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TOPIC: Accept credit cards?

Accept credit cards? 07 Feb 2006 23:20 #1

  • reillyshoe
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I am tired of waiting for clients to mail in the check after shoeing, so I am considering setting up to accept credit card payments. It seems there is a charge of 2-4% per transaction, but I would just as soon raise my rates and be paid on the day I shoe the horse. Any experience on the topic?
P
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RE:Accept credit cards? 07 Feb 2006 23:44 #2

I have considered useing Paypal. All one needs is a Paypal account and your E-mail address and they can pay you by credit card or from there checking account. there are fees, but you could pass on the fees to the customer. After all it is also a convenience to the customer, saves them from sending the check, putting it into and envelope and mailing it out. You can also send your client an invoice through Paypal and they have the option of paying now through that invoice. I use it for Ebay and have not had any trouble with it.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 00:18 #3

  • ShoerChar
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I hate not getting paid after shoeing, i find it very irresponsible and just plain rude on the part of the client. Granted, if something comes up that entails extra cost, like pads or acrylic work ok, i might let it go, but in general, i will either ask for the money up front, or refuse to go back if i don't get paid. The client scheduled the appointment and knew i was comming and should therefore have the money ready.

I think a paypal account is a great idea, i too have one that i use on ebay all the time and have never had a problem. I think the fees should absolutely be absorbed by the client wishing to pay in that manner. I haven't yet had a client ask if i take credit cards, but if the situation ever does arise i think i will mention paypal.
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 00:38 #4

  • George Geist
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ShoerChar and Riellyshoe,
I have been thinking of this myself for a lot of years but have been too lazy to look into it myself. I dont think many horseshoers have done it yet but those that I've heard of have been real happy with the results.

After all every other successful business out there takes credit cards. I even asked customers a few years ago to see if they liked the idea. They all did. Heard nothing negative from anybody. Maybe this year since I'm thinking about it. Also, People have told me that the rates they charge are very negotiable so it's a good idea to shop around for the bank that gives the best deal.

Think of it this way, if their credit is so lousy that they cant get a credit card, do you really want to be the one extending them credit?

I too hope somebody thats tried it decides to post.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 01:00 #5

It is in my plan to accept CC as soon as I am practicing professionally.

Reason #1 I believe that people will be more likely to stay on schedule if they know that they can just charge it if they don't happen to have the cash.

Reason #2 You don't have to worry about bouncing checks.

I'm more suprised that more farriers don't take CC's, and wonder why.
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 01:23 #6

  • Dave Whitaker
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Pat,
This came up at one of the "business" roundtables in Cincinnati. Most of us there didn't accept cards, but there was one farrier who requires that each client sign an automatic charge authorization when he sets there account up. He claimed that if they didn't pay by check or cash, or were not there when he did their horses, he could automatically charge it to the card on file. Sounded like a pretty slick system.

99.9% of my clients are COD, and know that I don't/won't bill them. I have very few problems with collections. Dave


"Everything is for sale......some are just harder to buy than others......"
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 03:07 #7

  • Mike Ferrara
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Not only is there a fee for each transaction but there are also volume requirements and sometimes extra costs for punching in a transaction manually as apposed to swipping a machine that's online. If volume requirements aren't met additional fees are automatically deducted from your account...you could drain your account if customers aren't paying by credit card. The credit card company does NOT (in theory) permit you to charge people paying by credit card more. They want you to eat it rather than discouraging the client from putting money in their pocket.

George, I've never found a credit card company who's rates were negotiable.

I owned a dive shop for 4 years and I had no choice but to accept credit cards but it's nothing but an extra cost and for me it was sometimes a pretty big cost.

Dave, I can't even imagine what kind of nut would sign an automatic charge authorization for a service provider like a farrier.
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 12:27 #8

  • Rick Burten
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When accepting CCs, you cannot charge more to the person using the card. Its against the law. What you can do however, is raise your prices across the board by the amount of the fees you are being charged, and then offer a discount to those who pay cash or by check.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
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Je pense donc je suis
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 13:47 #9

  • Mike Ferrara
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If I can find it I have a credit card machine that I'd love to sell cheap. LOL
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 14:03 #10

  • Bill Adams
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I'm in a semi rural area and in thirteen and a half years have lost $120 to bad checks and non payment. Everyone knows the score, that you pay at time of work being done. In the pot growing areas of the county, it's always cash and big tips.
I have one horse that the owners don't comunicate too well about, and I get paid twice for. I put the second check toward the next shoeing as thay may compare notes sometime.
Bill

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 14:12 #11

  • Mike Ferrara
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Bill Adams wrote:
I'm in a semi rural area and in thirteen and a half years have lost $120 to bad checks and non payment. Everyone knows the score, that you pay at time of work being done. In the pot growing areas of the county, it's always cash and big tips.
I have one horse that the owners don't comunicate too well about, and I get paid twice for. I put the second check toward the next shoeing as thay may compare notes sometime.
Bill

Over the years I've had a couple of people bounce checks but they always made good on them. I currently have one long overdue bill that I might have to get nasty about but to dat I've never been cheated out of anything. This one looked bad from the start but it was a bunch of trims and I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I bill most of my clients by mail. Some pay faster than other but most are reasonable.
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 14:37 #12

Rick Burten wrote:
When accepting CCs, you cannot charge more to the person using the card. Its against the law. , and then offer a discount to

True Rick but this is a very gray area as well. The credit card companies and the banks will always tell you "No" you can't do that because they are the ones recieving the 2% to 6% fee for each and every transaction. You can offer the "cash discount" but then its just more of a hassle to you up front and remembering who pays with what and etc. Plus your prices don't look so high to everyone.

