E-commerce vape merchants see hope in congress

This year has been full of positive signs for the still new, and regulatorily battered and confused electronic cigarette industry. Last month’s announcement that vape rules will be pushed back at least 90 days was met with cautious optimism, but the industry is still crying out for clarity.

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High-risk software spotlight: Checkfront

Increase bookings with secure addition to WordPress

Although we are not an affiliate of, nor associated with Checkfront in any way, we have read some good things and wanted to pass them on. High-risk merchants and WordPress users who want a better booking platform can rejoice. Checkfront is a highly functional and powerful tool for your business. Give off a more professional impression to customers, securely collect payments, and manage your bookings simply, with this great software that is compatible with various website platforms including WordPress. Checkfront is a SaaS program, which means it is a service provider and is subject to PCI compliance, and as such, they handle much of the PCI burden for you. You can read in detail about their compliance here. In addition, it is best to utilize a secure payment gateway, like Authorize.Net with Checkfront, especially if you are in a “high-risk” category like business opportunity seminars, or MLM conventions. Contact us anytime for payment gateway or merchant account recommendations.

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Industry spotlight: Online loan consolidation

Collect online in a heavily regulated industry.

Businesses that offer loan consolidation or similar financial services find that they fit into the “high-risk” category when it comes to online payment processing. Due to a higher than average risk of chargebacks or other losses, merchant processors often will not provide services to such a business. Finding a good payment gateway and an appropriate merchant account is crucial. Please note, for most industry types, we can guide you through the entire process, and recommend a merchant account for you through one of our vetted, trusted partners.

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High-risk spotlight: online coaching and training

Earn more money and spend less time

Personal training, life coaching, and business coaching are great industries to be in but also have high turnover rates. This is, in part, because the amount of money a trainer makes is usually tied directly to how much time that trainer spends working. The more time a trainer puts in, the more money they can make, but without the ability to balance the rest of life, people tend to burn out after a few years and switch gears. This article details the career of an individual who was making a great living in heath coaching and personal training but didn’t want to spend the amount of time necessary to maintain it. He started an online training program to great success, and you can too. By following tips we have collected from various sources, creating a website and getting a secure payment gateway and merchant account (contact us for recommendations), you could be making a great living and keep your personal life intact.

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Good news for vape merchants? FDA delays rules

Some pretty big news in the vape industry has broken this week. As we read it, the new administration has taken the FDA deeming regulation deadlines and delayed them by at least 3 months. Our clients and contacts, by and large, are cheering this news and hope it is an indication of further regulatory loosening for the electronic cigarette industry. Over the years we have helped literally hundreds of e-commerce (and retail) vape merchants find payment gateways and processing, along with many other services, and have learned a lot about it in the process. The industry was vibrant, fun, a little chaotic, and exploding with new entrepreneurs until the FDA’s final deeming regulations were sent to the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review in late 2015 and then finalized a year later. This action, which outlined some very challenging regulations for the vape industry sent chills throughout the vape community and initiated changes in bank credit card processing requirements for e-commerce vape merchants.

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High-risk spotlight: Fantasy sports league start-ups

Understand your market

Have you ever wanted to start a fantasy league of your own? Imagine how it would be to make money off of a website that hosts one or several leagues. If you want to take advantage of this sparsely populated industry you are in luck, it is a lot easier than one might think if you understand a few things. First, if you are going to be charging a fee understand you are entering a high-risk credit card processing market. High-risk means your industry runs a high risk of chargebacks, or regulatory attention, which banks don’t like. There is a solution to this problem, which we will detail in the next section. The next thing you should understand is that your business will only be successful if you market it. “If you build it they will come” is a nice thought for Kevin Costner movies, but it means nothing on the Internet. If you don’t get your website out there in front of people who are interested in the subject, get social media buzzing, plan and track advertisements and landing pages, and cultivate word of mouth, you won’t make any money.

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High-risk friendly spotlight: Orange CRM

An a-la-carte CRM for any high-risk or low-risk business

OrangeCRM uses modules to add features to your software – purchase a module if you want those features, otherwise, don’t bog down your experience. Most of the merchants we speak to are in a high-risk category, and we find those merchants not only appreciate – but often require the type of flexibility OrangeCRM offers.

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High-risk Authorize.Net for Vtiger

High-risk friendly CRM on-demand 

Is your high-risk business missing a crucial piece to help it rise to the next level? Have you really been putting a full effort into customer data management? These days any business that isn’t online is in some sense losing money. From the biz-op entrepreneur to the nutritional supplement marketer, everyone can benefit from one of the digital solutions available these days. Vtiger hopes to be an essential CRM tool for modern e-commerce marketers.

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Industry spotlight: Online pawn shops

Create a pawnshop online

The e-commerce market has grown to include pretty much any business that could be brick and mortar, but there are some types of stores you don’t see making the transition as quickly as regular retailers. Pawn shops are one of these markets. When you think about it – the process can seem a bit daunting. First, you must decide what state to do business in. Where the transaction technically takes place is important, as pawn laws may vary from state to state. Next, you must find a way to accept and transfer funds for the merchandise being pawned; to do this you will need a recommended pawn friendly merchant account and payment gateway – contact us for recommendations – After that, you need an appropriate e-commerce platform like Shopify or Woocommerce from which to operate. Being an online Pawn with FFL e-commerce sales adds a lot more complexity. If you are an FFL pawn dealer click here to learn how to get started.

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High-risk e-commerce with Avactis

Is your site a commonly prohibited merchant type?

If you are in a high-risk category like online vape sales, or FFL e-commerce and you are looking to get started or to get serious with your e-commerce site then you may want to look at Avactis. Avactis is an e-commerce platform with all the major bells and whistles, and it’s available for free – although there are premium extensions and other helpful additions you can purchase for a reasonable price. Avactis comes mobile ready and is easily optimized for search engines. It has additional options such as social media channels and customizable pricing rules to help you make the most of your store. Keep in mind you need a suitable high-risk gateway and merchant account as Avactis dozens of gateway options. Contact us anytime with questions.

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P.S. We're happy to help even if you just have a quick question - even if you are "not ready yet" and just want a little free advice. We regularly earn clients' business years after we first speak.

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