|E-commerce and Credit Card Information|
Internet Merchant Accounts For Innocents Abroad
If you want to sell on the internet, your need to accept credit cards. To accept credit cards, you need a merchant account, or access to one. There're two ways of getting this: Get your own merchant account, or 'pimp' off someone else's.
The latter is the option most new merchants choose. You use a third-party to process your payments, and they take percentage. Here are a few popular ones:
I don't recommend them as your main processor. See http://www.paypalsucks.com. PayPal is popular because it was 'firstest with the mostest' on auction sites. For this reason, eBay bought them out. PayPalSucks.com alleges that if you have a bad order they freeze your account, and can even dip into your bank account to make up any shortfalls. Mitigating circumstances are not taken into account. I've read enough complaints about PayPal on webmaster forums to heed them.
The usual rejoinder is; "But I've never had any problems with PayPal". To which is usually retorted "Just wait 'till you get a chargeback!"
A chargeback occurs when someone asks their credit-card company for a refund. They say they didn't get the goods, or they never made the order, or the goods were not as advertised. This is passed on to the processor, who in turn debits the merchant. Or drops him entirely. You don't want too many of these.
I've used them for years for small amounts, with no problem, but on the basis of others' complaints in webmaster forums, I wouldn't use them for large ones. Don't leave large amounts 'on deposit' in any internet-based company; they're not banks, and even banks go bust occasionally.
The best use for PayPal is to entice customers who already use it. Find another provider to be your main one. One like ...
This is a factoring service like PayPal. Unlike them, they have a pretty good reputation with webmasters. Like PayPal, they don't provide you with a merchant account; they process your orders through their own.
This is why such sites have to be very stringent; they are answerable to their own merchant account provider. Too many bogus orders, and they go out of business.
This is why third-party factoring services like 2Checkout are very useful to a newbie merchant: fraud prevention. They can screen out suspicious orders.
Most merchants would like to think they can sell worldwide. The fact is most of the world is poor; MOST countries can't afford your goods. So some citizens try to get them fraudulently.
A smart merchant would bar most of the world from accessing his cart, and only accept orders from the USA, Canada, western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and his home country. Harsh, but you'll sleep better at night.
A well-regarded service. I found adding it to the Oscommerce cart (http://www.oscommerce.com) a bit of a chore, but it worked. More expensive to join than 2Checkout. You don't hear many gripes about WorldPay, which is rare in webmaster circles.
Handy if you're selling a few items of inexpensive software to start off your business. They'll let you up the price once they're sure of you. I managed to get them to go up to $150 (whoo!). I was very jealous of their system. It's well designed and extremely 'viral'; they're basically a huge affiliate program. Join ClickBank, and others will try and sell your product for you.
They allow you to block whole continents from trying to buy your product, and that is good. The odds are that a $25 order for an ebook, from a third-world country, is fraudulent.
If an order looks dodgy, it probably is. Contact the customer by 'phone or email. If you don't get a satisfactory reply, refund the card.
When you're making $1000+ a month, get your own merchant account.
A useful collection of affiliate links to merchant account and processing providers. Scroll down their front page to their search tool. You can find an account that suits your needs. This is most helpful to non-U.S. merchants, or those seeking 'international merchant accounts'.
In the UK, look for 'merchant services' at:
Barclays bank (http://www.barclaycardmerchantservices.co.uk)
UK processing services are:
Having one's own merchant account means paying less in processing fees.
IMPORTANT: You should specify up-front that you are looking for an internet merchant account. Internet transactions are viewed as higher risk than those by bricks-and-mortar businesses. The technical term is 'card not present'.
Some things you may need, if applying for an internet merchant account of your own:
Business bank account;
In short, you need to prove that both you and your company are what you say they are. Your account provider is taking a chance on you. You might send them a ton of bogus orders. A bank is a business too, not a community service. Help them to make the right decision! The more you can establish that you are bona-fide, the lower the cost of your account.
Things to avoid, if you can:
a) Expensive credit-card processing software rental or hire-purchase.
Things to look out for at sites offering merchant accounts:
If you need to maintain a U.S. presence - full U.S. incorporation, U.S. server, U.S. offices, U.S. bank account - or NOT.
Also if they want a deposit, and the size of their application fee. And the usual monthly minimums, discounts etc.
Avoid getting into any software purchase or equipment rental. You can sort all that out later, for less money. There are plenty of good payment gateways, like Authorize.net (http://www.authorize.net) just itching for your business.
PS: Don't accept a merchant account from an Eastern European bank. I did, some years ago. The bank went bust. One guy wailed on Usenet that he'd lost $10,000 dollars. Luckily for me, business was bad that year!
About the author: T. O' Donnell http://www.tigertom.com is an ecommerce consultant in London, UK. His latest projects are a mortgage calculator and ebook, available at http://www.tigertom.com/mortgages-uk.shtml
Retirement Signature Frames ? The Perfect Retirement Gift!
When most people think of a retirement gift, they think of a watch. It's the tried and true gift that companies give employees to say thanks for all the years of hard work. It's a great gift on behalf of the company but if you're the lucky individual enlisted with planning the retirement party, you're probably in need of a personalized gift on behalf of everyone at the office.
Getting Started in ECommerce ? Part Two
In Part One we talked a little bit about what Ecommerce is, getting a domain name and setting up a merchant account. Ecommerce is more than that, much more. To have a really good online presence that gets people to stop and shop you need a strategy for success. Your strategy must include your USP or Unique Selling Position in the marketplace. What makes you stand out from all the other online entrepreneurs looking for the same type of customers as you? Can you stand out from the competition based on quality, price or benefits? Once you know your USP, you can begin the monumental task of telling the world about your site. A really unique selling position will give you an advantage over all the competition ? well that and a lot of planning and investing of your time and money.
