Team Bio Series — Linda Leewaye (The SEO Queen)

On this week’s episode of “Meet The Merchant Maverick Team,” we’ll be exploring the life and times of Linda Leewaye, our newest Maverick. Linda is an SEO expert and an Idaho potato who currently hangs out in sunny California. But what makes Linda Leewaye really tick? Let’s read on to find out!

Name: Linda Leewaye

Title: Digital Marketing Manager

Hometown: Boise, ID

Current city: Temecula, CA

Education and background: Bachelors in Communication, Emphasis in Public Relations, from Boise State University

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Proudest professional moment: Organizing an Aveda Earth Month Trashion Show charity event with my PRSSA group and donating the money to a clean water initiative for those who don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: The opportunity to work with the friendliest people on the planet and work from anywhere is a dream come true.

What do you do when you’re not working?: Obsess over the latest superhero movie and play games with my friends.

What movie character do you identify most with and why?: Batman. In all honesty, I am not as cool as he is, I just wish I was! I appreciate his crazy ninja moves and detective skills to go with it…along with the billions of dollars from the Wayne family fortune.

Favorite song: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Favorite ‘80s movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

What is your ideal midnight snack?: Digging into a bag of Kettle Brand’s jalapeno chips

What skill have you always wanted to learn?: Playing the guitar

If you could travel to any time period to live forever, where/when would it be?: The Egyptian Era, so I could cure my innate curiosity of how the pyramids were built.

Mac or Windows?: Windows

You’re given an unlimited budget to travel. Where do you go? For how long?: I’d travel closer to the North Pole so I catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! And after that, I’d go to every tropical island on the face of the earth to thaw out. Then, I’d backpack around Italy, Spain, and France, seeing as many cathedrals and monuments as I can. I’d love to travel as much as possible and for as long as possible — well, until I become unbearably homesick and miss the States!

We’re so pleased to have Linda on the team now — not only because her SEO skills are lifting us to new heights, but because it’s nice to have another superhero-loving geek in our posse. We look forward to many future hang-outs together, getting the Led out and watching a little pre-ruined Indiana Jones. Linda, you bring the Kettle chips.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

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Team Bio Series — Rosie Holman (The Minimalist)

This week on “meet the Merchant Maverick team,” we’re getting a crash course on Rosie Holman, everyone’s favorite minimalist. When she’s not making merchant accounts providers cry with her pithy, concise reviews or listening to moral philosophy podcasts, Rosie is singing with her family band. But what else is she up to? Read on to find out.

Name: Rose Holman

Title: Merchant Accounts Writer

Hometown: I lived in a foggy beachside suburb of San Francisco called Pacifica until I was 13. That probably counts as a hometown, even though I’ve only been back once since then.

Current city: Portland, OR

Education and background: After earning a BA in biology and an MA in teaching, I taught high school science for a couple years before I had kids. Although I never went back to full-time teaching, most of my work and volunteer roles have involved some sort of teaching component. Even when writing for Merchant Maverick, I find it scratches the educator itch.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I mostly write reviews of merchant account providers. Frankly, I’m shocked some of them are still in business! I’m also the company’s resident over-thinker. I was coronated via crown-emoji in Slack the other day, so I think the title’s official. Just when you think we’ve resolved an issue, I’ll find another detail to consider.

Proudest professional moment: A proud moment from my teaching days was when my sophomores were presenting their big, end-of-the-year biology experiments. Two teams had run essentially the same experiment, but with very different results. I was all geared up to capitalize on the “teachable moment” and explain why this can happen to real-life scientists, too. Instead, completely unbidden, the second group proposed several excellent reasons for the variation, and then went on to explain how they’d design a new experiment to test their theory. They became real-life mini-scientists right before my eyes! I was beaming.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Any time a merchant account provider alters a significant part of its website because they’ve read my review and taken the constructive criticism both seriously and graciously. I think that’s actually part of why we’re here — not only to write unbiased reviews, but to motivate companies (and even entire industries) to up their games.

What do you do when you’re not working?: I manage the Airbnb room in our house, which I guess may technically still count as working. When I’m definitely not working, I enjoy reading, or distracting myself from the pain of exercising by listening to thought-provoking podcasts. Our family of four also have a little folk band of sorts, so there’s always a lot of music in our house.

What fictional character do you identify most with and why?: I’m going with Jane Eyre, since I remember relating to her when I first read the book as a girl. We do have some basic things in common — the whole teaching thing, plus a general stubbornness and an irritatingly overdeveloped sense of right and wrong.

Favorite song: Do people really have one definitive, all-time-favorite song? I’m more of an artist or whole album sort of gal, and even that’s a tough choice. For the sake of following the rules, I’ll pick Sister Winter by Sufjan Stevens. Just the right blend of melancholy and hope in that one, and my son sings a killer harmony part.

Favorite ‘90s movie: Whew, at least we’ve narrowed this one down to a decade. After multiple rounds of minimalism-inspired purging, I still own a DVD copy of 1993’s fantasy rom-com Heart and Souls, staring pre-meltdown Robert Downy, Jr. and a pretty decent ensemble cast. As I reviewer, I must warn you: 6.9 stars on IMDb, 55% on Rotten Tomatoes.

What is your ideal breakfast?: I’m not picky, as long as it’s late. Two hours after I wake up seems about right. Apologies to the most important meal of the day, but the thought of eating food directly after waking makes me nauseous.

