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I own a company that sells flags and flag poles. Im trying to get the company on the internet selling nation wide. Ive read some books and talked to alot of people (like you guys) for help.

i get my domain and hosting from godaddy

im currently trying to decide on: shopping carts, payment gateways, merchant accounts, and SSL.

the trouble is there are just so many darn choices!!! im lost in it all.

i can get an ssl from godaddy for $18 a year why would i pay hundreds for one form variSign? i realize there is a diffrence in warrenty amount .... but come on.

i plan on using X-cart for my shopping cart and they recomend their partners CDGcommerce as a merchant account, who intern reccomends authorize.net for the payment gateway.

paypal has payflow but i cant determine if that is a gatway/merchant account in one? or just a gateway and i provide my own merchant account?

I guess when it comes down to it im looking for recomendations. whos good, whos cheep, who works together (who dosnt work together) and just any other advise you can give me as i embark on my first eCommerce adventure

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Last Post by stymiee
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i can get an ssl from godaddy for $18 a year why would i pay hundreds for one form variSign? i realize there is a diffrence in warrenty amount .... but come on.

Verisign is way overpriced. You're paying for their name and that is it. Godaddy's SSL certificates should work fine although I recommend their high assurance certificates so you can be sure all browsers recognize and approve of it.

i plan on using X-cart for my shopping cart and they recomend their partners CDGcommerce as a merchant account, who intern reccomends authorize.net for the payment gateway.

paypal has payflow but i cant determine if that is a gatway/merchant account in one? or just a gateway and i provide my own merchant account?

CDG Commerce is okay. Neither great nor bad. Shop around and see what other rates you can get. If I remember right they had an anuual fee or something like that which should be avoided.

Authorize.Net is an excellent choice for the payment gateway. This will usually be provided by your merchant account provider.

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Authorize.Net is an excellent choice for the payment gateway. This will usually be provided by your merchant account provider.

Does this mean i should just fund a merchant account provider and they will provide the gateway?

I was under the impression that I had to choose them myself and make the connections.

Thanks for the feed back!!

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Does this mean i should just fund a merchant account provider and they will provide the gateway?

I was under the impression that I had to choose them myself and make the connections.

Thanks for the feed back!!

That should be how it works. It is possible to have a separate merchant account provider and payment gateway provider but it is not common and there really isn't a benefit to it. It's nice to get them both from one provider as then all you need to do is sign up for the merchant account and they will provide you with a fully functional gateway when the account is established. You don't have to worry about setting up the gateway. You just need to integrate it into your site and you are ready to go.

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thanks for all your help so far!!
i hope my questions are not becomming redundant, but i am a small company and i need to have my facts straight before jumping into something like this.

the authorize.net web site list what they call resellers, that offer merchant accounts with free authorize.net gateway setup. It makes sence that if authorize.net is promoting these resellers on their site they must all be sound reputable companies. however there is quite a diffrence in price between them and some of the sites look like they were programed by amatures at best. Not clean looking professional sites at all. maybe im just anial, but ive allways ben suspicious of sites that look like this. I dont think its coincadence that these sites are the ones that have the lowest prices.

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the authorize.net web site list what they call resellers, that offer merchant accounts with free authorize.net gateway setup.

Some may offer free gateway setups but most don't.

It makes sence that if authorize.net is promoting these resellers on their site they must all be sound reputable companies.

Actually you only need to be a reseller to be listed. You can be a scam artist and bad at what you do and still be listed there.

however there is quite a diffrence in price between them and some of the sites look like they were programed by amatures at best. Not clean looking professional sites at all. maybe im just anial, but ive allways ben suspicious of sites that look like this. I dont think its coincadence that these sites are the ones that have the lowest prices.

Since web design skills are not a prerequisite to be a reseller, and it shouldn't be since the two are unrelated, you are naturally going to see your share of poor websites. In fact, the merchant services industry is way behind the curve when it comes to the Internet. That's why so many of them have poor websites.

When looking for a merchant account provider shop around and get a complete listing of costs and the fine details about the contract. Use this Account Comparison Worksheet to compare providers. This should help you ask the right questions and do a side-by-side comparison.

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CDG Commerce is okay. Neither great nor bad. Shop around and see what other rates you can get. If I remember right they had an anuual fee or something like that which should be avoided.

I am honestly very surprised to see you post something like this. Our company has maintained a great reputation in the industry for many years and that is the reason why companies like X-Cart and many others have opted to partner with us.

In addition, to set the record straight, CDGcommerce has always been a major advocate against both annual and early termination fees.

You will never find a merchant account plan that we offer that has an early termination fee and unless one of our independent marketing partners specifically elects to charge an annual fee, there won't be an annual fee either.

There are many factors in selecting a merchant account. Price is one of them but a company's reputation, level of customer service, technology and value-added benefits, chargeback and risk management processes and any fraud protection benefits are also key parts of the total decision.

My suggestion to anyone looking for a merchant account is to interview each prospective processor, ask a lot of questions and then put together a list of the pros/cons of each one. Make sure to get a complete list of all features and pricing so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

If you are a smaller business just getting started, you'll want to avoid things like monthly minimums and setup costs whenever possible. For a larger business, you'll want to focus on your transaction pricing and the ability of the processor to handle a higher volume merchant like your business.

Best of luck with your search for a merchant account!

