Sometimes you are at an event or party and the consultant will not let you pay by credit card. It can be a real hassle and sometimes cause the cancellation of the sale. But, the consultant likely is not turning you down out of spite; there is likely a valid reason why they cannot accept a credit card payment.
Credit Card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Cannot process – The main reason that a consultant will not accept your credit card is that they do not have a way to process it. Not all companies will put cards through and therefore the consultant needs to get their own account. This is not always possible or worth the cost.
Fees – Due to the fees associated with credit card payments, some consultants have a minimum purchase required to pay with a credit card. The fees assessed vary from a percentage per transaction, a flat fee, or even a combination of both.
American Express – A consultant may accept Visa and MasterCard but not accept American Express. This is due to additional steps to get approved for American Express as well as additional fees for processing these cards. As they do not tend to be as popular, not as many people bother getting setup to accept them.
Trade Shows – There are many consultants that will accept credit cards at parties but will not accept them at trade shows. This is due to the fact that you take the product home with you at the event and if your card is declined, the consultant may not be able to collect the funds owing. Some consultants have started to get accounts where they can get instant approval through their Smartphone but depending on their credit card processor, this may not be an option.
While it can be frustrating not to be able to use your credit card, there are many valid reasons why it may not be accepted.
As a direct seller can write off any business related expenses, you may want to give them something that does not relate to their business. Here are my suggestions of items that I would like to receive but I know that not everyone will agree. Consider the recipient and what they may or may not like.
Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Massage – Working as a direct seller is hard work and can cause a person to tense up. A massage is a great way to relax and let those muscles loosen up. If you are not sure if your recipient has had a massage before, it may be best to start with one for half an hour. Provide a gift certificate that is good for a massage at whatever salon or business you select.
Manicure/Pedicure – For some, this is the ultimate when it comes to indulgence. If you know that the person you are buying for has a preference of where to go, make sure you purchase this service there. If you do not know, ask around. Chances are someone in your circle knows of a good place they can recommend. Depending on your budget, go with a manicure first and a pedicure second if you can afford both. Remember that some people do not like having their feet touched.
Babysit – If the direct seller you know has kids offer to babysit them one night so that she can go out and enjoy herself. She may already be paying a babysitter when she is doing events and cannot justify a babysitter to go out and enjoy herself. Take this out of her hands by offering to babysit so she can spend time with whomever.
Items from Other Direct Sellers – Quite often, people will see items that they want from other direct sellers but they do not purchase them for a variety of reasons. This can be a great way to find a gift for your friend. Discover which companies they like and then purchase something. Many will offer a gift list registry if requested.
Filing your federal tax return is probably either your favorite time of year or a tedious task that depletes your savings account. If you’re self-employed, you may have already figured out that you can deduct all sorts of things when April rolls around. Independent contractors who work in direct sales enjoy many different benefits at tax time, including deductions for business-related expenses and the ability to write off debts from self-employment. Make sure that you only deduct applicable expenses if you don’t want to find your tax return on the local auditor’s desk.
Don’t Get Greedy
Make sure you’re only claiming real deductions as you fill out your federal return. It’s okay to claim meal expenses and mileage for some professions, but review current IRS rules first. Auditors are said to have a strong interest in returns filled with deductions, so keep that in mind before you take off a few bucks for that lunch at Applebee’s.
Don’t Tell Them More Than They Need to Know
When you file a federal return, there’s no reason to mail in receipts or a copy of your self-employment earnings. If the IRS wants this info, they’ll ask for it. Don’t trigger an audit by offering extra documents or information.
Don’t File Too Early or Too Late
Self-employed folks should avoid filing on the first day of tax season or preparing a return long after April 15th has passed. Play it safe and file in February or March with the majority of the other taxpayers. Avoid doing anything to call attention to your return, like requesting extension after extension or amending it at the last possible minute.
Tax time is never fun, but it’s even more stressful if your expenses are audited. Play by the rules and keep an eye on your deductions to avoid receiving an unexpected letter from the IRS months after submitting your return.