Small Business Saturday: Shop Small, Charge Big vs. Shop Regularly, Pay Cash

Small Business Saturday: Shop Small, Charge Big vs. Shop Regularly, Pay Cash

It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving! Today is the second annual Small Business Saturday where American Express urges people to spend, spend, spend (charge, charge, charge) at small businesses. I can’t help but find it odd that they charge some of the the highest merchant rates to small businesses and are, thus, not accepted at many small businesses.

Small Biz Saturday

American Express says—

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. More than 200 organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. For more info:

What I have to look forward to as a retailer

Today will be a mini pressure campaign as people present their new American Express cards attempting purchase. Sorry, no American Express. That’s why there’s no sign for it on the door, as there is for VISA, MasterCard, and Discover. That’s why there’s a crossed out picture of the American Express logo beneath my “Must be born on or before today’s date in 1990” sign.

Why should I have to increase prices for everyone to pay high AmEx fees just so you can get rewards? Refusing it and keeping prices low for everyone seems so much…smarter.

Just put that American Express away and offer another form of payment.

This isn’t just a campaign to support small business. It’s a social campaign to take American Express to small business.

It’s a rally to the blue-and-white. American Express, your ticket to extraordinary experiences.

This post is my soapbox about American Express’s Small Business SaturdaySM campaign. Yep, they’ve service marked that baby!

To extraordinary experiences, perhaps, but not to good beer. Not at my store.

I asked a financial manager why American Express’s fees are so high for business, in comparison to other credit cards. The response? “American Express is, essentially, an entertainment card. Don’t think of it as a credit card.” The explanation included “because they give big rewards, they charge businesses a slightly higher percentage.”

Shop Small: Small Business EverydayWell, I could increase prices by a percentage to offset the cost of acceptance and processing. But that’d be stupid to penalize other customers just so some could pay with American Express cards.

I’d rather focus on keeping prices low across the board for all than increase prices just to give a cut of the profit to American Express.

If you really want to support small business: Shop regularly.

And if you want to help them cut the bottom line: Pay cash.

A better real slogan for small business:

Small Business Everyday:
Shop Regularly, Pay Cash.

Shop, shop, shop! If it weren’t so early, I’d need a pour.

Later I’ll tell you about the joys of Small Business Saturday 2011. And what pour the day led me to.


4 thoughts on “Small Business Saturday: Shop Small, Charge Big vs. Shop Regularly, Pay Cash

  1. I’d be willing to wager an influx of merchant services calling me next week to pitch me for a change. Maybe this blog wasn’t such a good idea. Next time, I’ll need a pour first. LOL!

  2. I wouldnt mind what the gas stations are doing, giving a discount for cash. I know the services agreement wont let you charge more for using a credit card but you can discount for cash purchases. Messing around at the register with discounts could be insane so I propose a frequent cash buyers card. Punch it every time you make a purchase at your shop with cash. Fill up the card and get something cool. Can I “SM” that?

    1. I’ve been eyeing Belmont Station‘s pricing model. Discounts for purchases made with cash, with dual prices posted on all products. It really gets the shopper thinking when the see a 60-cent savings on a bomber just for paying with cash.

      But the lazy retailer in me says, “whoa! That’s a lot of data to handle!” Two price options. And I’m already behind on data entry and creating new tags. Maybe if my QB POS upgrade can do it with ease, and allow consignment tickets, deposits, gift cards, and other non-discounted items from being affected.

      Sometimes there’s too much “business” in running a beer business!

  3. Oh, and last night’s pour:

    Draft-only, off the CrafTap growler filler– Maui Brewing Co.’S Imperial Coconut Porter. I really liked this a lot. The regular version in the can is like drinking dessert — sweet, chocolate, coffee, toasted coconut. The imperial version (draft-only) has aromas of dark chocolate and toasted coconut (darn aromas wafting into my face everytime I filled a growler, making me hungry! Haha!), with a bigger maltier body, super smooth and bordering silky on the tongue, with an espresso-like coffee that let’s just a kiss of the toasted coconut and dark chocolatey malts shine through. A proper way to end the day.

    First customer paid with cash! #thattaboy!

    First customer to ask to pay with American Express was 4:38PM. Unlike my buddy,Jonathan, who’s first customer paid with American Expensive and told him all about the great things the credit card company is doing by encouraging people to support small businesses one day a year. I can’t help but see it as one big oxymoron.

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