Price is MORE with a Credit Card? - No dice!


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Rezin
January 11, 2006, 01:52 PM
Did you know it is agaist Visa and M/C policy to charge an extra fee for accepting a credit card? I noticed a few of the big shops in my area trying to do this, or requiring a minimum purchace (which is also against the merchant aggreement they signed.

Targetmasters around here lost a sale for that. I wanted a Walther P99 they had. They wanted 3% MORE to use my debit card. They lost the sale.


I also see a lot on gunbroker sellers doing it too. Why pay an extra 2-3% on a gun?

Report em!!! This is not permitted! 1-800-VISA-911

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mtnbkr
January 11, 2006, 01:56 PM
No no, you're not paying MORE for credit card purchases, you're getting a DISCOUNT for cash.

At least that's how it's phrased at the gun or computer shows I've been to.

Chris

Zundfolge
January 11, 2006, 02:00 PM
I agree that its pretty crappy to do this and I won't buy from someone who does it but I had no idea it is against their agreement with the CC companies.

They do it because the CC companies charge them 2-3%.

Too many curmudgeons in the gun business if ya ask me. :scrutiny:

waterhouse
January 11, 2006, 02:04 PM
Did you know that it costs more to accept the use of a credit card? the 2.9% doesn't go into my pocket, it goes to the credit card company.

I could mark all of my guns at "credit card price" and then everyone could pay that, whether they used cash or not. This being America and all, I like to give my customers a choice. Most tend to pay with cash or a money order to avoid this fee, and they don't seem to mind doing it. I don't "mark them up" for credit, I offer a discount for paying with cash.

You did the right thing . . .if you don't like the way a company does business, take your money somewhere else. But please understand why things are the way that they are.

browningguy
January 11, 2006, 02:09 PM
Heaven forbid that a capitalist pig store owner would try to cover their costs!

They should sell us everything at wholesale and throw in all the extras, heck, I've even had some of these hateful, unappreciative business owners want to charge for shipping the firearm to me. :)

Pilgrim
January 11, 2006, 02:12 PM
My favorite gunshop owner gave me his very best price knowing I would pay cash. I am sure if I started dropping a credit card on his counter the quoted prices would go up.

Pilgrim

Rezin
January 11, 2006, 02:17 PM
Did you know that it costs more to accept the use of a credit card? the 2.9% doesn't go into my pocket, it goes to the credit card company.
I too own a business.

That 3% is calculated in my figures, since if someone reports me for the fee, I'll lose my privleges. Credit Cards fees are MY LARGEST expense every month. But the agreement you signed says you CAN NOT IMPOSE FEES OR MINIMUMS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF CREDIT CARDS.

You wanna cover that fee, better raise your price (cash too), or eat the loss. That's the way it goes. And from what I understand, the cash discount will be erased by new leagalese in the future contracts, so the cash discount will vanish too. One Price is the CC Companies goal.

Hell, you can't even check their ID for credit cards if they are signed (I think that too is stupid) but it's not MY policy.

So lay off the brash comments. I thought this was the HIGH ROAD. and I am a business owner (Who has to suck up the fees too)

Rockrivr1
January 11, 2006, 02:22 PM
My favorite gun store will always give a lower price if you pay with cash or a check. I understand this and bring cash with me to get the better price. I figure that at least he's not trying to charge me the 3% no matter if I bring cash or not. I would bet that all large scale stores work the 3% into their prices figuring most people do not carry cash anymore. No discount if you pay cash though. It's how the world works. I want my gun store to stay open, so I have no problems with him operating like this.

Hell, it makes me feel better thinking I got a discount. ;)

Technosavant
January 11, 2006, 02:23 PM
3% isn't much, but it can add up. Even on relatively inexpensive guns, that 3% can be a box or two of ammo. BUT, depending on your credit card, you may receive the following:

Cash rebate
Rewards points
Frequent flier miles
Extended warranty
Fraud protection
Convenience
Security

The seller gets the money- no worries about bouncing checks or counterfeit bills. No trips to the bank with lots of cash. No worries about misplacing a slip of paper. The financial risk is entirely assumed by the issuing bank (Citibank for mine). The buyer gets perks (see above), no worries about waiting for a check to clear, having to carry lots of cash, or the like.

Yes, the few percentage points add up. But no shops around me advertise any discount for cash. I have no reason to NOT use a credit card. I can understand those who do give a cash discount; if the buyer does not like it, he or she can try to find a better price with the card, pay cash and get the discount, or just pay the full amount. Annoying, but there ain't no law against annoying.

wheelgunslinger
January 11, 2006, 02:27 PM
You want the privilege of being able to use your credit card, but want your gun store to suck up another 3% after you mention that you can "get that off the internet" for less and beat them down on their price? That's just rude and lacking in class.

Sure, it's against their merchant agreement, but I don't care. I'd like to keep a small gun shop around. God knows I've wasted enough gun shop employee's time looking at various ones that I'd be embarrassed to beg out of the 3%.

:fire:

waterhouse
January 11, 2006, 02:29 PM
I do not think any comments I made were brash or non "High Road".

You seemed surprised in your initial post that this practice occurs. I was trying to explain to you why it occurs. The fact that you were already aware of the things I typed does not make what I typed brash.

You state that you build the 3% into your prices, and that it is your biggest expense every month. I would argue that it is your customers' biggest expense every month. I offer my customers the option to be shielded from this expense, and I see nothing wrong with keeping their cost down.

thatguy
January 11, 2006, 02:30 PM
Rezin- The retailer must pay about 3% on the purchase to use the card. Most dealers just eat this or pad their prices to cover. Some expect the customer to pay for the convenience of using the card. If you don't want to pay the extra 3% then use cash or check. Sorry, no free lunch.

The Freeholder
January 11, 2006, 02:30 PM
Tell me you're giving a 3% discount for cash and I can live with that. Where I work I'm involved in credit card processing, and I know what accepting them costs.

Give me a price, then tell me that it will cost 3% more when I pull out the plastic and not only will you lose the sale, but expect me to rat you out to Visa and/or Mastercard just as soon as I get home.

Henry Bowman
January 11, 2006, 02:32 PM
Most of my gun-related purchases are done "off budget." That means that I save some cash here or there to pay for stuff without it showing up on the credit card bill. :evil: As a result, I don't get the FF miles or fraud protection that AmEx provides me for their fee. But I have never been burned by sending a USPS money order, sight unseen, to a member of our "gun culture.":cool:

MechAg94
January 11, 2006, 02:34 PM
Having a cash price is not necessarily the same thing as charging a "fee" to to pay with a credit card, IMHO. The signs I see at gun shows say that all prices are cash prices with discount included or something like that.

If there is a restriction on ID's, there are some very big chain stores that do this all the time. I am sure if the CCC cared to enforce it, they would have already.

Given that many shops operate on very low margins to begin with, I don't mind. Most of the time, I only see that practice at gun shows.

gonzo_beyondo
January 11, 2006, 02:42 PM
Credit card processing is part of your costs for doing business.
Visa/MC don't allow you to upcharge.
Its against Paypal policy to ask for +3% upcharge also.

Say you had to buy another computer, to do business, so now you have another expense at the end of the month... are you going to try and soak me for an extra 3% to cover that too? How about a new chair cushion, surely thats worth another .5%.

I DO however, understand a seller takes a hit by allowing me to pay quickly, convieniently, or because I need to make 4-5 payments monthly to afford my purchase. Now 3% on a $20.00 sale is too damn petty, but if we're talking $1,800.00 then 3% is kinda considerable, isn't it?

So... I try to avoid anybody who upcharges, or who gouges me on shipping... but when it comes down to it, if I really want the item, and it's worth the extra 3%, I'll suck it up. So I guess it's just another part of the dealing, negotiating price often includes taxes, fees, add-on accessories, etc...

I've negotiated a few times to "split" the paypal fees. This seems reasonable to me, as neither of us should really be taking a hit, but we are, so to split the loss seems at least fair.

When somebody wants full MSRP, plus 3% upcharge, plus 3x the normal shipping price... thats when I absolutely go elsewhere.


BTW, Wal-mart does not upcharge 3% on a 10/22 or ammo and usually can't be beat pricewise. People sure do hate them though!