12 Powerful Ways To Use Autoresponders That Will Take YOU To The Top
If only I had known that autoresponders are a necessity to your online business when I first ventured online, I would have saved a lot of time and money. You have to automate in as many areas as possible and if used responsibly, autoresponders can be your best friend.
eCommerce, How Much Does It cost?
Making profits with your existing website design or creating a new online store can be exciting, affordable and most of all; rewarding. Mmmm . . . that's what the last sales guy told me.
How To Accept Credit Cards Online
Anyone with an online business, whether for auctions, services, or virtually any type of product, has asked the same question at some time during their quest to create the ultimate online business - "How do I accept credit cards?"
The Internet and Customer Care: Aid or Anarchy?
It was reported in 'Marketing' magazine this month, that Britain is becoming a "disaffected nation", with each adult apparently making an average of 12 complaints to service providers each year, based on a "Service in Britain" survey by ASR (Andrew Smith Research). In response to the rise of the 'assertive consumer', brands are endeavouring to make sure 'good customer service' is a recognisable characteristic in the form of testimonials, efficient call centre responses and empowering staff throughout the company to resolve problems. Most complaints were about power, utility or postal services at 42%, followed by supermarkets, telephone providers, TV or ISP providers and banks. Insurance companies were also in the top 10 with 21% of the articulate disaffected nation.
Ecommerce - Boost Your Business ROI
Did you know that over 90% of all online orders are processed by credit cards and that web sites that offer customers the ability to pay with credit cards can achieve up to 300% more sales than those that do not?
Business Online ? Blind Hunt
Do you sell something online? Do you have a business in the Internet? Have you read the "How to generate more traffic and convert it to sales" articles? Have you played the "Be #1 in SEO" game?
Is ECommerce Right for Our Business?
If your business features products or services for sale, undoubtedly the topic of eCommerce has come up. What is eCommerce? Literally defined as "the conduct of financial transactions by electronic means," it refers to purchases made over the Internet. There are popular slang terms such as ebusiness, click and mortar, dotcom, cyber-mall and multiple spellings (eCommerce, e-commerce, E-Commerce), but they are all basically the same thing. Don't let the different phrases confuse you, it all comes back to the same principle: selling online.
How to Start a Business on the Internet
So you want to start a business? Good for you. Really, I mean that sincerely. I think about the millions of people that let the thought pass briefly through their minds on he way to work everyday.
Simple Steps to Start a Profitable Member Only, Subscription Web Site
Having a successful member only, paid membership site is one of the best ways to make money online. A successful membership site can give you the steady income of a CEO ?.but without the job!
Working With Drop Shippers
Drop Shippers, the manufacturers or distributors who are willing to ship their products to your customers, bring a powerful benefit to ecommerce. Online businesses that engage in the wholesale-retail trade can cut down on all the hassles of shipping their products by simply establishing business relationships with drop shippers, and using them as part of their business model. This article will cover the aspects of selecting a reliable drop shipper, the process of setting up with drop shippers, and also some of the common problems that may arise from working with drop shippers.
Online Lead Generation: Can it Work for My Business?
Business-to-business service providers have a wide range of tactics they can deploy to gain new clients or customers. Direct mail; cold calling; TV, radio or print advertising are all ways in which B2B services gain new customers. In the last 10 years, the Internet has become another strategy to boost business, through advertising, web site optimization and online lead generation.
12 Easy and Effective Ways To Create Reports
1. Combine a few of your articles into a free report. Make sure that each of the articles fits the theme of your report.
Online Consumers ? What Are They Complaining About?
For many businesses, e-commerce represents a tremendous method for generating revenues. To maximize the profit potential, you need to keep an eye on issues that drive your prospects nuts. The FTC maintain a list of the top 10 "dot.cons" complained about by consumers. If your site falls within one of these industries, you must make sure you address these concerns.
How To Sell Your Products Online?
E-commerce is gaining pace! Research firm eMarketer predicts that 2003 will see online sales reaching US $58.2 billion excluding travel. According to Forrester Research, another reputable research company, business to consumer e-commerce will hit US $230 billion by the year 2008. While offline retail sales are staggering and will continue to do so in near term, online retail sales will show a hefty 19 percent consecutive year over year growth! And by the same year, two third of all US households will buy some kind of products and services online. In 2003 alone 97 million consumers will make some kind of purchases through the Internet.
Leading eCommerce Consultant Admits You Should Only Listen to One Real Expert! (And its not him!)
Let me share with you a secret that most marketing experts and consultants don't want you to know? (many of them don't even understand this secret themselves.)
The Check is in the E-mail
Have you ever had someone who owed your business money say, "the check is in the mail." Well now there is an answer to that old tired way of brushing you off and not seeing that check come in the mail week after week after week. Qchex.com has an awesome service that can cut waiting weeks to get paid via check to only minutes. I have used this service many times and I don't know what I would do without it. Many of my clients would rather pay me by check and are use to just letting the old post office take their time in delivering it. Qchex.com will cut that time to almost nothing.
Managing Project Risks and Issues
Inherent (or Business) Risk
Drop-Shipping ? A Great Way of Making Money Online
Using the Internet to sell products and services to ever increasing number of net users is a good way to start your own business. If you are not taking advantage of this great opportunity you are just missing the boat! Consider this: e-commerce, contrary to popular believe, is thriving and increasing at a double digit growth rate. According to Jupiter Research, Online sales during this holiday season in United States are expected to reach $21.6 billion, a 19 percent increase over the same period last year. Jupiter also predicts in the report that 86 million U.S. residents will make holiday purchases online this year compared to 73 million last year, which is an 18 percent increase.
|home | site map|