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Credit Cards? To Accept or Not

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:25 pm
by JR
Ok. I just lost an event because I don’t accept credit cards or Pay Pal. It’s not that I haven’t looked into the possibility of doing so in the past, it’s just that when I did look into it, it seemed that I would incur a monthly fee. So far my volume for credit card sales has been virtually nil. So, why would I want to pay a monthly fee for something I would rarely use? I wouldn’t!

But now as I review this practice I am starting to second guess myself.

So before I do anything either way, I thought I would come here to the well of knowledge and ask for some input.

I’m curious as to how those of you who do accept credit cards operate. By that I mean, what does it cost you to accept credit cards and/or maintain a merchant account? Additionally, what return-on-investment do you realize by doing so? Finally does anyone use, or know of, a service which doesn’t require a monthly fee?

I’m not asking whether I should or shouldn’t accept credit cards I just want to make a better informed decision.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:48 pm
by Karl Langford
If you are a member of WEDJ, you can accept credit cards for $10 a month plus fees if someone uses the system. If no one uses it, it is just the $10.

I think you need to have at least a silver listing if I remember right.

I have had it for 1 1/2 years or so and have had it used 15 times I think. I took MC Visa and discover but dropped Discover because of the high fees.

My next wedding couple I met with today said they were going to pay with the system so I think it is worth it. I was thinking of just using Pay Pal but have heard too many horror stories if there is a charge back or if the client tries to get the money back for what ever reason.

Hope that helps.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:44 pm
by TheBartman47
I hate credit cards, and will not accept them as payment either. I've never lost a potential customer because of it. If someone can't find some other way of paying besides using a credit card, I'd be suspicious of them anyway.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:48 pm
by Karl Langford
That makes no sense at all. The majority pay me with check and debit cards. Not nessesarily credit cards.

Also, when you are paying so many things, not everyone has that much cash at hand. Why is that suspicious?

Do you pay cash for everything? How about a new car?

Credit cards are a big plus and just because you say no one has ever not booked you because of it, doesn't mean it is true. They may have not booked you and said something else if they said something as to why at all.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:42 pm
by CJ Greiner
There's really no reason any of you can't accept credit cards. PayPal has services that allow you to accept cards without a monthly fee. Of course, there's a per-transaction fee (they have to make money somehow!)

Email Payments
Monthly Fee: 0
Per-Transaction: 2.9% + $0.30 USD (You’ll pay $3.20 USD
on a $100.00 USD transaction.) ... ew-outside

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:55 am
by JR
TheBartman47 wrote:I hate credit cards, and will not accept them as payment either. I've never lost a potential customer because of it. If someone can't find some other way of paying besides using a credit card, I'd be suspicious of them anyway.

I see that I didn't mention that the customer is a Morale, Welfare and Recreation unit of the US Air Force working with non-appropriated funds; same as a corporate event with a discretionary account. I suggested PayPal to the agent but to no avail. I don't mind losing this event as much as I do missing out on the opportunity to perform and be considered for future events.

By the way, since I have an American Express business account, I checked with them and set up a merchant account. So now I can accept AMEX for $5.95/month up to $2500 annual sales at which time it changes to 2.89% of the transaction and $0.15 per transaction (similar to PayPal). I still have to look into on-line processing to include MC and VISA.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:06 am
by CJ Greiner
The EMAIL PAYMENTS option I mentioned above doesn't require the buyer to have a PayPal account -- only you. You'll use the interface to send a payment request to MWR, and they click on the link and make the payment online with their credit card. It's all free for you and you can accept just about any type of credit card.

Whatever you decide... it can be worth it for the convenience. I've discovered many clients are happy to pay with a credit card if presented with the option. (I use the slightly more expensive "virtual terminal" service from PayPal because it has more features including instant-charge and website integration.)

Re: Credit Cards? To Accept or Not

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:40 pm
by rickdj
OK, guys, here is a thought. I setup credit card merchant accounts for consumers...and have been a DJ for 28 years.

I charge 1.69 per transaction plus .30 above interchange plus 9.5 cents per transaction, (even less on debit cards...around 1.0 to 1.3) HOWEVER, if you are not swiping that card physically through a machine...also known as a "QUALIFIED transaction" in credit card lingo ( and I dont care what company you are with) you will be paying in the neighborhood of 3-3.5% per transaction plus .30 interchange. That is known as "Non Qualified" (in other words, you took the card over the internet or phone and did not physically swipe it through a credit card machine.)

So lets do the math....

At a 3 % charge on $100.00 you are paying $3.30 for every $100.00 you generate. If you do a $500.00 gig...then it's $16.50...if it's $1000 gig.... $33.00. Roll those charges into your final price and let the customer pay the bill (if you desire and yes it is completely legal to charge a service charge...just roll it into the final total.) If you desire to not do this, then think about this... $33.00 to get a $1000.00 gig? You are going to net over $900.00 on that one gig!!!

Lets look at it fromn an annual standpoint. In year one of taking cards, I did over $5000.00 on my first year via cards. So here was my cost breakdown.

1. CC machine - $250.00
2. Monthly fee - $8.95/mo or $107 a year.
3. Annual renewal - $79.00
4. Factor in the transaction fees of .30 for a few of those gigs (lets say all 5 gigs at $1000.00 each was $1.50 in transaction fees.

TOTAL: $437.50....less $5000.00 in weddings...PROFIT WAS....$4562.00!!! Was it worth it?..hell yeah! Take $250.00 off the machine cost and its even more profit!! When you think about it, that just under half the cost of doing HALF of ONE WEDDING PER YEAR! :)

ONE thing I will advise and I am not saying this because I am inthe CC biz....DO NOT DO PAYPAL! Their rates are in the area of 4-5% and higher! If for any reason you get a bad card (almost doesnt happen these days) your CC company covers it and you still get it reimbursed...and the card company goes after the bad guy! YOU STILL GET PAID! Additionally, trying to jump through hoops through paypal for reimbursement can be one big pain the a$$!

One caveat I will throw at you also is when it comes to deposit, take the card, any transactions within 30 days or less,...take cash!! Even though a dispute can happen on cards and you still get
paid, why go through the BS of some customer who was drunk who claims he is not going to pay you....30 days or less, cash...PERIOD! If the customer wants to prepay the remainder of the event and there is more than 30 days to go, then you can take the card but if less than 30 days...CASH IS KING!

Any questions, please feel free to call me at 603-436-4423 or email me at and I will be happy to answer any questions in regards to this.

Rick Rozek
Bank Card Depot
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