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  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    I'm branching out to the merchant side of life and I've been checking out merchant accounts. I was all set to go with Authorize.net, but I'm reconsidering in light of all the trouble they've had with crooks charging/charging back, etc. 2checkout.com seems pretty expensive (to me anyway). Does anyone know of another good merchant account provider or conversely does anyone have any comments on my initial impressions? Also any tips on what someone in the market for a merchant account should look out for? Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
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    Kip,
    I wouldn't avoid 2checkout so quickly. We use them, and are quite happy with them. Customers find it fairly easy to sign up, and there is a decent management system in place. One thing I like is they have considerably cut back on our fraud. With a regular merchant account, you would be responsible for fraudulent charges that go through (and many will). In my opinion, there are risks involved with your own merchant account, and I assume you and I read a similar (if not the same) article on fraud. I don't need any surprises like those merchants had. Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    Another thing worthy of consideration is that even though the percentage-of-sale rate is a bit high, there are NO recurring monthly (or even yearly) fees of any kind.
    Depending on what your sales volume is, this could still be a favorable arrangement.

    Also - you never hear anybody *****ing about not getting their money from 2Checkout.
    Your money is electronically deposited into your bank account right when they say it will be. Right on the minute.

    [ 06-05-2002: Message edited by: Deelz ]

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I'll definitely give them another look.

    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Another 2Checkout user... no complaints at all... cheap to setup, and if it turns out you have a lot of transactions later on, swap to a bank or something with 1% tran fees...

    2Checkout are good and safe for a first try anyway, I'd say.

  6. #6
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    I am also exploring the merchant route to sell weight loss products and am wondering which merchant account to go with as well. I would likely launch an affiliate program via Commission Junction if that makes any difference regarding merchant accounts/shopping carts.
    http://www.northamericanbancard.com/ http://www.expandyourbusiness.com/ (CardService Int.) http://www.authorize.net
    and 2checkout.com are ones I have looked at.

    It seems that 2checkout has a long time period to get paid. I am not sure about the time element on the others and would appreciate any feedback on that matter from anyone using the mentioned merchant accounts. The transaction fees at 2checkout do seem pretty high especially if I produce a significant amount of transactions.

    I would also like to hear about recommended shopping carts to use. I am leaning towards Americart.

    Larry Wentz http://www.AffiliateNetwork.org

  7. #7
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    I sent 2checkout.com an e-mail yesterday asking them some questions about their services. It's over 24 hours later and so far they haven't answered.

    For merchants that use them - have you found them to be this slow when dealing with technical issues or problems you have? Has anyone even had any problems that they needed to contact 2checkout for? I didn't see a phone number to call if there's a problem so I'm wondering what type of support they have?

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    Hi Wentzco --

    North American Bancard looked pretty good from their web site. I have an e-mail into them asking some questions regarding their services. Hopefully they and 2checkout.com will both get back to me tomorrow and I can evaluate their responses. The fact that people have had positive experiences with 2checkout.com makes me lean towards them (IF they ever respond to me that is.) I just wish they had a set up for an affiliate program.

    I'm not familiar with the various shopping carts. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Kip,
    2checkout now has forums on their site. There are some complaints about their response time from other users. In my case, whenever I contacted them, they were fairly quick in their response. I've even gotten responses from their staff at 1am.

  10. #10
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    You get a free cart with 2checkout if that's any help to you?

  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Larry,

    I have a CSI account and by the time it is all set up and done it is a serious PITA and wallet! :eek:

    check out www.leaseconn.com

    Haiko

  12. #12
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    Kip;

    We have had excellent results with Beanstream.com. Quick replies to queries (same day on every occasion), a variety of plans to choose from, lots of shopping cart compatibility and good reporting.

  13. #13
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    Haiko - I'm glad you mentioned that about CSI. They responded quickly to my e-mail and their rates seemed pretty reasonable. I take it from your comment that they add some hidden fees to their "reasonable rates"? If so, I will pass on them now.

    I still haven't heard from 2checkout.com - almost 48 hours and counting .... Thanks TH Media, I believe I will mosey over to their forums and see what people are saying about them. I heard from the authorize.net reseller I was going through but I wasn't very impressed with his response regarding the fraud they have been hit with lately. Basically he told me to check out the authorize.net website. Golly gee, THAT's something I would never have thought of! :rolleyes:

    Worker Bee - I haven't heard of Beanstream.com but I will definitely check them out. Thanks for the heads up about them!