What US State have you always wanted to visit?: New York. And now I’m extra motivated because the enigmatic and elusive Tom DeSimone lives there.

If you could travel to any time period and observe, where would it be?: Because I grew up in church, I think I’m obligated to say “biblical times.” Still, I think it’d be pretty neat.

Mac or Windows?: Mac.

You’re given an unlimited budget to build a house. What’s inside? Where is it?: Since becoming a minimalist, I’ve always wanted to try living in a tiny house. An unlimited budget gives this a fun twist, so let’s say it’s a souped-up tiny house — lots of energy-saving features, custom modular furniture, and high-end finishes. The location wouldn’t matter, because it would be movable!

What can we say about Rosie Holman that she hasn’t already said herself? Anyone who can admit openly to an affinity with Jane Eyre has earned their official overthinker crown in our book. And why not? This team needs a little overthinking sometimes. We’re looking forward to visiting Rosie’s AirBnB after her inevitable stint on Tiny House, Big Living, but we’ll make sure to show up well after breakfast.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

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Team Bio Series — Jessica Dinsmore (The Old Woman In The Shoe)

This week, we’re continuing our Merchant Maverick team interview series with Jessica Dinsmore, our favorite customer service rep. Jessica supports our team in virtually every possible way, but she’s so much more than just a de facto office manager and internet troll-slayer. She’s also a bargain shopper who thinks Costco would be a fun destination for a no-holds-barred shopping spree. She’s weird, in fact, which means she fits right in here. Read on for a more in-depth look at what Jessica brings to the table.

Name: Jessica Dinsmore

Title: Girl Friday

Hometown: I spent my younger years in Southern California, but I consider my hometown to be the small farming community of Canby, Oregon.

Current city: Canby, Oregon

Education and background: I studied Real Estate Law at Portland Community College, and worked in residential and commercial real estate for several years, both as a broker and an assistant.  I also spent nearly a decade in healthcare administration and employee staffing.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Customer Support, administrative support, and just about anything that isn’t writing reviews. I work behind the scenes doing outreach, blog moderation, responding to reader comments and emails, updating links and lots more.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Craigslist!  Honestly, I thought the opportunity was too good to be true, and therefore a scam.  Shortly after I was hired, I met our managing editor, Julie, for coffee in real life, and she confirmed that the company was, in fact, both legit and amazing.

Proudest professional moment: I think it was probably closing my first real estate deal. Finally getting paid for months of work and out of pocket expenses felt pretty great. However, I now feel more pride working for Merchant Maverick. It is really an incredible company.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Meeting our team in real life, after months of co-working remotely, and realizing what a genuinely bright and interesting group of people I work with!

What do you do for fun?: I love interior design and bargain shopping! I’m a sucker for a good deal.  If you compliment me on something, I will most likely respond enthusiastically with how little I paid for said item. The better the deal, the more I enjoy it.

What literary character do you identify most with and why? Does the old woman who lived in a shoe count? Just the first two lines, I promise! I’m a tired mama; it’s relatable.

Favorite movie: That’s too hard!  I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but I did enjoy Amelie, and Fiddler on the roof is a classic.

Favorite ‘90s song: Strangelove by Depeche Mode, though it is technically from the late 80’s, I didn’t hear it until the 90’s, so I’ve decided it qualifies.

What would you eat for your last meal?: Avocado Eggs Benedict and/or all the side dishes from a traditional Thanksgiving feast… plus wine and cookies.

What place have you always wanted to live?: Switzerland seems like a good choice; happiest place to live in the world!

If you could have lunch with any person, past or present, who would it be?: My dad.

Mac or Windows?: Windows

You’re given an unlimited budget at one retail store. Where do you go? What do you buy?: The obvious and practical choice would be Costco. I’d literally buy multiples of everything!

Well, there you have it. Jessica Dinsmore: Craigslist-answerer, avocado lover, bargain shopper-extraordinaire. Despite her claims otherwise, Jessica is neither old nor a shoe-dweller, and our team is so much richer because of her (our comment boards are sure less intimidating).

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

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Team Bio Series — Matt Sherman (Recovering Music Snob)

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For the next stop in our tour of the Merchant Maverick virtual office we’ll be talking to Matt Sherman, our resident head of point of sale. Matt is an old-school sports journalist who stoically watched the print industry implode before joining the MM team. But, apart from his willingness to go down with burning ships, what else does this life-long Oregonian bring to the table? Let’s read on, shall we?

Name: Matthew Sherman

Title: Head Writer for Point of Sale

Hometown: West Linn, Oregon

Current city: Gladstone, Oregon

Education and background: I spent two years at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego before graduating with a BA in English from the University of Oregon. I then spent about 14 years as a writer and sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers where I had a unique front-row seat to the print industry’s spectacular demise.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Point of sale

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: I have known Julie (one of the site’s editors) for the vast majority of my life, being friends with her older brother and attending the same church/piano recitals she did. When the newspapers and I decided to make a conscious uncoupling from each other, she contacted me.

Proudest professional moment: Covering the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania when one of our local teams qualified was a big highlight.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: I haven’t been here too long but the meet-up in Palm Springs was fantastic. In terms of actual work output, I get a thrill from successfully shaking off requests from pesky vendors. I’ve also liked being able to respond to questions from people who are directly in the market for a point of sale system. With each passing day I feel like less and less of a fraud here.

