FAQ / Knowledge Base -- Processing Equipment, Shopping Carts, Gateways & Software -- Buying Credit Card Machines and Terminals on Ebay
Buying Credit Card Machines and Terminals on Ebay
Ebay is a great outlet when shopping for a credit card machine, but there are things you must consider before you make a purchase.
Merchant Service Provider Advertisements - Many of the lowest priced credit card machines for sale on Ebay are being sold by merchant service providers. These providers will only honor the low advertised price if you also sign up for their merchant account services.
Credit card machines are similar to cellular phones in the way that it is cheaper to purchase them with service than without. A merchant service provider will often have two prices for the same terminal; a "with service price" that is offered if you will be signing up for a merchant account, and a "without service price" that is offered if you will be purchasing the equipment only. The price that merchant service providers advertise on Ebay and elsewhere is the lower "with service price".
Reprogramming Expense - If you purchase a credit card machine on Ebay, you may have to pay a reprogramming fee to a merchant service provider when you sign up for a merchant account. A reprogramming fee can off-set any potential savings from purchasing a machine on Ebay. Programming fees are usually not charged when you purchase equipment from the provider where you will also be getting a merchant account.
Many credit card machines end up for sale on Ebay because they are obsolete. Many different factors can contribute to a credit card machine being obsolete, and many of these machines are purchased on Ebay by unsuspecting merchants. When purchasing a credit card machine on Ebay you should make sure that the machine is still usable, and that it is compatible with the merchant service provider that you plan to use.
Sufficient Memory - Before purchasing a credit card machine of Ebay make sure that it has at least 512K of memory. Credit card machines are like computers in the way that they have static memory that is measured in increments of 128 kilobytes. The static memory in a credit card machine is used to store merchant account information, as well as transaction and processing data. The program that is loaded in to a credit card machine takes up a good portion of a machine's memory. This program is what lets the machine know who to call for an authorization, where to deposit funds, as well as other important functions. The remainder of the memory is used to store transaction information in something called a batch. Different processors build programs of varying sizes, and as VISA and MasterCard change processing regulations credit card machines will need to hold more and more information. Many credit card machines for sale on Ebay only have 256K of memory, and they cannot store a workable amount of transaction information.
Platform Compatibility - Before purchasing a credit card machine on Ebay make sure that it is compatible with the platform that your merchant service provider operates on. Different credit card processors operate on different platforms. Check with your merchant service provider to find out which platform they use before buying a credit card machine so that you can be sure the machine you purchase will work with your provider.
Wireless provider compatibility - Wireless credit card machines require a compatible processor platform as well as a compatible wireless service provider. Before purchasing a wireless credit card machine on Ebay, ask the seller for the serial number and model number of the terminal, and give this information to your provider so that they may confirm that the machine is compatible with their service.
Warranty- Credit card machines that are purchased on Ebay from private sellers do not have a warranty. If the machine were to break down the cost of repairing it would come out of your pocket.
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