Antique and Collectables Merchant Accounts
Voted the #1 High Risk Merchant Account Provider for two year’s running, Soar Payments is focused on providing comprehensive merchant accounts for the antiques and collectibles industry.
Our goal is to be the undisputed best merchant account provider for collectibles, antiques, coins, stamps, sports cards, pottery and glassware, figurines, political and sports memorabilia, and all other categories of collectibles and antiques. To achieve that, we have to understand the unique needs of different antique and collectible businesses. For the antique and collectible industry, we’ve created the below “antiques / collectibles credit card processing cheat sheet”. It’s designed to give antique sales and collectibles businesses a single place to obtain the information they’ll need to obtain a retail or online collectibles merchant account and have long-term success when accepting credit and debit payments in their business.
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A Note From Our CEO
Adam CarlsonSoar Payments, CEO
It’s a great time to be in the antiques and collectibles industry.
At least that’s what some of our clients have told me recently. With online marketplaces booming, and a new generation of antiques and collectibles customers, there’s a growing market for collectibles businesses.
OK, maybe it’s not that good for everyone, after all there’s still a lot that can go wrong, particularly with payments with your antiques or collectibles business. Things like:
- Getting approved for a merchant account with high enough tickets.
- Making sure your gateway integrates with your website.
- Managing chargebacks so you don’t get shut down or go broke
The good news is, these problems are all solve-able. It took me about 10 hours of research, but I put together the below “antiques and collectibles credit card processing cheat sheet” for entrepreneurs in the art, antiques, coins, stamps, sports cards, pottery and glassware, figurines, political and sports memorabilia, and all other categories of collectibles and antiques space to help you navigate these pitfalls.
It’s my sincere hope that you find this article useful (because I put a lot of work into it)… and if you need help with collectibles or antiques credit card processing for your business, I’d love to help you with that, too.
P.S. If you own a collectibles or antiques business, and want affordable and reliable credit card processing we can help you (in fact, collectibles and antiques businesses are one of our specialties). Click here to begin a free online application.
September 30, 2016
Getting a Merchant Account
How do I get an antiques or collectibles merchant account?
Getting a merchant account to sell collectibles or antiques is as simple as applying with a high risk merchant services provider. Unfortunately, the antiques and collectibles industry is categorized as ‘high risk’ by the payments industry, due to the high average sale amount, the possibility of fraudulent or counterfeit goods, and a higher than average historical chargeback ratio for the industry. As a result, neither your local bank, PayPal, Square or any other ‘low risk’ merchant account provider can accept your business type. Further complicating things, however, is that sometimes the individual salespeople do not know that antiques or collectibles businesses are categorized as high risk, and thus will initially collect your information and only upon submission to underwriting determine that they are unable to support your business type. Similarly, PayPal and Square do not conduct underwriting on the front end, so typically you’ll be able to accept payments with them for 1-3 months before your account is reviewed and unfortunately your funds will be frozen.
So, you’ll need to apply with a high risk merchant services company. If you’re ready, you can apply with us.
What’s the Difference Between a High Risk Merchant Account, and Low Risk?
Practically speaking, not much. To provide credit card processing for high risk merchants, like collectibles and antiques sales, an underwriting bank must be willing to devote extra resources to underwriting and account oversight. Most of the nation’s largest banks (think Wells Fargo and Chase) are simply not equipped and don’t want to do that extra underwriting or oversight work. As a result, they simply don’t write high risk business. Smaller regional banks, or banks that specialize in merchant services acquiring, by contrast are happy to take on higher risk business. They typically charge slightly more for merchant services than low risk credit card processors in order to compensate them for this additional risk and oversight responsibility. In the end, however, the actual services they provide are equivalent from the customer’s perspective.
So how do I find a high risk collectibles or antiques merchant account provider?
The quick answer is to Google it. Look for merchant services providers that specialize in high risk, and who are familiar with the collectibles and antiques industry specifically. Then call a few companies up to discuss pricing, terms, and whether in fact they can actually offer you a merchant account. Once you’ve made your choice, simply apply and work through the underwriting process.
Does Soar Payments offer merchant accounts for antiques or collectibles businesses?
Yes, we do. Soar Payments works with a number of banks whose underwriting guidelines permit them to write collectibles and antiques businesses for merchant services. Moreover, because we have relationships with almost every bank that underwrites antiques and collectibles businesses, we can discuss with you the pros and cons of your various options, as well as provide you with some of the most aggressive pricing for your specific niche within the collectibles and antiques industries.
To apply, just complete the online application. We’ll review your submission and send you a PDF copy of your agreement, with all pricing and terms. And once you’re approved you can begin processing credit and debit cards. Additionally, we’ll provide you with a credit card processing terminal, payment gateway, chargeback prevention tools, and anything else you help you start processing payments.
How do I get a high average ticket approval?
