Payment gateways for tactical and self-defense websites
Are you a website owner looking for a stable payment gateway to accept credit cards for your tactical or self-defense website? Tasker Payment Gateways LLC specializes in helping tactical, prepper, weapon, collectible knife, and survival site owners like you with stable payment gateways and credit card processing recommendations.
If you are looking to get started selling tactical or self-defense items online or are already processing credit cards but are afraid that you will be shut off by your current provider, contact us today for fast, honest advice.
We are BBB accredited, A+ rated, and enjoy working with tactical merchants and online FFLs. We support all major shopping carts and site builders, including, but not limited to, WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix.
Important advice when selling tactical items online
- If you plan on selling any tactical goods, self-defense items, knives, or weapons online, even nonlethal items like pepper spray, stun guns, or “weapon-like” items, you need to consult an attorney and get qualified legal advice FIRST. There are many, many rules and regulations, and they vary from state to state and town to town. We are not attorneys. We provide e-commerce solutions and recommendations on payment gateways, merchant services, software, cash-flow ideas, and chargeback reduction for high-risk merchants. Fill out the contact form below if you have any questions of any kind.
- If you are thinking about expanding your selection of tactical items, survival supplies, or weapons to include firearms via safe, legal, FFL-to-FFL deliveries, please check out this article, which will help you get started. If you have questions about FFL firearms e-commerce, you can contact us here for free advice.
How to sell tactical, self-defense, and survival products online
Personal defense items, collectible knives, survival supplies, and tactical products have been part of a growing industry for years. The growth has included nonlethal defensive tools like pepper spray, stun guns, and tasers. Unfortunately, you can’t just start up a website to sell these products just like that. Still, you can start relatively simply with a few tips, the right payment acceptance vendors, and some legal advice from an attorney who specializes in your industry.
Choose a shopping cart that does not prohibit tactical items
First, you need a website, so choosing the right software suite or website platform is essential. You can find a great list of software spotlights on our blog or contact us for recommendations. For merchants who are new to e-commerce or not technically savvy, we recommend a template-based web program, not a custom solution.
Research shipping methods and make sure you are not breaking the law
When selling knives, bear spray, collectible swords, or martial arts weapons, you must make sure that you follow not only the law but you must also make sure you use a shipping company that allows your products. UPS, Federal Express, and the USPS all have different rules.
Below are some helpful links that outline what can and cannot be shipped through the Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS.
In addition to reading the carrier’s rules yourself, we also suggest you get legal advice that may determine not just what you sell but also where you ship it. Some items are a violation of law to ship via air; many items cannot be shipped via US mail without violating federal regulations.
Consider a payment gateway that allows weapons – even if you do not sell them
While you are taking care of choosing and setting up your overall website, it’s also time to get stable payment processing. Your site needs to be set up to accept what are called “high-risk” payments. If you sell survival items like water purification, fire starters, MREs, or even survival coaching, you do not necessarily need a payment solution that allows weapons from day one. But like any contingency preparation, doing what you need today does not always mean you are preparing for what you may need tomorrow. Additionally, a payment processor that allows weapons or that is 2A friendly may be more likely to work with you, depending on the content and overall tone of your site.
It is easier to start out now with the relationships and payment gateway solutions you will need down the road than it is to switch later. If you are teaching and helping people how to prepare, you should prepare your business for the future too. Most tactical website owners end up selling something that is considered a weapon at some point. Knives, bear spray, brush-clearing tools, etc., can all get a non-weapons account shut off unexpectedly. Let us set you up for the long haul.
Even if you are only selling information, you should still be with a processor that is friendly to your industry as a whole. We will recommend a merchant account that appreciates your industry and not one that will shut you down because you have a knife or firearms reference on your website. Just because you are not selling weapons does not mean that the out-of-the-box payment processor your site builder offers is always a good fit. We often speak to merchants who sell survival gear, tactical flashlights, or accessories on their websites and still have challenges due to their sites being deemed controversial. Again, even non-FFL sites with informative blogs that discuss self-defense or 2A issues sometimes run into trouble.
You can learn more about how Tasker Payment Gateways LLC recommends high-risk merchant accounts and payment gateways by reading our About Us page.
If you are selling weapons, don’t mess around for even one day; you need to do it right
All weapons products fall into the category of high-risk or “commonly prohibited goods and services,” which means many mainstream banks, processors, payment gateways, or payment processing institutions are less than keen on processing your transactions.
Signing up for a high-risk payment gateway with the appropriate merchant account on the back end allows you to securely process your credit card transactions, giving each party peace of mind. Please note this is only true as long as your gateway pairs up with an appropriate high-risk credit card processor on the back end. Fortunately, we can help you set up your payment gateway and recommend a weapons-friendly credit card processor to deposit the proceeds from your online sales into your existing business checking account.