What do you do for fun?: When you have two young, hyperactive boys, hobbies tend to take a back seat. I write a little bit and enjoy getting together with friends for board games. Evenings are generally spent on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or Amazon trying desperately to make a dent in an impossible number of good TV shows available right now.

What movie character do you identify most with and why? A few years ago, there was one of those activities that everyone posted on Facebook where you were supposed to pick the 3 movie characters you most identified with. I was a Facebook contrarian even back then and refused to participate with an actual post but couldn’t help but think about it and was always pleased with my answer. Michael Cera’s character in Superbad because he looks and acts very similar to me in high school. Ron Livingston’s character from Office Space because my dream is to also sit around doing nothing. And Jim Carey’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind just because.

Favorite sitcom: The most influential show on my life was/is The Simpsons. I loved 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation and currently, I’m a huge fan of The Good Place and Broad City.

Favorite ‘90s song: I’m a recovering music snob who refuses to advance his tastes past the late 90s. I’ll say Paranoid Android by Radiohead with my guilty pleasure being Criminal by Fiona Apple.

Favorite dessert: Tough to go wrong with a good cheesecake.

What are three places you’d like to go?: Germany is pretty high on my list right now. The Riviera has always appealed to me as well and, for somewhere tropical, maybe somewhere like Belize.

If you could travel back in time and talk to anyone, who would you visit and what would you ask them?: I’d be so paranoid that anything I said would dramatically alter the future so I’d probably be pretty conservative. It’d be pretty cool to just hang out for an evening with the Beatles before they got famous or the Velvet Underground or maybe in the SNL writers room in the late 70s (avoiding partaking in the copious amount of drugs that would be present in all of those scenarios.)

Mac or Windows?: It’s probably a major faux pas to admit I don’t have a strong preference. As someone who is fairly computer illiterate and gets irrationally angry about glitches and bugs, I always appreciated the user-friendliness of Macs while being fully aware (via tech-savvy friends) that PCs are superior.

You’re given an unlimited budget at one retail store. Where do you go? What do you buy?: Oh man. I thought way too long about this. I would probably say Home Depot to totally revamp my deck and my entire yard area as long as I could also purchase the labor required to do it considering I still utilize my poor father-in-law for the most menial home improvement tasks.

Matt hasn’t been a part of our weird work-family for long, but we’re sure glad he’s getting more used to us by the day. Anyone who can admit an affinity with Michael Cera is okay by us, and — I speak for the entire MM team when I say that we like a man who’s not afraid to admit he listens to Fiona Apple.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

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Team Bio Series — Jason Vissers (Ramen Lover)

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This week on “Meet The Merchant Maverick Staff” we’re learning to love Jason Vissers, our resident website builder reviewer and crowdfunding expert. Among other things, Mr. Vissers has the distinction of making me laugh out loud while editing — no simple feat. When he’s not putting his editor in stiches or writing commentaries on modern American culture disguised as GoFundMe reviews, Jason is doing…what exactly? Read on to find out.

Name: Jason Vissers

Title: Writer — Website Builders, Lenders, and Crowdfunders

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current city: San Diego, CA, though I spend a lot of time in PA with my girlfriend, who definitely exists, I swear.

Education and background: B.A. in Political Science from SDSU. I went to a party school but forgot to party. Whoops.

I’ve held a wide variety of jobs, from writing for a short-lived local weekly paper (any San Diegans out there remember the Fahrenheit?) to working the registers at a major fabric-and-crafts retailer. I hesitate to tell you which one because I still have waking nightmares where I’m being harassed by a bellicose grandmother in a sequined baseball cap pointing to her five-foot-long receipt demanding to know why her 40% off item coupon got applied to her Swarovski crystals and not her ceramic corn cob.

Those crafters have long memories.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I started out exclusively covering website builders. Since then, I’ve started writing about online lenders and crowdfunding platforms as well.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: My co-worker and sister Shannon let me know about the position. I jumped at the chance, and poof, here I am!

Proudest professional moment: As good as it feels to get my reviews and articles published here, my proudest professional moment has to be the time I wrote a feature article in the Fahrenheit in which I attempted to rank the beaches of San Diego according to the taste of their ocean water. The Fahrenheit didn’t have a lot of writers, so they just let me run with whatever nonsensical idea popped into my head. It was a different time…

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Probably my article on website monetization. I spend a good while compiling the info, and I like to think my GIF game was on point.

What do you do when you have a day off?: I’ll probably go get some ramen at Mitsuwa, then play video games and watch stupid YouTube videos until I fall asleep under the reassuring glow of the warm screens.

What fictional character do you most resemble and why? Back in high school, someone told me I look like Principal Skinner from The Simpsons. Whatever.

Favorite TV shows: The Simpsons, Get A Life (most criminally underrated show of all time), NewsRadio, Mr. Show, The Young Ones, anything Tim & Eric-related, Twin Peaks, Nathan For You, and of course the incomparable Rock Of Love, particularly season 3 — the one with the bus.

Favorite ‘90s song: Hmmm… I could be douchey and name something super-obscure, but instead, I’ll say…a tie between It Was A Good Day by Ice Cube and Common People by Pulp. An honorable mention goes to Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic.

Favorite breakfast food: All of it, all the live long day. But especially pancakes.

