Accepting Credit Cards (please help)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Tom-N-Texas, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    I have received many requests this year from customers wanting to pay with a credit card. I'm seriously considering offering this method of payment. What is the best (most cost effective way) to get started? I have no clue which direction to go first.

    Would someone list any pros or cons (or both) with using credit cards? Is it more hassel than its worth? Are the fees high? How much is the machine? etc

    Thanks in advance, Tom
     
  2. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    Do a search .... there's lots of threads on this. The equipment is about $500 - look on e-bay for good prices. It's about $100 to get set up and $15-25 a month after that. Fee's are about 2%. It's very easy. Go to the bank to get started. You'll need your LLC / INC/ DBA papers and some other ID.

    Pros - it's easy for customers to use. you'll get higher priced $$ jobs as customers will use the credit card to finance their landscape projects with you. It makes getting your money a lot easier to collect. lends legitimacy/credability to your business.

    Cons - the fees, they're small /not bad but they do add up and cut into profit margins. It's a trade off - you get your money easier and faster but there's a price for it.


    Good luck.
     
  3. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    Most people dont realize that the wal mart and other stores that accept credit cards make you pay for it. It is simply added on to their overhead. So follow suit. If you are going to accept credit cards just add it to your cost. I would say though only start accepting credit cards, if you feel that at least 25 percent of your customers will take you up on it. I accepted credit cards for one year, and I really didnt have that many customers take me up on it. That is why I quit accepting. I was adding on the fees to my overhead and nobody was using it thereore I was charging them extra for nothing.
     
  4. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    Paypal has a credit card program. Any person that is not a member of paypal can enter in their cc info and they can pay that way. Might be something to think about...

    No monthly charges...
    2.9% + $.30 per transaction... best of all you don't pay a penny if nobody uses it.
     
  5. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    Alarsh...thanks for the Paypal tip....that sounds like more my speed. The $500 down/$25 a month thing is a bit steep for just having an occasional c/c payer.
     
  6. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    Yeah, I could not justify to have a full credit card billing system. Paypal has a very good deal. When you are setting up your button, you can add shipping charges. I have added a 3% shipping charge so it covers the PayPal charges so I am not paying anything for credit card payments. :blob3:

    http://www.cclawnservice.com/testimonials.html
     
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Pay Pal is amateurish you never see any big co. telling you to use an auction house CC.
    Contact Lawn & Garden Dealers Association 1-800-752-5296
    They will set you up with a terminal and knuckle buster for $50 sign up and they waived that for a 3 yr commitment. and then you pay 5$ bucks a month to your merchant account holder, plus your transaction percentages for each use. The highest is just over 2-1/2 %

    Mac
     
  8. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    We use an on line merchant account and do all transactions via a PC. Do a serch for credit card merchant accounts - there are a zillion.

    No equipment to buy and the cost is $5 -15 per month based on volume and an average of 2.75% per transaction. BTW - the software was downloaded and free.

    We did find that a full blown corporation or LLC is a big plus in scoring interest with the full service enterprises.

    We have looked at changing to Pay Pal simply because the name recognition is way up there. If you are on a corp - paypal is the way to go.

    Tom
     
  9. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Paypal or Quickbook merchant service.
     

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