Taking Credit Cards for Classified Ad Sales?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Mac In School, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I'm going to list a bunch of stuff on craigslist, etc., tomorrow. Old computer, iPhones, iPod, a camera lens... Stuff like that. Fairly high dollar stuff.

    Thanks to the Square app and card reader, I have the ability to accept payment by credit card.

    Good idea or bad?

    I don't mind the fees. I just want to make sure I'm protected from someone reversing charges and walking away with free stuff.
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Bad idea, for that very reason. You're probably not very well protected from chargebacks, and if you are, is it worth the hassle and risk?

    You're dealing with Craigslist and presumably meeting in person, so there's no reason to accept anything other than cash.
  3. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Way more trouble than it's worth. Even a well established merchant with high volume credit card sales and a spotless history can get burned by unscrupulous chargebacks. Typically the credit card companies are much more interested in protecting/satisfying the customers than than the merchants, because as long as the customers are comfortable and satisfied using their credit cards, the card companies know that merchants have little choice but to accept them, if they want to be competitive.

    I've never bought or sold anything on craigslist with the expectation that the transaction would be anything other than cash, so I don't imagine potential buyers would be turned off by the fact that you don't take cards. You could offer to accept cashier's checks or postal money orders, in person only, for the higher value things, if you want an alternative to straight up (cold hard?) cash. I'd also ask for a photocopy of their driver's license if they want to pay that way.
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    First off, even as someone who knows all about Square and what it is, I'd be a little perturbed by a Craiglist seller who accepts credit cards. Until it becomes commonplace, I'd say you have a chance of turning off sellers because, honestly, it still just seems weird that an individual seller would take CCs.

    I'd be less concerned about chargebacks. As long as you ensure the buyer signs a receipt (which the app supports, but I'd have a more formal receipt written up detailing exactly what was being bought, condition, etc.) then there's no reason the CC company would side with the buyer.
  5. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    Yeah i would be totally turned off by a private seller who takes credit cards. I'm not sure if it will ever take off and become commonplace. Craigslist=cash only.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Unfortunately, that's not usually how it works. The CC company will generally side with their customer. With a signed receipt you may be able to finally get the CC to release the funds, but it takes work. And you may be told to take the customer to small claims court and settle it as a civil suit.

    I have no experience with Square and what-not, but I am a small business that takes CCs. The CC company doesn't need my business (as a merchant) as much as they want to keep the ongoing relationship with their customer healthy.

    I've only had one chargeback, and that was a payment made by CC through PayPal. A customer's husband didn't recognize the charge on their CC bill and called to reverse it. The funds were scooped from my account almost immediately. My customer then had the charge reinstated several days later, and got a confirmation # for me to give to PayPal to confirm that the original charge was legitimate. It took 6 months of wrangling to finally get the money put back into my account, and both PayPal and the CC companies took deducted handling fees.

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