Thursday, September 6, 2007

Are You the Perfect Travel Agency?

As long as you offer reasonable rates to your clients, you are in a level playing field. Incorporating a credit card processor in your business, however, may require you to ask for higher fees. Same goes if you are using the services of a high risk merchant account provider. The good thing about these third party processors is that they can process your clients' credit cards securely. Moreover, a high risk merchant account provider can be a great help to start-ups who get refused by domestic banks.

As your business grows eventually, your provider will be able to process high volume payments as well.

Many people look at a travel agency's worth by its ability to deal with mistakes in arrangements. This truth may be shocking to some, especially to start-up agencies. But if you look closely, the travel agencies that can handle customer troubles are the ones most likely to survive in this high risk industry. Unbeknownst to many travel merchants, smart clients usually seek for references from third parties which can provide positive or negative feedbacks. Do you measure up?

The mention of a successful travel agency is almost a cliche. Everywhere you look in the Internet, tips on how to become a success in this competitive arena abound, but most are difficult to put into action. Some travel agencies are unscrupulous whose only goal is to make money, not repeat customers. Here is a quick checklist to find out if your travel agency hits the mark:

  • License/Accreditation – Although anyone can call himself a travel agent in the United States, many customers look at your credentials for proof of professionalism. Owning a license makes them feel secure that they are dealing with a genuine travel agency. Travel agencies need not be accredited by the ARC or other airline corporations in order to sell products. In some countries such as the UK though, accreditation gives travel agencies a good reputation and thus earn more trust from clients.

  • Customer Service – Travel agents should work on behalf of their clients. Are your travel agents qualified professionals? Are they accessible in times of emergencies? As a matter of fact, travel agents need not be fully knowledgeable but must have the initiative to ask information from their clients and archive the information for future use. Also, specific client needs should be assigned to travel agents who handle those needs exclusively. For example, clients who look for good vacation deals should consult with an agent that handles vacation packages. She does not have to be an expert in the vacation spot but may know what hotels are best to book or what prices the client can best afford.

  • Equipment – Small travel agencies are equipped with basic office tools while bigger agencies may have more sophisticated hardware and software in-house. In my opinion, travel agents can work best if they have an abundance of networks to help them find good deals for their clients. The true equipment is the stock of knowledge and the ability to hunt down the perfect travel package through human resource.

  • Rates – As long as you offer reasonable rates to your clients, you are in a level playing field. Incorporating a credit card processor in your business, however, may require you to ask for higher fees. Same goes if you are using the services of a high risk merchant account provider. The good thing about these third party processors is that they can process your clients' credit cards securely. Moreover, a high risk merchant account provider can be a great help to start-ups who get refused by domestic banks. As your business grows eventually, your provider will be able to process high volume payments as well.

Travel agencies enjoy tremendous growth in profit these days with the help of the Internet. In fact, most bookings are now done online. Brick and mortar travel agencies argue that they can provide better customer service than online agencies do. In any case, a travel agency can prove its worth by having all these elements I have listed here, and perhaps more.


The Whys and Hows of Travel Merchant Account Application

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How to Make Money Selling Games Online

The word “gaming” comes in various contexts among players and the business-minded. Within the casino frequenting circles, gaming means poker, roulette, blackjack, slot machines, Las Vegas, and other gambling related preoccupations. Among young (and young-minded) players, gaming means MMORPG, the Wii, Xbox 360 or PSP and various popular gaming titles. To high risk merchants however, gaming and gambling are interchangeable avenues that can potentially bring them money. Gaming and gambling are always linked, but the latter always creates more controversy, especially among the moralistic crowd. Here's a quick insight though: Both gaming and gambling businesses make a lot of profit online and still continue to grow in sales every year.

So if you'd rather get rich selling Wii consoles or Playstation 3 game titles instead of online poker then online gaming sales is perfect for you. Before I come up with instructions on how to begin, first be warned: like other high risk businesses, gaming requires that you do a lot of research on market prices so you don't over or underprice. Also, shipping costs play an important role in your profits. Are you willing to answer potential chargebacks and make refunds to dissatisfied customers? Will you provide excellent customer service? Lastly, if you intend to sell games online, consider it a no-no getting involved with selling pirated items.

Now as you soon as you have cleared the debris and finally want to set up your online gaming business, make sure your infrastructure is complete. What are the things that you need? What are the questions you need to ask yourself?

  1. Should I build my own website or sell my items on eBay or other online marketplaces?

    Tackle the advantages and disadvantages. For example, selling on eBay lets you gain instant visibility in the market without having to resort to search engine optimization, but you may not be able to customize your page as freely as you can if you build your store with a website having e-commerce capabilities.

  2. What should I do if I thought having my own e-commerce website is better?

    Spiff up your catalog with detailed descriptions of the products, add some photos and graphics, pitch in product reviews, or even create a page for blog or forums where you can discuss your experiences with the product. A blog can also help increase the sales as it is search engine friendly and encourages customers to purchase from your site using positive reviews.

  3. How do I accept payment securely?

    Consider getting a reliable credit card processor. Depending on your business' status, you may or may not be able to get a merchant account provider locally since domestic banks have strict rules when it comes to gaming businesses. You may then resort to sending an application to a high risk merchant account provider which has a greater acceptance rate than local banks.