What are three items on your bucket list?:

  • Go to Japan and eat all the ramen
  • Learn how to play Devo riffs on the guitar (I cannot play the guitar)
  • Learn how to cook (anything)

If you could travel back in time and talk to your past self, what would you say?: Hi, me. I don’t have much to say since I haven’t really gained any wisdom or insight over the years, but here is an almanac containing the scores for future sporting events.

Mac or Windows?: Windows! Back in the days of yore, if you were into computer games, the PC was really your only option, as most games didn’t get a Mac release. I’ve stuck with PCs ever since, mainly out of habit.

You’re given an unlimited travel budget. Where do you go?: I’m planning a future trip to Japan. There are districts of Tokyo I want to visit because I’ve been there in Persona 5. I’m not even kidding. (Amazing game, by the way — using my authority as reviewer of things, I give it five stars).

Jason may be self-deprecating (Principal Skinner indeed!), but he’s one of our favorite writers here at Merchant Maverick. I for one will never be able to enter a Joann’s Fabrics without thinking of him fondly. And I’m sure I speak for all of us here when I say that, next time we are munching on Top Ramen, we’ll spare a thought for our favorite Simpsons aficionado. Stay tuned for the next installment in our team interview series, or go back and read the whole collection.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

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Team Bio Series – Chris Motola (Gamer Extraordinaire)

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Chris Motola: Merchant Maverick’s own little piece of Brooklyn. When he’s not writing about, erm, extremely dubious financial products, he’s playing table games, hiking, or geeking-out, Tarantino-style. (What is a Tarantino-style nerd? Do they perform Kill Bill cosplay? Or meet for table reads of Jackie Brown? Chris isn’t telling.) Let’s find out more about how the East Coast’s number one writer of MCA reviews rolls…

Name: Chris Motola

Title: Writer – Loans and MCAs

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Current city: Middletown, NY

Education and background: BA in English Writing from SUNY Oswego; MS in Interactive Media from University of Central Florida. I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years–banking, warehouse, social services–but I keep coming back to writing in some form. I started off in print working for a small business and healthcare publisher in Upstate New York. I’m just old enough to have worked both sides of the digital transition.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I mainly cover merchant cash advances, but I also write about equipment financing, loans, and credit cards. Previously I was covering scheduling software and email marketing as a freelancer.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Through the grapevine, really. My friend is friends with my editor’s brother. He told me Merchant Maverick was looking for writers. It was a happy coincidence.

Proudest professional moment: It’s hard to pin it down to any one thing. I enjoy the feeling of producing something, whether it’s a tangible product like a sandwich or something more abstract like an article. If you put a gun to my head, though, it would probably be the first time I saw my name in print. It felt like I’d managed to finally make it through the gate.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: It would definitely be the invitation to join the staff. I had some experience covering finance from back in the day, so it turned out to be a good fit. As for content, I like knowing I’m helping readers make informed decisions about risky financial products.

What do you do when you’re not working for Merchant Maverick?: In my other life, I’m a game designer who dabbles in web development. I enjoy learning as a hobby, which might sound pretentious, but it’s more masochism than idealism. I like powering through frustration until the moment where something clicks. I’m into a lot of geek stuff: movies, tabletop games, video games, shows, though my geekdom probably aligns more with Tarantino or John Carpenter than Marvel. When I step away from glowing screens, I enjoy cooking, eating out, climbing mountains, and exploring towns and cities in the region.

You’re a new addition to the Marvel Universe. Who are you and why?: In spirit, I’d probably have more in common with Squirrel Girl than Doctor Doom or Captain America. I’d be Oblivion, a Walter Mitty type who discovers that I can create dimensional holes when I zone out or daydream. At first everyone, myself included, would think portals lead to pocket universes born of my imagination. In truth, they just deposit my victims into random Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) franchise restaurants throughout the world.

Favorite ‘90s song: Soundgarden’s Outshined

Favorite breakfast food? I usually skip breakfast, but I’ll be a basic New Yorker and say bagel with cream cheese.

What are three items on your bucket list?: 

  • Travel to Asia
  • Complete and publish a work of fiction, either a game or a novel
  • Be functionally literate in another language, probably Spanish

If you could travel back in time and live in a different era, which would you choose and why?: Hmm. Most of them were objectively pretty bad. I’d probably be self-serving, go back to the 90s and set myself straight.

Mac or Windows?: Mac’s alright, but I prefer Windows.

If you could have lunch with a famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?: I’d be really curious about what Karl Marx was like in a casual context. After a drink or two, would he be talking about revolution or soccer?

We’re not sure if we’d enjoy a summer blockbuster about a superhero like Oblivion, but we do give a big kudos to Chris for working a Walter Mitty reference into his interview. We love having Chris on the team, and wish him a future filled with Spanish-speaking and Thai adventures.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

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Team Bio Series – Melissa Manley (Small Biz Love)

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After I sent Melissa they Bio questionnaire, I understood she wouldn’t disappoint…and she certainly delivered. Her focus on detail is really as wonderful with this project because it is in her own reviews. mPOS takes over just like a Netflix marathon on cleaning day, and Melissa is really a key player for making everything easily understandable. To focus on everything she provides, Melissa expires next within our Team Bio Series.

Name: Melissa Manley

Title: Credit Card Merchant AccountOrCellular Payments reviewer

Hometown: Joliet, IL

Current city: Lenexa, KS

Education and background: I’ve got a B.A. in British along with a B.S. in journalism in the College of Kansas, however a bad internship convinced me that the newsroom wasn’t where I had been intended to be. And So I began out like a freelance author/editor and selected up lots of really random understanding on the way.

