Check cashing services

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Old 04-03-10, 05:28 PM
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Check cashing services

Hello, my brother-in -law and myself are starting an antique selling business and I was looking for some information on accepting checks from customers.
I have written checks to other people at different times and they have had a check cashing service that takes the money out of my checking account immediately.Thus eliminating any chance of a bad check. If the money is not there now...no sale.
Has anybody used this sevice and could they share with me the particulars? How much does it cost and how portable is it, we may end up at a lot of shows and be doing business on the road. Thank you
 
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Old 04-03-10, 05:38 PM
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Hi B...

Electronic checks services are, or can be bundled in with your merchant services. There are fees to you not that different from the fees you pay for your credit/ debit services.

I ran a company for a few years that sold those services exclusively. It's good to have for one reason... The company guarantees the check, but you also pay for that "insurance"

It doesn't necessarily means that the check writer has the funds in the account, but it does guarantee that the account is a valid account, and you get the money immediately. You won't have to wait for the check to "clear", and as I said, if you get a validation, they guarantee the funds.

Whoever you get your merchant services from, ask them and they will most likely have a product for you. i recommend it for yourself and your customers.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 07:55 PM
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We are really, really new to this. So we don't have any "merchant services". That is what I am inquiring about. I imagine the credit card services charge a fee and also the check cashing venders charge fees. How much? What kind of equiptment would we have to buy? What do they provide? Is it portable?... could it be used with a cell phone? Could we accept checks only or are credit cards the way to go? We would like to start out small (cheap) with minimal fees. If things go well we could offer more services.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:26 AM
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Hi bmcguane,

You can start using Paypal
www.paypal.com

You just need to open an account (free) They process transactions in cash and credit cards without any equipment and you pay per transaction (you don't sell = you don't pay)
 
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Old 04-05-10, 06:44 AM
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Pay pal is an option but is RIDICULOUSLY expensive for what you want to do. That is have a brick store front and run tx's through it daily.

First, you will need some type of equipment that will allow you accept the card(s). You will also need a pin pad for those that wish to use debit cards.

However, all of this will be supplied by your vendor if you wish. You can either pay for it in whole, or they will charge you a service fee to use it.

You can also purchase a whole software program for a desktop that will act as the "front end" for your tx's. (tx's = transactions). These come with the additional hardware that plugs in to the comp to use as a card reader and a pin pad.

There are also platforms out there that can be used with cell phones which your provider will be happy to help you with.

But none of this is the most important part. This is a very complicated system of banks, processors, equipment, dicount rates, etc... a lot of buzz words.

The best option you have is to educate yourself. It's tough to do online because most of the educators are the guys selling that service and more importantly are telling you what they do, not what could be done.

The best thing you can do is talk to local stores or friends who own merchant accounts and use them. They will be of great help and a lot of information. most likely they already made a ton of mistakes and can veer you in the right direction.

The next thing is going to your bank. They will have everything you need, and will most likely be the cheapest and safest. In addition they will be a great source of info without hassling you for your business.

Pay pal is an easy solution, but it is expensive. VERY expensive. So do your homework. If you have any specific questions, put them here.

Edit: I wanted to be more clear here... The reason Paypal is more expensive, and ridiculously expensive is because of fraud in the credit card processing arena. It's not Paypal's fault, but what they provide is a "card not present" platform. This is very expensive to the merchant where they pay much higher fees and much higher percentage points because they have no way of seeing the card. The higher costs are to offset the losses that will inevitably occur. You will have a "card present" type of business. Utilize that to offset your costs when it comes to Merch Services.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 09:46 AM
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Hi riggstad

For Paypal purposes, you don't need any special equipament, just a computer or a cell phone with internet access.

The fee is 3.20% + 0.20$, however, I think that this is insignificant, because
1 - You can accept ANY credit card or debit card of any country in the world, in most types of currency
2 - Your sales are covered for the Paypal merchant protection (trust me, it works)
3 - Above $150.00 you don't pay a cent for transferences to your bank
4 - All the banks and CC companies have limits, monthly fees, separated agreements, etc. With Paypal, you have only one agreement and you pay only if you use the service. So, if you don't sell a piece during 6 months or a year or more, you don't pay a cent
5 - Is free for the Customers

I think that, as the OP explained, they are just starting, so Paypal can be an excellent option
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:58 PM
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I do have a Pay-pal account.
How would that work... I log into my account... enter the customers credit card info...transfer funds and I'm set?
Thank you this is very helpful
 
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Old 04-05-10, 09:08 PM
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Hi bmcguane,

You need to open a merchant account (don't worry, it is free)
Check the merchant services in this page

After you open the account, you or your customers enter their CC or debit card number and that's it--> in less than one minute the money is in your account (of course, less the Paypal 3.20% + $0.20)
 
 

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