When selling firearms, parts and accessories domestically, you may well be used to most payments taking the form of credit card transactions.
However, when you export firearms from the USA buyers in other countries may have different preferences when it comes to how they pay for goods.
The fact that items are being sent out of the country can pose an additional challenge, due to things such as international payment red tape and foreign exchange considerations.
There are also the standard shipping headaches such as the potential for goods to be lost en-route or refused by customs, which can become even more of a hassle than usual when dealing with bureaucracy overseas.
To reduce the risks associated with international export as much as possible, it’s common to use the right merchant processing account.
A merchant processing account enables you to accept credit card payments through your website, with the transaction handled by a third-party provider.
However, there are some important things to keep in mind about merchant processing, especially when it comes to international firearms sales:
1. Not all processors handle international payments
If you’re planning to ship firearms from the USA, it’s important to select a merchant processing solution compatible with credit cards issued abroad, and by foreign banks.
It can also be beneficial to find a processor that seamlessly handles multi-currency payments, allowing purchasers to buy in their own currency and have that converted automatically into USD.
And if exporting to non-English speaking countries, a payment interface that supports multiple languages can be useful both for your own team and your customers.
2. There may be a risk of fraud
There are unscrupulous people across all walks of life and present in every industry. You should be aware that it’s possible for a customer to order something from you, and then after receiving that item, submit a claim to their credit card company alleging the item wasn’t received.
A scenario like that can leave your business out of pocket, as it’s often the case that the credit card company will side with their customer. Too many charge backs like that can have real cash flow implications.
To guard against this risk as much as possible, it’s important that merchants know who their customers are. EasyExport can help you to mitigate the risk of fraudulent charge backs, because all customers must first register with us in order to then make a purchase.
3. Some payment processors have export restrictions
Checking the small print of any merchant processing provider is a must when you’re planning to export firearms parts and accessories internationally.
There are some solutions that have introduced export restrictions, meaning payments are not supported for products that are being shipped outside of the country.
However, if you select an option that supports international payments and multi-language processing, you are less likely to encounter this issue as the merchant processor is set up for international trade.
4. You don’t need to worry about import charges
No matter what merchant processing provider you choose, you’ll only need to use that processor for collecting payment for the value of the order.
Import-related charges, including duties and taxes, will usually not be the merchant’s responsibility. These fees will be calculated and imposed by the importing country and will be handled separately.
The customer is alerted to any import fees after the products have arrived at the destination country, and merchants are not involved in this stage.
5. You need to be equipped to process non-credit card payments
When licensed overseas dealers purchase larger values of items, using a credit card to make payment may not be an attractive or convenient solution.
In order to maximize sales opportunities, it’s important that you’re able to take payments in a number of ways, such as via a wire transfer from an international bank.
6. Not all processors will integrate with your existing ecommerce system
As with any other service, not all processing providers offer the same technology or integrations.
If your ecommerce site is already up and running, or you have an established EPOS system which already works well for you, you’ll want to check that the merchant processor is compatible with that system.
Not all merchant processors will integrate with BigCommerce for example.
The bottom line
While it can be undeniably frustrating finding the right merchant processing provider to work with you, having a professional, appropriate provider in place does afford your business a higher level of protection and convenience.
Having a reliable processor in place, who doesn’t take an anti-second amendment stance which could see your account terminated, thereby causing disruption to your business, is business critical.
Likewise, securing a partner who understands the additional oversights and underwriting that for instance some credit card companies require when dealing with international transactions can remove a lot of operational and transactional headaches, allowing you to focus on growing your business.