Review Snapshot
Pros

A+ with BBB, free authorize.net, competitive pricing

Cons

you may find a better value at a competitor like merchant warehouse or goemerchant

Verdict

Capital Merchant Solutions is definitely worth checking out against the competition.

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Casey Dalton : I write reviews of products I deem worthy of review. Generally if I'm reviewing...Member Reputation 335 • 69 active Krits
takecardstoday.com from capital merchant solutions
Capital Merchant Solutions Take Cards Today
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Capital Merchant Solutions REVIEW - Take Cards Today

The price of success:

I know what it's like to run a small business, working 15 hour days, often 7 days a week and considering yourself lucky because that means business is going well! At the same time it feels like you're constantly behind the 8 ball, trying not to cut corners and forever being aware that there's so much more to do than you have time for.

Maybe you started off taking payments online or maybe you've been accepting payments out in the world, by check or good old fashioned cash. Now business has really picked up and you're ready to expand. Being able to accept credit card payments can be a huge boon to your business and increase sales by as much as 50% plus. 

FInally, it's gotten to the point that you're ready to upgrade and invest in a merchant account with point of sales equipment and/or a great online solution with a proper payment gateway, like authorize.net. This is a pivotal moment.

It's pivotal for 2 reasons:

1. you are likely so busy you don't have a whole lot of time to do thorough research. You'd just like to get up and running as quickly and cheaply as possible.

2. You need to select wisely because as your business grows, you're going to be counting on the company you choose for many years to come.

So you go on the web and start fishing around and lo and behold … there is a whole swamp, a mind numbing morass of overwhelming information about merchant accounts and rates and fees and percentages on the one hand and on the other hand a sea of bitter complaints from people who have tried this service or that and gotten burned. How to sort through it all and who can you trust???

Know the basics:

Well, there's some basic (actually essential) info it's helpful to know. First of all, it's important to understand that anytime you go for something free you are giving something up on the back end. For example, if you're getting free point of sale equipment, you are generally going to be contractually bound to a company and that company will likely have termination fees, should you decide to move on. 

The tradeoff may be worth it to you depending on your circumstances but it's good to have a clear understanding of that before entering into an agreement. Second, the rates and fees divulged on the web are not comprehensive. If you're signing a contract you need to carefully review the contract so you understand all your fees.

Why the great divide?

That said, the fact is most of the better rated credit card processing companies have competitive rates and are not far off from one another in terms of what they offer. There may also be room for negotiating the price of equipment. A lot of merchant griping stems from an inability on the part of the merchant to take the time or to decipher the complexities of their contract. This leads to unhappy surprises. Also, when business doesn't meet your expectations the pressure's on and if you're paying fees each month regardless of the business you do that can get upsetting. 

So my recommendation is to be sure you're doing healthy, steady business and/or your budget allows for the merchant services and add some padding for unexpected fees. They will come!

So how does Capital Merchant Solutions stack up?

Very well. Aside from an A+ with the BBB and being highly recommended on authorize.net's own site, CMS offers competitive pricing with perks like free authorize.net for their users. This is one case in which free is just free. 

Having said that, there are other fees to take into account. My advice is to ask about annual fees, monthly minimums, termination fees and yearly rate increases and check out the answer in writing before making a formal commitment. Know what to expect, to the best of your ability, pad your budget to protect yourself and be prepared for the unexpected. 

Shopping around?

If you're looking for a good alternative to compare your options I recommend Merchant Warehouse, another highly reputable company which offers free authorize.net. Comparing both companies' contracts will give you the information necessary to make a decision as efficiently as possible. 

If your budget is tight and you're concerned about making the leap, you could also just check out an ecommerce solution. Many businesses use a smart phone at the point of sale (it works for the apple store!)  in that case I'd recommend goemerchant.com which keeps it's nose clean, has an excellent web reputation and A+ with the BBB.

Happy hunting and may your business grow a thousand fold!!

Here's a link to check out Merchant Warehouse.

Here's a link to check out GoEmerchant.com. 

Go to Capital Merchant Solutions at Take Cards Today by clicking on the link above or below this review.

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2012, 8:51 am
Reviewed by Casey Dalton
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