It is a rare that it makes sense to lease a credit card terminal. If you are dealing with a reputably merchant service company you can purchase credit card terminal for way less than leasing. The leasing company is not the real problem; it is the merchant service company that “sells” the lease. What most people / business owners do not realize is that the leasing companies are nothing more than a financing company for the merchant service provider who uses them to help place terminals. In theory, if a business can not afford or have the capital to out lay for the equipment then the “leasing” company pays the merchant service provider the funds. The leasing company collects payments to earn back what they paid to the merchant service provider. In most cases the leases are set up for a 48 month term. The leasing company could care less if they receive the equipment before the end of the term, because they paid out funds to the merchant service provider. They cannot resale the equipment for anything close to what they paid merchant service provider. This is where the problem is, the merchant service provider is who is bring the leasing company to the table. The merchant service provider in reality earns a big commission from the deal. The merchant service provider will earn more money if you lease the equipment. For example let say the lease payment is at $35 (this is a low payment, I seen some as high as $99) for 48 months, that is $1,680 you would pay for the equipment. The merchant service provider probably paid less than $300 for the equipment and earned a commission for over $1000. Also the $35 does not include taxes the leasing company will collect from you and insurance that they will mandate and the intangible tax. To end the lease, you have to make all payments and then return the equipment back to the leasing company. That right you do not own the equipment. You can keep the equipment if you purchase it from the leasing company after the 48 month. It called a residual value. Most of the time the factor is 10% of the aggregate of the payments. In the above example you will need to fork over around $200 to now own the equipment. Also one other note, the leasing company will not remind you that you completed the term, because you have not until all payments are made and the equipment is returned. YOU have to initiate the return to end the lease and payments. I have seen situation where some were still paying after 8 years. No one told them. Beware when you call in the leasing company will try and talk you out of it by saying something like, if the equipment breaks while leasing we will replace it. Let me tell you from experience you will pay hell getting them to make good on that. The other thing they might offer is a new lease and equipment. DON’T DO IT!!!
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