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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #1
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Merchant Accounts, Credit Card Processing, and other fun stuff

Hello Friends, I am hoping to get some insight and recommendations from you. In the past, I have processed Credit Cards for clients though Paypal or our Online Store hosted by Exposure Manager. For the last few years we have been chasing a large client for a 4 day event that included photography and videography services and sales. This year we got it and it occurs in 5 weeks. I have spent the last year researching merchant accounts and point of sale (POS) options and keep going round and round.

I keep coming back to Intuit QuickBooks Cash Register Plus and their Point of Sale Merchant Account. We will have close to 800 attendees at this event who will want to buy merchandise and photographs on-site over the 4 day event and it is not something we can run through Paypal or our online store system. The problem is, once this event is over we may not have high volume sales again for many months. I am ok with paying monthly fees and such to get the % fee down but I don't want to run into problems when our sales go from $20,000-$50,000 to $0-$1200 after the event nor do I want to encounter a revenue/processing freeze if our processing spikes.

Who do you guys recommend for processing event sales? Has anyone used Cash Register Plus from Intuit? What was your experience like?
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Old April 26th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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We use First Data through Sam's Club. With a Plus membership from Sam's ($100) your monthly fee for a merchant account is taken care of. So no worries about slow months.

They rent wireless POS credit card terminals for around ~$100 per month as well.

The customer gets a printed reciept at the event and the funds are transferred directly into your bank account.

I would not do a live event any other way.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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Check out wedj dot com. while it a referal site for wedding DJ's/photo and video, they offer a merchant account that's 10/mo plus a virtual terminal that you can log in and charge a card remotely, plus a receipt can be emailed to the client.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the referrals. I am leaning more towards a touchscreen cash register type solution for ringing customers up which is why I am leaning toward Intuit's Cash Register Plus. Though a swipe terminal may be the way to go for now. I use WeDj.com for referrals but never looked into the Merchant Services and VT options from them. That might be a good solution for another event type. Our online store was a good solution but they take 10% and we would have to click-through many screens per order so I just didn't feel it was fast enough or cost effective to use as a solution for this particular event. I have also been looking at Windows Dynamic point of sale solution but I am having trouble getting cost info about it.

I applied yesterday with Intuit's merchant services so we will see if we get approval or not.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Intuit is giving me the run around.

Tim - How did you find out about Sam's service? Were you able to go in and talk to them? I would rather do this face to face, if possible. Thanks!
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Old April 27th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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Hey Bryan.

They have information at the Sam's club in the form of a brochure. I then called the number to get pricing and service information. Sam's club does not run the service, they just offer it to their business level members.

As you probably know, you need a separate merchant account for online and card based transactions. Kind of expensive to offer online sales and card swiping unless you sell a lot of pre or post event products.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #7
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Bryan you may want to give the program thru WeDj a look. You didn't mentioned if you had the free referral or the paid program but the merchant program is only available on the paid side.

The advantage is its setup for V/MC/DIS and AMEX if you want (AMEX went to charging a monthly fee, so I dropped it) plus it can be tied into you're online store as well. The fee is lower than any of the other places I talked to plus didn't have to buy any equipment.

Maybe send an email to Brandon there as he's the merchant account guru
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Old May 1st, 2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for the input and ideas. We got accepted through Intuit so I am going to try out that route. There is no cancellation fee and the equipment is returnable for 60 days so I am going to try it out on a large event I have booked at the beginning of June. I will let you know how it works out.
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