  4. What can I do to increase more sales?

    As soon as you begin accepting payments, you should make an effort to improve your sales by robust online advertising and smart SEO techniques. But above all, make sure you gain your customer loyalty. The only way to do this is to transact sales honestly and on time. Also, do not forget to hand freebies to your customers to encourage them to make repeat purchases.

SOURCE: How to Make Money Selling Games Online at

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jewelry Selling Tips for the High Risk Merchant

Efficient shopping carts in an easy to navigate website will encourage buyers to pick more products. And although many are still wary of online credit card purchases, they would find it a great relief to know that you are using secure credit card processing through your bank's merchant services or from a third party high risk merchant account provider.

Recent e-commerce reports say online jewelry sales increased approximately 30% in the second quarter of 2007 and will still increase 18% by the year end. What does this mean to everyone intending to plunge into the jewelry business? Simple. The industry sees a positive turn towards great profit and continued business growth. For high risk merchants, this is a perfect opportunity to create an exciting money-making venture online. Although established jewelry merchants face competition against gaming and gadget sales and online travel booking, it still shares a hefty percentage of sales transacted online.


But like all kinds of money making endeavors, an online jewelry business requires the sweat of your brow and a bit of Internet savvy, especially if you're an upstart. Gone are the days when jewelry stores would be self-equipped with only a brick and mortar store set up. Today, a store would very well increase customer visibility and potential sales if it is matched with a website, an efficient shopping cart, and a credit card processor (through a reliable high risk merchant account provider). People shopping online will find it extremely satisfying if they can browse an online jewelry store smoothly, add their purchases on the shopping cart with a single click, and get their transactions processed securely. Are all these things possible? Does a fat boy like cake?




Monday, September 3, 2007

Selling Tobacco Online: What's In It for the High Risk Merchant?

It's a matter of ethics on your part. If you are like some vendors who sell with conscience, then this avenue may be perfect for you. As your business grows, it becomes imperative to find a high risk merchant account provider to process your cigarette and tobacco sales. Should I still offer a warning? The online sale of cigarette and tobacco has been around for years and no one has been able to totally ban it. This song sounds too familiar already. Selling tobacco and cigarettes online can make a great deal of profit, but you will face hurdles, considering that it is a high risk venture. The key is to exercise caution, understand and conform with the laws, and stick to your business ethics.

There are so many avenues for the average high risk merchant to explore when it comes to products or services he would sell online. One of these is selling cigarettes and specialty tobacco. Here are a few stuff “the uninitiated” may want to know:

  • Some states and countries forbid selling cigarettes and tobacco online.

  • Some states and countries do not forbid the sale of cigarettes and tobacco but tax the sellers and buyers.

  • Some states and countries do not forbid the sale of cigarettes and tobacco but DO NOT tax the seller and buyers.

  • Some states and countries forbid the sale of cigarettes and tobacco online only to minors.

  • Authorities have cracked down on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco online.

  • Credit card companies and many cigarette and tobacco vendors have helped each other to curtail or ban the sale of cigarettes and tobacco online.

Did I sound too didactic? I was trying to make sure you were all listening! Knowing all these facts, why does the sale of cigarette and tobacco online still flourish? It's ironic, but everyone who can read between the lines can take the obvious hint that it's not the selling online that transgresses the law and irritates the health-conscious, but the distribution and consumption of cigarettes and tobacco themselves. If you were a high risk merchant, why would you even venture into this blatantly “unhealthy” territory?

They wouldn't call it high risk merchant account for nothing! Online sellers are obviously attracted to the huge profit that this business can offer. They may be cigarette smokers and tobacco enthusiasts themselves. Selling it online would make it doubly beneficial. To many people, cigarette and tobacco smoking can bring many benefits to their lives, whether physically or socially. Being able to buy or sell them online not only increases their enjoyment but beefs up their pockets too!

Cigarette and tobacco vendors sell their products online at extremely low prices because they establish their businesses in areas where the “smokes” are not taxed. If you look closely at every tobacco vendor's website...

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

High Risk Merchants: Where Do You Find Much Needed Information?

Becoming a high risk merchant does not require genius. Some people have started their businesses and transacted high volume payments long before they realized it. Today, the most popular high risk businesses are the adult and gambling industries. Online pharmacies and telemarketing are following the lead. If you have decided to become a merchant yourself, the possibilities are endless. However, there are also limitations as to what type of products or services you may sell and whether you are qualified to process payments with the help of high risk merchant account providers or not.

Where do you get information if you intend to become a merchant? The Internet has gazillions of resources which you can use for your benefit. Joining forums alone will help you find out what concerns other merchants have, what businesses are thriving, and what they're doing to improve their sales. Better yet, if you cater to a particular niche such as adult products, you can check out what advice adult webmasters can give you from the articles injected into the discussions. Most forum members are especially wiling to answer your “newbie” questions as long as you adhere to the forum rules.

I'm putting a little wet blanket on this idea. In reality, even though a lot of high risk merchant forums help you with your inquiries and illuminate your confusions, many forum members who are real merchants are wary of divulging too much information. As a matter of fact, the high risk industry involves, obviously enough, really high form of risky ventures and is very competitive that upstart merchants will initially find it shocking. But in the long run, if you have made friends in the industry and did yourself a favor employing a high risk merchant account provider...