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sataprab
12-03-2007, 07:41 PM
Hello,

This is our first year in the business and we have done well so far. *We are nearing the point of the new yellow page ads and we were considering accepting credit cards and advertising this in any future ad. It would be great to hear some opinions on this. *Do you accept them? How much has it helped your business?

Thanks

Steve
12-03-2007, 09:37 PM
Hi sataprab,

I am all for this. The easier you can make it to collect payment from your customers the better. I think it has a tendency to also make your business appear to be more legitimate and and anchored. You most likely won't find any start ups who accept credit cards.

Now is a great time to get yourself rolling with this too so you could implement it for your next season. Maybe even have monthly payments automatically processed each month.

Little's
12-03-2007, 10:13 PM
I have set up a paypal account. On my website I had set up a pay now button that takes them to my paypal account and takes their credit card and they can adjust how much to pay. Works pretty easily.

Steve
12-03-2007, 10:49 PM
Brandon,

What % of customers do you think would be the average for a lawn care operator to pay by credit card?

Also how long was the process to sign up?

Was it difficult?

Little's
12-04-2007, 02:46 AM
I dont think you would have a high percentage of customers paying that way, but it could come in handy when your customers are out of town, or short on cash and need to pay with their credit card. It just makes it a little more convenient. It only took me about an hour to put it all together. i have had the paypal account for a long time ( I used to sell a lot on ebay), Setting up the button to link to your account was the hardest part, and it was pretty easy. I dont have the website anymore, I was just doing a trial to see how it worked, and it worked fine. i am working on a website/blog site right now and will be putting my button on the page there soon.

Steve
12-04-2007, 03:07 AM
Quote[/b] ] i am working on a website/blog site right now and will be putting my button on the page there soon.

Oh! How will you be using that? What will you be discussing or selling?

sataprab
12-04-2007, 09:04 AM
We dont have a webpage yet, didnt seem like the majority of our customers would be interested in that. Can you still use paypal or propay with out a website?

Little's
12-04-2007, 10:11 AM
Yes you can. I dont know about propay, but paypal can be used by anyone with an email address. Once you have created your account, paypal will generate a paypal button encripted with your account info that links a person to a nice payment page with all your business info.
If you dont use the button, then the customer might have to do a quick reg. to send payments to you through their website.

Steve
12-04-2007, 03:11 PM
What's the upside or downside to getting a paypal account versus getting a merchant account to accept credit cards? Is the % for the processing fee higher for paypal?

Little's
12-04-2007, 11:47 PM
I havent done too much research on merchant accounts, but unless you are doing a lot of credit card business, you pay a lot in fees. The more you process, the cheaoer the fees are. With paypal you pay a straight 2 or 3%. I also think that people would feel more comfortable paying through paypal than giving their credit card number out to you. Even though they trust you with their yards, I dont think they would feel the same about their credit card info. I would feel the same way.
Just my thoughts.

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 12:29 AM
We are also new and I looked into PayPal and was very disapointed in all the hinden charges, fund transfers and other issues, so becareful if you use paypal as your credit card processing provider.

Most Banks will help you set up a merchent account (credit card processing).

I have a wirless terrminal for free (but there was a 1 time $99 insurance fee) and the rates are very low. no contract, no hiden fee's, etc.

This was a great and still is a great deal..

I have only used it 2 times and it has paid for all the fee's and insurance for the year by being able to accept credit cards.

So my answer is YES accept credit cards if you provide more than cutting services residentially. The cost or expense to you for processing may not justify accepting them for this type of service, whether you chose PayPal or another processing company.

ex. We completed a mulch job for a full service customer and the neighbor came over and asked us if I would quote their mulch application and asked if we accepted credit cards, I replied yes all major and debit cards, we sold this job for $885 and that customer told a friend and we sold that one for $695 the same day. Total processing amount;
1) ($885.00) 14.95 for processing = 1.69% +.05 cent for transaction fee. Total deposit to my account 24 hrs later = $870.00
2) ($695.00) 11.75 for processing = 1.69% + .05 cent trans fee. Total deposit into my account 24 hrs later = $683.20

Bottom line is we did $1,580.00 in 6 hours of work and would not have got it if we didnt accept credit cards. So if you add the monthly fee, transaction fee, monthly batching fee, insurance it would = $271.20 - $1,580.00 = $1,308.80 profit less materials cost of about $200, so now we made $184.66 per hour of work just from 2 mulch jobs and being able to accept credit cards. BTW we also sold them both on weekly cutting services.

I hope this puts a good light on accepting credit cards for you.

For more info I can post some info on my credit card processing provider. As I said I looked for 3 months, talked to 6 different processing companys and NO one could beat this deal. Oh BTW this was not a one time or special deal it is offered all the time, it is there basic program.

