How To Be An Amex Merchant (+ Profit On Small Business Saturday)
A lot of my readers are comedians who sell merch on their websites – be it T-shirts, CDs, or downloads of their podcasts.
In my May post “This is for Podcasters, Comedians, Actors and… Everyone!!” I detailed how ANYONE could “make a lot of money selling something that won’t cost your customers anything” on Small Business Saturday. The only change is that the 2013 promotion gives a $10 statement credit when you spend $10 or more in a transaction, not the previous years’ $25 and $25.
In a nutshell, get yourself approved as an American Express merchant (see below). Tell your fan base to register their American Express cards for Small Business Saturday here, when enrollment begins on November 24th. Once registered, they will be able to receive ONE statement credit per registered card.
Let your fan base know that you will be selling Product X for $10 on November 30th. If they call or email you their American Express card info, and you process it on November 30th, they will get a $10 statement credit per registered card for patronizing your small business on that day. So, they got something for nothing.
To get the $10 statement credit on their registered Amex card, they must spend at least $10 in one transaction. Two $5 transactions will not work, but one of at least $10 will trigger the $10 statement credit. Authorized user cards can also register for the promotion. See more about that in “Make $100s Shopping Small”.
Small Business Saturday is meant for stand-alone brick and mortar businesses. But as Kay Clay at American Express Product Solutions Group has advised me, there are a couple ways that you can participate as an online small business.
Ms. Clay is happy to help you with this. USA & Canada can reach her at 800.528.0682, option 7, ext.55205 or via email. Kay wrote:
“You can feel safe advising your audience to first establish an American Express merchant account by calling 800-445-2639. It is free to set it up. We will need the bank account number that they want us to deposit to and the Federal Tax ID for the business (or social security number if an individual). The second step is to either add the Amex merchant account to their terminal (if the merchant already has a terminal to accept cards with), by asking their processing company’s tech support to do it; or, contacting me to order the Dial Payment Service to accept American Express. The Dial Payment fees are one time setup $25, and $7 per month with no contract or cancellation fees so, if they intend to accept Amex short term, this is a low cost way to do so.”
Kay Clay and my May post should be able to answer any question you may have.
At What Cost? If you only wanted to do this for Small Business Saturday, it would run you a grand total of $39.95. Not too shabby since you only need to make a few sales to cover that. As Kay said, Dial Payment is $25 to set up, then $7 per month. To use Dial Pay, you must have a Merchant Account. A Merchant Account charges a percentage of your sales or a flat rate of $7.95/month. If you are only trying this for Small Business Saturday, go with the merchant rate of $7.95/month, then cancel service for December.
I don’t have anything to sell, but I did a test drive. I got a merchant account in minutes. I chose the option of being charged a percentage of my sales instead of the month rate because I don’t intend to sell anything. If I decide to sell something, I can switch to the merchant monthly rate. If you DO intend to sell something, you’ll probably want the $7.95/month rate to have a merchant account.
The deadline to apply to get on the Small Business Saturday merchant map is November 4th. So, get crackin’. Once you have your merchant account, go here and click “Get Started”. Small Business Saturday is November 30th – only 5 weeks away. See screen capture below to see that ChipsMoneyTips.com got on the Small Business Saturday map.
If you are not interested in being a merchant, but like the idea of getting $10 statement credits for you and all your Authorized Users, here are my referral links to some American Express cards that can help make that happen. You should apply today to make sure you get the cards in time for the promotion’s free enrollment November 24th. Add the authorized users during application.
American Express has many personal and business cards. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
ChipsMoneyTips.com is on the Small Business Saturday map!
Check out these aforementioned podcasts:
Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo
The 40 Year Old Boy with Mike Schmidt
Rock Solid with Pat Francis
The Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin
Road Stories with Murray Valeriano
The King of TV with Paul Goebel
Comedy Film Nerds with Chris Mancini & Graham Elwood
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