Merchant Maverick department/niche: I actually do some content for merchant services, but my expertise is actually in mobile payment systems. I’ve labored artist tables and also at occasions which use Square and PayPal for any couple of years. I additionally have numerous buddies who’re around the convention circuit or run home-based companies so I’m familar with the requirements of retailers who don’t their very own dedicated storefront.

How have you uncover Merchant Maverick?: Amad, who owns Merchant Maverick, found me, really. He contacted me on the freelance platform and requested about writing reviews. Used to do an example article about a bit of tech known as LoopPay, that has since been purchased by Samsung Pay, which is among the services I keep close track of. Therefore it kind of seems like I’ve come full circle, in ways.

Proudest professional moment: I believe my proudest moment was getting quoted within my first HARO (Help a Reporter Out) query for Merchant Maverick. I understand that I’m a specialist in mPOS and payments, but getting my first quoted response helped me think, “Wow, others can easily see that I’m a specialist too!”

Favorite Merchant Maverick publish/moment/chance: I visited college in Lawrence, KS, the type of town that’s very happy with its small companies. The culture applied off on me. Might and it is suburbs, where I’m now, have a similar kind of devotion to independent companies that Lawrence does. It’s really amazing. What does everything relate to MM?

Well, I recognized within my freelance work which i enjoy helping small companies from behind the curtain, in addition to supporting them like a customer. I’m really lucky by using Merchant Maverick, I’m able to continue assisting small companies, whether it’s pointing them toward the very best processing deals or simply increasingly experienced in the instalments industry and just how it impacts them. Cheesy, I understand — and I am not even keen on cheese — but it’s the reality.

Where do you turn when you are no longer working for Merchant Maverick?: I’m a giant geek, so I’m usually binging something from the sci-fi/fantasy/super hero persuasion. I’m also pleased to consult with you the good thing about 1700s, Belle Epoque, and Edwardian era fashion, or even the how to go about Harry Potter, Lord from the Rings, or any one of my other favorite books. I additionally volunteer in an anime convention. As being a well-rounded geek is essential, yanno?

You’re a brand new accessory for the crayon box. What color are you currently and why?: Can One be considered a rainbow swirl crayon? I really like rainbows and anything rainbow colored. They fill me with pleasure, and I’d like to share that pleasure with everybody else.

Favorite ‘90s song: Must i pick only one? Sigh. If I needed to name only one favorite, I’d opt for No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” But 90s music is my jam. The runners-up include songs from Smashing Pumpkins and also the Offspring. And Backstreet Boys.

Favorite night time snack? Frozen treats.

What exactly are three products in your bucket list?: Within the interest of diversity (and not simply to list out a lot of holiday destinations):

  • Go to the Loire Valley in France, particularly Chenonceau.
  • Write an illusion novel. I do not expect so that it is good (individuals childhood hopes for to be the next Tolkien or J.K. Rowling have lengthy since been abandoned), but I must write one.
  • Finish my to-read list. Just kidding. That’s not going to happen. But it’s a great goal to desire to.

Should you could travel back in its history and reside in a different era, which may you select and why?: Medieval Europe fascinates me, but it’s a tad too plague-y in my tastes. And So I think I’d prefer to skip ahead to Tudor England, that is only marginally better so far as health risks. However it comes with Shakespeare and Marlowe and also the Tudor Empire, and a few really amazing clothing. Failing that, I love to think I’d be considered a Jane Austen-esque heroine within the Regency era.

Mac or Home windows?: I’m solidly within the Home windows camp. And much more solidly within the Android camp.

Should you could either become invisible if you wanted or have the ability to fly, which may you select and why?: Flying, certainly. I believe being invisible (even if perhaps when needed) could be very lonely. Flying appears like more enjoyable and allows for additional super hero-y antics.

When we ever require a book recommendation or help with our businesses, Melissa is our go-to. We would like to spend time together with her for fun on saturday because she’s into some really fun stuff! Can One pre-order that “someday” fantasy novel? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it’ll be much better than Melissa is giving herself credit for.

For additional from Melissa, make sure to interact with her on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Bertone

Rebecca is really a marketing junkie who discovered her passion while finishing her Journalism and Media Studies degree at North Park Condition. She enjoys everything internet marketing, particularly social networking! To be the typical millennial, she’s building her career by checking up on the most recent trends and tools in communication to assist brand achieve their set goals. When she’s not tweeting or streaming. you’ll find her exploring her new house within the Off-shore Northwest, cooking, or making up ground around the latest Television shows.

Rebecca Bertone

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Team Bio Series – Elizabeth Cranston (Pocket Filled with Sunshine)

For those who have an item of purchase question, Elizabeth can answer it. I’d be prepared to place my cash on that (don’t allow me to lower Elizabeth!). The truth that she mentions the comradery and love she gets for that Merchant Maverick team can be a proof of how awesome an individual she’s. Elizabeth brings that like to her writing also it sure shows! Learn more details on the woman behind the POS in her own interview.

Name: Elizabeth Cranston
Title: Reason for Purchase Author
Hometown: Canby, OR
Current city: Canby, OR

Education and background: I attended Clackamas College and earned my Affiliate of Arts Transfer degree after which graduated having a bachelor’s degree in British from George Fox College.

