Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/06/10

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Subject: [Leica] Credit Cards
From: Sanjay Nasta <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 22:57:16 -0500

This is an area I have a bit of experience having had to set up e-commerce
sites and deal with Credit Card comapnies.  There is a 3%-7% charge to the
dealer depending on credit card used, the number of transactions/month, and
average size of transactions.  That can be a bit hard to bear.  You're right
that credit card processors (intermediaries between the credit card company
and the merchant) have a clause in the contract to prevent discrimination
between customers.  How strongly that clause is enforced is very dependent
on the processor.  We have a Sony merchant in town who regularly upcharges a
credit card customer.  We've become friendly and I asked him about it and he
said he puts several million dollars a year through the credit card
company...if they disconnect him he'll merely change processors (it hasn't
happened in 17 years!).  Personally I think it should be merchant's choice
whether to absorb the cost of the credit card (in effect spreading it to all
customers) or to charge the customers who use the credit card.

Sanjay Nasta

Hi all, 

I am asking this (maybe trivial) question, but a German dealer with whom I 
want to conduct business refuses to take my credit card for payment since 
the item he sells is "demo" (though still quite expensive). He only takes 
cash (obviously impossible since I am living in Belgium), a cheque or a wire

transfer *before* he sends the goods to me. Reason he cites: these are not 
new goods, but sales "at a discounted price". 

I am feeling reluctant to do so, but would like to ask for advice on the 
matter. I am still amazed at how some, especially European (and German in 
particular), dealers expect to do business with a Europe-wide audience if 
they don't take credit cards for payment. Even more so while this kind of 
behavior is not allowed under the terms that bind the dealer with the credit

card companies. 

By contrast, the two largest German Leica dealers (Foto Hobby in Frankfurt 
and Leica bei Meister in Hamburg) take credit cards for *all* sales, even 
second hand items (at prices much lower than "demo")... 

Is this normal behavior in the year 2001 ??? 

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