Before you are allowed to sell these items online, you must have a valid merchant processing account. This enables you to accept credit card payments online. Your merchant account processor handles the interaction with American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa ensuring you receive your payments on a timely basis. There is a fee for this type of service, so make sure you research your options carefully. Because of the restrictions with prescription medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins, any merchant account will be considered high risk. You face much higher service fees and charge back penalties, so it can help to search for the lowest service plan.
Once you set up your online store, you will have to set up a secure shopping cart script. Many internet web-hosting providers have this script available if you ask. Most programs offer you two ways to process the credit cards. With manual processing, the customer enters their credit card information and it is encrypted and sent in an email to your email. You verify the information is accurate, that the card expiration date is legitimate, and that the prescription information is authentic. If you have any questions, you can call the doctor listed on the prescription in order to protect yourself from prescription fraud. After you have ensured everything is correct, you log into your merchant account and enter the credit card charge so that it can be processed. This method helps to prevent certain types of charge backs caused by expired credit cards or forged prescriptions.
The other credit card processing option involves having the information sent directly to your merchant processing account as soon as the customer submits his or her order. The credit card may still be declined, but you lack the control to verify information yourself. It is often best to have the extra step for verifying orders, especially if you are selling prescriptions. It may not be as critical with vitamins or herbal supplements.
With many drug dealers tapping into the market for illegal prescription drugs, it is important to be extremely cautious. The last thing you want is to go to jail. Prescription medications like codeine, Demerol, morphine, oxycodone, pentobarbital sodium, Ritalin, Valium, Vicodin, and Xanax are all sought after drugs with today’s teenagers and some adults. Depressants, pain relievers, and stimulants are key drugs for some and theft of these drugs is reaching record highs. Drug dealers have learned there is a huge market for prescription drugs and besides physical break-ins of pharmacies; they are also learning to create false prescriptions with online pharmaceutical websites. They purchase the pills and then turn around and sell them for a hefty profit. This is one reason why it is important to make sure you are verifying any prescription with the actual doctor. Failure to do so can lead to your business being shut down. If you manage to stay open, you may find yourself blacklisted from many credit card processing companies and that can be detrimental to your business.
There is incredible money in the vitamin and pharmaceutical business through the internet, so it pays to look into this market. Providing you are cautious and set firm policies before opening your e-commerce marketplace, you will have no problem pulling in customers and staying on the good side of the law.