Merchant Maverick department/niche: Reason for Purchase

How have you uncover Merchant Maverick?: Through speaking to a different author who accustomed to work here.

Proudest professional moment: Certainly one of my moments of pride had been adopted back on Twitter by among the editors for Entrepreneur. We’ve exchanged several witty conversations since also it makes me seem like I’m speaking to some celebrity! (Oh how employed by Merchant Maverick can change you!)

Favorite Merchant Maverick publish/moment/chance: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the truth that certainly one of my personal favorite facets of employed by Merchant Maverick may be the solid and understanding leadership we have previously mentioned and also the core support Personally i think coming from all my surrounding co-workers. My personal favorite publish is most likely your blog publish I authored known as Business Twitter 101: Establishing your Profile in five Steps. I put lots of effort into that publish and am very happy with it.

Where do you turn when you are no longer working for Merchant Maverick?: When I am not taking part in marathons (Netflix marathons, that’s), I like writing jokes, getting together with buddies, and researching new places, people, ideas, and things.

You’re a brand new accessory for the crayon box. What color are you currently and why?: Bottle regarding Yellow, if I possibly could bottle the sun’s rays I’d!

Favorite ‘90s song?: It’s a toss up between Killing Me Softly Together With His Song through the Fugees with no Scrubs by TLC.

Favorite night time snack?: I do not like eating at night time.

What exactly are three products in your bucket list?:
Learn to waltz and salsa dance.
Continue a legendary mix-country journey living van existence!
Fly an plane.

Who’d win inside a fight between Spiderman and Batman?: The Batman! Du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu Du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu! Batman!

Mac or Home windows?: Home windows completely baby!

Should you could either become invisible if you wanted or have the ability to fly, which may you select and why?: I’d certainly want so that you can fly! I suppose having the ability to soar over the earth using the wind hurrying using your face could be pretty exhilarating. Besides, if you are invisible you’d likely overheard things being stated in regards to you which were not so nice.

Elizabeth’s passion for the sun’s rays matches her sunny disposition! We’re so lucky to possess her as well as luckier that they may take a whole POS and break it lower for all of us in a single article. We’ll Netflix-marathon along with you every day!

For additional from Elizabeth, follow her on Twitter (the editor for Entrepreneur does!) or interact with her on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Bertone

Rebecca is really a marketing junkie who discovered her passion while finishing her Journalism and Media Studies degree at North Park Condition. She enjoys everything internet marketing, particularly social networking! To be the typical millennial, she’s building her career by checking up on the most recent trends and tools in communication to assist brand achieve their set goals. When she’s not tweeting or streaming. you’ll find her exploring her new house within the Off-shore Northwest, cooking, or making up ground around the latest Television shows.

Rebecca Bertone

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Team Bio Series – Chelsea Krause (Never Enough Coffee)

Accounting software isn’t always the simplest factor to know. Luckily (as well as for you!), we’ve Chelsea to interrupt it lower. Her current knowledge of accounting software stemmed from her desire to be learning something totally new. She’s motivated by attempting to know how things work. On the part, we would have liked to understand makes her tick, therefore we virtually sitting lower together with her to discover.

Name: Chelsea Krause

Title: Mind Accounting and Invoicing Author

Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA

Current city: Boise, ID

Education and background: I’ve got a B.A. in British having a concentration in Creative Writing I studied abroad in the College of Oxford.

Merchant Maverick department/niche: I mind the accounting and invoicing departments. I talk about everything accounting-related and check out my favorite to create a normally boring and confusing subject like accounting intriguing and simple for that everyday business proprietor to know.

How have you uncover Merchant Maverick?: Like a number of other in our authors, When i first learned about Merchant Maverick from the classmate attending college who labored for Merchant Maverick. Fun fact: Liz (our eCommerce author), Levi (of merchant services), and that i really accustomed to interact attending college too!

Proudest professional moment: I simply finished a cpa eBook, that we am really looking forward to! 170 pages (and nearly 100 coffees) later and that i couldn’t become more proud.

Favorite Merchant Maverick publish/moment/chance: My personal favorite Merchant Maverick moment was after i got the very first comment from the readers on the publish I’d written. That’s as soon as I recognized my reviews and posts are earning a positive change for small company proprietors. I loved that feeling–it’s what keeps me writing.

Where do you turn when you are no longer working for Merchant Maverick?: I really like going hiking and going through the outdoors with my hubby, but recently it’s been millions of levels out, so I’ve been avoiding the sun’s rays, studying books, and watching movies. I additionally love baking and watching a absurd quantity of the truly amazing British Bake Off. At this time my personal favorite recipe book is known as “An Unpredicted Cook book: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery.” To date, I’ve found that hobbits certainly been with them right with second breakfast and elevensies.

You’re a brand new accessory for the crayon box. What color are you currently and why?: Fire Orange. I love campfires. I possibly could stare in their mesmerizing patterns for hrs and whenever I’ve fire, I usually feel incredibly peaceful, happy, and warm. I’d wish to be this crayon because Hopefully I’m able to always leave people feeling peaceful, happy, and warm too.

Favorite ‘90s movie: Tarzan! I really like Disney movies, and you simply can’t beat Phil Collins.

Favorite frozen treats flavor?: Tillamook Mudslide.

What exactly are three products in your bucket list?: Seeing the aurora borealis, revisiting England, and writing a singular.

