Credit Card Processing for Gun Dealers
Gun dealers often face different challenges than other businesses, and that’s true when it comes to taking credit cards as well. Since selling firearms is considered a “high risk” business, some credit card processors don’t offer services to gun shops. But with guns being a big ticket item, giving customers the option to pay by credit card is important. If you’re a gun dealer, here’s what you need to know about finding the right processor to support your business.
- Taking credit cards: the basics
- What’s different for gun dealers?
- Internet sales
- I’m a gun dealer – how do I find a credit card processor?
Taking credit cards: the basics
Any business that takes credit cards has to pay a processor to handle transactions. Each transaction has a cost, and that cost is made up of three components: interchange, assessments, and markup.
Interchange and assessments are non-negotiable costs and are paid to the banks that issue credit cards and the credit card brands, respectively. It’s easiest to think of interchange and assessments as the base cost or wholesale cost of processing.
The third component is the processor’s markup, which is where there may be some wiggle room. Your lowest cost option will be the one that lets you pay as close to the wholesale cost as possible.
What’s different for gun dealers?
The biggest difference for gun dealers is that firearms sales are considered a “high risk” business, so you’ll need a processor that can work with high risk industries. High risk in credit card processing can mean many different things, but it often refers to an industry with a lot of potential for chargebacks or fraud.
Try not to take it personally. Credit card processing companies aren’t trying to single you out because they doesn’t like guns or are implying that you’re doing anything wrong, and the “high risk” designation is applied to firearms in general, not to your specific business.
Selling over the internet is another way that business is a little different for gun dealers. It’s legal to buy guns online in the United States, but the gun must be shipped to a dealer with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and not to the consumer directly. The consumer then gets their firearm from the licensed dealer to whom the firearm was shipped.
This is different than traditional internet sales where an item is purchased by a consumer and shipped directly to the consumer. However, from the payment side of things, it functions the same as other transactions. If you’re the dealer that is selling the firearm online, your customer will pay you for the purchase. Read about how to take payments online in our article on ecommerce credit card processing.
If you’re the dealer that is receiving the firearm on behalf of a consumer, you may be able to charge a firearm transfer fee to the customer upon pickup of their firearm.
You can read about specifics of firearm sales at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms website.
I’m a gun dealer – how do I find a credit card processor?
Finding a processor for a gun shop can be a time-consuming process if you do it yourself. You’ll need to locate processors that can support firearm sales (note, popular companies like Square explicitly prohibit firearm sales) and then request quotes. Quotes you obtain on your own in the open market are not usually fully-disclosed nor in a consistent format. You’d need to determine the pricing model being used by the company, research how to compare different models, and still be prepared for hidden fees.
Or, you can find a credit card processor right here through CardFellow. There are processors in our marketplace that have been noted as gun-friendly, including from organizations like the NRA. You don’t have to jump through extra hoops to be able to take credit cards at your gun shop, and we keep your contact info private so you won’t get bombarded with sales calls. Best of all, you won’t have to spend hours calling processors individually and trying to compare apples and oranges. All of the quotes you’ll receive are fully disclosed (no hidden fees!) and require the same format for an easy side-by-side cost comparison.
What are the benefits of finding a processor for my gun shop through CardFellow?
- Expertise – processors in our marketplace are familiar with gun shops and can help you at every step of the way.
- Terms that benefit you – Even “high risk” processing comes with CardFellow’s safeguards when you choose a certified quote in our marketplace. You’ll benefit from a lifetime rate lock, no cancellation fees, and ongoing statement monitoring from CardFellow to ensure you’re paying as little as possible for processing.
- It’s free to use – You read that right: there’s no cost to use CardFellow or our free quote comparison tool. Here’s how we make money.
- You can invite a quote from any processor you want, and our software will show you how it stacks up so you can make an informed decision.
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Remember, just because firearm sales is considered “high risk” doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Following applicable laws and working with a payment processor that is familiar with gun sales can help you take credit card payments with ease at your gun shop.