Understand Merchant Services

If you’ve recently opened a consignment store, one of the biggest things on your mind is getting paid.

Namely – how do you do it? Which option(s) will be easiest for your customers, and most lucrative and streamlined for you?

If you’re not thinking about merchant services yet, now is a great time to start. According to Webopedia, “Merchant services are authorized financial services that allow a business to accept credit card or bank debit card transactions using online ordering or point of sales systems.”

Here’s what you need to know about this simple payment option, and how it can help you run a better consignment store.

Why Merchant Services?

The first question, of course, is “why is this the payment option for my store?”

The answer, as it turns out, is varied.

For one, the ability to accept credit and debit cards just makes your store more streamlined. After all – how many people do you know who carry only checks or cash? How many people routinely pay for their purchases this way?

If you don’t accept cards in today’s world, you’re putting yourself at risk of losing sales and shrinking your business. Right now, for example, 36 percent of purchases at department stores take place on credit cards, while 31 percent come from debit cards. Only 9 percent of customers pay in cash! Do you want to limit yourself to that 9 percent of sales?

Of course, the answer is “no.”

In addition to being convenient, merchant services may also allow you to get paid faster since you won’t have to worry about collecting and cashing checks – a process that takes at least a few days – if not several weeks.

Even if you’re already taking credit and debit cards, it’s likely that a new merchant services provider could enhance your capabilities and make it simpler for your business.

What you Need to Get Started

Ensuring your business takes credit and debit cards is easy, and you don’t need to invest a tremendous amount of time and money to get started. Typically, merchant services companies will require the following forms of verification for your business:

  • Drivers license
  • SS4 letter from the IRS
  • Photos of the storefront and inventory (or verification through the web or social media)
  • A voided check or bank letter to verify ownership of the bank account

A Note on “Cost Plus” Rates

Cost plus pricing is common with merchant service providers. Here’s how it works:

When a card is processed, it has its own interchange rate attached to it. In addition to that, your provider adds an individual markup percentage and a small flat-rate transaction fee. For some MSPs, this markup varies depending on the size of the business and the risk associated with each account.  

While some consignment store owners get a little scared when they hear about Cost Plus pricing, it’s essential to remember that these fees are minimal for most companies. What’s more – the structure is very transparent and allows you to evaluate fee structures clearly and easily.

Learn More About MSPs Today

There’s no question about it – accepting credit and debit cards at your consignment store is an essential way to draw more business and make shopping at your store easy for your customers.

To learn more about merchant service providers and how signing on with one can boost your business, check out Gravity Payments today. Gravity is a unique MSP who puts companies first and stands out as one of the most trusted names in the consignment industry.