Who’d win inside a fight between Spiderman and Batman? Spiderman! I would lose buddies over this, but I’ve never been a Batman fan (sorry to the managing editor, Julie).

Mac or Home windows?: I made use of a classic dinosaur Mac to outlive college, but have lately upon the market my Mac and today use Home windows. I love really my PC to date, however i judge a pc on whether I must charge the battery again while I’m in a cafe, so…

Should you could either become invisible if you wanted or have the ability to fly, which may you select and why?: Flying! How may you avoid feeling the wind inside your hair, weaving with the pines, being over the mountain tops and something using the stars?

The coffee addiction is real with this particular one. If Julie does indeed disown her within the Spiderman factor, I believe her passion for Tillamook Mudslide might just help smooth things over. I’m calling it…next social gathering reaches Chelsea’s!

For additional from Chelsea, follow her on Twitter or interact with her on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Bertone

Rebecca is really a marketing junkie who discovered her passion while finishing her Journalism and Media Studies degree at North Park Condition. She enjoys everything internet marketing, particularly social networking! To be the typical millennial, she’s building her career by checking up on the most recent trends and tools in communication to assist brand achieve their set goals. When she’s not tweeting or streaming. you’ll find her exploring her new house within the Off-shore Northwest, cooking, or making up ground around the latest Television shows.

Rebecca Bertone

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Interview with Credit Card Merchant Account Consultant Adam Pflaumer

ep-consulting-logoI’d the pleasure of interviewing credit card merchant account consultant Adam Pflaumer over the past weekend. Adam and that i have labored together because the beginning of Merchant Maverick. I featured him in a single of my earliest articles, and we’ve hit them back since. He’s really solved the problem by helping cover their a number of your accounts and queries, so a number of you know him.

For individuals that do not know Adam, this interview can help you become familiar. It’ll also shed some light around the services that Adam offers, that we personally believe are invaluable.

Most retailers seem like the only method that they’ll reduce their charge card processing charges, is as simple as switching to a different provider, however that couldn’t be further away from the reality.

Without further ado…

Inform us a bit with regards to you Adam. How have you get began within this industry? What areas have you ever labored in & using what companies? What’s happening nowadays?

I started my career within the payments industry in 1994 selling merchant services to mother and pop retailers. I fell deeply in love with this dynamic industry and during the last 17 years I’ve labored with your industry leaders as First Data, Global Payments, Union Bank, and fasten Merchant Payment Services. Through the years I’ve been lucky enough to have labored within nearly all aspects of the instalments value chain. From sales, to underwriting, risk management, operations and just before beginning Air Talking to, I offered as president of Connect Merchant Payment Services.

So, you’re a free account consultant, right? So how exactly does that vary from a free account telemarketer? I ask because I have seen another guys that brand themselves as “consultants,” however , they’re just sales people that actually work for just one particular charge card processor.

Air Talking to is definitely an expense management firm and never a charge card processing company.

You will find 4 major variations

First, unlike a processing company which makes their cash by means of processing charges the merchant pays, we really work with our merchant client and our charges are based on incremental income that people ship to them by means of reduced charges. Our interests are congruent using the merchant’s, for the reason that both of us wish to minimize this cost. Processing companies and also the retailers have conflicting interests, the merchant really wants to pay less than possible, and also the processors need to make whenever possible from each credit card merchant account.

The 2nd greatest distinction between what we should do being an expense management firm focusing on the instalments industry versus. a repayment processor is that we’re not to get retailers to change processing companies. We play an unbiased role with regards to their processor. Actually, over 90% in our clients never need to change processing companies. We’ve labored with virtually every processing company available and just about all are extremely cooperative. Even though the processing information mill not thrilled concerning the decrease in margin that always ensues whenever we become involved, they are doing take advantage of a significantly longer and relationship using their merchant plus they no more need to bother about a rival stealing their client according to cost. Whenever we use their client, they get an infinitely more informed and assured client who’s less inclined to ever leave. From the merchant’s perspective they’re relieved they do not need to alter companies to attain optimal savings. They not just gain incremental make money from our services, they also gain the reassurance understanding that this expense category has truly been minimized.

The 3rd major difference is the fact that because we have “skin within the game” when it comes to reducing this cost, we allocate some time and sources to examine transactions each month to recognize and connect transaction types which are qualified to obvious at lower costs according to Interchange compliance along with other factors. Some processors provide a general summary of good practices to follow along with, it really isn’t achievable neither is it within their welfare to handle the facts every month once we do. That statement isn’t designed to villainize the processing companies but instead to condition an undeniable fact that they would need to staff so much more people to get this done their expenses would usurp almost all of their profits. The processing information mill in the industry to supply credit card merchant account processing, not manage granular details for all of their merchant clients. It’s the responsibility from the merchant to get this done, but there’s an enormous gap with regards to the expertise and time required to get this done regularly so we cover that gap with respect to our merchant clients.

Finally, the 4th major difference is the fact that because we are a cost management firm and never a processing company, we look for solutions beyond exactly what the processors have to give you when it comes to alternative payment methods. You probably know this, since processors make their cash from processing charge card transactions, they aren’t wanting to introduce new payment techniques that may potentially cannibalize the revenues they create from processing charge cards. We stay on the top of all of the payment industry trends then when technologies do emerge that can help our client’s save, we not just recommend them, we really be part of the price of applying them.

