Stripe and PayPal alternatives for pipe and glassware sites –
Selling pipes and glassware online is on the rise in the U.S. today. There’s been a surge in new web site owners entering the market, looking for a smoking site payment gateway. Luckily, there has been an equally significant surge in the number of consumers looking to buy their water pipes, bowls, bangers, grinders, and other smoking accessories online. Business is booming for smoke site owners… as long as they can find a dependable, compatible payment gateway to accept credit cards.
Unfortunately, many new online head shop owners don’t know that they’re considered high-risk. As a consequence, business owners often choose one of the most well-known gateways: PayPal or Stripe. This is not an ideal solution for a lot of folks selling glassware and smoking accessories. We’ll explain the risk to your business if you do not set up appropriate processing, and what the best payment gateway alternatives are.
Stripe and PayPal are great – just not for everyone
To be clear, both Stripe and PayPal are excellent companies, with solid reputations and are great fits for most business types. But, they do not work with all business types. Stripe for example, as of the writing of this article lists “bongs, vaporizers, and hookahs” as “restricted by their financial partners.” This means, in all likelihood, they are not a good fit for your online head shop. Shopify Payments generally follows the exact same set of restrictions, and, also as of today’s date, PayPal’s acceptable use policies are not too different themselves. If you are unsure, it is always wise to read their terms and conditions yourself or better yet have them reviewed by a qualified attorney.
What products are prohibited by Stripe/Shopify Payments and PayPal?
Acceptable use, restricted use, and prohibited activity policies change regularly so we have linked to the major player’s policies below.
- You can view PayPal’s policy here
- You can view Stripe’s acceptable use policy here and
- Shopify Payment’s separate policy page here
At Tasker Payment Gateways LLC, we provide merchant account and high-risk payment gateway recommendations along with setup assistance for high-risk businesses. We’ve been helping site owners with payment processing advice since 2002, and we’re always looking for the best way for website owners to accept credit cards.
This time around, we want to give you some alternative ways to accept debit and credit card payments for your pipe and glassware products. If you already know you want help accepting cards, simply get in touch with us here. If you’d like to learn a little more about pipe and glassware payments, please keep reading below.
What are PayPal & Stripe, and why are they sometimes a bad fit for pipes and glass?
We want to address this clearly and quickly for new pipe and glassware site owners because PayPal and Stripe are not necessarily ideal payment processing choices for you.
This is because Stripe and PayPal are, in their most common forms, referred to as “payment aggregators” or “payment facilitators.”
Payment aggregators don’t work like standard payment gateways and processors. As a result, aggregators offer payment processing set-ups a bit quicker than the standard merchant accounts or payment gateways we recommend. The downside is that there often isn’t as serious a pre-approval underwriting process as there would be with a traditional high-risk processing gateway combo. This may mean that the risk analysts at Stripe or PayPal won’t understand or appreciate the particulars of your business type until it’s too late
In other words, when you inevitably come across problems, like selling a prohibited product, for example, payment aggregators like Stripe and PayPal have very few options for dealing with these issues. If your product is clearly one of their prohibited products, then they are practically restricted to either freeze funds or shut down accounts entirely.
This is not because it’s the ideal way to resolve the problems, but instead because it’s the only route for them to take to mitigate risk. To be fair to both PayPal and Stripe, this is rarely an issue for most site owners. However, as a business person selling pipe and glassware products, you’re selling a potentially regulated product, and as such, are considered a “high-risk merchant.” This designation means you will inevitably experience some challenges with Stripe and Paypal that other, more traditional, site owners won’t.
Payment gateways for pipe & glassware sites
As a pipe and glassware site owner, you need processing alternatives that specialize in payments for your products. You need both a high-risk merchant account and a high-risk friendly payment gateway, preferably sold together, fully integrated, and “ready to go” day one.
While many businesses go directly to a payment gateway to get set up, you really should take extra precautions. This is because you’re a high-risk merchant and you need to have the backend of the processor set up correctly for high-risk processing.
We are happy to help you with this, as we’ve been assisting high-risk merchants with vetted merchant account ideas and payment gateway recommendations since 2002.
With our experience and insights into the high-risk processing industry, we’ll be able to set you up with a head shop friendly combination. As a result, you can get the ideal processor setup with low rates and safe and stable processing for the long haul. If you want payment gateway help right away, you can contact us here.
Top 2 payment gateway alternatives to PayPal & Stripe for smoking accessories
There are plenty of excellent high-risk payment gateways, software, and platforms that work for high-risk sites in general. However, let’s look at some combinations that work correctly for your business type.
If you’re looking to sell pipe and glassware products online successfully, you’ll need to find the right e-commerce platform. However, you’ll also want to make sure it’s possible to integrate a high-risk payment gateway when using that platform. Let’s start by looking at payment gateway alternatives for the sale of pipes and glassware products.
Authorize.Net and online pipe and glassware sales
Authorize.Net is one of our most frequently recommended payment gateways, as it’s very robust, stable, and well suited for high-risk e-commerce. An added benefit of Authorize.Net is that it’s simple for us to help you integrate it with many high profile e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify.
Authorize.Net is great for Shopify high-risk e-commerce, and it can give you an e-commerce site that’s fully functional and easy to maintain. You need to make sure that the payment gateway is integrated correctly though, and that it is high-risk friendly during the backend setup process. This is our area of expertise, and we’re always available to help and offer free, no-obligation advice. Feel free to contact us at any time. We can recommend a high-risk merchant account, and help ensure that your payment processing is ready to weather your processing needs for a long time to come.
Using NMI for pipe and glassware sites
NMI is another one of our preferred high-risk payment gateways. It offers some unique features that you can benefit significantly from. It can do wonders for your business when paired with a high-risk merchant account. However, to benefit the most from this combination, you really ought to seek processing assistance from someone like us.
We’ve been recommending NMI and helping high-risk merchants set up their NMI accounts and integrating them with merchant accounts for a long time. We know what’s needed, and we can make the whole process painless and straightforward — added to the fact that we can offer free and no-obligation set-up advice, you stand to gain when using NMI for your pipe and glassware site.
Another great aspect of NMI is that you can use fantastic platforms like BigCommerce and WordPress (with WooCommerce) for your pipe and glassware site. The NMI with WooCommerce combination is handy for high-risk merchants. Similarly, BigCommerce with an NMI setup is extremely useful for merchants selling high-risk products.
Other processing and platform alternatives for pipe and glassware site owners – Wix and Squarespace
We want to briefly mention two other solutions that we offer pipe friendly payment gateways for – Wix and Squarespace.
Squarespace is a compelling and flexible e-commerce platform that can become high-risk friendly with the right setup and combination. We found that Foxy is the best solution for making Squarespace a viable alternative for high-risk merchants. We can help you set up to sell pipe and glassware products using a combination of NMI and Foxy.io with Squarespace. Similar to Squarespace, we have also had great success working with Wix merchants that have an online headshop- we use a similar Foxy workaround for Wix.
Contact us for expert help throughout the process
There are plenty of great alternatives for selling your pipe and glassware products. You don’t have to use PayPal and Stripe; other great options are both safer and more robust for long term high-risk sales.
If you need help assessing your unique high-risk business and finding great payment gateway alternatives, get in touch with us below. We’re also more than happy to provide merchant account and processing recommendations. We look forward to helping your business sell safely and successfully online.