Father Knows Best
January 11, 2006, 02:45 PM
At the big local gun store here in Memphis, they pay your sales tax for you if you pay with cash. That's a savings of 9%. And "cash" includes debit cards (but not credit cards).

dracphelan
January 11, 2006, 03:11 PM
So... I try to avoid anybody who upcharges, or who gouges me on shipping... but when it comes down to it, if I really want the item, and it's worth the extra 3%, I'll suck it up. So I guess it's just another part of the dealing, negotiating price often includes taxes, fees, add-on accessories, etc...

I've negotiated a few times to "split" the paypal fees. This seems reasonable to me, as neither of us should really be taking a hit, but we are, so to split the loss seems at least fair.

When somebody wants full MSRP, plus 3% upcharge, plus 3x the normal shipping price... thats when I absolutely go elsewhere.

BTW, Wal-mart does not upcharge 3% on a 10/22 or ammo and usually can't be beat pricewise. People sure do hate them though!

You do realize that you are paying an upcharge for using the credit card, they are just charging everybody for it. Rather than just those who pay by credit card.

The reason the processing companies don't want businesses to do this is it discourages people using credit cards. It is the same as the hidden business taxes that consumers pay, but few of them realize it. I admire the businesses who give me the option of getting a cash discount (or don't upcharge me when I use cash). It is the reaon I have switched back to cash or using checks whenever possible. I want the prices I pay to stay where they are at or go lower. Few people realize how small the profit margin is for most businesses.

bobaloo
January 11, 2006, 03:11 PM
In my business, mail order, I post a price. If a customer wants to buy an expensive item, say $1000, I will offer them the option of a 3 percent discount if they want to send a check or money order instead of paying by credit card. It's a tradeoff of time versus convenience for the customer, but lots of folks like to pocket the difference, and the bottom line is the same to me. I don't make any more money by offering the discount for cash, it's all the same in the end to me, but it does save the customer money, that's the only reason I do it.

I just sold an item on Ebay for $3800. That's a little over $100 to the credit card company, about $100 to Ebay, it will end up being close to $100 for shipping, amazing how many people are going to make money off that sale...

poppy
January 11, 2006, 03:18 PM
I think we as gun buyers should be willing to pay the extra 3% for using a credit card, why, because the average gun dealer around here at least has very low margins.

I was shocked when a big grocery store chain moved into our area and accepted credit cards. I was also dismayed when a favorite local fast food restaurant chain began accepting credit cards. It means that they have to price higher to support the credit card buyers.

I too don't appreciate the way some gun dealers (especially at gun shows) announce that there is an upcharge for using cards. That is the wrong way to do it. They are susposed to price for everybody and offer discounts for using cash. I have never seen a dealer list two prices, but it would make sense to me. poppy

Gordon Fink
January 11, 2006, 03:34 PM
Unfortunately, the firearms industry is stuck in A.D. 1968.

~G. Fink

TarpleyG
January 11, 2006, 03:59 PM
No no, you're not paying MORE for credit card purchases, you're getting a DISCOUNT for cash.
Semantics...and a load of horsepuckey. How'd you all like it if the next time you went into Wal-Mart or to eat out at Chili's and they had a similar setup--pay cash, get it 3% cheaper? Bet we'd hear a lot of sqwaking then. Look, they can price it however they want and sugar coat it however they want but it's also my money and I'll just not give them the business.

Greg

Standing Wolf
January 11, 2006, 04:02 PM
Unfortunately, the firearms industry is stuck in A.D. 1968.

I think you meant 1868.

Waitone
January 11, 2006, 05:02 PM
Most people are unaware of the cost of using a credit card. The reason CC companies don't like two tier pricing is because sooner or later Joe and Martha figure out what that 3% amounts to over a year.

jason10mm
January 11, 2006, 05:23 PM
Does the 3% fee apply to DEBIT cards as well? I'd hate tothink that I'm hitting my favorite dealer with a 3% charge everytime he cuts me a deal on something, particularly if I could have brought cash just as easily.

PvtPyle
January 11, 2006, 05:40 PM
That 3% is calculated in my figures, since if someone reports me for the fee, I'll lose my privleges. Credit Cards fees are MY LARGEST expense every month. But the agreement you signed says you CAN NOT IMPOSE FEES OR MINIMUMS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF CREDIT CARDS.


But if the vendor uses an online service like ProPay (heaven forbid anyone give those coorked SOBs any business though), there is nothing the CC company can do about it.

Double Naught Spy
January 11, 2006, 06:52 PM
ReZin and waterhouse, those who complain about the credit card issues and who want to tell you what your agreement is with the company to take credit cards are simply folks ignorant of the whole credit process, suspicious of you because apparently you are trying to rip them off for 3%, and ignorant of the business. They assume that you are making a lot of money on each transation and often will be clueless as to the fact that just because you are making X % gross profit on the sale of an item, that your net may be much lower. All they know is that you paid $900 for a gun and are sellling it for $999, so you obviously could be knocking off another $50 and still come out way in the profit. They don't seem to understand that gross profit isn't the same as net profit. So another $29 would come out with the credit card and now you are down to $20 gross profit from which you will be paying rent, utilities, salaries, retirement, profit sharing, your 7.5% contribution to each employees social security, etc. All of a sudden, that gun that cost you $900 to buy just lost you $40 when you sold it for a gross profit of $20.

It is annoying to deal with such folks because all they care about is how well they are making out on the deal and they could not care less about how you come out on the deal. They are fine with you losing money because they don't work for you.

Moonclip
January 11, 2006, 07:05 PM
I kind of like to use credit at the local gun chain just to piss them off as they have no difference in price for credit and they usually have poor service but I can't avoid going to them for certain items occasionally that others may not stock.

joab
January 11, 2006, 07:08 PM
A deal is a deal.
Don't enter into it if you have no intention of upholding your end of the deal.
Calling it a discount for cash is a cheesy cop out

MechAg94
January 11, 2006, 07:48 PM
Personally, I like the fact that I can get a lower price using cash. If all gun shops use the "advanced" business plan proposed, we would all be paying extra like we do with most other products. If they didn't show cash prices, the sticker price would be 3% higher, but I would still be able to get the lower price more than likely. (I think have actually seen prices listed as $ + 3% before)

I think the whole premise of this thread is a bunch of complaining for the sake of complaining. If you don't like it, open your own gun shop and do it the way you want. Cheapskates will go to the other store for the "cash" price. :neener: :D

MechAg94
January 11, 2006, 07:54 PM
A deal is a deal.
Don't enter into it if you have no intention of upholding your end of the deal.
Calling it a discount for cash is a cheesy cop out
No offense, but who the hell are you to be concerned about that. It is none of your business. If you feel so strongly about it, report them.

Me, I like paying 3% less. In the end, you will gain nothing if credit card companies suddenly start enforceing this particular rule. The only thing accomplished would be to force the guy with cash to pay more.

craig
January 11, 2006, 08:08 PM
having a cash price and a credit price wouldn't bother me a bit. sounds like a good idea to me. that way i could decide if i really need [want] that gun that bad. i just wish the sellers would post both prices. figuring out 3% in your head can be a drag sometimes.

Atticus
January 11, 2006, 08:18 PM
They don't seem to understand that gross profit isn't the same as net profit. So

And business owners sometimes don't understand that they would not have the sale AT ALL if they were not offering the credit card option. The consumer is buying YOUR product and paying YOUR bills while paying the credit card company's interest as well. Bad bad customer. That attitude toward the customer is far too common at gunshops. The shop needs buyers...they don't need the shop.

joab
January 11, 2006, 08:52 PM
No offense, but who the hell are you to be concerned about that. It is none of your business. If you feel so strongly about it, report them.I'm sorry, I must have missed the rule that said I had to agree with you before posting my opinion on anything.

ServiceSoon
January 11, 2006, 08:53 PM
http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/6500-500.html#6500167

S 167

"(2) No seller in any sales transaction may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means."

LiquidTension
January 11, 2006, 09:13 PM
I wouldn't have a problem with posting two prices for stuff - that's what Green's does. Cash price, credit price. If you don't have cash, you pay more. Now, if they posted the cash price and then added 3% at the register that would be unacceptable.

Ohen Cepel
January 11, 2006, 09:28 PM
I have no issue with them charging for your privledge to use a credit card. It cost them so why shouldn't it cost you.

I don't expect them to ship things for free either.

It's part of the reason I prefer to do business in cash.

Hawk
January 11, 2006, 09:33 PM
I understand the seller's issues involved with cc fees.