Are you able to explain the services you provide to all of us? Particularly, the way your credit card merchant account fee reduction services work? Most retailers that I’ve spoken to have no idea that something similar to this exists.

Sure, only one factor I can’t help commenting on may be the phrase “merchant account fee reduction.” Many retailers possess a misconception that we’re simply expert negotiators. In fact there’s much more which goes into what we should do than negotiating using the processing companies. Typically, only 1 / 2 of the incremental savings dollars originates from achieving better prices terms. Another half originates from Interchange management so when appropriate, the development of technologies and procedures that reduce this cost much more.

The easiest method to describe the way we use our clients is the fact that we become their in-house expert about this expense category. As an attorney knows what the law states, an accountant los angeles knows tax code, we all know the instalments industry. Rather of charging our client on an hourly basis, we charge according to results, i.e. the extra income produced by our expense reduction services.

Have your customers had any success? Quite simply, do you use it?

Yes, there exists a 100% rate of success in lessening costs for the clients. Keep in mind, however, that just before getting on the client we make sure that there’s indeed the absolute minimum threshold of savings to warrant our efforts. Over 80% from the accounts we review do be eligible for a our services. Typically we could hand back roughly $11,000 in income by means of reducing this cost. Like I pointed out before, up to 90% in our clients don’t change processors. Then when you speak with any one of our customers, they will explain that it’s a no-brainer an investment is $, how long on their own finish is under half an hour typically, and also the incremental savings/profits derived is fairly substantial. We’ve got some clients which have reduced their credit card merchant account costs by over $100,000 yearly, and a few less than $3,000 yearly, which is brand new found money.

We have a number of testimonials around the Air Talking to website, but there’s a couple of in your site too.

True. They are available in your comments ought to portion of the this short article.

So, exactly what do you charge for the services?

The majority of our clients pay us on the contingency or pay-per-performance basis where we be part of 50% from the savings that people create over 24 several weeks. This is actually the most widely used if our services don’t return incremental cash flows because of this cost reduction, then there’s free. It’s all upside without any downside.

We’re getting increasingly more Do-It-Yourself’er business proprietors, CFO’s, and Controllers that do by themselves, however they realize it normally won’t understand what it normally won’t know, and they’ve retained our firm to examine their situation, and educate them everything they require for his or her particular business situation to do this by themselves. In these instances we all do focus on an agreed retainer and provide them the data and materials that they’ll have to effectively get it done themselves.

Could it be something which a merchant can perform by themselves?

We discover that many retailers have previously done an excellent job in searching for and negotiating processing charges but we are able to more often than not reduce this cost substantially more. There are plenty more complexities for this industry than retailers know. Just before dealing with our clients almost all are believing that there’s simply no savings available, however, a couple of several weeks and many 1000s of dollars later, they’ll be the first one to tell you just how there’s a lot more for this compared to what they ever understood.

To work in internet marketing, you need to know what this particular service really costs the processor. You should know their break even costs, after which you should know the margin tolerance given each specific account’s risk exposure. You should know Interchange Compliance inside and outside, and you have to keep on the top of emerging technologies and solutions inside the payments industry. I’ve been within this niche for almost twenty years now and you will find still a few things i learn. Without deep industry expertise a merchant could have a false feeling of security they have done everything there’s to complete, but in fact retailers are consistently and unknowingly dripping profits.

One factor your potential customers might want to consider knowing is that we’re not far from releasing a 146 page how-to steer and video known as “The Smart Merchant’s Help Guide To Reducing Credit Card Merchant Account Fees” that will give most retailers the data they should be much more good at reducing this cost. Update: You’ll find Adam’s eBook here. Make use of the coupon code merchantmaverick have it for $79 rather of $97.

Your house I’m going to sign an agreement with a brand new processor. Which kind of term do you consider is affordable? 1-year, 2-years, -years?

The word from the agreement far less important compared to effects of smashing the term. As lengthy because there are virtually no early termination charges, then your longer the word the greater.

What about a cancellation fee?

Most processors will accept waiving their early termination fee entering a brand new account. Most early termination charges are pretty innocuous, no more than $300 approximately, but I’m a believer within the old fashioned method of conducting business. If your processor provides ideal prices terms with excellent service, they shouldn’t must have an earlier termination fee to have their customer. There’s one sort of early termination fee which needs to be prevented. There are just a couple of processors which have it, but it’s vicious. It’s the liquidated damages early termination fee which helps the processor to charge the forecasted lost revenue through out the agreement term. Fortunately merely a couple of processors have this kind of early termination fee. I’d never recommend signing this kind of agreement. Trust me you will find an limitless quantity of great processing companies available who’d happily provide services with no early termination fee. Most of them are indexed by your reviews, so that your readers shouldn’t have trouble finding one.

Finally, if Merchant Maverick readers desire to use the services you provide are you prepared to offer some kind of discount?

Fortunately, we’re in a point where there’s such a good amount of companies individuals who love our concept and therefore are keen to reducing this cost category that we’re literally turning away some business today that people might have leaped at 4 years ago, whenever we first began. We’re in a point a where most of us have we are able to handle but when all of your readers arrived at us searching for help, and when they tell us that they are referred from Merchant Maverick, we’ll try everything we are able to to assist them to. The easiest method to do that would be to send us an email by using this designated email [email protected] and we’ll move your readers towards the “front from the line” to determine the way we might help them. Any friend from the Maverick is really a friend.

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