Taking Credit Cards - Best Way for Temporary Use?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Wigwam Jones, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    I once had a store - sold used computers. So I had a VISA/MC merchant account, and a Zon Jr swipe machine, and it all worked, but it cost a fortune, and I was glad to be rid of it when I sold the business, years ago.

    Now I have been invited to purchase a table at a local town festival, and I believe I'd like to try selling some prints. I realize from reading other threads that it would be a good idea if I could offer to take credit cards as well as cash or (with some trepidation) checks. However, I neither want, nor do I need, another four-year commitment to a merchant account and a leased swipe capture machine. And this will be an outdoor event anyway, no A/C and no phone line. Just a table.

    I was thinking that perhaps I could find someone to partner with who already has this capability and would share for a small cut - but that's about all I can think of, and I have no other ideas. And the organizers are not much help, they have no idea who, if anyone, has c.c. acceptance capability.

    Any thoughts? Or is this just a lost cause?
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    Is there a way to work paypal into the process?
     
  3. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    I am a paypal merchant, so I checked them out. Yes, they'll set me up to take 'call in' purchases - the customer calls on my cell phone, makes the purchase, gets approved, I give them the print. Costs $20 per month and a contract, plus normal fees and of course this is not very convenient.

    Other thoughts - I considered bringing my laptop out with some kind of wireless phone card and having them do the purchase online as if it were a 'web purchase'. But that is pretty amateur night, and would fail quickly as the event is 8 hours long and no A/C. And I have no phone card anyway, which kind of scotches that.

    Yeah, a real head-scratcher. I want to be able to take credit cards, but I suspect I may be up the creek on this.
     
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Take a look at Propay, they are located at www.propay.com

    Other than Paypal, Propay or the reg route, you are pretty limited on your options.

    R.
     
  5. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I find most people at street festivals use the old knuckle busters. Not sure how the bank charges for that.
     
  6. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    Gotta have a merchant account to get one of those. It would seem that there is no way to do that without signing up for a minimum monthly fee and a lengthy contract.
     
  7. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    Thanks! I looked it over, just at a glance it appears to be just the same as Paypal - dial in to do the transaction over the phone. Difference is an 'annual fee' of at least $60. A bit stiff for a one-shot weekend festival. If I were going into business, this might be just the ticket though. I'll keep it logged and give it some thought, thank you!
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I doubt your going to find a way to take credit cards without signing up somewhere such as propay, or paying a monthly fee as you do with a merchant account or the paypal virtual terminal, I pay $59.95 a year with propay and a small percentage of sales for processing fee's, it is the cheapest way I have found to accept credit cards for small buisnesses..that don't want the multi year contracts and such.

    R.
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have never called a transaction in, I process all of my stuff over the net..if you want to make sure your transaction is approved before they take the product home, your going to have to have someway, either online processing or over the phone to get the transaction approved...I figure for the cost of the account, my increased sales has paid for it many times over, in addition I can use it for ebay sales and other stuff, I just sold a lawnmower and the guy didn't have all the cash, so I was able to go into my office and process the balance through propay and had all of the money, instead of him making a couple of payments, works pretty good. Our street fairs are held in the same park as the chamber of commerce has their offices, so I just use my wireless to connect through their connection, might be an option.

    R.
     
  10. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    I'm hip - I sell Shantou Era B&W film and take Paypal over the net. But at a street festival, that's just going to be a bit hard. Well, worth asking. I was wondering what others did. Seems like they either 'go pro or go home' in that sense, eh?
     
  11. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Wiggy,

    Check these gius out.

    http://www.995merchantaccounts.com/

    I havened used them but from peopel I have talked to say they are good. I am thinking of trying them out.

    Kev
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of the suggestions rely on having internet access, which is only going to do you any good if there is wireless or some kind of access, and power. From what you have already posted, that doesn't sound likely.

    Do you have any idea who some of the other vendors are? If they have participated before, they might have the best insight.
     
  13. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I know at air showws they use a wireless device to make payment and it is not over the net. I brother in law sells at them but I don tknow what it is called. I am not sure if a cell phone is involved or not.
     
