Taking credit cards
You see the question asked constantly on the various message boards about taking credit cards. I’ll leave the debate to the message boards about whether or not to accept them and will give some information about to take them.There are a few options for taking credit cards: physical machine, virtual terminal online, PayPal or other website plug-in.
I’ll start with saying I personally use PayPal for my credit card processing (although I have used another website-more on that later). I’ve never used a machine so I can’t speak from experience on that but from what I’ve heard you can get lower transaction fees with physical machines than some of the online resources. The main difference is a lot of machine contracts include a monthly fee.
A virtual terminal basically gives you most of the features of a physical machine without actually having the machine. You do everything via a secure website or via cell phone. If you do a search on any search engine for “virtual credit card terminal” you’ll find a ton of websites that offer that service. For this example, I’m going to use ProPay.com.
ProPay.com offers a few levels of service, all of which have no monthly minimums. There is an annual fee ranging from $34.95-$399.95 depending on how much business you’ll be getting per transaction/month. I would guess most DJ companies would choose either the premium ($59.95 a year) or Premium Plus ($119.95 a year) which gives a monthly maximum of $3000 or $5000 dollars. With a ProPay account you can accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express and fees start at 3.25% for MC/Visa/Discover and 3.75% for American Express.
PayPal.com has a variety of options, including sending a bill via e-mail, virtual terminal and a payment gateway on your website. With PayPal there are no monthly or annual fees (unless you’re using their virtual terminal, which could incur a monthly fee), you just pay a percentage of each transaction plus a flat fee per transaction. The amount you pay per transaction starts at 2.9% and goes down from there depending on the volume of business you do.
2Checkout.com is a service that offers the ability to take payments via your website. 2Checkout charges a one-time $49 sign-up fee along with $.45 per transaction and 5.5% of each sale amount. There are no monthly fees, no minimums or other fees. Since it’s more than 2% higher per transaction than PayPal you might wonder why some people would use 2Checkout. I personally used 2Checkout for a few years because PayPal had the stigma of not being professional. However, there are so many big companies and websites that now offer PayPal as a payment option I personally think it’s very accepted nowadays for businesses to accept payment via PayPal.
Do you have a question about websites, improving your online presence or other internet related questions? If so, send it to email@example.com for possible inclusion in an upcoming column.
Since it’s been a while since I’ve had a column, I should probably introduce website reviews to new readers and give a refresher to previous readers.
Every week, I review 1-2 DJ websites that are submitted to me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll tell you what’s good, what can use improving and will take an in-depth look at the overall effectiveness of your website. If you’d like your website to be reviewed for a future column please e-mail me the link to your website.
Contact information at the bottom of every page.
Check punctuation & capitalization throughout website.
Remove links to AddMe, Wedding Spot, WeDJ, etc. from home page….create a links page for those links.
Don’t write in caps-it’s considered shouting.
How do I book my DJ page is cluttered.
Somewhere up in the top tan portion of every page you should have your location and/or phone number.
The background on your DJ Intelligence pages is very distracting.
You have some stock photos on your site and a photo gallery but you could use some pictures from your events on some of your pages.
You have some underlined text that isn’t a link.
Make your logo in the top left also link to your home page.
Your keywords in your meta tags don’t have any mention of Dallas, Ft. Worth or any location.
Some text is centered and some is left justified. Stay consistent (I personally think left justified looks better with your design).
Jim Weisz has been a DJ since 1999, primarily serving the wedding and school dance markets. Jim is originally from Chicago and lived there until relocating to Dallas in 2003 to take a position with JonesTM (formerly TM Century). Jim has spoken at several national DJ conventions about websites and has also written more than a dozen articles for Mobile Beat magazine about websites and a variety of other topics. Jim can be reached at email@example.com.
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