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Poll: Do you think accepting credit cards does / would improve your business?

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  • Poll: Do you think accepting credit cards does / would improve your business?

    Poll: Do you think accepting credit cards does / would improve your business?

    For those who accept credit cards, do you think it is worth the money you pay per month to have the capability?

    For those who don't, have you ever had a client walk away because you didn't accept credit cards (that you know of). Do you think this would improve your business?

  • #2
    A modified "yes it would help". It will help if you have the volume to justify it, but accepting cc isn't cheap. So, if you don't have the volume, it could actually harm your business. Don't expect accepting them to build the volume, either.

    I accept them, and have gotten work because of this, but I simply use the RP donation system. is another option, but it's not free if you want to accept creditcards.

    And, of course, all of this is moot for most people, since this only works via the net, and not with a physical person pushing plastic at you.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      Am I correct in thinking that Paypal just charges a percentage but not a monthly charge?

      PP is kind of a pain though, being that they force you to create an account with them, even if you just want to pay someone via CC.


      • #4
        I have had nearly 20 solicitations for using a credit card service. I personally have never had a customer ask if I accept credit cards. The cost for me, is not worth it. My profit margins just get us over at this point.

        However, when I have a greater volume of orders, I definitely plan on using such a system.

        In my opinion the "you'll gain new business" line is a hustle. Good service and word-of-mouth seems to be the least expensive, yet most effective way to gain new business.



        • #5
          My situation is a bit different as we do retouching work for portrait and commercial studios, so all of our customers have an account. In an effort to increase my cash flow I offer my clients 50% off on their retouching package if they pay at the time of order completion by credit card.

          It is important to note that I am charging the credit card at time of order completion, and not at the time of order pick up. I hate it when i have done a job, invoiced the job, and I can't collect my money because the client has not come to pick up the order. I have had completed orders sit around for two weeks.

          So I sell this to my customers by creating a win / win situation. My customers get a nice discount, and i get paid faster. The discount is also a nice way to bring in new business.

          I would say that credit cards are a must. Because we take credit cards, and my clients let me keep thier numbers on file, i get paid almost every day of the week.

          Check out the details on my site.


          • #6
            For me at this point, no. I don't do enough volume business to justify it at this point.


            • #7
              Aric, you're win-win service is an excellent idea. I have analyzed your costs on the website and it's something I too would like to offer when I scoop up more commerical and portrait photographers.



              • #8

                My sugestion would be to get a portrait client first as they are more likely to give you repeat business faster than a commercial client. A commercial studio may only do one job a week, while a portrait studio may have 5 jobs a day.

                Yes, you do get paid less for portrait work, but you also get much needed cash flow.


                • #9
                  Paypal charges nothing if you only do occassional business with them. And as far as i know still a percentage for business customers.


                  • #10
                    My policy is 50% deposit up front, with progressive billings as the project moves forward. Work, whether print or web, is not released until final payment is received. Probably not applicable to photo retouching or restoring, but my projects often span several months so this keeps my cash flow going.

                    I voted No in the poll, but with reservations. If it's a question of not getting a project because of a client's financial limitations, I offer PayPal because it's very secure and easy for me to deal with. However, it's a last resort because the chunk deducted for credit cards adds up.


                    • #11
                      Speaking from the perspective as a customer, unless I had a genuine personal relationship with a service provider, for a large ticket transaction I would not do business with someone unless credit cards were accepted.


                      • #12
                        I have a PayPal business account, which lets me accept credit cards and send e-Bills, but I haven't really needed to use it. Currently, almost all my business is done locally, though, it has only been recently I have expanded online.


                        • #13
                          If you are not relying on internet and using mainly local work or referral work, then yes you really do need credit and eftpos facilities, mind you the banks rob you blind with fees and percentage commissions, however it can mean the difference between a customer walking when it comes to payment


                          • #14
                            What business are you in?

                            In considering credit cards or any kind of third party consumer financing program- you have to consider what business you are in. If it's retouching, than you have to assume that the banks and bankers can handle the finance end of the business a lot cheaper than you can. I see posts here about the "cost" based on the assumption that it's an avoidable expense and at the same time complaints and questions about "collections". I started accepting credit cards in 1953 and the last time I sent out a "collection letter" of any kind was the year I got out of trying to finance my customers!

                            Jim Conway
                            Timemark Photo Conservators


                            • #15
                              I have a merchant account for visa/mc/dis and e-checks which cost $25 monthly for merchant/gateway fees. Also have paypal... which seems to get used more often due to my cc account only accepting from US.


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