The antiques and collectibles industry typically needs a high average ticket. That is to say, most of the things sold cost in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. That fact makes your account particularly risky for merchant services, so the credit card processor will typically try to place a cap on the amount of a single purchase. You, likely won’t want that, however, because it will mean that if a big sale wants to pay via credit card, you won’t be able to take it.
So, when applying for a merchant account, make sure to discuss your highest ticket and communicate how important it is for merchants in your industry to be able to process single payments at their highest ticket. An experiences merchant services salesperson will be able to tell you whether the amount that you’re requesting is likely to get approved or not.
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Point of Sale, Shopping Cart and CRM Integrations
Most eCommerce businesses in the collectibles or antiques industry have selected their preferred shopping cart of choice. And often some retail businesses have a specific CRM or point of sale device that they’d like to make sure integrates with their merchant account.
Soar Payments, through our payment gateway and POS partners offers some of the broadest array of software, CRM, shopping cart and point of sale integrations. Simply contact our sales team to discuss your specific needs.
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Question? Fire Away. We’re Ready to Help.
If you’ve got a question about a payment gateway, credit card terminal, chargeback management tool, merchant account or anything else related to growing a collectible or antiques business and want some advice, email me your question directly: AdamCarlson@soarpay.com.
Ready to Get Started?
Ready to start accepting payments at your antiques or collectibles business, Click here to begin a free online application.
Everything a Collectibles or Antiques Business Needs to Know About Chargebacks
No matter whether you sell collectible coins, stamps, sports cards, pottery and glassware, figurines, political or sports memorabilia, antique maps, furniture, or any other type of collectible or antique, you need to understand chargebacks. And because excessive or unmanaged chargebacks are the #1 reason that collectible or antiques businesses have their merchant account terminated, it’s not simply a matter of losing some revenue.
What is a Chargeback?
Let’s start simply, a chargeback is when one of your customers calls their credit card issuer and disputes a charge. The customer can give one of dozens of reasons for the dispute (e.g. I never received the product, I was double billed, the product wasn’t as advertised, I was never presented with a refund policy, etc.). Once the customer has initiated the dispute, their credit card company will notify your credit card processor who will immediately pull the funds in question and hold them in an escrow account until the dispute is resolved. The antique or collectible business will then be tasked with proving that the charge was legitimate in order to recover the funds, otherwise they’ll be given to the disputing customer.
The chargeback process seems fair, why do I need to worry about it?
The unfortunate thing, is that a surprising number of credit card customers abuse the chargeback process by issuing chargeback disputes in illegitimate situations. They might do this to circumvent your businesses’ refund policy, or simply because they don’t want to pay for something.
Moreover, when you receive a chargeback notification, you might imagine that responding is straightforward and the process unbiased. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. The chargeback dispute process is incredibly technical and complex, and weighted in favor of the customer. Thus, we always recommend that you consider using a chargeback management company to manage these on your behalf (In fact, we build this service into the Soar Payments payment gateway as a default option).
Why do antiques and collectibles businesses get lots of chargebacks?
Antiques and collectibles businesses, as a general rule, get more than the average business in terms of chargebacks. The reasons are below:
- Antiques and collectibles are high ticket items. Fraudsters attempting to get something for free target high ticket items. Additionally, legitimate customers with a legitimate complaint often let small tickets go, but they will certainly follow through on a chargeback for larger ticket items.
- Customers purchasing antiques and collectibles can sometimes regret their purchase, but due to the nature of the good, return policies are not always very generous, therefore the customer resorts to using a chargeback in an attempt to circumvent the return policy.
- Antiques and collectibles are subject to differing opinions about their value, and sometimes a customer might feel that they were overcharged for an item and therefore feel justified initiating a chargeback. That’s not to mention that in some rare cases, antiques and collectibles dealers have sold counterfeit goods.
- Many antiques and collectibles business owners do not appreciate how significant the risk to their business’ ability to accept credit cards a chargeback is. And thus when a disgruntled customer calls, they stand by their store’s policies rather than being extra lenient just to avoid the chargeback. Additionally, that same logic leads many antiques and collectibles companies to not use systems like chargeback alerts, which can reduce chargebacks by about 30-40%, but which cost the business.
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Need Collectibles or Antiques Merchant Services?
We’ve Got You Covered.
Soar Payments provides ACH, debit and credit card processing services to collectible coins, stamps, cards, pottery and glassware, figurines, political or sports memorabilia, antique maps, furniture, and most other types of collectible or antique business. So when you’re ready, we’re ready.
Learn More About Antiques and Collectables Merchant Accounts
Click on the tabs below to learn more about antiques and collectables merchant accounts through Soar Payments.
Unfortunately, chargebacks are unavoidable in the retail industry. Disputes are submitted regularly by customers for various reasons, including fraud, dissatisfaction, and returned merchandise. As an antique and collectables merchant, understanding your chargebacks and keeping your chargeback percentage low is vital for maintaining a successful merchant account. Soar Payments offers great chargeback education that can help your business implement the best practices for preventing chargebacks.