Thanks & Good Luck Tim

FourSeasons
12-05-2007, 08:42 AM
Quote[/b] ]We dont have a webpage yet, didnt seem like the majority of our customers would be interested in that. Can you still use paypal or propay with out a website?

I think of my website being a way for people to find out info about me. I can put a small ad out some where or a flyer and just put - visit us on the web at www.......
Then they can see testimonials, services offered, and pics.
Not so much as for my customers to go on there all the time and look at my site.

Steve
12-05-2007, 02:59 PM
Hi Tim,

Quote[/b] ]For more info I can post some info on my credit card processing provider. As I said I looked for 3 months, talked to 6 different processing companys and NO one could beat this deal. Oh BTW this was not a one time or special deal it is offered all the time, it is there basic program.

Can you tell us more?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 09:11 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,3:59)]Hi Tim,

Quote[/b] ]For more info I can post some info on my credit card processing provider. As I said I looked for 3 months, talked to 6 different processing companys and NO one could beat this deal. Oh BTW this was not a one time or special deal it is offered all the time, it is there basic program.

Can you tell us more?
Ok I can share as much Info as I can. For the ones that do not understand how Credit Card Processing works they can email me and I would be glad to explain it in full detail.

The program I have is very simple kinda like the K.I.S thing (KEEP IT SIMPLE).

1st. Free Wireless Terminal (there is a $99 insurance fee for lost stolen or damaged equipment) this thig is the size of a black berry. Works from cell and radio tansmissions so signal is very good.

2nd. Qualified Check Card Rates * 1.35%
The QCCR applies to all Visa Check Cards and MasterCard off-line debit transactions that are NOT processed with the customer's PIN.

3rd. Qualified Credit Card Rates * 1.69%
The QCCR applies to most credit card transactions that are magnetically read or swiped through the credit card treminal.

4th. Mid-Qualified Surcharge * * * 1.39 + $0.10 cents
This is additoin to the Qualified where you hand type the card # and force it through, there is way of following the guide lines to advoid this fee's.

5th. Non-Qualified Surcharge * * * 1.89 + $0.10 cents
same as above but *this is for running higher risk cards like rewards cards.

6th Pre Transaction Fee * *$0.19
A per transaction Fee is passed on every authorization , decline, refund and pre-authorization processed from you r merchant account.

7th Monthly Service Fee * * $0.00
the monthly service fee includes preparation and mailing of your monthly statement, unlimited usage of VISA/MC/DISC/AMEX processing services as well as 24-hour customer service and tech support.

8th Minimum Discount * * * *$0.00
this is the amount that your processing fee must total in a month. If your processing fees do not meet the Minimum Discount, you will be charged the difference between you Min and total procecssing fees.
(this is very important most companies hide these charges and they can cost you alot of money)

9th Annual Fee * * *$99.00
The fee will be billed 30 to 60 days and is debited directly from your designated account. This fee covers notification, interchange compliance, postage expense and account maintenance. This charge is a mandatory component of a merchants participation in the FE Program.

10th *Batch Fee * * * * * *$0.35
This is done once daly or wekkly how ever you want to set it up to your own preferance.


I hope this helps, if not and you need more please feel free to contact me by email. I can help with setting you up with this program.

My email is tim@rrlawncare.com
Thanks Tim

Steve
12-05-2007, 09:37 PM
Tim thanks for the great information.

With the ability to accept credit cards now, have you thought about selling products through your website?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 09:46 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,10:37)]Tim thanks for the great information.

With the ability to accept credit cards now, have you thought about selling products through your website?
I dont have anything to sell from the website other than services.

Steve
12-05-2007, 09:53 PM
Well, like for instance what if you offered signs through your website. Like big wooden birthday signs or stork signs or stuff like that where someone could order it and you could just stop by and stick it into the ground.

Or maybe even have more like lawn sign sized signs that you could leave there with the customer and not have to come back to pick it up?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 11:10 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,10:53)]Well, like for instance what if you offered signs through your website. Like big wooden birthday signs or stork signs or stuff like that where someone could order it and you could just stop by and stick it into the ground.

Or maybe even have more like lawn sign sized signs that you could leave there with the customer and not have to come back to pick it up?
Never thought of that, not a bad Idea but after doing a sign rental search for my area there must be 100+ sign companies within 15 miles of me.

thanks for the idea and im always open to more please if you have something let me know.

Steve
12-06-2007, 02:29 AM
The thing I wonder is, you already have a certain customer base. You could always add on these additional services and they could in fact help attract even more neighbors to become customers of yours.

What about also offering upsells like holiday plantings, for valentines day, mothers day etc. You could have different packages that were sold through your site where you could plant flowers and then maybe add a sign that said happy mothers day. Have a couple level packages and allow customers to order them online.

realhuntin
12-09-2007, 04:16 AM
Thata a great idea thanks Steve