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View Full Version : CHARGE!!


Bob Shoaff
01-29-2001, 02:01 AM
OK. I am on a marketing kick and have been for a month solid now. Next idea although not original is accepting Visa/Matercard. Now, I have not actually started this yet and my decision will be made here.....in this forum....Lawnsite.com. So tell me your thoughts all of you wise landscapers big and small. Good idea or bad. Any experiences to share.
Thanks, Bob

KirbysLawn
01-29-2001, 02:07 AM
I've accepted MC/Visa/AmEx for over a year now with ZERO transactions. If someone wanted to pay, I can't honestly say I would remember how to do the transaction now.

I do sell on Ebay often and use both BillPoint and PayPal, I offer email invoicing but have had no response yet. I think if you do landscaping in high $$$ it may be good, for me I have had no use for it yet.

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 01-29-2001 at 02:15 AM]

HOMER
01-29-2001, 06:03 AM
Been in business since '96 and haven't been asked but once, that was by a commercial account. I think I'll stay away from them for now. Maybe the high dollar landscapers have luck with em but lil ol me jus ain't.

SpringValley
01-29-2001, 07:08 AM
We had offered Visa/MC for the first two years we were in business. The bank charged me a flat $10/month for the imprinter and when I had a transaction, I had to pay 10% of that for a processing fee. I had one transaction in two years so I cancelled it. IF you are doing a large number of transactions it would be beneficial and the 10% fee gets lowered as you go up in the number of transactions. Overall it is kind of a pain. Keep in mind you have to call in your verification on the spot. If you wait to do it you may not get paid if their card is maxed out.

Matt
Spring Valley Landscape & Fence Co.

Greenkeepers
01-29-2001, 08:39 AM
We were thinking about it but no only one person has asked about it. We'll take a survey again this year to see what people think.

David Hickerson
01-29-2001, 09:49 AM
I had the same experience with customers not using the credit way. I took a different approach last year and made a big difference. All new customers that I got I told them "What credit card would you want me to bill to" Explained that they could pay by check but if the check was not received by the 9th of the following month I would simply charge the credit card. I had to do this because all of the money I lost in prior year. Close to 2G. Had very little resistance thus far. I have gotten more of my original customers to pay this way just by asking and explaining that it keeps my cost down and saves every body time.

I use authorizenet.com . I have a lady coming to see me this morning about a check scanner. This would eliminate the need to go to the bank to make deposits. No idea what the cost is. Call me lazy, welll only if you mean it.

JimLewis
01-29-2001, 12:01 PM
I have had similar experience as Kirbys and Spring Valley. We had a V/M machine for a few years and we had to pay horrendous fees and it was only used 3 times. It definitely wasn't worth it. So we got rid of it.

The banks determine your fees based on usage. So even if you start off at a good rate (say 2% of the sale), once they realize you aren't using it very often they will begin hiking up their prices.

I hardly ever have people ask if we take them. And for those that do ask about it I've never lost the job because I didn't take it. Most clients didn't expect me to take it anyway. They were just hoping maybe I did. But they were going to have me do the work and pay me regardless.

I think there are some creative solutions out there though. A lot of people are on the net these days and there are some great ways to pay with a credit card online. For instance, I have a few clients who pay me with Paypal.com. It was their idea too! Works great for both of us. One client pays their monthly lawn care bill via paypal.

yardsmith
01-29-2001, 02:39 PM
Interesting post; was on my mind lately.
I had a guy call last month to give a bid; they were switching cuz they only paid by credit card, & last guy wasn't set up to take credit payments (& didn't want to).
I called the bank to get the lowdown, & it varies from bank to bank, but mine was:
>$125 one time fee to set up acct.
>2% or $10 monthly maintenance fee
>2% per transaction fee
>buy the swiper-$45 or so
>have to call in, & pre-authorize sales each time, etc.
>plus all the extra paperwork involved
Naturally, these costs would have been incorporated into my bid, but to me it wasn't worth the hassle. He would have been the only customer using credit, & like the others here I seriously doubt if I'd have many more customers wanting interest charged on grass cutting.

Bob Shoaff
01-29-2001, 03:53 PM
Thanks for all of the feedback. I think I will check this paypal out and see what it is all about. I just basically wanted to offer another option to those high rollers out there who are charge happy but don't have the cash for a big job. If they want to go more in debt it's ok by me as long as I see the cash! My brain has been working OT on the marketing and I am running out of ideas.
Thanks again,
Bob

CandJ
01-29-2001, 04:47 PM
I use ebay to buy and sell a lot, and have thought of using paypal as a way to take credit card requests. Trouble is that I've never had a customer request to pay that way. I will try it if someone ever requests to pay that way, its really handy for the online auctions, and seems to be a way of avoiding all the fees...