Credit Card Processing

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    I just got the prices from Costco for credit card processing, and I'm wondering if this is the way to go.
    The cheepest way is with a "slider" to use on-site, then enter the info back at the office on-line.
    $179 set up fee
    $8 per month service fee
    $20/mo minumum (if fees don't add up to at least $20, then there's a $20 fee)
    1.99% charge for each transaction plus 0.27 cents per transaction.
    For a wireless device, the cost is over $800 for the equipment, plus a $19 monthly wireless fee.
    So, if I didn't use the CC processing in any given month the fee would be $28.
    For those of you who accept cc's, does this sound like a fair deal, or could I get a better deal elsewhere?
     
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    Chris, we use the Quickbooks software and process everything at the office. There is a monthly fee but I'm not sure right now what it is. I don't think we had to pay a set up fee and we even got a 90 day free trial. It's probably the easiest way to go when it comes to credit cards. It's hard to remember that you have to raise your prices on everything though to cover the cost of processing. You can't charge someone extra to accept their cc so you have to charge everyone just in case.
     
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    That is a pretty good transaction rate at 1.99%. I am using the knuckle dragger device and have to run the card at the office, I get charged 2.85% per transaction + the 20 bucks per month. I would jump on that one.
     
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    Paul, do you just write the information down while at the client's home and enter it when you get back?
     
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    Yep, or they'll call it into us. So far we have done very little in cc business but I expect it to really climb as we get closer to the holidays.
     
  6. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    Yeah, I'm not expecting to use it much and that's why I didn't opt for the more expensive wireless option. Most of our clients want to use cash, and the ones that do use the card are doing it for the miles or rewards. However, as in the case the night before last, some people want it but they also want financing options. Had I accepted cc's at the time, I would have probably sealed the deal right then. Made me go to work looking for this option. Once I get the processor, I plan on promoting the sale of lamps to those who don't do the service agreement. I think this would be another excellent source of income.
     
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    You guys find the need to have that extra expense? I have not once had a customer ask if i take credit cards.
     
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    That's the way I felt for the past 8 years. Lately though, I've seen an increase in the request. I look at it this way; if I don't use it all year it's only going to cost me $240. I'd much rather spend that 240 and have the ability to close a 5 or 10k deal on the spot. To put it another way, would you give a $240 discount to someone with a 10k job for you? I would, so it's money well spent. Plus, like I said, I'm going to promote the sale of lighting products via mail to my past customers. That revenue alone should cover the cost of having the processing abilities. Maybe you should consider the possibilities? "Hey Mr. Customer, would you like to renew your maintenance contract for the whole year, the next two or three years? We take Visa, AmEX, Discover and MC. I'll give you a 5% discount if you do." Wow, how's that for cash flow?
     
  9. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    Chris J I think you can get a better deal. I will ask my guy if he can do out of state stuff. If so I will give you his number. Just be careful using the imprinter. Technically that's still considered Manuel entry. Manuel entry is a secondary rate. So say your primary is 1.99 on visa MasterCard your secondary rate would be more like 3.5 or so. Also a lot of clients who use it for miles and such have amex. Amex is a flat rate that can not be changed by any processing company. That rate primary is around 3.2. Their secondary is outrageous like 7 percent or so. So say its a 20k dollar job and they use amex. On the imprinter you take home 19360. Now if you had the wireless rig you would take home 18600. Also If you go with a private company they will most of the time give you machines for free. Just tell them what you expect your average sales a month will be. If you do atleast 15000 or so a month im sure they would give you the wireless rig.


    Now the other option would be quickbooks credit card processing system on laptop with optional card reader. But then you would have to rely on your clients wifi connection.
     
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    To take that one step further, you could invest that revenue in good growth mutual funds (right now is the time to be buying, it's on sale!) and gain 10-15% on your money. You give the 5% discount which might only be $100-200 bucks, but you gain 10-15% on the total sales price! It's just good money management.
     

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