That said, anybody that attempts to circumvent a binding agreement that they voluntarily signed not to surcharge credit cards makes me wonder how their ethics may affect their dealings with me.

Thus, I choose not to do business with sellers that surcharge credit cards.

I don't berate those that do. The seller has that right. I exercise my right to avoid them.

My Auction Arms list of sellers whose auctions I check is very short. They all take credit cards and don't surcharge.

Do I miss some deals that way? No doubt. My choice. But I can't see whining about those that do surcharge - just go elsewhere.

hotpig
January 11, 2006, 09:34 PM
Does the 3% fee apply to DEBIT cards as well? I'd hate tothink that I'm hitting my favorite dealer with a 3% charge everytime he cuts me a deal on something, particularly if I could have brought cash just as easily.


I pay .35 per transaction plus 3.35%. Internet and phone sales cost more than swipping the card since there is a bigger risk.

Oh, you changed your mind? Yes I will credit you card for the full amout. They charge me .35 plus 3.35% again. Discover is the worse, they have their fingers in my bank account for verious fees all the time. I hope that I at least break even on sales that pay with Discover.

Gordon Fink
January 11, 2006, 09:44 PM
Let’s put this to the test …

Polish P-64 pistol for $139.95 (standard price) at AIM Surplus. http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Polish_P_64_9x18_Pistol.html

Polish P-64 pistol for $139.95 (cash-discount price) at SOG. http://www.southernohiogun.com/surplushandguns.html

Who do you think will make more sales?

~G. Fink

Beren
January 12, 2006, 10:29 PM
I hope that I at least break even on sales that pay with Discover.

Just curious: if you can only hope to break even on Discover sales, at best, why accept Discover for payment?

Euclidean
January 12, 2006, 10:46 PM
Doesn't taking another form of payment increased the volume of business appreciably enough to justify a lower net profit on each transaction?

I understand small businesses sometimes can't be hassled to take plastic, but I'd sure try to if it was me.

Sir Aardvark
January 13, 2006, 12:04 AM
Credit Card fees are factored into every purchase; we all pay a little bit more money to cover this convenience.

I think you're being a little bit mean to this guy because he's being honest with you.

He gave you a choice: pay the cash price, or pay the 3% more credit card price.

Would you feel better if he just quoted you the 3% higher price as the actual price and did not give you an option? At least you were able to have a choice in this.

I do realize that accepting credit cards generally gives a rise in sales volume due to the convenience factor, but it still costs money to do this, and you can be certain that the cost of doing business is going to be passed on to the customer - at least this guy was trying to be fair and save you a little bit of money.

You could always request that he ship the product COD - lots of places do this - but then you have the hassle of going out and getting a money order and paying COD fees and money order fees. So....by the time you add up your fees to be paid and the time it takes to get the money order and all that, you might as well just suck up the 3% credit card fee and be happy with it.

mrtgbnkr
January 13, 2006, 12:20 AM
Does the 3% fee apply to DEBIT cards as well? I'd hate tothink that I'm hitting my favorite dealer with a 3% charge everytime he cuts me a deal on something, particularly if I could have brought cash just as easily.
If you are using your DEBIT card and entering your PIN at the time the card is swiped, then no, your shop is not being charged a percentage of the purchase price. They are charged a flat fee for accessing the network, but it's usually less than $1/transaction...this is the reason that some stores have programed their PIN pad machines to automatically ask you for your PIN number, even if you tell the cashier you want to use the credit network. Wal-Mart is a prime example. Make a purchase, swipe your card, and you have to hit 'cancel' to select 'credit'...the impulse to enter your PIN is what they are counting on to save them some $$. The drawback from the customer side is that many banks charge you a fee to make a purchase using your PIN.

Erinyes
January 13, 2006, 12:57 AM
The shop in TN that my girlfriend and I picked out to get her first gun actually has three seperate prices on the tag. One for cash/check, one for credit card, and one for layaway. As opposed to my local GA dealer that upcharges for credit cards. Never really bothered me, though. The owner explained why they had to do that and I still frequent that store.

hwp
January 13, 2006, 01:43 AM
I have the feeling people that get bent out of shape about the 3% upcharge/discount (or whatever you want to call it) do a whole lot of living on credit.

I run credit on about 15 people everyday and the same trends show up over and over.

Turtle Club
January 13, 2006, 02:44 AM
I could mark all of my guns at "credit card price" and then everyone could pay that, whether they used cash or not. This being America and all, I like to give my customers a choice. Most tend to pay with cash or a money order to avoid this fee, and they don't seem to mind doing it. I don't "mark them up" for credit, I offer a discount for paying with cash.[QUOTE]

With the volume of transactions they VISA, MC Ect process everyday it costs them litarly $0.05 to process an indvidual transaction.

They get their money back though the fee, fincance charges to the consumer. Trust me, it does not cost that much on the Credit company;s end to do anything.

Let go though this. The consumer is taxed when they get thier pay check. Then they have to pay sales tax. Then a merchant thinks they can charge 3% for using a credit card. Then pay high interest rates, some pay anual fees...I think a fee for using the credit card is out of the question.

Hey why doesnt the governemnt pay the 3%? Then everyone wins.


[QUOTE=Rezin]I too own a business...
...Hell, you can't even check their ID for credit cards if they are signed (I think that too is stupid) but it's not MY policy.

So you are saying if the credit card is signed, but it says "Mrs. Jane-Marie Smith" but the person presenting the card is obviosly not an adult and male, you still cant check ID. Sounds a bit obsderb to me.

I had my AMEX Card Stolen. Someone charged $14,000 at Best Buy. The charged flat screen tv, suround sound speakers, DVD's, DVD Player, two video game systems.

I have "Check I.D." Written on the back instead of signing it.

The crook was stuipid enough to sign his own name, and he worked at the same strip mall in another store!!

The Loss Prevention survaience had his face on tape. It shows the cashier accepting the credit card. She even flips the card over, (so she saw where it said check id.)

Now when you sign the electronic box, it name as signed shows up on her screen. She even saw the name on the card, she saw "check id", she saw the name signed on the computer and thanked him by his last name.

Well, AMEX is an awsome company. They called me and asked about the charge. I had no idea. Within 2 days, they told me all the info about the tape, ect.

The guy ened up selling all the stuff and the cops never recorvered it. Not only did Best Buyget screwed out of the merchandise, the money but they paid me as well.

Best Buy offered me a arbitration settlement, for not going to court. They offered me under $1,000. I ended up getting $10,000 settlement from a 2day civil trail.

That's why you write check id, because if you write it, they are obligated to check. If they dont they are liable in a civil manner.

Beren
January 13, 2006, 10:39 AM
Best Buy offered me a arbitration settlement, for not going to court. They offered me under $1,000. I ended up getting $10,000 settlement from a 2day civil trail.

Wow. What was the basis of the case - how were you harmed? (Not contesting whether you were or not; again, I'm curious.)

rbernie
January 13, 2006, 12:22 PM
My FLG gives me a break on the price of something, and I give 'em a break by paying cash or using debit when I can. Sounds reasonable to me - dunno why everything has to be so confrontational to some people...

I *want* my FLG to be in business five years from now. Failing to understand the interdependant relationship dynamics between buyers and consumers is how so many communities are getting stuck with WallyWorld as their only option...

Gordon Fink
January 13, 2006, 12:32 PM
Oh, the irony! :D

~G. Fink

Turtle Club
January 13, 2006, 12:37 PM
Wow. What was the basis of the case - how were you harmed? (Not contesting whether you were or not; again, I'm curious.)

I wasnít harmed. I was able to subpoena the video surveillance records.



The video shows the cashier looking at both sides of the card.
She saw his signature on the computer signature pad. He even signed his own name.
Since she looked at both sides of the card she saw where it said "Check ID" - However she did not.
Also as a retailer, if the signed name on the receipt is different than the one on the card. That should throw up a red flag. She did nothing.


If it would have been a few hundred dollars charged. I would not have cared. Seeing as it was $14,000 and the cashier did nothing to check to make sure it wasnt fraud. I dont know how many times a Best Buy store has $14,000 in one sale. Not too many I would say.

A mistake is a mistake, however somthing with the circumstances they way that they were. I could not overlook them. And a jury agreed.

