First, let me make sure that I clarify that:
RS Marketing == Rich Shockney
I won't comment regarding RS Marketing rates vs. the rates offered by marketingtips.com, or any of the other thousands of resellers for Total Merchant Services or any of the million other rates advertised on the Web. I believe anyone investigating merchant accounts can collect the data and compare the rates for themselves.
However, to help you *equitably* compare these rates, I offer the following guidelines:
-- Just as a checking acount is a checking account is a checking account, all merchant accounts are just another type of bank account. The two primary factors are (1) the fees you pay, and (2) the level of customer service you receive.
-- Regarding customer service, I believe this is the most important factor to consider. Remember that you are placing your Internet livlihood on the line with your merchant account. If your account suddenly "stops working" your site is dead, you have no cash flow, and you are out of business until you get the problem resolved.
-- Make sure you obtain all the rates and fees that the provider and the acquiring (merchant) bank charge. This includes not only setup fees and transaction/batch fees, but also monthly gateway fees, chargeback fees, overlimit fees, etc., etc. The best way to do this is ask them to send you a copy of the contract and READ IT VERY CAREFULLY. If you do not understand anything, ask for clarification.
-- Once you have collected this information from 2-3 providers, sit down and review the information. Your decision will be much easier with this data in front of you.
Regarding the $8-$10 you see so prominently displayed by many for the monthly cost of a merchant account, remember that this is usually the 'statement processing fee' that the bank gets for managing the account. Most banks also have a minimum transaction fee that must be accounted for also. Then, don't forget to tack on any additional monthly fees for extra services you need, like real-time processing. This is not typically included in advertised rates.
-- It's all in the fine print...