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Accepting Credit Cards for merchandise

LauraBLauraB subscriber Posts: 1
edited February 2008 in Home-Based Businesses
I did some searching first, but am somewhat confused on this topic.  Any assistance would be appreciated!  I`m an independent consultant with a health & wellness company and I sometimes keep inventory to sell at shows and fairs, and I wonder what my options would be for accepting credit card payments from clients in those cases.  I`ve seen other vendors have this ability through their companies... they provide forms which can be submitted (to whom, I don`t know) and then the consultant gets paid.  Unless my company provides that service do I have to set up a business account with a creditor and pay them a fee so I can accept credit in this maner? 
Thanks for any advice!


  • ToddFToddF subscriber Posts: 3
    Well the easiest way would be using paypal. It`s easy and your done. cutting checks is a separate matter you`d have to do manually. If it`s only going to be a few charges per month I would use paypal and not deal with a merchant account, it will cost you more to go with paypal, but I personally think the simplicity of it makes it worth it.
  • minimegeologyminimegeology subscriber Posts: 26
    Paypal is a great option for a situation like yours.  I use them and I also have a merchant account with Wells Fargo and have been very happy.  Merchant accounts can be somewhat confusing but they are helpful.  The Wells Fargo site has an aspect where I can manually run a credit card for phone orders.  I`m sure many banks have features like this as well.
  • DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
    You really can`t beat PayPal for simplicity. Plus, it gives you the best of all both worlds. You can accept checks and credit cards. In my opinion, it`s worth the extra fees.
    Dale King
  • RosannaTusseyRosannaTussey subscriber Posts: 4
    Another vote here for PayPal.
    I also have a client who uses ECHO.  You can use a credit card authorization form then (make sure to always have the customer sign it, of course), you can run the credit cards by inputting the info from the form in the ECHO system. I have used the program for several years now and it has been very reliable. It is also very affordable. 
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
    How are you supposed to use Paypal to charge credit cards for items they purchase from you in person?  I like the idea of not having any monthly fees, but if I`m at a job with no internet, how am I supposed to process their transaction through paypal?
  • lbsoclbsoc subscriber Posts: 0
    I don`t know how to use PayPal off site---but I do find it the easiest payment system to use and fair with the service fee. I plan to do a trade show in June and would like to know how I could use PapPal to process orders if I don`t have internet access.  Thanks.
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
    So, still no answer for if you can use PayPal "off-site"?  As in processing orders without a website.  I`ve had people recommend PayPal to me knowing that I want to process credit payments at the customer`s house or at remote locations sometimes without internet, but it seems to me PayPal is completely unable to work in that situation.
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
    I tried to call PayPal a couple times and never was actually able to talk to a representative.  I found hidden in their website however, it looks like you can. 
    If you have a "business account" with paypal you can use PayPal "Virtual Terminal".  So essentially you take down the credit card information either through some sort of software program or one of those credit card things that slide a carbon paper receipt over the card.  Then when you get to a computer with internet you log into PayPal, start up their "Virtual Terminal" and manually enter the transaction information into their website.  PayPal will process the transaction and deposit the money into your PayPal account.
    Costs are
    Monthly Fee: $30
    Per Transaction Fees: (Dollar amounts are monthly sales)
    $0.00 USD - $3,000.00 USD
    3.1% + $0.30 USD
    $3,000.01 USD - $10,000.00 USD
    2.7% + $0.30 USD
    >$10,000.01 USD
    2.4% + $0.30 USD
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1

    Again, the merchant account puts the money into your bank account and paypal holds it in their account, which I absolutely do not like.  They limit what you can take each month.  I opted for a merchant account, but am doing e-commerce only, so paypal is too much of a pain because the money doesn`t go into your account, but theirs.

    I don`t intend to go with PayPal.  With a $30 monthly fee, they`re actually more expensive than my local bank.  I don`t get why people advocate them.  Maybe if you only sell online.  Plus it`s nearly impossible to actually talk to someone on the phone at PayPal if there`s a problem.
  • sipmarketinggroupsipmarketinggroup subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    paypal has the most horrible customer service.
  • MCSnowMCSnow subscriber Posts: 1
    I`ve never heard of Dial Pay before but it sounds like a good idea. I have a couple of retail clients who do shows and they use the carbon credit card slips, have the customer sign and process when they get to a computer. I believe one of them uses Authorize.net and is happy with it. To me, that seems like they`re putting a lot of trust in the consumer that their credit card *will* actually work. (so far we haven`t had any problems but ...) I mean, if you`re handing over the goods, it may be worth it to pay a little more in fees to ensure that you *are* going to get paid.
    Paypal is good for starting out but it has it`s limitations. I wouldn`t use it for this situation.
  • Professor2020Professor2020 subscriber Posts: 0
    Paypal is difficult to work with and their limits are not good for a growing business.  Have you checked out Costco rather than the rates at banks?  My experience with Wells Fargo was really disappointing.  When I closed the account with them, they kept charging these mysterious fees for a couple of months and no one could answer why!
    I prefer Google over Paypal.  Google will deposit directly into your account.
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