Taking Credit Cards

Business By vickster Updated 2 Apr 2008 , 4:50pm by southerncake

vickster Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 11:00pm
post #1 of 36

I am starting to have enough business that I am considering taking credit cards. My bank has a small business program, but it seems to me to take a pretty darn big cut, a fee for each charge plus a percentage, plus buying the equipment. I would appreciate any advice.

35 replies
marmalade1687 Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 11:27pm
post #2 of 36

I use Paypal for my credit card transactions, and I love it! It is much less of a percentage than the big credit card companies, I don't have to rent a machine, and it is very easy to set up and use. I set up a business account with Paypal, and when I need to, I just send an email invoice to clients requesting payment. I actually have had brides choose me over other decorators because I offer Paypal. thumbs_up.gif

vickster Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 12:05am
post #3 of 36

thanks,I'm going to go look it up. I have a regular paypal account and I do like it.

marmalade1687 Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 11:29am
post #4 of 36

One other thing that I forgot to mention about Paypal that I really like...you can set up custom invoices for your own business, and just punch in the information that you want whenever you need to send an invoice to a client. I have one for a booking deposit, a final balance, and a general invoice when the client pays all at once. Wonderful time-saver!

cambo Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 6:42pm
post #5 of 36

I also use PayPal and LOVE it!

doreenre Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 6:51pm
post #6 of 36

sAVE

deanwithana Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 6:54pm
post #7 of 36

Use paypal for sure!!!! Also, you can assure your clients that they do not have to have a paypal account to pay your invoice.....all they need is a valid email address!!!! Also, you can get a debit card to use against your paypal account or have it bank wired to your bank account....either is free to get your money. Also, the fee is minimal!!!! I love it!!!!

deanwithana Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 6:57pm
post #8 of 36

Also.......a couple of other things!!!! If you sign up with them, you can be taking CCs by this afternoon and there is no contract....you only pay the small percentage if you use the service!!!! Definitely worth looking into!!!

fluttercakes Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 8:41pm
post #9 of 36

I have Paypal, and Propay. I had to get Propay because of needing to take credit cards over the phone and with them you don't need an address like you do with Paypal. I mainly had to get both because so many people when they called me up to order something small like simple cupcakes they just assumed I had a cc machine right in front of me and started giving me their cc #...scary but true!

I prefer the Paypal account, but the Propay one is great, too...but that one isn't free...something like $60/year for the service I signed up for (accept all major cc & phone orders).

ladyonzlake Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 8:48pm
post #10 of 36

Yep, I use PayPal too!

Chef_Stef Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 10:54pm
post #11 of 36

I take Visa/MC through my DH's business, so I'll tell what I know about that:

You'll pay about 2.5+% for each transation, plus you'll usually pay to enroll in the program (we have it through Quickbooks Merchant Services), AND you'll pay a monthly fee of usually a minimum of $29.99 for up to so many dollars of income or something. So even if you don't take any Visa payments that month, you'll pay the $29.99, and that will go up incrementally, depending on how many visa transations you post, so on a regular month our bank statement will show all the individual charge fees ($2-12 each) and then also a monthly fee of around $100.

Just an FYI. Visa/MC is definitely convenient, and people love it, and we have gotten customers we wouldn't have otherwise because we offer Visa sales, but you have to be ready to accept that there is a cost of doing business that goes along with the security of having instant payment approval. Also be aware that visa sales don't fund immediately--it's usually at least a few days to a week before the $ shows up in your bank account. (....whoops...had to answer the phone and...take a visa sale for $1200.00 for DH...see what I mean? SO convenient!) icon_smile.gif

Paypal is an interesting option--I'd never thought of that for cakes...even though I can't use it for DH's business.

ladyonzlake Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 10:56pm
post #12 of 36

I believe PayPal is 3% but there's no other fees.

cambo Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 12:44pm
post #13 of 36

You can still take cc's over the phone with PayPal! I just use our "request money" from my business email address to our "home" email address When I get the "request" for money on our home account (which is instant), I just follow the link as if I were the customer and input all of their info! I do it all the time and it's so fast....I process it while still on the phone with them to ensure it's accepted, etc!

vickster Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:05pm
post #14 of 36

I read the Paypal web site, but I'm still not sure how it works when a customer shows up for a cake and wants to pay with a credit card. Do you send yourself an invoice and then pay it with their card?

ladyonzlake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:45pm
post #15 of 36

If they want to pay via PayPal I just send them a PayPal invoice and they pay for it before they pick up the cake.

cambo Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 9:43pm
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickster

I read the Paypal web site, but I'm still not sure how it works when a customer shows up for a cake and wants to pay with a credit card. Do you send yourself an invoice and then pay it with their card?




I ask the customer at the time their order is placed how they would like to pay for their cake. If they choose credit card, then it must be paid BEFORE I make their cake. So, if they say credit card, I'll send them an email "request for payment" via PayPal (or you can also create an invoice that links directly to PayPal with steps for them to follow to pay). Either way is very simple! Same thing with checks, if paying by check, I need it in advance and with enough time to clear BEFORE any cake is baked!

Since there are no machines involved, I would hate to bake a cake, be left with credit card info that is either incorrect, or rejected! You'll want payment in advance if using PayPal....at least I require it so I'm not burned!

marmalade1687 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 10:26pm
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cambo

I ask the customer at the time their order is placed how they would like to pay for their cake. If they choose credit card, then it must be paid BEFORE I make their cake. So, if they say credit card, I'll send them an email "request for payment" via PayPal (or you can also create an invoice that links directly to PayPal with steps for them to follow to pay). Either way is very simple! Same thing with checks, if paying by check, I need it in advance and with enough time to clear BEFORE any cake is baked!