TIMC
January 13, 2006, 12:41 PM
Tell me you're giving a 3% discount for cash and I can live with that. Where I work I'm involved in credit card processing, and I know what accepting them costs.

Give me a price, then tell me that it will cost 3% more when I pull out the plastic and not only will you lose the sale, but expect me to rat you out to Visa and/or Mastercard just as soon as I get home.


When I was in the business I always stated clearly all prices were cash prices and credit cards required a 3% convenience fee which was in fact a 3% discount offered up front with the assumption of cash.
Sounds like you are just hung up on semantics, it is the same thing just worded different

A dealer who is willing to make 10% on a $400 cash gun sale would be $40. The customer says no I want to pay with a credit card and pay the same price I don't care if you only make $28 by loosing the other 3%. A customer like that is too cheap and impossible to please anyway, they will always find something wrong with the sale so it would not be a disaster to loose the sale. I wouldn't want a customer like that anyway and thankfully when I had my business you didn't see many of them. Usually they would get mad, whine and then call back a week or two later asking if I still had what they were looking for in stock.
Not dealing with people like that is what helped me appreciate "real" customers. My business was very successful without those people till I retired from it.

drinks
January 13, 2006, 12:42 PM
Waterhouse;
You do realize you are admitting in public that you are violating the law in Texas.
In Texas, it is actually illegal to have 2 prices.

TechBrute
January 13, 2006, 12:51 PM
Drinks, cite your source or move on.

Rezin, stop living on credit and pay cash. Or shop somewhere that has that extra 3% figured into ALL their prices. Just stop whining and telling us to tattle, whatever you do.

TIMC
January 13, 2006, 12:51 PM
Waterhouse;
You do realize you are admitting in public that you are violating the law in Texas.
In Texas, it is actually illegal to have 2 prices.

It is illegal to charge a credit card fee but it is not illegal to charge a convenience fee for using a credit card. It is all a matter of wording.

rick_reno
January 13, 2006, 01:12 PM
It's normal to pay more to use a CC.

Jrm5204
January 13, 2006, 01:13 PM
I understand why gun shops do it, but how come restraunts, stores etc. don't do it. I would imagine they pay the same fees as the gun shops.

W Turner
January 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, I understand that the margins for a small gun business are thin and that 3% can add up quick on bigger ticket items over the course of a month/year. On the other hand, having a two-tiered price structure just seems unethical, especially when the credit card agreement the participating businesses sign specifically prohibits that practice.

Call it a 3% upcharge or a 3% discount, either way it results in more money out of my pocket if the store does charge it or more money out of the store owner's pocket if he doesn't charge it.

All I ask is that they be honest about it. Don't give me a quote on a price then try to tack on the 3% when we get to the register. You do that and I will walk out and report you. Tell me upfront when you give me the quote that this price reflects a 3% cash discount or whatever and we can talk.

BTW- If you can't meet or beat an online price+shipping+transfer, then don't get pissed when I don't buy it from you either.

W

HankB
January 13, 2006, 01:23 PM
I live in Travis County, just outside of Austin, TX.

You can pay your property tax by credit card here, but they DO charge you 3% extra . . . and they don't even bother pretending that the basic tax bill is a "discount for cash."

waterhouse
January 13, 2006, 01:37 PM
Drinks, I'm unaware of this law. Can you please cite a source?

I understand why gun shops do it, but how come restraunts, stores etc. don't do it. I would imagine they pay the same fees as the gun shops.

They do pay the same fees. And those fees are built into every purchase. If you pay cash, the store gets to pocket the 3%. If you pay credit, the store sends the 3% to the credit card company.

Basically, if I priced all of my merchandice at "credit price" I would make more money. Every time someone paid credit, I would make the same as I currently do from a sale, and everytime someone paid cash I'd get an extra 3% in my pocket. Currently, I let the customer decide if they want 3% to stay in their pocket of go to the credit card company. If Drinks can find me a law, then I guess I'll just not offer a cash discount and I'll get an extra 3% on my cash sales.

Or perhaps I'll just give more negotiation room to customers who pay cash.

ETA: I just read HankB's post and it made me feel like less of a lawbreaker. On second thought, if I'm doing the same thing as the tax collectors, that probably doesn't help my case much. Oh well.

antsi
January 13, 2006, 01:51 PM
If I'm a cash customer, and the business owner's cost of doing business with me is less than a credit card customer, it's reasonable that I should pay a lower price. Whether you phrase it as me getting a discount or the card customer paying a premium is just semantics.

For those who object to this, what do you want? Should the store owner figure in the 3% credit card charges into all their prices? In that case I think the cash customer has a legit grounds for complaint. Why should cash customers have to pay 3% more for everything, just because you credit card people are fixed on using a costly method of transactions?

One way to look at it: a cash dollar is actually worth 3% more than a credit card dollar. Differential pricing is just reflecting this economic reality.

Turtle Club
January 13, 2006, 02:13 PM
If you're going to charge the 3% for using a credit card. Make it worth it to the customer. Offer them a free insoection and 2 free cleanings.

On a 1000.00 sale that would be a 30fee. I guess 30 is worth 2 cleanings and an inspection.

Turtle Club
January 13, 2006, 02:16 PM
Next merchants are going to be upset they have to get the money to the bank.

So, hey will charge a 2.75% cash transportation fuel surcharge, for having to use gas to take thier daily take to the bank,

poppy
January 13, 2006, 02:24 PM
Rezin wrote: They wanted 3% MORE to use my debit card. They lost the sale.
I also see a lot on gunbroker sellers doing it too. Why pay an extra 2-3% on a gun?
Report em!!! This is not permitted! 1-800-VISA-911
I can see why you are unhappy, since it was a debit card you wanted to use. I don't pay an extra 2-3% on gunbroker because I use money orders. I would not report them, because all that will acccomplish is prices in general going up. You did enough, you walked away.

We have become a plastic loving society (I'm not taking about Glocks) and so we expect our local gun dealer to fall in line. Well the firearms industry is unique and we buyers are frugal folks and our history has produced a cash buying low margin culture.

There is plenty of demand, but also plenty of supply and dealers are caught between a rock and a hard place. I had never encountered this two tier pricing until I went to my very first gun show back in Feb. 1995 right before the waiting period for handguns was to take affect. I was buying as a silent protest, and after picking my piece, was told that using my credit card would cost an extra 3%. I protested because for some reason I knew that it was against CC policy to charge extra. The response was, do you want the gun or not? Since I went on the spur of the monent, I didn't have cash, and the guns were flying off the case, so I said yes.

My next purchase was from a gun store who took my credit card and did not charge extra and his pricing was reasonable but he had decided that he could not compete on the gun show circuit. I bought 6 or 7 handguns from him, because I liked his straight forward honest approach.

But I got over that and went back to the gun shows, always with cash in hand. I have never bought (except for that one time in '95) from a dealer who says he will charge me more for a credit card. I would probably buy from a dealer who posts CC prices and offers a discount for cash. Now I know is is semantics, but I don't appreciate a business person who flaunts the agreements that they sign up for.

What will happen, if this extra charge/discount/two tier system continues is that our industry will be forced into the same situation that other businesses have done, and that is to price one way and either accept cards or price one way and not accept cards.

If you think CC use is indeed universal, then I suggest that you try to buy your next car with one and see how far you get. poppy

Gordon Fink
January 13, 2006, 02:28 PM
I understand why gun shops do it, but how come restraunts, stores etc. donít do it. I would imagine they pay the same fees as the gun shops.

Other businesses, perhaps because they do not labor under as many unconstitutional, market-destroying ďlaws,Ē realize that they can increase their volume of sales and thus overall profits by accepting credit cards graciously. However, as I illustrated earlier, a few of the less curmudgeonly firearms sellers do recognize this and offer the lower price to all customers, no doubt earning more sales than their competitors.

~G. Fink

Turtle Club
January 13, 2006, 02:28 PM
Rezin wrote:
If you think CC use is indeed universal, then I suggest that you try to buy your next car with one and see how far you get. poppy

Ahhh the Finance Charges alone would make me sick.

Seeing as how most Credit Card APRS are over 15%.

I have never had a car loan that was more than 4.9%

Janitor
January 13, 2006, 02:32 PM
If you're going to charge the 3% for using a credit card. Make it worth it to the customer.
How about they make it worth it to the customer by using a system that let's them (the customer) make a purchase when getting cash for the purchase may be too big a hassle for them for some reason? You don't consider not having to drive x miles to a bank to get money out making it worth your while, then just go to the bank, get your cash, and take the discount that goes with it.