  14. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    Merchant account. Monthly fee, contract, and a 'virtual terminal' that requires internet access. Thanks, but that's what I'm trying to avoid. I've been a VISA/MC merchant, I don't want to do that again. Just looking for a one-shot solution, not setting myself up as a business again.

    Thanks, though.
     
  15. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I am looking but I cant see the fees schedule on the site. I see it says free everywehre. I was under the impression that you only paid per transaction. Guess I was wrong. Oh well.

    There text has free everywhere.
    ------------------------------
    Stop losing sales because you don't accept credit cards. With our FREE Online Application, you can accept credit cards on your Website or eBay Auction in as little as 24 hours! Plus, you'll also get a Free Virtual Terminal, so you can process credit card transactions manually, from any computer with online access!

    Fact: Accepting credit cards with a Real Merchant Account adds credibility to your business, while increasing the potential for impulse sales.

    Sign up today for a credit card merchant account with our FREE online application and pay No Application Fee and No Set Up Fee. You will be able to accept credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover for your products and services in as little as 24 hours upon completion of the online application.


    Your Merchant Account Comes With Everything You See Below!

    · A Merchant Account for Immediate Credit Card Transaction Processing.
    · A Secure Payment Gateway for Real-Time Credit Card Processing.
    · A Web-Based Credit Card Processing Terminal for Manual Orders.
    · The Ability to Accept Credit Cards on Your Website or eBay Auction.
    · Your Funds Will Be Wired Into the Checking Account of Your Choice.
    · Online Reporting of All Your Transactions.
    · No Application Fee.
    · No Set Up Fee.
    · No Paperwork.
    · No Annual Fee.
    · FREE Online Sales Tracking and Reporting.
    · FREE American Express Setup.
    · FREE Discover Setup.
    · FREE Real-Time Online Credit Card Processing Terminal.
    · FREE Shopping Cart System For Your Website.

    Just trying to help... Maybe someone else could use it.
     
  16. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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  17. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Do you think these rates seem high or norm? I am trying to find an alternative to paypal and have had people that want to use credit cards but they do not want to use paypal.

    It says $10 a month for a statement and 2.39% + .25 cents per transaction. I know paypal is getting 3-5% but there is no monthly statement fee. At least not yet.
     
  18. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    Don't forget the $19.95 per month for 'internet gateway fee'.
     
  19. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    With my paypal account I don't pay a monthly fee and my rates are 2.9% + 0.30 which is the highest fee they charge, unless you are using the virtual terminal and that is $20.00 per month, no monthly statement fee no long term obligation

    On my propay account I pay $59.95 a year and 3.25% + 0.35 per transaction and I can process over the net or over the phone...and 0.30 when I withdraw the money in my account, but I don't have a monthly statement fee or other associated costs that is normal with most merchant accounts.

    But as with any of the oline transaction accounts it is easier to use if you have an online connection.

    One my paypal account, I just generate buttons that allows the customer to purchase with a credit card, even if they don't have a paypal account, no obligation on the customers part to sign up for an account.

    As far as a 1 shot deal, I don't think I have ever heard of an account like that and your best bet is probably as you started asking, is to partner up with someone.

    R.
     
  20. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Maybe twice in twenty years at a small town arts & crafts show I've been asked if I took credit cards. I don't, and I didn't lose the sales. However, I do take checks without question, and have never had a problem. In a sophisticated venue and with more expensive photos, accepting credit cards should make more difference.
     
  21. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I find most of the vendors at local (DC area) craft shows take credit cards, especially if they are selling higher dollar value products. I was at one yesterday and it seemed to be pretty universal. But if the site has an ATM and you also take checks, you may be able to muddle through. I tend not to carry much cash when I expect to be in large crowds.
     
  22. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I've used paypal virtual terminal and just wrote down all the info and then processed it when I got back to the computer. But it is a lot of personal information to take down.

    Jon
     
  23. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    Yeah, and the risk that Paypal will turn down the sale is not a good thing, either. Then you have lost the print and the money. I'm afraid that I would not even contemplate such a scenario.
     
  24. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    I just checked these guys out and it looks like a great system! You can even use your cell phone to call in a credit card charge; perfect for an art festival.

    I'm signing up with ProPay, I think!