many times over pay the processing fees. We pay an average of 1.80 % on charges, 14.95 a month fee. Iíll have to ask my wife about the setup costs, I do remember they were minimal. The posterís 60$ a month fee, is unacceptable.

J&T,
Would you mind sharing your provider?

jeremyt1998
06-12-2007, 11:22 PM
quickbooks offers this service. it is great b/c you enter customers # in once and it there for you to charge over and over again

Chris J
06-12-2007, 11:52 PM
Hmmmmm, I'm not really feeling the way you explain this Francisco but keep trying mex!

Chris J
06-13-2007, 12:11 AM
Paul, help......texas people........translation please!!!!!!!!!!

David Gretzmier
06-13-2007, 02:11 AM
had a bid tonight wanted credit card, I told them I take it through paypal, they will front me 1/2 draw tomorrow on landscape lights ( 1300 ) and full price on Christmas light items of 1800, so the 3100 on paypal will cost me 90 bucks or so, but no machine, no monthly fee, etc.

% is high, but I don't pay monthly fees when I run no credit card volume either, so figure this- most cards are around 1.75 % vs. 3% of paypal. If your monthly fees are 25 per month, you have to do 2000 in credit card volume to break even, every month compared to paypal.

for me, my volume is too low to consider credit cards now, but I'm keeping an open mind about it.

Also that post about holiday lights and needing to take credit cards-In 7 years, 125+ current properties, 25-35 new customers every year past 3 years, I turn away work every year, 3 ! count them 3! credit card transactions in 7 years and two were on paypal. You don't have to have to take credit cards to do Christmas lights. they'll pay cash !,

NightScenes
06-13-2007, 08:53 AM
I use Pay Pal as well if I have a cc order. It only happens about twice a year though. These clients can write a check and miles aren't that important.

Pro-Scapes
06-13-2007, 10:19 AM
for those of you using Quickbooks you can use their service which is called Innovative Merchant Solutions.

If you have QB click on "accept CC payments" and it will guide you through it.Of course you will have to fax in a voided check and set up banking info etc but once you do it is so easy.

ditto that david.. couldnt be any easier.

Gretz.... Have you ever advertised you take CC's ? Our mailer is already at print but im considering adding the visa mastercard logo to our next mailer to see if it helps any. Some people who dont have the cash up front may not even call unless they know you take CC's

We are re creating the text on our website next week and will be adding the visa mastercard logo. If it gets to a volume where it would justify it I will invest in a cellular machine. I been considering this for a while now and it just seems more proffesional altho alot of people already have paypal accts.

Also talk to your local bank about an old fashioned imprinter machine. Depending on thier small business program they may offer one at no charge or a small fee then may or may not be a monthly fee. It will cost you about 3% of the sale... Inprint the card... fill out the slip then deposit it with your checks.

niteliters
06-13-2007, 11:36 AM
look forward to seeing your new sight. This compnay, let me know if your find out anything about them. Client I work with down south works with the in the north..trying to learn more about them.