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Small artisan studio and electronic payments


#1

I am opening a very small artisan studio / shop from my own home in
late January. My questions are about electronic transactions.

I am new to the USA and unfamiliar with banking processes here. I
need to be able to process electronic payments, credit cards etc.
How do I know what company to go with? Which company is the best one
for small businesses? Are there any credit cards a small business
perhaps should not accept because of cost of fees?

As I said, I am only very small and do not anticipate a large volume
of sales, this is only going to be a weekend /public holiday store.
If you all could suggest a company I could contact etc…

I really appreciate any input from all you more knowledgeable people
out there. I am totally green in this field. Thank you all in
advance

Marianne Coleman-Hipkins
www.paccifica.com


#2

You might check with your bank. Explain to them what it is you want
to do. They may have a dept. that handles customer electronic
transactions or they may refer you to another company that can
provide the software & support for your PC to do electronic
transactions…

Dave


#3

I would say stick with Master Card & Visa. American Express charges
too much. Others are just to rare to bother with. Costco has a pretty
good system although we recently changed to Chase. There are pit
falls, fees and extra charges in every system. It all relates to the
volume and type of business. Here at RMS we rarely swipe a card,
transactions without a card cost more. Look at all the fees, check
with other booths at shows. Remember this with credit card
transactions: The customer is always right! If they refuse to pay the
card company for any reason you will be back charged for the amount.
The customer is protected not the seller.

Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx


#4

I have used Propay.com for my very small shop. I use the basic plan
for $35 a year, which requires me to enter the credit card number and
request for payment on their website. Payment comes with in 2 to 3
days and I transfer it to my business account for a 35 cent fee. The
rates are higher than other companies advertise, but it has been hard
to argue with the set up fee (had to buy credit card slips and a
slide thingy imprinter also known as a knucklebuster–10 bucks or
so.) The website is clear and they seem to do what they say will do.

Many other merchant account processors I looked into had monthly
fees, lack of activity fees, fees for paying their fees, etc, etc.
and did not address the primarily seasonal aspect of my business.

If I had a laptop and wireless setup, I could enter the request while
the client was still at the booth (I mostly do art fairs). I have not
had a charge back yet, thank goodness, but the laptop is in the
business plan (along with some boulder opal rough and classes at
Marilyn Nicholson Taos School of Jewelry and Lapidary and a faceting
machine and the propane/oxy torch I’ve been drooling over and the…
you all have lists just like it, admit it.)

Stacy, in Michigan, where lots of snow is anticipated tonight and the
cats already have cabin fever


#5

The following cannot be over emphasized:

The customer is always right! If they refuse to pay the card
company for any reason you will be back charged for the amount. The
customer is protected not the seller." 

KPK


#6

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your suggestions. I have to confess that ‘the customer
is always right’ with credit card payments is a tad scary. It would
be so easy for someone to make a really expensive (for my work),
purchase and then go back on it!

So how do you protect yourself from that sort of thing, short of only
accepting cash… In these days in order to get better sales do you
really need to accept electronic transactions? I do not do shows,
this is solely a home-based thing.

Thanks everybody
Marianne
www.paccifica.com


#7

wait until the payment has cleared and has been posted to your
account before sending the product to the customer.

john


#8

John, you suggested

wait until the payment has cleared and has been posted to your
account before sending the product to the customer. 

Uh, not necessarily. In my experience with paypal, the payment had
been deposited and the materials sent, when the buyer pulled her
credit card payment to paypal. Guess who had to reimburse paypal -
me. Absolutely no way would paypal consider anything else and was
ready to sic the collection agency (knee cappers). I paid up.

Learned my lesson. I refuse to use paypal for anything.
Judy in Kansas


#9
Uh, not necessarily. In my experience with paypal, the payment had
been deposited and the materials sent, when the buyer pulled her
credit card payment to paypal. Guess who had to reimburse paypal -
me. Absolutely no way would paypal consider anything else and was
ready to sic the collection agency (knee cappers). I paid up. 

Any credit card company will do this not just paypal it is called a
chargeback and the way the credit card laws are written the consumer
has all the power here and the merchant none. If any credit card
customer tells their card company that they did not receive the
merchandise the card company will suck that money right out of your
account. It is very difficult to prevail when this happens.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10

there is a thing called virtual terminal that I use for taking
payments by crfedit card from customers using online payment…I would
not recommend paypal at all…If you’d like the virtual terminal link
I’ll send it on to you…rer


#11

Check with your bank. If you explain what it is you want to do & how
you’d like to do it, they probably can provide the service or have a
firm they work with that can.

I’ve been using a set up like this for several years with no
problems.

Dave