I'm almost never purchasing with credit cards, I prefer to use money I actually have. That of course limits my spending. So I'm usually going to buy from where I can get the best deal when it's all said and done. When it comes to guitars, at least with translucent finishes on PRS, it rarely comes down to that because I usually want a specific guitar. Most of the time I'm stretching my budget to some extent anyway on a major purchase, so if I can save myself $, I will. $3000 or $3120? $120 can put food on my table or strings on that guitar, etc.
The fear that I have is that the smaller business guy who's trying to give a solid deal will suffer without charging the fee and eventually go out of business. There are a ton of great points and sides to the thread. It's funny, I remember a time when paying in cash might get you a slightly better deal. Maybe we should go back to that way of thinking? If cash/check/debit = less fees...?
Great thread Jack.
Just to clarify - It is UP TO 4% not a 4% flat rate You are supposed to use different percentage points for different cards ie. Amex is the 4% card Most Visa and Master card is 2.5%
Here's a link to snopes that talks more about the specifics of the swipe fee. I only my debit card so I have nothing to worry about.
I think I'm not yet prepared to pay for check out charges when I use my credit card in paying for my new guitar. But I heard that banks will squeeze us to death with fees. Be prepared to vote with your wallet. A personal loan can help you pay for your checkout fees.
Nail on the proverbial head. All Credit Card swipe fees are is a way for a Bank to do business for free. They believe they have the right to make money while making money on your money, with no overhead.
Just like this whole health insurance fiasco, or a number of other items that can be provided as example. It's all geared for the corporations at the moment. My fear is it will get worse.
simple solution, I've never had credit nor do I want it, whilst being able to pull out a piece of plastic and waving it at the sales rep and pointing at a private stock guitar must be gratifying, if i have the physical cash in my bank account then i know what i can afford and what i can't afford and unless the bank collapses or i get mugged then i know know one is going to abuse my finances.
I guess I don't see this as anything new...the fees have always been there. If I'm paying "retail" I expect that cost to be imbedded in the transaction. I always look at the total cost of an item - the cost to my door.
If it's a big ticket and I"m negotiating for it? Then it may be part of the discussion "is there a discount for cash?" It's part of the tradespace for both merchant and buyer. With the CC the sell knows they are getting paid and doesn't have to worry about bad checks. The buyer knows they are getting their item or a refund. Some value for there for both. Unless it's a known, trusted vender I like having the protection. Like Hans, over the years I've had to use it a couple of times.
The upside to the charge being out in the open? This has been an area that I believe has been a HUGE money maker for the banking community with high barriers to entry and limited competition. Now there are some up starts in the market - Paypal was a start - but I think they have gotten greedy, difficult for both merchant and buyer to deal with and opened the door to others.
If I was a small business right now I'd use SQUARE. 2.75% flat fee with no "access" or other fees. :)
Getting something that's always been there out in the open will let the market work. ;)