Ditto! I don't have "no-shows" anymore either since I started this policy - people really seem to remember an "already paid-for" cake rather than a "I still have to pay for when I have to pickup" cake! icon_wink.gif

JanH Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 2:31am
post #18 of 36

Please, no "save" posts per Jackie & Heath (and other members requests):

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-2822433-.html
(Jackie & Heath.)

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-295773-.html
(Members input.)

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-367983-.html
(Helpful info on recommended methods of info retrieval.)

Thanks for your cooperation. icon_smile.gif

FlowerGirlMN Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 4:52pm
post #19 of 36

I don't use paypal for anything anymore.. too many bad experiences, and read/heard too many HORRIBLE experiences online. Google "paypal scam", you'll see what I mean.

I don't really take credit cards for larger cakes, also because of too many horror stories. I know a good handful of wedding photographers who delivered everything, then the couple decided that they couldn't afford it, and cancelled the charge. NOT cool.

I do have CCNow for the cake stands and for smaller bakery items and stuff to order off my website. It's $.50 plus 5% per transaction. $10 to sign up, very convenient and easy to set up.

I'd probably invoice a bride I *completely* trust through CCNow if asked to.. I just don't offer it upfront as a choice!

cambo Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:01pm
post #20 of 36

Yes, I know what scams you're talking about. Folks need to be VERY aware that no matter what type of CC's they take, there will always be scams that accompany them. Most of the ones I receive via email for PayPal I know are scams because they are not from their secure site (http instead of https). If anyone decides to utilize PayPal, I urge you to read ALL of the info available on PayPal.com re. scams and alerts and/or reporting "spoof" emails! Protect yourself!

FlowerGirlMN Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:36pm
post #21 of 36

No no, I mean PAYPAL scams a lot of people!

http://www.paypalsucks.com/

Class action lawsuits against them and everything.

cambo Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:42pm
post #22 of 36

Hmmm.....I guess I'll join the lot of folks that LOVE PayPal until something dreadful happens to them! I absolutely love PayPal, have rec'd excellent customer service every time I've called re. a question....and have had two transactions questioned, by PayPal, for my security and protection! So, they've really taken care of me!

Again, if you're interested in accepting credit cards, I am just speaking from my own personal experience and stronly recommend PayPal.

Thanks for the heads up, FlourGirlMN.....everyone should read the link you attached and then make an educated decision about what's best for them!

cambo Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:42pm
post #23 of 36

Hmmm.....I guess I'll join the lot of folks that LOVE PayPal until something dreadful happens to them! I absolutely love PayPal, have rec'd excellent customer service every time I've called re. a question....and have had two transactions questioned, by PayPal, for my security and protection! So, they've really taken care of me!

Again, if you're interested in accepting credit cards, I am just speaking from my own personal experience and stronly recommend PayPal.

Thanks for the heads up, FlourGirlMN.....everyone should read the link you attached and then make an educated decision about what's best for them!

FlowerGirlMN Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 12:11am
post #24 of 36

i should mention, we stopped using them over 2 years because of the crappy service and constant problems.

They MAY have gotten better. I don't know. Burned enough that I won't give them a second chance!

cambo Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 11:04am
post #25 of 36

Yeah, I've only been using them about a year or just under....so I pray their problems are in their past! Thanks again, for the heads up! I'll keep hoping I never encounter an issue, but there's a first time for everthing....yikes!

PatricesPieces Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 9:41am
post #26 of 36

Vickster,

I just went through a lot of research on Credit Card services. I went to my bank first and then to some other companies that friends were using, and then I heard that Sams Club has a Merchant service program. If you have a business membership with them they waive the monthly fee which was only $4.95. The charges were the cheapest that I found. 1.69% of the total charge and $0.19 per transaction. They will charge you for the machine or you can lease it. My recommendation is to buy the machine. I was also able to negotiate the price with them for the machines as well. They included the pin pad machine free of charge as well. They were easy to work with and were there to answer every question I had (and believe me there were plenty). Check it out if paypal is not an option.

Good luck

FlowerGirlMN Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 11:57am
post #27 of 36

Serenatea: That is really cool information! I'd done a lot of research on merchant accounts earlier, never knew Sam's offered it!

What cards can you accept through sams?

southerncake Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 12:07pm
post #28 of 36

A couple of years ago I researched every option I could find. I ended up going through Total Merchant Services (just google and you will find them) and they are great! I have an awsome sales rep. You do not have to buy or lease your equipment, it is "loaned" to you as long as you are their customer. The rates are great. I have a mobile terminal that runs like a cell phone that I take to shows, to bridal consultations, on cake deliveries, etc. I love it!

PatricesPieces Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 12:16pm
post #29 of 36

Flowergirl

With Sams you can accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. American Express charges a bit more per transaction, but it is worth it to have them.

loriemoms Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 12:20pm
post #30 of 36

If you belong to a credit union, ask them about Credit Cards....Paypal I thought was a bit expensive...Even Costco was a better deal then Paypal, and they dont have to have a email address, etc. With my credit union, i bought the machine for 200 bucks, and I pay them 1.75 percent on every transaction. No mimium, no monthly fee, nothing. I can take orders on the phone, or swipe the card when they pick it up. And I own the equipment, if I ever decide to go with someone else. (there is extra fees if you want to take discover and Amex..this is just for visa and mc)

If you have a fairly large wedding business, take credit cards. 50 percent of my brides use them because they are saving points for honeymoons, discounts on hotels, etc. I also love taking the cards because I get my deposits right away on cake orders on the phone, and I don't have to wait for checks to arrive.

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