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Old 09-07-2007
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Default Selling with a Merchant Account...

Do you have a choice of which credit cards to accept for merchant accounts? Or does it just select "all"? I'm just using this as a blanket option to cover everything, and allowing Paypal if they really must. Are there any credit cards you won't take and why? I know Visa and MC are the most widely used, but is there anything wrong or limiting about AmEx and Discover?
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For the time being, most likely I'll just be using the "merchant account" as a front as you talked about in another thread. Then I'll be giving the option of GCO, Paypal, Bidpay, etc. Given that, I suppose I should go ahead and include every CC? I remember on my GoogleCheckout, the options for all four were present anyway.
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From my experience, AMEX AND DISCOVER have chargeback policies that are horrible.

If someone charges something back, merchants cannot defend themselves as you can with visa and mastercard. At least on visa/mastercard if you show a signature, then you don't loose the money.

I would review the discount rate on each card type as well as the chargeback policies. (amex and discover usually cost more)

Also, I could have had a lousy deal.

I have yet to loose a sale by not accepting amex/discover, because if people are sophisticated enough to have amex, they got a visa or mastercard too. :D
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i have google check out and take all cards maybe i should remove amex and discover? and how do you add signature conf to over seas packages via usps or do you have to ship via fedex or ups insted. i want to be sure i get sigs for over seas especially.... maybe ill just creat a ups acct. hmmm. what do you big sellers use for mailing?
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Basically, overseas is a gamble. But so far I've fared pretty well and they tend to be more honest then Americans, actually.

Non-USPS methods for shipment are unfortunately cost-prohibitive if you sell low ticket items. Of course you can pass the cost on, but not a lot of people will pay double or triple in shipping fees what they paid for the item. Go to ups.com or fedex.com and just play with the rate calculators on sample shipments based on your products and see the figures that come up. And ask yourself if you think your customers would pay it?

Now here's the formula that works for me, and my product line and costs/budget. It may not necessarily work for everyone so don't take this as gospel.

I ship all overseas using the post office because it is way cheaper. If I charged UPS rates to ship I would probably loose almost all my international business because I'm not selling plasma TVs or making 1000's in sales.

The potential lost sales FAR outweigh the small amount I've actually had in international chargebacks over the years. Sometimes in business you just accept there is going to be an inherent amount of losses you can't do anything about. This is cost of doing business:D

And use common sense, too, on where you ship. Stick to Western Europe, Japan, Australia/ NewZealand & Canada and odds are good you are dealing with regular people. Places that are big on fraud are: Eastern Block countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, although South Africa is OK, however.

And put transaction limits also for anything you don't feel comfortable with. Say limit of $xx.xx on international shipments.

Be up front in your sales policy that you reserve the right to refuse credit card payments from anyone that "your credit card processor" has alerted you as being suspcious.

That's right, it's really YOU who doesn't like what you see, but it sounds better to the customer if you blame some bank's security policies as to why you won't take their credit card.
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yes but to be sure you dont get a charge back dont you have to have proof of delivery confirmation with signature even on overseas deliverys and usps dosent offer sig conf only tracking. tell me if im wrong?
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Yes, but, this is where you look at it as a "risk" and just a potential loss that could happen.


I get an international chargeback that I just write off as a loss once every 2 years maybe? That accounts for less than $200 in losses vs tens of thousands of dollars of income over the years. My volume is high enough I can weather a couple of hits here and there.

For someone else, that might not be good enough, so you just decide if it's worth it. Chargebacks aren't the end of the world, just watch you don't get too many, and as long as you ship people their stuff right away, ship good stuff, and use common sense on who you do business with, you can keep your chargebacks down.
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hmmm im thinking they can wire good idea. i dont want any problems from overseas transactions or delivery problems.
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