Many “preferred” or “recommended” payment gateways are not high-risk friendly

Selling “high-risk” products like CBD, cigars, or vape products is not a one-step solution like many other e-commerce markets. These days it often takes people by surprise that you can’t just sell anything on a common or “low-risk” site builder without some added knowledge and assistance.

There’s an entire group of industries that are categorized as “high-risk”. Including vape juice and vaporizers, cigars and tobacco products, tactical gear, or even glassware and pipe paraphernalia. These industries require more than your standard payment gateway and merchant account. We really recommend that you don’t sign up for a service like Stripe or Shopify EVEN if you own a brick and mortar store selling the same products. Not only do you need a merchant account with the proper underwriting for your specific product, but you also need a correctly set up payment gateway to accept payments from credit cards and other online money transfers. Once you have these elements in place, you can safely and securely sell online.

Below is a case study composite. This is a story we’ve heard time and again over the last few years, showing the importance of reading your terms and conditions before you automatically sign up for your website builder’s “preferred” payment gateway or merchant account. Even a quick Google search can often tell you if a platform allows high-risk products.

The trials and errors of selling vaporizers and vape liquid online

I just finished another long conversation with a client we’ll call Erica in Texas. We spoke about her challenges trying to set up a payment gateway for her online e-juice store with her current website provider. This hosting company also happened to be offering site-building and processing through their preferred providers. We have dozens if not hundreds of folks using the same hosting company, and it’s usually a great solution.

Like all great solutions though, it depends on your situation. In Erica’s case, they were not a good fit for her online electronic cigarette store. As it turns out, this service provider was a “low-risk” provider, which are the most common, and e-cigs are a “high-risk” market.

A little background:

Erica has a very successful e-juice brick and mortar store (processing tens of thousands of dollars a month after only eight months — people drive for hours to get her vaping liquids).

She naturally wanted to put their products online and reach a wider audience.

Since her domain was already registered and she had been a happy, faithful customer of the hosting company for many years, she decided to use other services recommended by them.

So, she spent the time required to build her vaping store with her website builder, added their shopping cart, and was excited to finally start selling.

Then the problems piled up:

That’s when she ran into a brick wall. She was turned down for a merchant account — through her hosting company’s recommended provider — for selling e-cigs! She got on the phone only to find that they don’t allow e-cigs to be sold through their shopping cart, nor do they allow similar products on their website builder in the first place. She had never read their terms and conditions and had no idea she couldn’t sell e-juice through her new site.

To say she was confused as to where to go next doesn’t begin to describe her feelings! Emily is now considering other user-friendly site builders, like the super popular and easy to use WordPress platform or one of the many premium e-commerce software we’ve reviewed in order to make it easier for high-risk e-commerce marketers to make the right choice. She is now hard at work rebuilding her website, and was thrilled to hear about all of our solutions – like payment gateways through Network Merchants, Inc (NMI) that are vape friendly and will work seamlessly with her new site!

Get help finding platforms and payment gateway solutions for your high-risk site

We can assist high-risk e-commerce merchants in finding the right solutions for both their payment gateway and merchant account. We offer this service at no charge to you, the merchant, as we receive an incentive from the service providers for finding great clients like you.

There’s no obligation to sign up for any service. We can help by making recommendations, or you could browse our Tips & News section for our reviews to find the best solution for your business. Not only can we connect you to the services you need, but we’ll also help guide you through the setup process step by step so. This way we can minimize mistakes and make sure that you’re ready to sell as soon as the simple process is finished. Now is the time to get started if you want to start selling high-risk products! Contact us using the form below or call us with any questions you might have.