Pennsylvania alone has more than 1400 Christmas tree farms totaling about 31,000 acres and producing one million cut trees each year. Farmers plant 3 saplings for every cut tree so their business is sustainable, and each cut tree is 100% recyclable. There’s always a big demand for Christmas trees but it’s a short selling window. Farmers might start selling to retailers they contract with by mid-November and throughout early December they will sell to fund raising groups and right up to December 24th they are conducting face-to-face sales with individual Christmas tree customers. That small, tight profit window may be the reason some are afraid to deal with credit card processing for their customers. While the window is small, the profits can be considerable. Prices vary by location and tree size but if each tree sold averages $50. Given the number of trees on a typical tree farm, that’s potentially good money for each farmer. But how can you be sure to get your share when there’s so much competition?
An Edge Over Cash Only Competition
Processing credit cards is a good place to start, along with an advertising campaign announcing your intent. You may have other business operations in addition to christmas sales where processing credit cards would help increase your profits and customer service. Perhaps you sell trees to landscapers and private homeowners year around for their property. But even if it’s just for that six to eight week season you can increase your profits. Choose the right merchant service and your application and set up will be at no charge. You may need only a wireless mobile processor that works with your smartphone. You can use it in the field when customers choose their tree, with the truck driver selling a load of trees or in your sales barn. If you’re selling trees year-round and have other products you sell on site you might want to use the small key pad terminal in your sales barn. It’s easy to use for face=to=face transactions at a stationary sales counter. If you sell products online, you will benefit from having a payment gateway where you can take orders on your website and accept credit cards as payment.
How Can Credit Card Processing Increase Profits?
Consumers today often tend to carry very little cash and prefer to make most of their purchases using a credit card. It’s convenient, safe, and keeps track of spending. If cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone for good. If a credit card is lost or stolen the cardholder is quickly issued a new card, the old one is immediately frozen and any unauthorized purchases are absorbed by the issuing bank. If you process credit cards and the tree farmer five miles away does not, that buyer is likely to buy from you. But if your competition takes credit cards, and you don’t then you are probably losing business to them. It’s a fact, statistically speaking, that when paying with a credit card a customer will typically spend more. So if Dad is looking at a 5’ tree and the kids are begging for the big 7’ tree, Dad is more likely to wind up spending the extra for the bigger tree if he is paying with a credit card. Maybe mom says she needs a couple of wreaths and she’d really like a 24’ garland for the porch rail. Because they’re paying with a credit card they can make the decision to buy those extras from you. Add a few pumpkin donuts and cups of hot chocolate and your customer may have just spent twice as much as they would have paying cash. If you sell trees year round for homeowners and landscapers, the tendency to buy more and/or bigger is there. The money spent at your tree farm is guaranteed safe and will be in your account within 3 days. You will have a complete and accurate record of each transaction ready for budgeting and tax purposes.
For more information on credit card processing for tree growers, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.