Best regards,
Chris West
CDGcommerce

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I am honestly very surprised to see you post something like this. Our company has maintained a great reputation in the industry for many years and that is the reason why companies like X-Cart and many others have opted to partner with us.

Most partnerships are formed as a financial decision where both parties benefit. It would be nice if companies made decisions based on morals and ethics but we all know that's not how it works.

In addition, to set the record straight, CDGcommerce has always been a major advocate against both annual and early termination fees.

You will never find a merchant account plan that we offer that has an early termination fee and unless one of our independent marketing partners specifically elects to charge an annual fee, there won't be an annual fee either.

Those independent marketing partners operate under the CDGCommerce name and thus represent your company. You can't say that CDGCommerce is against annual and early termination fees and then let sales agents use your name to push those very same fees. Either CDGCommerce doesn't allow them to be charged, or by allowing their sales agents to sell them under their name, you are endorsing them.

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Most partnerships are formed as a financial decision where both parties benefit. It would be nice if companies made decisions based on morals and ethics but we all know that's not how it works.

I'm really not sure what you are trying to imply here - if anything - but I can tell you first hand that while our reseller programs are generous, the #1 reason why resellers sign up with us is because they trust that we will take good care of their clients.

Profits from merchant processing only last if you retain your clients and keep them very satisfied. If an agent sends an account to a merchant processor that ends up losing the account, those profits don't last very long at all and no one wins. (Not to mention, it would be a big negative for the person referring the account and it could cost them other business!)

If you take very good care of your clients - whether big or small - you will get a tremendous amount of referral business and build word of mouth. This is true for any business and especially the merchant processing industry.

Those independent marketing partners operate under the CDGCommerce name and thus represent your company. You can't say that CDGCommerce is against annual and early termination fees and then let sales agents use your name to push those very same fees. Either CDGCommerce doesn't allow them to be charged, or by allowing their sales agents to sell them under their name, you are endorsing them.

First and foremost, you are completely mis-stating what I just said above. I said that no CDGcommerce merchant account - including those offered by agents - has any early termination fees. We stand behind our service and I can't think of anything that shows greater confidence in our service than having an across the board no early termination fee policy.

In terms of other fees - we have many agents across the country who work in many different niche marketplaces and set their own pricing. Sometimes the margins are so thin in certain categories - such as card present/retail - that an annual fee provides a little bit of revenue to the rep and processor while the lion's share of the savings is passed to the merchant on a transaction basis.

However, it is quite improper to somehow paint a picture of a typical CDGcommerce merchant account as having an annual fee. You would be excedingly hard pressed to find even an example or two of any online promotion by one of our agents with an annual fee component.

In addition, I really don't feel your mention of "pushing these fees" is appropriate. We go out of our way as a business to provide full disclosure to all merchants in triplicate.

Not only do merchants see the pricing on the promo page, our online application system shows the pricing in full detail with a complete explanation of all fees and terms and then the merchant sees it all again on the merchant agreement.

I am not sure what other merchant processors you have worked with in the past, but we take our reputation and our service very seriously at CDGcommerce and our staff dedicates themselves every day to taking great care of our many merchants.

I do agree with you that it is important to always do the right thing. And I think that everyone wins when businesses are honest and ethical. It is good for morality and also good for business.

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I'm really not sure what you are trying to imply here - if anything - but I can tell you first hand that while our reseller programs are generous, the #1 reason why resellers sign up with us is because they trust that we will take good care of their clients.

Profits from merchant processing only last if you retain your clients and keep them very satisfied. If an agent sends an account to a merchant processor that ends up losing the account, those profits don't last very long at all and no one wins. (Not to mention, it would be a big negative for the person referring the account and it could cost them other business!)

If you take very good care of your clients - whether big or small - you will get a tremendous amount of referral business and build word of mouth. This is true for any business and especially the merchant processing industry.

Basically what I was saying was they wouldn't be your partners if it wasn't the most profitable option. And I don't mean just in the terms of potential income as a direct result of the relationship but in terms of customer satisfaction. Naturally customer satisfaction translates into future dollars. But if the partnership wasn't so lucrative in terms of real dollars if a competitor can offer the same customer satisfaction, or a reasonable amount of customer satisfaction, and more money for the reseller the reseller would be hard pressed to refuse the offer. It's just smart business.

Naturally your company has an excellent reseller package and good reputation or you wouldn't be successful. The above is really just a debate in semantics.

First and foremost, you are completely mis-stating what I just said above. I said that no CDGcommerce merchant account - including those offered by agents - has any early termination fees. We stand behind our service and I can't think of anything that shows greater confidence in our service than having an across the board no early termination fee policy.

My statement was a generalization covering both fees. I probably should have been more specific but the general point I was making still applies. (And I agree about the early termination fees. I've been preaching that myself).

However, it is quite improper to somehow paint a picture of a typical CDGcommerce merchant account as having an annual fee. You would be excedingly hard pressed to find even an example or two of any online promotion by one of our agents with an annual fee component.

It is also important to also not classify your business as not having these fees when it is possible that some of your sales agents do in fact charge it. The door swings both ways.

In addition, I really don't feel your mention of "pushing these fees" is appropriate. We go out of our way as a business to provide full disclosure to all merchants in triplicate.

I never said they were hidden. I just said some of your agents do indeed have those fees, hidden or not.

I do agree with you that it is important to always do the right thing. And I think that everyone wins when businesses are honest and ethical. It is good for morality and also good for business.

If only we could get everyone in the industry on the same page.

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