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Merchant Account Shopping (or "I am not 3 yrs old")

And I didn't ride the short bus to school

7:25 pm on Jul 5, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone gone shopping for a merchant account/payment gateway setup lately? Lemme clue you in on what you're in for. Either:
1. You will be told about how much of the "internet cash cow" you can get a piece of and not about them making you part of the "cow"! They try to lull you into some dollar sign type trance while they get you to sign some grossly expensive contract.
2. They try to talk way over your head and make you think they are big brother lookin out for you and they're the only ones around that are gonna do that for you.

I wish the marketing world worked kind of like a speakeasy. lol.... I come to the door and they can play their "there's nothing going on here, officer/we can get you started making money on the web in no time" game. But once I say "the password/ask about the gateway fee and the per transaction fees and the script files required for linking into the secure server" they really need to recognize they're not dealing with some half-wit bumkin looking for his "piece of that there innernet pie" and deal straight with me.

A hint for those of you running one of those sites: MOST of us doing business on the internet are smart enough to do just a LITTLE bit of research. You'll get more money in the long run being honest with all the people than you will trying to dupe the not so smart ones. If you don't post your prices, I'm not sending any inquiring email. If you don't post ALL the fees involved, I might ask, but once I find out there are other fees it makes me wonder why and I probably won't be buying.

There! I got that off my chest and I feel a little better now.

I've been researching merchant accounts/payment gateways for about 2 months now. I've spoken to a great number of sales reps. I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone may have. I'm not affiliated with any of them in any way. Just trying to find the best one for my own business site.


7:54 pm on July 5, 2000 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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>and not about them making you part of the "cow"!

...and I know exactly which part of the cow they are thinking about.

I agree with you, Scott --this is one of those areas on the web where "shell games" are often played. Most banks have a commercial account rep that can tell you what realistic merchant fees would be --get a quote from them as a reference point.

8:06 pm on July 5, 2000 (gmt 0)

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>shell game...

That's a nice way to put it. I have gotten a number of quotes giving me a pretty good average. It's the other "little extras" that really get me. They remind me of that commercial for the allergy medicine with the new "hystimine blockers" as opposed to the old "antihystimines"
LOL Gosh! Where do I sign up? Here's a big pot of my money, take all you want!

5:32 pm on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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When you first left this post, I wasn't too sure you were on track with what I'd experienced. After spending the week researching merchant accounts, I can see you were right on the money (no pun intended). Between double talking reps and mile long fine print, I'm left wondering if it is really worth it at all.
8:46 pm on Aug 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Since our (wife's) business is just getting started I naturally wanted to go bargain basement for CC processing. I decided to go with CCslide since the more expensive merchant account/gateways would eat up too much profit. Trying to maximize the profit and sink it back into inventory/supplies for faster growth. I did a LOT (hours and hours solid!!) of researching on it too. It may be SOME time before we're ready to go all out merchant acct/gateway....may Xmas will do the trick. For anyone who is keeping score, I (just today) switched over to CCNOW. They seem to be light-yrs ahead of CCSlide for only an additional 3% comission. I was/still am having problems with CCslide.....missing/late checks, et al. I'll keep you posted on how well CCNOW does.


6:21 pm on Aug 18, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I do Agree their are to many in the merchant business today that
are less than honest. You should deal only with direct agents or the banks for the simple fact they are liable for the accounts personally and regulated to disclose all cost involed. I do know this because I am in the e-comm. business and do it everyday and have heard horror stories of people getting locked into a large lease. Try to stay away from long leases.
The going rate is setup from 45.00- 399.00
Finace charge or percent is 1.3% -2.9 % Based on type or credit
Account transactions should allow up to 1000 per month for a gateway fee of 10.00-20.00 per month. Over 1000 per month should cost 49.00 - 79.00 per month. This is for the Secured Gateway service. Transaction cost should be between .10- .30
These are the rates most good merchant providers should offer.
If you need a machine or swipe terminal to process a transaction
They can range from a standard of 250.00- 1250.00 for a celluar
with a printer. If you would like more info e-mail me. Hope it helps
8:53 am on Dec 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