We have been getting around this problem in our family equipment business for years. We simply charge a convienence fee. What is this you may ask. This is a fee that I charge if you want to use a credit card. (its for their conveinence, not ours) We sell parts and equipment that may sell for a few dollars or it may sell for $25,000.00 and for years after we started accepting credit cards each year we would end up paying out 30 or $40,000.00 a year to them and thats profit out of your own pocket.

I was asking the same questions. How to stop giving my profit to the credit card companies and banks. Nobody wants to give you an answer on the subject. I talked with several ppl that charged the fee and never had any issues.

Then I found this information:

http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/Tax/propTaxCollection_online.htm#CreditCard

On the same page is a pop up window from the Tax Department Director and it reads:

A Message From The Director:
Credit Card Payment Option & Convenience Fees


Why do I have to pay a convenience fee for using my credit card or electronic-check (e-check)? This is a question that our citizens sometime ask. I would like to take this opportunity to explain that fee.

Our taxpayers have asked for the convenience of using credit card and electronic-check for their payments. Official Payments Corporation, the company we have contracted with, has offered the most convenient economic service to be in compliance with North Carolina’s laws.

Official Payments Corporation charges an additional convenience fee. They have been providing credit card payment service to Buncombe County since 1998. This year we have implemented their electronic check service as an additional convenience to our citizens.

There is an additional cost to process credit card and e-check payments. This cost is passed to the citizens choosing to use this form of payment. Although, it is not our wish to increase the cost to pay taxes, citizens who want to use this form of payment will be charged this convenience fee.

The State of North Carolina, Secretary of Revenue, under which ad valorem property taxes reside, is E. Norris Tolson. The North Carolina Department of Revenue web site can be found at the following address: www.dor.state.nc.us. This issue, however, is a local issue in compliance with NC General Statutes.

If I can provide additional information, be sure to contact me.

Gary C Roberts
Tax Department Director


I later came across this site as well:

http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=101316,00.html

Now after I read that my state and the IRS have no problem w/ convienence fees, I had no worries what-so-ever. Its been 8 years now since we started charging and now and then you get someone that complains about it and they do have the choice to pull out their check book instead, but most ppl are just fine w/ it.

This statement from the IRS alone tells me that its ok.
The "United States Treasury Tax Payment" is included on the credit card statement as further proof of payment. The convenience fee will be included on the statement as a "Tax Payment Convenience Fee" (or similar transaction).

Also remember that alot of ppl will be using a debit card from their checking account, this transaction is the same as a credit card transaction except the fees aren't a percentage of the amount they are a charge of .37 cents. This is nice because it doesn't matter how much the bill is thats the only charge for a debit card.

Well I think it is a very good idea to take cards because ppl don't carry money much anymore and this is just another means to our cashless society that we seem to be coming to.

Hopefully this will give some insight on this issue.
Chris Clark

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle."
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 15:07 #13

While I do not accept credit cards- tried it for a year, rentedt he equipment and even though a poll of my clients before doing so indicated they would like to utilize their cards for footwork services, nobody ever did in that year!


However I DO charge a check fee of 5.00 Some folks grumble, but they all have the option of paying cash and saving that 5 bucks. I explain that while I AM obligated to accept cash as legal tender - all a check is, is a promise to pay and in order to get that payment I have to be willing to wait until it is convenient for the banks to process that promise and I still have to get that promise into the bank. This takes more time and effort on my part which, while the check may be a convenience for them - it is an INconvenience for me.

I much prefer the motto: "in God we trust, all others PAY cash!" Cash is KING!

Regards,
Kim
Regards,
Kim

Those who only consider cost, do NOT consider the cost to the horse!

The more we know, the more we know we need to know more! Ya know?
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RE:Accept credit cards? 08 Feb 2006 18:23 #14

  • reillyshoe
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I would probably just raise my rates $5-$10 accross the board. Incedently, I asked the same questions of owners on another BB and so far they love the idea.
The problem is not getting paid, it is knowing when I will get paid. Check seem to come in slower around the holidays, for instance, and the mortgage check still has to go out. I used to have a policy that if the check wasn't waiting for me, I'd leave and come back another day. There are two problems with that. First, I have to know if I am putting new shoes on or resetting so that I can bill the correct amount in advance. Secondly, if I have to leave and come back, I have just wasted more time.
P
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RE:Accept credit cards? 09 Feb 2006 03:37 #15

  • Bill Adams
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Just get your clients to pay you at the time of sercice. Is this a strange concept?
I joke with them a bit but put teath into it too. When they have forgotten a check book I tell them just to send it in the mail THIS AFTERNOON. If it takes a couple of days, just add twenty bucks for a billing charge.
Make things lite, I tell them that I'll reposess the horse then I say I guess I can't 'cause then I'd be in worse financal shape.
Tell them you worked out an aggrement with the local banks. They don't shoe horses and you don't loan money.
Remember we are in the luxury business, my kids shouldn't have to wait to eat while their presious Pokie has it's feet done.
My $0.02,
Bill

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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