    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Kipster,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Haiko - I'm glad you mentioned that about CSI. They responded quickly to my e-mail and their rates seemed pretty reasonable. I take it from your comment that they add some hidden fees to their "reasonable rates"? If so, I will pass on them now. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Starting out they are NOT for anyone ... they charge waaaaaay to much, darn BS contracts!
    Jack Kimbal is a "Great" Guy and will get anyone approved ... even if they are in jail ... LOL!

    Haiko

  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Kip,

    When I started out selling online I used a program similiar to 2checkout.com. These are what are called "reseller" programs. Basically, you customers are charged through their merchant account. They are technically "buying" from you and reselling to your customer. The rates they are charing you are based on their merchant fee rates and then the fee for their service to you. Thus the higher % rate. Depending on your anticipated sales volume, this can be a good option for small businesses just starting out. Way back when, I had calculated that you needed to be doing a minimum of $2000 gross/month to make getting your own merchant account cost effective. At that point it was saved money to go with your own merchant account. The company I used at the time was CCNowI haven't really had any dealings with them since that time, but I had great service and payments as stated while using them. A couple of other things to consider about these types of service is your cash flow situation. There's a 15 day turn around before you get your money, unlike your own merchant account which gets deposited in 2-3 days. That can be a factor with higher sales volumes. Don't know what types of products you will be selling, but take in account your anticipated average ticket sale. This can make a difference depending on the company's fee structure you choose. Like 2checkout charges a % and per transaction and CCNow just a % but it is higher. If you are selling low ticket items, like for $10 or $15, CCNow would actually be more cost effective. But if your items or $30, then 2checkout is more cost effective.

    You have to have your own merchant account to use a service like authorize.net, although I'm sure they can hook you up with places to apply. But you have your own merchant account in this situation. There are a ton of things to consider when having your own merchant account. You will be paying a lot of different fees to a bunch of folks and it can become a compatability nightmare between your bank merchant account, gateway (like authorize.net), and your shopping cart. Not everybody works with everybody else's program. They will all probably have initial set-up fees when you first start which can be a couple hundred bucks each. And they will all have their own fees, both monthly and per transactions. Unless you just buy a shopping cart program outright. A hosted one should be just monthly fees. But it is worth all the hassle once you get to a certain threshold in gross monthly sales. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] But do plenty of research because there are a lot of scammers out their doing merchant accounts and gateways and many companies do have hidden charges. I speak from experience and the pleasure of getting burned even after thinking I had educated myself. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] And most of the merchant banks and gateways are going to tie you into a yearly (minimum) contract. So if your sales volume is low or their service sucks, you may be stuck.

    For new e-commerce businesses is probably best to go with a re-seller type program. These usually have no contract and I still actually have an active CCNow account in case my current cc processing goes to hell in a hand basket, I got a back up. You can always switch when you are making your millions. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Oh and whoever asked affiliate program. Any shopping cart worth a hoot will have afiliate tracking capabilities. And the re-seller type programs do to (at least some of them) I don't know about 2checkout, but CCNow had affiliate tracking compatability. I ran a CJ program through it without any problems.

    Kellie

  16. #16
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    Yep, 2checkout are affiliate ready.

  17. #17
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    Wow! Thanks everyone for the great comments. Lots to think about.

    Haiko - CSI is definitely off the radar screen for sure. I have enough BS in my life without adding more! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Worker Bee - I checked out Beanstream but they seemed a bit too expensive for me right now.

    Kellie - Great information. I will check out CC Now too.

    Web Search Enginges - thanks for the heads up that 2checkout is affiliate ready. I missed that.

    I still haven't heard from 2checkout but I'm going to write again because so many people here have had good experiences with them.

    Thanks for all the tips everyone!

    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Worker Bee - I checked out Beanstream but they seemed a bit too expensive for me right now.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Kip;

    We went cheap the first time and paid dearly. Zero communication, terrible time getting refunds processed, late payment of funds etc. We bit the bullet with Beanstream and have had nothing but excellent results. Sometimes you get what you pay for [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  19. #19
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    Kellie....great post and great information!

  20. #20
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    I forgot about www.Aismedia.com (reseller for authorize.net) which I'm sure some people here are either using or are affiliates for them. I don't recall hearing anything negative about them from anyone. Any feedback anyone on Aismedia.com?

    Larry Wentz
    www.AffiliateNetwork.org

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