I'm willing to bet that the VAST majority of businesses that don't "give a discount" for using cash are simply pocketing an extra 3% from each cash sale. Yet we seem to find it more palatable because they don't tell us about it.
-

Hawk
January 13, 2006, 07:33 PM
Is anybody going to point out that 3% isn't some universal constant like the speed of light or Plank's constant?

Merchant account providers compete for business just like everybody else. My primary sellers don't surcharge but neither do they pay 3%, even after all associated costs are factored in.

I don't know if they got big because they didn't surcharge or don't surcharge because they were already big. I try to stay clear of "chicken and egg" conundrums. And no, I'm not paying 3% "built into" any prices. If I was, I'd pay cash.

Sometimes I think credit card fees are like online merchant shipping charges - sometimes they reflect cost; sometimes they reflect cost, plus packing, plus time, plus gas, plus 100%.

I'm sure the smaller sellers are really paying 3%, actually a touch more, but I'd bet a donut the bigger ones are running right at 50% profit / 100% markup on their "fee recovery". Lest I offend anybody, I hasten to add that the "under 2%" crowd is likely not posting to this thread.

If everyone really was paying 3% we'd be getting the service for free after the price fixing litigation was started.

308win
January 13, 2006, 07:37 PM
Did you know it is agaist Visa and M/C policy to charge an extra fee for accepting a credit card? I noticed a few of the big shops in my area trying to do this, or requiring a minimum purchace (which is also against the merchant aggreement they signed.

Targetmasters around here lost a sale for that. I wanted a Walther P99 they had. They wanted 3% MORE to use my debit card. They lost the sale.


I also see a lot on gunbroker sellers doing it too. Why pay an extra 2-3% on a gun?

Report em!!! This is not permitted! 1-800-VISA-911

The agreement we have allows us to set a minimum purchase. If we didn't we would have morons wanting to put a $1 cup of coffe on their Visa (it has happened).

strambo
January 13, 2006, 08:06 PM
The reason it comes up more with gunstores is the margin on re-selling firearms is horribly small. 3% hurts bad when you're only making 10-20% gross profit margin. Most retail products have 50-100% or more markup. I just bought a book on retailing and in the spreadsheets for calculating how much to spend on inventory, advertising etc...it assumes a 50% markup because that's pretty standard. Local gundealers are not getting rich, it's a wonder they can stay in business. For some reason I've been crazy enough to think of trying it myself lately though.:uhoh:

poppy
January 13, 2006, 10:35 PM
Turtle wrote: Ahhh the Finance Charges alone would make me sick.
Seeing as how most Credit Card APRS are over 15%.
I have never had a car loan that was more than 4.9%
Well, of course, I would not leave it on the credit card. CC's are for convenience, protection, frequent flyer miles, etc. not to actually use with whatever the interest rate is. Everyone pays off their credit cards every month, don't they? Golly, I sure hope so. poppy

solareclipse
January 13, 2006, 10:57 PM
no, they are extorting you to cover the CC fee (like some people with PP + 3.5%) and that is illegal. they cannot do that so report the store to the local financial authorities.

drinks
January 14, 2006, 12:30 AM
A 2 minute check online came up with 2 sources that state Texas and 9 other states have laws that forbid having a different credit card price than the cash price.
An attempt to claim you are giving a cash discount is not viable if the price written or quoted is stated with out the initial disclaimer.
This is fraud by deception.
I hope all of you who support deceptive pricing are blind sided at one time or another:neener:

TIMC
January 14, 2006, 12:51 AM
If you're going to charge the 3% for using a credit card. Make it worth it to the customer. Offer them a free insoection and 2 free cleanings.

On a 1000.00 sale that would be a 30fee. I guess 30 is worth 2 cleanings and an inspection.

You still don't get it! The 3% is to cover the added cost of you not using cash and getting a discount. The dealer makes no more money by you using a credit card so why should you get something for nothing? Some people are hard headed. They are just passing the savings on to you.

drinks
January 14, 2006, 01:07 AM
TIMC;
YOU do not get it, no one makes the merchant accept credit cards, they do it only to increase sales , then are not willing to pay for what they get.
:rolleyes:

a1abdj
January 14, 2006, 02:16 AM
A 2 minute check online came up with 2 sources that state Texas and 9 other states have laws that forbid having a different credit card price than the cash price.


I surely hope that you don't negotiate on anything that you buy...after all, there is only one price....cash or credit...the price on the tag.

strambo
January 14, 2006, 03:17 AM
Well, I guess if you post a "cash price" that is illegal and deceptive according to some (stupid, intrusive govt. protecting CC company) laws. So just have one price. If someone wants to negotiate, fine. Negotiation isn't illegal. If that person negotiating has cash then the merchant can afford to go 3% lower then he otherwise could. He wouldn't be violating anything 'cause the posted price was for any payment method and now the customer wants a discount.

0luke1
January 14, 2006, 09:40 AM
Keep in mind that the credit card company charges 3% on the total purchase. If the purchase is $100, that's $3. If the store's margin (profit) is 25%, then the credit card cost is 12%, not 3%. That's onerous.

Your taxes work the same way. A 6% sales tax is 6% on post income tax dollars. In NJ, it's quite easy to get into a 50% tax situation (federal, state, property tax, other misc. taxes) - which makes the 6% tax, in effect, a 12% tax.

BlkHawk73
January 14, 2006, 10:42 AM
My opinion...if the shop has the ability to take a CC, they obviously anticipated having the need to take them and possibly losing sales if they didn't have them (impulse buyers). They weren't forced to accept the cards in the first place. Well it's all part of business. They want the business but not the little expenses that go with it. I deal strictly in cash for any and all my gun sales. I understand both sides but hey, they want the CC sales, they eat the 3%. They knew the charge was there if they read the agreement they signed. After wards they try to get around it? :cuss: Bad business practice IMO. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Would a shop rather have me buy no gun from them or buy a gun and use a CC? Make $0 or make $500 -3%? :evil:
Next we'll see additional fees if we actually want to inspect the gun first to cover costs of the shop wiping the gun down afterwards. :neener:

PCGS65
January 14, 2006, 10:54 AM
BTW, Wal-mart does not upcharge 3% on a 10/22 or ammo and usually can't be beat pricewise. People sure do hate them though!
Isn't it funny, people love to shop there but hate them for paying low wages?
It's mathematically impossible to have low prices and high wages.
Oh BTW I try to buy out of state. It saves me 7.5% sales tax plus 3% cash discount, but you have to add shipping to the total price to see if it's worth it. A lot of the time it is.

Hawkmoon
January 14, 2006, 11:27 AM
I raised the same issue here a few weeks ago and I was surprised to find that a huge majority of people responding took me to task fir suggesting that merchants should follow the rules. Apparently, those who can afford to pay cash for guns don't think those of us who have to use credit cards should be entitled to having the vendors play by the rules.

biere
January 14, 2006, 01:36 PM
I pay cash for large purchases.

I also negotiate large purchases.

This topic gets covered several times a year. I personally think all the people complaining about high prices or increasing prices should consider what they are using to pay for things and realize that if using plastic they may actually be the cause of a 3 or 4% increase in the cost of an item.

It is rare to find a store that takes no plastic, but I will go there often if I find one since they are trying to avoid higher prices and hassle and keep their cost to customers as low as possable.

biere
January 14, 2006, 01:46 PM
I raised the same issue here a few weeks ago and I was surprised to find that a huge majority of people responding took me to task fir suggesting that merchants should follow the rules. Apparently, those who can afford to pay cash for guns don't think those of us who have to use credit cards should be entitled to having the vendors play by the rules.

Above is a quote from hawkmoon.

It took me a bit to figure this post out so that is why I am posting twice.

If you are using a credit card to finance a purchase you can most likely get a small loan from a bank with a fixed interest rate and then go buy what you want with the cash. I admit credit cards do seem easier to get than a small loan from a bank, but that is how I would go about doing this.

As far as having the vendors play by the rules, around here more vendors do have one price listed.

But many vendors also tell you that they are willing to negotiate for a cash purchase as well. It is refreshing to have someone bring up the offer to negotiate instead of having to bring the idea up.

I really do not want to see a society where one price buys everything. Because we are then going to see everyone get the plastic monster that offers the best "cash back" offer.

