Introduction to Reselling, Part 3
Ok, so you’ve done some research on how to resell hosting decided you actually want to start your own mini-web hosting company within ours. So, what’s it gonna cost?
Getting Their Money
You don’t have to have a business bank account if you don’t make a whole lot of money to start out – but it helps.
First, it keeps your personal finances and your business finances separate, which makes life much easier at tax time. Secondly, it might not cost you all that much because a lot of banks are offering free business checking and if you don’t have a lot of activity, you’ll probably qualify for one of the free bank accounts.
You’ll also need a merchant account and gateway – many of them come bundled. e-onlinedata will get you the merchant account and id, and will settle the money into your bank account. As you can imagine, there are lots of fees involves with being a business that takes credit cards:
- DBA – at the very least, you’ll need to register your business as a DBA in your area so you can get a bank account with a business name instead of “Tom Jones”, or whatever your name is. (Business types are beyond the scope of this article). There are usually small fees associated with this.
- Bank Account – hopefully, you’ll get a free business checking account.
- The set up fee for your gateway/merchant account – through us, it’s $79.00
Recurring fees that you’re going to pay are:
- Us, for your reseller’s account.
- $10 monthly service fee for your merchant processing (if you go through us)
- $.30 per transaction for each charge or credit or hold you perform.
- $25 or 2.29% (qualified transactions) of your charges for the month, whichever is greater
Now, obviously, since this is our web site we want you to use our stuff and those are the fees that we used. If you don’t want to use what we offer, a simple Google search will bring you to a plethora of other options, but we can gather from the above that for processing transactions and setting yourself up as professionally as possible, it’ll cost you roughly $100 to get started, and it will cost you roughly $50 a month (more if you are successful) as far as an investment before we add any software or additional services into the mix.
The alternative, of course, is PayPal. PayPal doesn’t require a set up fee, DBA, business bank account, or any of those types of things, and it is less expensive when you have a lesser volume. The drawback to using PayPal exclusively for payments is that as a merchant, you have both less control and less rights, as they are not a bank. There have been stories of PayPal freezing money in people’s PayPal accounts due to a dispute or yanking accounts altogether – and should that happen, your business is dead in the water. (There’s more than one reason that we choose to use our PayPal payments for do-gooding besides the fact that we like being do-gooders).
There is also the fact that a “business” that doesn’t take the time to set up the ability to directly accept credit cards does look less professional – web hosting is not really an industry like auctions, for example, where that is the norm.
Whether you can “get away with it” is going to entirely depend upon the market that you are targeting and whether they will see PayPal only as an acceptable limitation, and whether you find the lack of control over those payments and a third parties’ ability to come in and take it from you at any without at any time an acceptable risk to your business. Personally, we see PayPal as a fine alternative option adjunctive to traditional merchant card acceptance, but not ok for a sole option – but that’s just us.
OK, so now we have the ability to take money from clients – always a good thing if you’re trying to make a go of a business. How to keep track of who you’re charging what? In our next section, we’ll go over your billing options and integration with your gateway, what the start up costs are for that, and what software we recommend to get you started.