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>>Try to stay away from long leases. <<
Read the fine print
A few years ago I started a merchant account but the software gatteway leasing company was horrible. Ended up payin over $4k to shut down the lease because of fine print that says they could change the contract. Be Careful
You really don't need long leases at all and they are trouble if the deal goes sour.
7:00 am on Dec 4, 2000 (gmt 0)


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After researching for a while we decided to go for one merchant who handles a lot of the bigger hosts ecommerce sites. From what they have it seems pretty straight forward. No mention about having to write something in C, having "wrappers" and all the other "fine print" stuff that goes a long with it.

Finally after a month of having someone on the phone with these guys and having a programmer try to get the shopping cart to mesh, we had success.

Amazing how persistent the merchants are until you sign up. From this experience, it seems like once they have your dough, the customer service department goes off on a long lunch.

Snake Oil anyone?

Edited by: eljefe3

8:34 am on Dec 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Apologies if this is broader of even off-topic but there are horror stories here. Surely we should check with people we trust who have used a service before signing up ourseleves? Since the WMW group is a smart group, I can only assume that we cant find enough people to recommend such services and have used them before.

Can i suggest that there could be a section on WMW where members can recommend such services such as Credit Card services, ecommerce services, hosting etc. I know there are sites specifically oriented to this, but here we have been mates for a while, and the number of posts and reputation here, would ensure we dont get just a lot of recommendations based on affiliation or kick backs.

I would really welcome this type of data.

9:07 am on Dec 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Before the www liberated me ;) I spent many years in brick and mortar retail and some of that also included a mail order catalog. This "shell game" is not new with the Internet -- it is a long standing tradition with some of the people who make their money from the "float" of your money through their accounts.

I found the apparently best price was not usually the most important factor. Much more important was service -- especially when things go wrong, which they will. A credit card service without problems is like a hard drive that doesn't die -- you won't find it.

A really good merchant setup will do a good job up front for you: they will not authorize risky charges. The percentage of chargebacks you struggle with will therefore be lower. They will have good research tools and knowledgable help available for when things do go wrong (do you want to hear about the time an entire month's worth of sales got lost in data limbo?)

I would not sign up with anyone who doesn't offer testimonials, and who isn't happy to provide a few clients you can speak with. Don't try to save a couple tenths of a percent by going with "Bob's Bank".

9:59 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

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A good piece of advice I have found to be true is to go with your local bank. It may be more expensive but not by that much and the service is unbeatable. "Hi Joe, look at this...blah..blah.." And Joe sits down in person and works with you. I love my bank and wouldn't trade them for the world. They don't have the best rates but I can sleep at night.
They even calmed my fears a bit about chargeback delemas but that is another thread.
1:52 am on July 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

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THE MAYOR stated: Finance charge or percent is 1.3% -2.9 % Based on type or credit
Account transactions should allow up to 1000 per month for a gateway fee of 10.00-20.00
Said to email him but his email is not listed with this site.

We're looking to change processors and have not gotten anywhere near the 1.3% and .10-.20 trans fee he mentioned. Our average ticket is $75 and we've been in business 35 yrs.

If THE MAYOR is reading this or anyone knows how to contact him - OR knows where these rates can be obtained for REAL without required equipment or costly software purchases, please let me know!


3:06 am on July 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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BobB, welcome to WebmasterWorld.

It's been about a year since some of the posts here, I hope you get your answers.

I'm not familiar with differentprocessors, but I do know that Verisign [verisign.com] is well reputed, and has a flat rate for different transaction levels with no added per-transaction fees. I don't know any details except that the prices look good, though.

1:38 pm on July 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

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BOBB, I know that most of the 3rd party processors offer use of their gateway for your own merchant account.

I am sending you sticky mail with a list of ones that I have dealt with and have found that they are honest.


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