How to set up a tactical payment gateway: Your shopping cart matters
If you have already chosen a software suite or e-commerce shopping cart, like WooCommerce, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or PrestaShop, then we should easily be able to guide you through the process of setting up a self-defense compatible payment gateway and recommend a high-risk-friendly merchant account to go with it.
Some shopping carts, like Shopify, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce, integrate directly with a specially set up Authorize.Net account. Others, like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, require a 3rd party shopping cart in order to expand their high-risk payment gateway choices. Both our Ecwid post and our Foxy.io article cover this topic in detail.
We will also ensure that you are helped, step by step, with one-on-one support when it’s time to combine your payment gateway and merchant account with your shopping cart.
Authorize.Net works best when self-defense website owners use WooCommerce. Authorize.Net does need to be set up correctly on the back end using a tactical-friendly merchant account and a tried-and-tested plugin. Please contact us for more details.
As a tactical product business owner, you can use PrestaShop, Magento, or ASecureCart for your business. In order to process payments successfully, we’ll integrate any of those platforms with a high-risk merchant account and a tactical-product-friendly Authorize.Net account for you. Both accounts offer native integration options and are firearms-friendly when set up correctly. If you’d like to get started, contact us here.
While the out-of-the-box payment processing option on Shopify doesn’t work, you can still integrate Authorize.Net with Shopify. This enables you to accept payments and even recurring billing subscriptions. Once the Authorize.Net gateway is set up, and we connect it to a tactical-product-friendly merchant account, you have an excellent, fully functioning tactical product Shopify site builder.
Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace all integrate with Authorize.Net and are compatible with tactical e-commerce. However, you will need to use a third-party solution to make all the cogs in the machine work together. Foxy.io, is one example that we’ve found that enables high-risk e-commerce and works really well for these platforms.
Knives and high-risk payment gateways
At first, it might seem a bit “overprotective” to put items like collector’s knives or historical sword reproductions in a high-risk category when it comes to payment gateways.
Additionally, though many knives are designed as, and all can be used as weapons, knives serve a purpose in most people’s daily lives for non-combat reasons. Eating, cooking, yard work, crafting, and opening plastic containers are all common uses for knives. Add to that athletic competition pieces for fencing and survival and tactical gear, and you can clearly see how diverse the online blade business is.
The reason knives are categorized as “high-risk” is not only due to their status as potential weapons; it’s because of their inherent risk for chargebacks, especially the “friendly fraud” variety.
Friendly fraud and online knife sales
Chargebacks are what the financial industry calls forced returning of funds for various reasons. “Friendly fraud” is a chargeback knowingly and falsely initiated by a customer. Due to this crime’s sneaky nature, the customer always calls the bank directly for a refund instead of asking the site owner. The bank then returns the money to the customer, sometimes without even reaching out to the website owner promptly for possible explanation or confirmation of activity. This is termed “friendly” because the thief is disguised as a customer!
Sometimes there are innocent intentions and mistakes made on behalf of the buyers. Sometimes it’s not so innocent, but due to the increased activity of these “friendly fraud” incidents, many products have been placed in the “high-risk” category.
Don’t fear the high-risk payment gateway label
While the term “high-risk” might seem intimidating, don’t let it scare you away from what are often very profitable markets. In the simplest terms, it only means you need a properly set up payment gateway and merchant account. Most “low-risk” merchants can get these easily with services like Shopify Payments, Stripe, or PayPal, but those services are not designed for high-risk merchants. If a merchant sells high-risk products on them, they will most likely have their account frozen or closed once discovered.
Instead of trying to recover from a dead stop in business, high-risk merchants should reach out to us first and find a high-risk payment gateway and a merchant account that suits what they are selling. We can help you solve both issues by connecting you to one of our preferred merchant account providers, who will then help you set up the right payment gateway depending on your preference and business.
We have three preferred payment gateways we often help people with: Authorize.Net, NMI, and ePN. Each high-risk solution has its advantages. Once we figure out which suits you best, we can get you up and running quickly and also help you understand how it all works.
We can do this at no cost to you because we receive an incentive from the service providers we connect you to. We can often help you find lower deals than you would find on your own. Also, if you keep good records and keep your chargebacks low, you can negotiate better deals for future services after a short time.
Payment gateways for tactical or self-defense dropshippers
Tasker Payment Gateways LLC knows that finding the right high-risk payment gateway is hard – but even harder if you dropship tactical products. Our dedicated, independent, tactical e-commerce payment processing experts will help you set up a high-risk payment gateway that works for your tactical dropship website.
