It's all part of the bigger picture of having a fun retail music store.
But today, we're making the general public aware of credit and debit card processing fees and how big of a burden they can be for a small business. I keep seeing Facebook posts about people who refuse to use cash and then have issues with their cards. And I understand the debit card convenience - I use it myself quite a bit. The problem with cash is that it gets spent. (Always get a receipt!)
Last year at Second String Music, we paid a staggering $4,700 in credit card fees. We are charged a percentage for each total and a .25 cent fee per swipe. Sheryl just did the math this morning and we are both in shock.
It isn't $4,700 in our pocket. That is a Fender amplifier order! Sheryl and I will make deals on instruments, but it's kind of tough to have sales and slash prices when the cost of simply swiping a credit card is so financially burdensome.
So, we are encouraging people to use cash, and our guitar students are always allowed to pay with checks. Our prices have always been internet-friendly and competitive. We are just going to work on keeping credit card fees out of the hands of credit card processors. It can be done!
It just makes you wonder how anybody, especially the small retail store, stays in business. I guess our new years resolutions are to be more mindful of how we pay and how that affects the place we are paying.
Edit: We have the lowest rates possible thru First Data. We don't pay machine fees, charge-back fees, AMEX fees, machine rental fees or anything extra. So it really is a VERY tiny percentage of our overall sales but in total for the year is a very intimidating number. These are the fees that a small business pays when we have gotten into the lowest rate anywhere and own our in store equipment. We also have to file a PCI plan every year to make sure they don't charge us $9.99 a month for a PCI security waiver. Geesh, they do nickel and dime everyone to death.