How to Start an Online Smoke Shop: Tips From the Experts

Do you run an online cigarette and tobacco sales business? Then you will know as a tobacco merchant that this industry sees a higher risk of credit card fraud and chargebacks than many other online businesses.

A great way to protect your company from these risks is to use a high-risk merchant account provider that specializes in making your online payment transactions secure, reliable, and legitimate.

Not only will having a high-risk merchant account make running your business much easier and risk-free, but it will make you look more like an established and trustworthy company and improve your online image.

Customers tend to have more faith in online businesses that accept credit card payments as this provides them with more security. Read on to learn more about high-risk businesses and how having a high-risk merchant account can be a game-changer for online smoke shops.

Online Smoke Shops: A High-Risk Business

All businesses that accept credit card payments need to have a merchant account into which they can receive payments. Some credit card processors will be hesitant to give an online tobacco and cigarette sales company a merchant account, as they are seen as high-risk. This is because of the products they sell.

Nicotine and tobacco are controlled items that must meet some state and federal laws, licensing rules, shipping constraints, and tax obligations.

It can be touch and go for new online smoke shops to meet these conditions and they may go out of business after a short time.

The potentially short-term nature of online tobacco and cigarette sales makes it a risky business. It is also a business where there are more chargebacks than other online companies, which further adds to the potential financial risk.

The buyer may not be of age, might buy and aim to resell, or even use fake credit card information, all of which can lead to chargebacks.

Get A High-Risk Merchant Account


All online tobacco and cigarette sales merchants will need to create a secure internet account with a trusted provider. Your customers expect their online transactions to be secure, and you want to provide the best service possible, including making your website safe from hackers.

A high-risk merchant account provider can ensure that tobacco merchant credit card processing is protected, secure and easy for you and your customers. You can also find providers that offer chargeback prevention services and that are experts in minimizing the risk of fraud. 

So, is it worth it? You might be wondering why you should accept credit card payments at all. However, the benefits of accepting credit cards hugely outweigh the risks. High-risk business owners need to be able to process credit card payments to make sales and increase their profits.

Credit cards are a standard method of payment for consumers. They are easy to use and give customers faith in the transaction process as they are secure for making online purchases.

When running a business, you look more legitimate, respectable, and established if you allow credit card payments. So, both you and the prospective customer win when you allow credit card payments on your site and in your stores.

Win-Win For Merchants and Customers

The key takeaway from this guide is this: If your online tobacco and cigarette company accepts credit cards, this will benefit you and your clients in many ways. For one thing, your sales and profits will increase.

Allowing credit card payments through a high-risk merchant account means you will broaden the range of customers able and willing to pay for your products.

Moreover, they become more accessible to people across the country. On top of this, your company will look stable and well established.

This will inspire trust in your services and products for customers who will be assured and confident in their decision to choose you as their online cigarette retailer.

So, what are you waiting for? Look into getting a high-risk merchant account and start enjoying the financial and business perks.

This has been a brief and simple explanation of what a high-risk business is, why the online sale of tobacco and cigarettes falls into this category, and how best to protect your company and your customers as a cigarette and tobacco merchant.

You will need a secure merchant account to process and accept payments from credit cards. By using a high-risk merchant account provider, you mitigate the risks of credit card fraud and chargebacks.

Look into high-risk merchant account providers today and get one step closer to being an established, secure online smoke shop.