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Credit Cards

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    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?
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    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.
  3. Turf Troll

    Turf Troll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    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.
  4. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Messages: 326

    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machine outright for $450 and 2 yrs later they told me I had to buy another one for $650 because the one i had was outdated The new law stated that the printer had to place x's where the #'s are except for the last 4 digits on the receipt.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.
  5. Turf Troll

    Turf Troll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    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.
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    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.
  7. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    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.
  8. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    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?
  9. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    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.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    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.

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