Cars are negotiable. Buying a home is negotiable. Most everything is negotiable to some extent if it is expensive or you are buying in quantity.

One more comment about the idea of having to use plastic to buy a gun. If you can't afford to pay that gun purchase off when the bill comes in how much credit card interest are you paying on it? I don't want an answer, I am wondering what the cost of that gun would really be if financed for a few months on plastic.

I know a few people who never have cash on them, they might have change for a parking meter. I simply don't understand this concept either so perhaps I am just the end of those who believe cash is easier to use to buy stuff.

strambo
January 14, 2006, 01:49 PM
Make $0 or make $500 -3%? This perception is part of the problem. As was said earlier, a gun store is hardly making any profit at all on a gun sale. If the gun was $500, then they are making in between 10-25% max. Lets say 20%, =$100, -3% =$85. From this comes rent, utilities, payroll, advertising and purchase of new inventory. That example was generous because I don't think a lot of gunstores have a 20% markup. Most folks would complain about the ridiculously high prices at the example gunstore above and shop elsewhere. They also wouldn't care a bit when they buy a widget down the street and pay 100% markup.

Buying guns on the internet is swell too...only problem is what happens when the gunstores all go out of business due to a combination of low markup, high regulation and box store, internet competition? Who will do the transfers? Wal mart? I live in a major metro area and the nearest Wally World is a 30-40 minute drive away....and they don't sell pistolas. None of the box stores around here do.

If I open up my own store, I guess I'll post a price high enough to cover the 3%...too bad for the cash buyers unless they ask for a discount. It's silly people get mad over something transparent in other stores that costs them 3% every day. Like a chance to save $$$ using cash is a bad thing.:uhoh:

strambo
January 14, 2006, 02:02 PM
Furthermore, the fact that there are actually laws about this really makes me mad:fire:. Why is it illegal to tell customers about the fee and price differently? Oh, we don't want the stupid buying public to be too educated about the REAL costs of debt,:rolleyes:so they incur lots more of it. Gotta make Citibank rich.

This should simply be a contractual agreement between retailers and CC companies. No need for .gov regulation. It hurts the consumer. Think about this, if there were no laws protecting the CC companies and the stautus quo, more companies would offer to charge less (maybe .5-1.5%) to get the business. More customers would be aware of the issue and the combination of forces would drive these fees down. If anything, Government should be protecting retailers not CC companies. Retailing is the fastest growing sector of the economy and consumer debt is a huge problem. It doesn't bother me CC companies charge a high fee, it bothers me the government specifically protects this fee.

thorazine
January 14, 2006, 03:34 PM
One more comment about the idea of having to use plastic to buy a gun. If you can't afford to pay that gun purchase off when the bill comes in how much credit card interest are you paying on it? I don't want an answer, I am wondering what the cost of that gun would really be if financed for a few months on plastic.

I usually zero my cards before the grace period expires.

However if I wanted to let a $1,000.00 purchase ride for four months...

That would be approximately $13.33+/- in interest. Which is acceptable to me.

hotpig
January 14, 2006, 03:56 PM
Just curious: if you can only hope to break even on Discover sales, at best, why accept Discover for payment?


As soon as I have the time I will remove that option from my web store.

308win
January 14, 2006, 06:42 PM
Keep in mind that the credit card company charges 3% on the total purchase. If the purchase is $100, that's $3. If the store's margin (profit) is 25%, then the credit card cost is 12%, not 3%. That's onerous.

Your taxes work the same way. A 6% sales tax is 6% on post income tax dollars. In NJ, it's quite easy to get into a 50% tax situation (federal, state, property tax, other misc. taxes) - which makes the 6% tax, in effect, a 12% tax.
If one shops around one can get CC processing for approx. 1.8-1.9% (or less depending on volume) plus $.20 per transaction and some other misc. monthly fees. This makes the APR infinite since cash is immediate and checks if local are next business day as a rule.

Also, Visa, MC, and AMEX don't process your card transactions (at least for smaller accounts) an intermediary does the processing and uses your money for a couple of days before crediting your account in addition to the fees. Our CC business is approximately 1/3 of our daily business and we would probably lose 60+% of this business if we didn't accept them. Fortunately we carry many lines with protected territories so we can factor CC costs into our price point and the cash/check payer subsidises the CC payer. Fair? maybe not but I am not eating it if I have a choice.

happyhooligan
January 14, 2006, 07:17 PM
The way I look at it is that by having CC service set up, that you lure in a lot of impulse buyers. I've been guilty of this too. I saw a rifle, but since I didn't have the cash at the time, I used a CC to buy it on the spot. Sure I could have did layaway, but I wanted that rifle to be in my backseat and on the way to my house within 15 minutes.

newfalguy101
January 14, 2006, 07:39 PM
Sometimes I just shake my head at these "rant" threads, other times I think to myself "What a bunch of whiners"

Mostly I just think:

If you dont like the price/pricing structure, GO SOMEWHERE else and save the whining for your dog at home.

Some people have absolutely no concept of business. Just cuz someplace takes plastic, you think they should eat the cost of taking the card??????????? really now, WHY?????????????????? They accept the things because YOU, the buyers wants them too, not because they relish the idea of one more bill to pay at months end.

So joe business man goes and offers YOU another option for paying and YOU dinglebarry customer WHINES when he tries to cover the extra expenses?????????????

Its a wonder any small businesses are still in business.

ESPECIALLY the gun biz where the majority of customers ( online anyway) all but insist that you not only sell it to at COST but also eat the shipping and THEN eat the cost of using the plastic, heck why not just throw in a ten-spot while at it, that way the busines will go under even quicker then you wont have to be bothered with squawking about him trying to run a succressful business AND support himself and or family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C'mon guys dealers gotta eat also, jeez.

Sam
January 14, 2006, 08:49 PM
Got so fed up with them I don't do cards at all.
Not worth my time and 3% does severely eat into the markup on a gun.
Margin is tight enough already. Probably 75% of my customers are not comfortable buying with a card anyway. For those that can't afford to buy without, I'll find them a way.

Sam

Titus
January 14, 2006, 11:54 PM
Is it just me or does the "Rules for Merchants" pdf here (http://tinyurl.com/aahex) say on page 10 that a discount for cash is okay if it's stated up front?

Lone_Gunman
January 14, 2006, 11:57 PM
Probably 75% of my customers are not comfortable buying with a card anyway.

Why are they not comfortable buying with a card?

drinks
January 15, 2006, 01:04 AM
I really wonder why so many merchants are so basicly dishonest as to refuse to obey the state laws, where applicable, and the credit card agreements they signed in the hopes of increasing sales.
Really makes me unwilling to do any business with any crook who uses illegal or non contract pricing policies.

Hawk
January 15, 2006, 01:39 AM
Is it just me or does the "Rules for Merchants" pdf here say on page 10 that a discount for cash is okay if it's stated up front?

Cash discount isn't the same thing as a surcharge.

Cash discount would be, as example, an Auction Arms listing that says "x% may be deducted from the winning bid for payment in cash".

It may NOT read (as so many do): "Credit cards accepted with x% surcharge". I personally can't remember ever seeing a "discount allowed" as opposed to an "add for credit card".

A cash discount in no way negates this portion of the merchant rules:
No Surcharging
Always treat Visa transactions like any other transaction; that is, you may not impose any surcharge on a Visa transaction.

It isn't a trivial distinction, IMHO.

That said(c), I haven't noted any sellers stating that surcharges are in compliance with Visa merchant rules.

Ryder
January 15, 2006, 04:18 AM
I write checks myself. I won't buy anything gun related on plastic. Why? Read the privacy disclaimer. These marketing geniuses sell your purchase history (they call it sharing) to anyone willing to pay for it. Except government who I am sure gets it for free. Purchases are filtered to kick out names and addresses for who bought any specific product. It is defacto gun registration.

waterhouse
January 15, 2006, 09:17 AM
Although after googling for a while (dual pricing, credit cards, Texas pricing laws) I still can't find any statute that says that this is illegal, I'm taking Drinks word for it until I find out otherwise. I still find HankB's post interesting that says that the State actually charges more for a credit card when paying property taxes. Since I don't wan't to break any laws, I have raised all of my prices 2.9%. The credit card customers are receiving the same pricing as yesterday, but the cash customers will get hurt because of this.

