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how many of you guys take credit cards

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by General Grounds, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: i was thinking of taking credit cards to help solve some of these people with making their payments, esp now that we are in feb. and when i call to see waht the problem is and the spouse blams the other for the bill getting misplaced. now i can tell them ill be happy to take their credit card on the spot. even thinking of having slow payer provide that info as like securitydep. my lawyer has writin up a small info sheet for the customer almost like a security deposit for a rental, stating that if they default on a payment there card will be charged. any input wopuld be great.
  2. yardman1

    yardman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    I going to have to take them pretty soon because one of my commercial accounts is going to require it soon, so I might as well advertise for it.
  3. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    I also plan on accepting credit cards by sometime late this year. Don't forget to increase your prices for them. Most companies take a couple of percent for the processing.

  4. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    I have been accepting credit cards for many years. It can been your best friend but make sure the need is there because it can get expensive. I use it primarily to accept goverment work and at my garden center for retail sales but find that not many maintenance accounts choice to go the credit card route. When I originally set up to accept credit cards it cost me about $700. You might be able to get set up cheaper now I don't know.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I accept credit card payments two ways...on way through quickbooks, which only costs me $17.00 a month, and the other way throught online payment of PayPal. You would not believe the number of customers that use PayPal to pay their bills.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I started taking credit cards (again) about a year ago. It's worked WONDERS for us. The first time, I just had the totally wrong company and they kept hiking up the price on me each month. I finally had to cancel. But the merchant account I have now is excellent.

    I find a pretty decent percentage of customers pay with credit cards. Especially on big jobs. Several of them just give me the number and want me to keep it on file and just bill the card each month automatically for their maintenance. That's fine. Costs me 2.25% but then I always know exactly when I will be paid each month from them so it's worth it.

    For small jobs and maintenance, I probably only get asked about credit cards maybe 10% of the time. Maybe less. But for bigger jobs (e.g. > $1000), I find probably 40% want to use a credit card to pay the bill.

    If all I did was small jobs and maintenance, I may not have much need to accept credit cards. But if you do a lot of bigger jobs - it really helps!

    If anyone is interested in getting a good merchant account, feel free to email me. I can connect you with a merchant bank who charges 2.25% plus $ .28 for each transaction. And everyone qualifies. Money is deposited in your bank account electronically 2 days after you charge the customer's card. And you can have an internet based terminal that's super simple to use. Also, there is no start-up costs. They provide an imprinter, credit card slips, window stickers, graphics for your web site, free internet terminal and set-up, etc.
  7. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    The dealer I use will not let you use a card for anything under $20. Apparently he's worked out a margin for it's use. Jim, I'd like to know more about your setup, tonyharrell@advi.net
  8. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    We have our merchant account through our local bank. Costs is much less than many other places. Also money is there in 24 hours. I can't imagine doing business these days without accepting cards. You need Visa Mastercard and Discover for sure. American Express is a litttle more expensive to take and probably not too common for landscaping.

    A lot of people today want to use thier cards so they can earn airline miles or points toward a new vehicle. Some people use their cards for everything, even down to $2 and $3 items.

    It does cost you to take them, but when you consider the savings in time and interest costs waiting for payments, they're well worth it.

    A while back I was in a buffet restaurant where you paid as you went in for all you can eat. The group in line ahead of us was 16 people, when the cashier informed them that they did not take credit cards, the whole group walked out. That was a lot of business to lose. That restaurant went out of business a few months later. Maybe not because fot he credtit card issue, but maybe a sign that they weren't keeping up with the times.

    Austreim Landscaping
  9. We accept CCs
    Not a lot of help with slow payers, they are usually in the same trouble with CC company as me.
  10. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    I started accepting CC this year only had a few transactions so it was a wash. I am going put in my next flyer's and invoice that go out this year. So I can get more use out of the system. I presently accept Visa, MC and AX. I thinking very seriously of dropping AX. THey charge me a $5.00 fee every month. Anyone else have this charge????

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