What is the standard procedure to receive payment from outsourcers?
Thread poster: Sylvie Chartrand

Sylvie Chartrand  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 09:33
English to French
Jun 9, 2009

Hi,

I have just completed my degree and I am planning to do translation via internet for various clients. I would like to know what is the standard procedure to receive payment and how does it work in terms of delay (30 days, 60 days... ?). Is it common to have problems getting paid? How do we guess who's honest and who's not?

Thank you very much for your answers.

Sylvie Chartrand

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-06-09 16:30 GMT]


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:33
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
There's no single answer Jun 9, 2009

I suggest you look at the forums for a week or two, under relevant topics (Money Matters, or whatever). You should teach yourself how to search the forums, if you don't know how already. Click on Community > Forums and take it from there (tabs at the top of your home page).

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
One answer Jun 9, 2009

scha wrote:
I would like to know what is the standard procedure to receive payment and how does it work in terms of delay (30 days, 60 days... ?).


The client contacts you with a potential job, and you tell the client that you are available. You also tell the client what your own payment terms are (or you ask them what is theirs). If both of you are happy, and if you have received the files from the client, the client tells you to go ahead with the translation. Sometimes the client will send you a "PO" (purchase order) which is written confirmation of the fact that you have been assigned the job.

After you've done the translation and sent it back to the client, you must send him an invoice for the money. After a certain number of days, the client then pays the amount stated on the invoice. If you don't tell the client how many days he is allowed to wait before paying, then it is his decision (some countries have laws about it, though). What is normal? No-one knows... 30 days?

Is it common to have problems getting paid?


I don't think so.

How do we guess who's honest and who's not?


Don't do too large jobs for a client initially, consult the Blue Board or other black lists, and ask yourself if you know where the client is and who he is. Basically, that's it.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:33
English to French
+ ...
There is no standard Jun 9, 2009

There is no such thing as a standard when you freelance. It is purely a matter of convenience for both parties. Offer all payment options that feel right for you and let the client pick and choose. Make sure to send payment information to your client before taking on the job (as part of your quote). You don't want to end up with a client who assumes they can pay you by credit card and only finds out once the translation is delivered. As long as both of you agree, your payment method is fine.

Explore these options (and don't forget to read the fine print):
- Cheque
- Wire transfer
- PayPal
- MoneyBookers

There are few more methods not nearly as widely used, and of course there is cash if your client is next door (I wish!), but the main ones are above. Make sure you check costs and delays for different geographic locations. For example, a wire transfer doesn't cost the same and doesn't come with the same delay depending on where you get it from.

Payment terms vary depending on the country you run your business in. In North America, it is mostly 30 days net, even though some have started to expect 45 days net and even though there are still very sweet clients who pay within a fortnight and in advance at that. If you usually pay for your service once per month where you live, a 30 day net term should be acceptable for your clients.

If you are good at risk management, then you will always get paid. Just use common sense. Don't accept a job for 200 pages from someone you don't know without asking (and getting) an advance payment first. Steer clear of people who refuse to prove to you that they are trustworthy. Use payment practices lists such as the BlueBoard on this site. If a deal is too good to be true, it most likely is.

All the best!

[Edited at 2009-06-09 23:56 GMT]


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Sylvie Chartrand  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 09:33
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 10, 2009

Hi,
And thank you very much for your comments. It will certainly help me get started.
Sylvie


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