Lone_Gunman
January 15, 2006, 09:57 AM
I won't buy anything gun related on plastic. Why? Read the privacy disclaimer. These marketing geniuses sell your purchase history (they call it sharing) to anyone willing to pay for it. Except government who I am sure gets it for free. Purchases are filtered to kick out names and addresses for who bought any specific product. It is defacto gun registration.


My gun store does not itemize what was sold on the credit card bill, so how does the credit card company know what I bought???

308win
January 15, 2006, 10:07 AM
My gun store does not itemize what was sold on the credit card bill, so how does the credit card company know what I bought???
The CC company knows how much you spent (total), with whom (merchant ID), date and time of day, type of card used, clerk ID (if merchant uses this feature), transaction ID (basically a serial number), merchant location, debit or credit (if dual capable card). At least on our terminal type and CC processor the CC company has no information about merchandise or pricing details (price, discount or addon, tax). This information is only available from the card holder or merchant. Our CC agreements (Visa, MC, Discover) prohibit surcharges and allow minimums.

Lone_Gunman
January 15, 2006, 10:45 AM
At least on our terminal type and CC processor the CC company has no information about merchandise or pricing details

Ergo, there is no defacto registration with buying on credit card vis-a-vis cash.

Sam
January 15, 2006, 10:50 PM
Lone_Gunman,
No de facto registration, just in facto identification. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what a 347.50 charge at Daves Guns was for does it?

Sam

Lone_Gunman
January 15, 2006, 11:34 PM
--

Lone_Gunman
January 15, 2006, 11:37 PM
Sam, it doesn't take a rocket scientist, it takes a psychic.

What exactly is the government going to do with that piece of information?

If guns are ever to be confiscated, it would be much easier for them to just go to Dave's Guns and demand that old Dave hand over his 4473 forms. That has much more info, including the make, model, and SN of th gun.

I can't think of a possible scenario where they would have to stoop to sifting through credit card receipts to find gun owners. Can you?

drinks
January 16, 2006, 12:38 AM
Waterhouse;
I am well up into my 60's, but I can remember the law being passed in the "70's, it was well publicized at that time, with a number of businesses being prosecuted for violating it shortly after it was passed, then it faded out of sight and now some merchants, especially gun shops, for some reason I do not know, have been trying to come up with subterfuges to get around it.
At the last gun show in Huntsville, I tried to buy something at at least 4 tables, was given the "3%" for cc businesss and ended the day with no purchases, as I shall not do business with someone I know to be dishonest.
3 of the vendors knew it was illegal, but tried the "well, this is just a cash discount" business," we are not really charging more for cc use" with a big wink.
Oh well, I still have my money and they still have their merchandise.
:D

Ryder
January 16, 2006, 06:55 AM
I can't think of a possible scenario where they would have to stoop to sifting through credit card receipts to find gun owners. Can you?

I just gave my reason. Nobody has to agree with it and I don't know that is why the majority of purchasers share my reasons. :)

There is no sifting. The record is electronic and permanant. Kists are spit out on command. Wasn't too long ago people wouldn't argue with computer results. People are really dumb when they want to dehuumanize themselvess. If they were of the mind to sift actual gun records they have warehouses full of those forms you fill out when you do actually buy a gun. They have millions of these hardcopies, it is too inefficient, can't be done in a thousand years.

You might as well ask how the nazis knew who was jewish because that's the possible scenario here if we go into civil war over confiscation. In a world where the Uited Nations wants us to be forbidden to own small arms and half our own countrymen willingly ignore the slippery slope of the Democratic party anything is possible.

swingset
January 16, 2006, 07:09 AM
Sure, it's against their merchant agreement, but I don't care. I'd like to keep a small gun shop around. God knows I've wasted enough gun shop employee's time looking at various ones that I'd be embarrassed to beg out of the 3%.

Why don't any other shops do this? I only see it with guns.

I'll give you a hint: A lot of gun shop owners are greedy sheisters, and horrible business men. I will let the crappy ones go down the tubes gladly over silly policies like CC upcharges in favor of the shops with $.02 of common business sense.

You don't care that they violate their agreement with the CC companies? Guess what, that's being dishonest and shady. You support that? Good for you, I don't.

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 10:29 AM
Ryder, it would be much easier for the government to just go to gun shops and collect form 4473, and then make house calls.

Also, if you are worried about credit card receipts being used to find you, wouldn't you also be worried that they would track you down through things like NRA membership, gun and hunting magazine subscriptions, internet purchases, internet forums like this one, etc?

They could get your IP address easily and track you down very quickly.

hotpig
January 16, 2006, 10:54 AM
This debate will continue forever unless the Dealers unite and do a cross the board 3% raise on all firearms and accessories. This will not happen because some Dealers want to lure customers in with the cheapest price.

I get a little chuckle every time I read somebody's posting saying turn theses guys it for charging a fee. The Credit Card companies have millions of dollars in fraud that they can not keep up on. Having a merchant charge a fee is not worth messing with. They have bigger fish to fry.

Shifty money mongering dealers ripping you off for 3%. I will buy this if they charge you without fair warning. If they have the 3% posted or they warn you when you try to pay with a card they are not ripping you off.

Who is at fault for this? The Dealers. They should just buckle down and add the fee to their price.

I am a Internet Dealer. My new gun prices are out the door prices. No cc fee, and no shipping charge. Advertised price is what you pay. Do I move a lot of guns? No, you can sometimes find the same gun that I have on Gunbroker for 30.00 less. The Auction guy wants 3% plus 25.00 shipping on top of the discounted price. Most buyers do not want to do the math.

It is a buyers market right now. Quit whining and grab what you can now. In a few years a lot of Dealer license will expire. Fewer are going to renew since it is not worth messing with. I know if I just hang in there the mark up will get in the 20% plus range after the small shops and Internet Dealers give up and get real jobs.

Hawk
January 16, 2006, 01:59 PM
I know if I just hang in there the mark up will get in the 20% plus range after the small shops and Internet Dealers give up and get real jobs.

I would also speculate that your volume will be such that the 3% will have mutated into 1.6% or thereabouts.

The local guys I deal with don't surcharge cards and thier price is generally at or below the "cash price" posted by the one small shop that does.

I don't know if surcharging cards is a guarantee that one will never grow to the point where the rates drop below 3%, but I wouldn't be especially surprised if that was the case.

Somebody heading for a phd in economics will one day data-mine online auction closing prices. My informal digging around has me believing that at least one specific dealer's no-whine credit card auctions routinely close at 5% or more above equivelant merchandise listed by PITA-payment sellers based on blue book values. This only applies to used stuff, of course, but that's all I buy online.

How the hypothetical phd candidate would control for quality of pictures and "salesmanship" in the listings would be a challange but probably not insurmountable.

swingset
January 16, 2006, 07:32 PM
I am a Internet Dealer. My new gun prices are out the door prices. No cc fee, and no shipping charge. Advertised price is what you pay. Do I move a lot of guns? No, you can sometimes find the same gun that I have on Gunbroker for 30.00 less. The Auction guy wants 3% plus 25.00 shipping on top of the discounted price. Most buyers do not want to do the math.

It is a buyers market right now. Quit whining and grab what you can now. In a few years a lot of Dealer license will expire. Fewer are going to renew since it is not worth messing with. I know if I just hang in there the mark up will get in the 20% plus range after the small shops and Internet Dealers give up and get real jobs.

hehe.....sounds like you need to give up and get a real job.

308win
January 16, 2006, 07:54 PM
It is a buyers market right now. Quit whining and grab what you can now. In a few years a lot of Dealer license will expire. Fewer are going to renew since it is not worth messing with. I know if I just hang in there the mark up will get in the 20% plus range after the small shops and Internet Dealers give up and get real jobs.
I wouldn't bet my retirement on this strategy. There will always be people who think there is easy money to be made dealing a few guns part time and you won't be able to get the price points you want as long as this is the case.

newfalguy101
January 16, 2006, 08:55 PM
I am a Internet Dealer. My new gun prices are out the door prices. No cc fee, and no shipping charge. Advertised price is what you pay. Do I move a lot of guns? No, you can sometimes find the same gun that I have on Gunbroker for 30.00 less. The Auction guy wants 3% plus 25.00 shipping on top of the discounted price. Most buyers do not want to do the math.

