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Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?

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Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 4:52:30 am

Hows it going.

I am in the process of starting a rental company, though there is one thing I am lacking if anyone can help me figure it out.

I will write down the credit card number of the person renting the equipment, and expiration date and name on the credit card, in case I need to charge the amount of the item being rented out if broken.

My questions are,

1. How will I actually charge the card the amount of the item if item is broken or lost?
2. How can I verify the person has sufficient credit on the card prior to renting it out?

As a business owner, I need to be able to do this.

I have never charged a person's credit card for anything before, so please any info would be appreciated.

Thanks!




Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
http://www.newelementproductions.com
Film-Maker/ Blu-ray Author/ Compositor


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Steve Wargo
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 5:43:03 am

Do you have a merchant account? it doesn't appear so. You cannot charge a person's card unless you are an authorized merchant, signed up with a bank. Talk to someone at your bank. Also, ask about taking cards over the phone and over the internet. It's all different processes and companies.

When you get your company going, your rental contract will have to have a clause that contains an agreement that the renter will be liable for damage or loss. A rental company here in Phoenix allowed us to use their contract word for word and it has helped us a lot.

Lastly, there is a software program written specifically for video rental companies. Look into it.

The first people you need to hire are: an attorney, an accountant, and an insurance person.

What, exactly, do you plan on having in your inventory?

Good luck.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1.


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Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 6:01:26 am

Hows it going, its simply my personal film equipment to rent out when not in use by me, to make money instead of letting gear sit there.

Good idea, asking the bank is a good start. I hope being a "merchant" isn't too costly that I end up losing money if gear just sits around too much.

I don't plan on accepting cards over the internet or phone, just in person upon rentals. Thanks for the info on the contract as well, I never even thought about that.

I won't actually hire anyone, it would just be me, an on call type of business when people may need gear, p2 camera, steadicam, tripods, light kits, etc, I don't own those things yet I own much less professional equipment but I can even rent those out if needed. I just want to be ready in case I do wish to invest then rent out gear.

Hey about that rental contract, how much would you charge me to email me a contract so I can have a starting point for a template? I simply can't afford to go to a lawyer and if necessary may just write one from scratch.

Thanks!

Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
http://www.newelementproductions.com
Film-Maker/ Blu-ray Author/ Compositor


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Steve Wargo
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 8, 2008 at 6:45:59 am

[Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez] "how much would you charge me to email me a contract"

Here's the deal. You make a donation of $25 or more to the Make a Wish Foundation and I'll send you an electronic version of my contract.





Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1.


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Rick Dolishny
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 2:59:34 pm

Going into the rental business is a full time endeavor. I wouldn't recommend it.

By all means rent a camera to a local DOP or shooter you know for quick ENG or corporates for sure, but it's a tough business.

You mentioned elsewhere you can't afford a lawyer. I'd argue you can't afford not to. Lawyers are pay as you go hired guns, if you can scrap together $100 you can talk to a lawyer, or take advantage of a first-free-consultation. In the world of business (which I'll bundle the COW Business forum into) you might not want to be so vocal about not being able to afford professional advice! :)

PS I like your site. What are you using for your Blu-Ray authoring?


---
Rick Dolishny
Discrete Editors COW Leader
http://www.thecreativeprocess.ca


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Mark Suszko
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 3:27:09 pm

Listen to Rick.

One way that some people use to be able to take credit cards, without a merchant account is to use PayPal. The customer uses their credit card to pay into a paypal account and you draw that out. Not quite as handy as being able to run a credit card directly, but simpler than some other methods of payment. Read the fine print at their site to see what is and is not protected, and how things work.

I find I now use PayPal more than a regular credit card for my online transactions, and have never had a problem getting a payment either. In some cases, it's more fraud-proof than taking a guy's personal check. And you get an electronic audit trail for records purposes.

Perhaps this will work for you as your "starter system" for managing payments and billings until you develop the business a little more.


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Emre Tufekci
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 8, 2008 at 12:46:59 am

On top of everything said, you have to consider loss and fraud. A company I rent from (with +5mil in inventory and 15 years of experience) just got hit by scam artists and lost a 200K camera package. Insurance did not cover them for the loss. They are out that amount.



Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avidexpress HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe Premium CS3.Gspeed ES.Steadicam OP/Owner.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


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Steve Wargo
Re: Starting a rental company. Securing deposits with Credit Cards or Pay Pal?
on Feb 8, 2008 at 6:49:27 am

[Emre Tufekci] "Insurance did not cover them for the loss. They are out that amount. "

Why were they not covered by their insurance? We have a clause in our policy that covers us because of fraud. Maybe that's not a normal thing to have. I'll have to discuss it with my business manager when we wake up tomorrow.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1.


Return to posts index

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