Site builders for tactical e-commerce (top 2)
If you’re planning on starting a tactical site, you might be wondering what site builder or shopping cart would be best for your business and how to get set up to accept credit cards once your site is “in the works.”
One danger many survival and weapons site owners face is being on the prohibited list of e-commerce software and site builders they want to work with. Additionally, one critical consideration that is often overlooked at the time of setup is, “Are the site builder and cart I am choosing compatible with a tactical-friendly or even an FFL-friendly payment gateway?”
At TaskerPaymentGateways.com, we have years of experience helping tactical, knife, sword, prepper, and survival site owners like you with reliable, reasonably priced payment gateways. This is why we’re so familiar with the software options available, what will work and what won’t, and how you can accept payments for tactical products.
If you’re looking for help finding the right site builder and compatible payment gateway for your tactical business, get in touch with us. We can help you choose the best merchant account for you and set you up with a payment gateway that will work with the site builder you choose (or the one you’re already using).
If you’d like some more information on what site builders and platforms work for tactical e-commerce, please read on.
Why you can’t use all platforms and carts without complications
Before we jump in and talk about what platforms, carts, and site builders work for tactical merchandise sales, it’s important to quickly outline a few things. The first is what exactly we’re talking about when we say “tactical sales.” The second thing is to explain why you can’t quickly sign up with any e-commerce platform and start processing.
What items are considered tactical products?
When we say tactical sales, we’re talking about the sale of goods such as:
- Self-defense items
- Weapons and weapon accessories (FFL or non-FFL items)
- Survival guides and information
- Prepper tools, food, and supplies
- Non-serialized items, lowers, uppers, and parts
- Serialized lowers (FFL)
- Non-lethal weapons like pepper spray, stun guns, and “weapon-like” items.
All these product types are part of what’s broadly known, in terms of payments and site builders, as tactical items. You should consult an attorney to ensure you follow all ATF rules, in addition to all local and Federal laws and regulations.
Selling self-defense items is classified as high-risk
When you sell tactical goods, there are many regulations and legislation in place for your business category. This means that tactical sales are categorized as high-risk.
Tasker Payment Gateways LLC will help set you up with the payment processing you need to accept payments online for your tactical product line. Get in touch with us here or use the contact form below.
Yes, Shopify allows most tactical e-commerce
Shopify, a huge, internationally known site-building company based in Canada, is one of the most popular all-in-one e-commerce site builders out there. It boasts a vast range of features and functions that allow you to run an e-commerce site successfully. However, if you’re going to sell tactical merchandise using Shopify, you need to do it right.
Unfortunately, their out-of-the-box payment gateway, Shopify Payments, isn’t always going to work for your product line. As a tactical e-commerce site owner, you need correctly set up high-risk credit card processing to accept payments, as you have a good chance of violating their built-in payment provider’s acceptable use policy if you don’t. You can read more about Shopify Payments here.
The good news is that we can help you sign up for Shopify and set up a payment gateway that will work for your product. We’re more than happy to help you use Shopify for tactical product sales – so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free talk about your business. Keep in mind that even if you bypass Shopify Payments’ terms by using a tactical-friendly solution like the ones we recommend, you must make sure you do not sell any items that violate the Shopify site builder’s terms either, primarily if you sell firearms. You can learn more about Shopify and FFLs here.
The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress works well for tactical sites
Another extremely popular site-building option is WordPress – it’s the most used site platform out there. What you might not know is that when you add the WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website, you dramatically expand your high-risk payment gateway and merchant account options.
WordPress is open-source and has a gigantic online community that allows you to troubleshoot any site issues quickly. It’s also easy to customize your site to look the way you’ve always imagined. You will need to correctly set up your WooCommerce plugin for high-risk processing by setting up the correct payment gateway, with tactical-friendly processing on the back end (we can help).
We regularly recommend customized credit card processing that makes it possible for website owners to sell tactical products through WooCommerce. We’ll top that with free one-on-one setup support with a dedicated independent agent for as long as you process payments. Contact us today to ask questions or for a no-obligation quote, and we can start helping you sell your products online.
Even if you have a general question, please reach out – we regularly earn people’s business months after we first speak. Regardless of your e-commerce question, we are happy to take a moment to help.
Start accepting payments for tactical items using almost any shopping cart
While we’ve outlined our top site builders for online tactical sales, there are even more options out there. You could use PrestaShop, BigCommerce, Weebly, Squarespace, or Wix, for example.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re looking for a different solution for your tactical e-commerce payment processing. We’re always available for a no-obligation talk to give you the help you need to accept credit cards on your tactical e-commerce site.
Ready to start accepting credit cards on your tactical or self-defense website?
Contact us anytime using the form below to get started with a tactical-and-weapons-friendly payment gateway and credit card processing recommendation.