It is a buyers market right now. Quit whining and grab what you can now. In a few years a lot of Dealer license will expire. Fewer are going to renew since it is not worth messing with. I know if I just hang in there the mark up will get in the 20% plus range after the small shops and Internet Dealers give up and get real jobs.

Good luck

IMHO, the biggest flaw in your strategy is the fact that many wholesalers sell directly to the public at the SAME price we pay as 01 holders.

hotpig
January 16, 2006, 09:55 PM
I think the number of FFL are going to decrease in the next few years. The guys that got them because they thought it was profitable will slowly let theirs go. The small shops can not compete with Internet sales so they also will go.

We will still have the big guys in urban areas that also offer Classes, range, and gunsmith services. They will not be cheap because of their overhead.

If you figure in the loss of small shops, part time guys like me, and the almost dead already gun shows there is the potential for 20%.


Maybe I'am just a optimist.;)

RugerSAFan
January 16, 2006, 11:55 PM
Quite a while ago, my local gas station had posted a discount price on gasoline if paid with cash. Eventually the signs went down. When I asked why, I was told the credit card companies, through lobbying, had "persuaded" congress to pass legislation to prohibit "two tier" pricing.

Makes paying by credit much more acceptable to the sheeple. Folks used to pay with cash; now they use plastic and go into debt (slowly).

How we, as a people, would not call 25%+ interest rates, compounded daily, as usury is beyond me... Again, the credit card companies have persuaded the legislature that this is okay.

Rezin
January 17, 2006, 04:53 PM
[QUOTE=waterhouse]That's why you write check id, because if you write it, they are obligated to check. If they dont they are liable in a civil manner.

That is NOT true. (and curious, where did you hear that?)

I am a merchant. I know the rules well. I am also a credit afficanado. SEE ID, CHECK ID etc is INVALID. The card is NOT VALID unless it is signed. Most cards even say right on the back that they are not valid unless signed.

AND if it IS signed, we can NOT ask for ID, EVEN if it says SEE ID on the back. The rules suck, I agree, but they are the rules..... I put SEE ID on all my cards too, but they are NOT obligated to check it, or liable if they don't.

Hell, there are some credit nazis on other boards (credit related) who activley turn in places that ASK for ID (Since is against their policies to ask for ID)

I am not trying to start arguments etc. I think these policies suck as much as the rest of you. I am just pointing out FACTS.

Byron Quick
January 17, 2006, 05:10 PM
Why don't any other shops do this? I only see it with guns.


Other businesses do it. They just don't do it the same way. I once managed a retail furniture store. The price tag on merchandise included markup for credit card fees or financing hassles. For cash, we'd give a ten percent discount. Now that was more than a credit card company charges but it was much less than the added overhead of financing purchases ourselves.

Now the way that many gun shops advertise a 3% surcharge for credit card purchases is a sure way to put a bad taste in many potential customers' mouths. I don't believe that being able to advertise a lower price is worth the ill will purchased. They'd be better off advertising a price for everyone and a discount for cash. A carrot instead of a stick.

waterhouse
January 17, 2006, 05:11 PM
quote=Turtle Club
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhouse
That's why you write check id, because if you write it, they are obligated to check. If they dont they are liable in a civil manner.

just to be clear, I think something got messed up with the quote button . . .the above quote was Turtle's (I think), not mine.

Hawk
January 17, 2006, 09:06 PM
Now the way that many gun shops advertise a 3% surcharge for credit card purchases is a sure way to put a bad taste in many potential customers' mouths. I don't believe that being able to advertise a lower price is worth the ill will purchased. They'd be better off advertising a price for everyone and a discount for cash. A carrot instead of a stick.

We have a winner! No more entries, please.

Everybody happy and, just to put the cherry on top, now in compliance with the merchant account rules.

Byron Quick
January 18, 2006, 10:22 AM
I'd like to add one comment for the dealers who are looking this thread over.

I don't use a credit card for many gun related purchases. I don't think I've ever bought a gun with a credit card.

However, I have never bought anything from a dealer who wants to do the 3% surcharge thing. And I never will. Somehow, I don't think I'm in a minority of one by a long chalk.

Sam
January 18, 2006, 11:48 PM
Lone Gunman,
Not a single one of my customers said anything about the government when making cash firearms purchases. They just like thier privacy. I like mine too. Buy lots of things with cash, just because.

Newfalguy has the answer on the direction the business has been going.

Sam

Turtle Club
January 19, 2006, 03:56 AM
I sell stuff on ebay to make side money and when I accept payments trough PAYPAL, they charge 2.9%.

However, I would rather be charged the 2.9% because it is guaranteed.

If I take a personal check or money order, their is a change the bidder could never send the money or the check could bounce and I get screwed out of a sale. This was I don't have to wait for a check to clear or for the mail to deliver it.

It is a lot less of a hassle. My average sale is about $40.00. That times 2.9% is $1.16 for peace of mind. My profit margin is about 80% most of the time so I donít mind.

But I also pay cash for a lot of things that arenít directly traceable to me and my income because.....

I work at a "Gentleman's Club" 3 nights a week. I get paid $6.50 / hr from 10pm-3am but I also get a tip out from the dancers on average $10-$15 per girl. With about 15-20girls there a night. Thatís almost an average of $175 a night in cash that does not get recorded to Uncle Sam. It doesnít go in the bank and I donít purchase anything that can be traced when my SS# is audited for spending VS income. I donít pay bills according to this money. I strictly pay bills and car payments based on my true income.

I simply, eat at the best restaurants in town, buy groceries, tvs, cds, video games, ect with this money. CASH = Not traceable = Awesome.

So I donít mind paying cash for items.

Kenneth Lew
January 19, 2006, 05:25 AM
Waterhouse;
You do realize you are admitting in public that you are violating the law in Texas.
In Texas, it is actually illegal to have 2 prices.

You want to tell these guys that.

Any credit card transactions with the Secretary of State of Texas are subject to a convenience fee.
Property taxes payments for local jurisdicaitons via credit card are also subject to convenience fees.
Credit card payments to the IRS are subject to a convenience fee.

feedthehogs
January 19, 2006, 09:06 AM
Why is a merchant dishonest for trying to save YOU the consumer, 3% on a purchase for paying in cash?

The merchant is still giving you the option to pay by plastic but you have to pay the additional costs to the merchant by doing so.

Or is it the idea of knowing that it costs 3% more to pay by plastic?
Would you feel better if all the prices were just raised enough to cover the merchants costs and you didn't know like it is in most of the world?

And because someone decides to do business one way and you do it another you want to complain and report them?

All you complainers out there I'm sure have never gone over the speed limit, reported all cash income to the IRS, never told a lie, etc, etc.

What a bunch of mary janes.

Me, I'd rather pay less. And knowing I'm paying less makes it just that much better.

Hawk
January 19, 2006, 02:27 PM
Why is a merchant dishonest for trying to save YOU the consumer, 3% on a purchase for paying in cash?

He's not if he's offering a 3% cash discount.

What's contrary to the merchant's agreement is surcharging for plastic. Admittedly, the distinction may appear trivial to some, but I don't think it is.

As far as you, a cash customer, would be concerned, you still save.


Advertise 1030.00 and offer 30.00 off for cash - no problem.
or
Advertise 1000.00 and surcharge 30.00 for plastic - someone isn't honoring an agreement they made with their merchant account provider.

Either way, you pay 1000.00, plastic user pays 1030.00.

One way's honest; one is, well, subject to debate.

The other difference is that "surcharge dude" will never see 1000.00 of my cash or 1030.00 of my plastic.

Not complaining. Just facts.

hotpig
January 20, 2006, 01:16 PM
Hawk, I totally agree with you on the Merchants need to raise their prices 3% across the board.


The CC companies are making money hand over fist. They are not going to give up merchant accounts for this violation with only a few whiners complaining. They will enforce it if it starts hurting their profits.;)

tomotomotom
January 31, 2006, 12:07 PM
someone said Texas and 9 other states say it is illegal to have 2 different prices for cash and credit. what are those states, I cant find that information anywhere?

BryanP
January 31, 2006, 12:13 PM
They do pay the same fees. And those fees are built into every purchase. If you pay cash, the store gets to pocket the 3%. If you pay credit, the store sends the 3% to the credit card company.

Also, some restaurants have started the rather obnoxious practice of deducting the 3% on a CC purchase from the tip section, thereby screwing their wait staff. Another reason to tip in cash.

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