Why the Lack of a Merchant Account Could Be the Death of Your Business
From: Brent Crouch
Tuesday, 5:06 p.m.
You may not realize this, but the absence of a merchant account can seriously hurt your business. To understand why merchant accounts play such an important role in the achievement of online success, you have to understand what a merchant account is and what it offers.
First, let's talk about what a merchant account is. A merchant account is a "bank account" that provides you with the ability to accept credit cards from your customers. When you have a merchant account, your customer pays you with a credit card, the credit card information is then processed and the funds from successful credit card transactions are deposited into your merchant account. Once the funds from a credit card transaction are in your merchant account, you can transfer them from the merchant account into your checking account.
In today's technology-driven world, fewer and fewer people are paying with cash and the ability to pay with a credit card isn't just preferred by online customers, it's outright expected.As we all know, if you can't offer a customer what they want, they'll go elsewhere to get it. If your customer wants to pay with a credit card and you don't have a merchant account, they won't be happy. If you don't eventually get a merchant account, the question won't be whether or not you'll lose business, it will just be a question of exactly how much business you'll lose.
Once you realize how important a merchant account is, it's not hard to see that you need to get set up with one. However, you need to understand that not all merchant accounts are created equal and need to figure out which one is right for you.
When selling on eBay, the chances of a customer and the customer's credit card being in front of you at the time of the transaction are slim to none. Because of this, you need a "card not present" merchant account. This type of merchant account allows you to accept credit card payments without the actual credit card being present during the transaction.
When you sign up for a merchant account, make sure you deal with a merchant account provider experienced in working with online merchants and "card not present" merchant accounts. This will ensure that you get a merchant account tailored to your business and that you are working with a provider who understands your business's needs.
First, if you don't have a paypal account, you should get one now. You can't be serious about starting an ebay business and not sign up for paypal. Most ebay buyers will want to use paypal.
Paypal works like a merchant account, but doesn't have all the features of a real merchant account. For instance, you can't process a customer's credit card unless they have a paypal account. Some ebay buyers will refuse to open a paypal account, but will want to pay you with their credit card directly.
For these buyers, you will need a traditional merchant account. This will allow you to take credit cards directly, even if your customer doesn't have a paypal account or refuses to get one. I process over 75% of my transactions on my personal merchant account.
Good Luck with your Business,
About the Author: Brent is the owner of Jillian Entertainment and author of Why the Lack of a Merchant Account Could Be the Death of Your Business. He has spent the last 3 years teaching others how to buy and sell dvds wholesale and showing how he took his startup business to over 1.5 Million Dollars in revenue selling CDs and DVDs.