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Payment method: Snail Mail
Thread poster: Klaus Urban

Klaus Urban  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jul 15, 2010

I am a freelancer in Germany having done a small translation for a US agency.
I had requested payment by wire transfer, providing BIC and IBAN details.

Receiving the following message sounds positive:
"We have released payment for Project No: 123"

However:

"Payment Delivery Method: Snail Mail".

Does this mean I will receive a cheque by mail? With my fee being absorbed by bank charges?

What can I do?

Best regards

Klaus


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
English to German
+ ...
Fees for money transfer Jul 15, 2010

Hi Klaus, what most collegues in Europe are not aware of if is that sending an international wire transfer costs US $ 36.00. If the job was indeed a small one, it is understandable that the client chose a different payment method. Did you offer them PayPal? This works best for small payments.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
English to German
+ ...
Sending a check Jul 15, 2010

A cashier's check costs US $ 5.00. You have to buy it in person at the bank and have it filled out by the teller. Such a check is pre-paid and therefore secured. I don't think that depositing such a check in your account should cost a lot... I am curious, though.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
English to German
+ ...
Mail Jul 15, 2010

One more thing: Mailing business letters between the US and Germany (or any other Western European country) takes two to three business days only because everything goes on an airplane immediately. Christmas cards are adifferent story...

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
PayPal Jul 15, 2010

Nicole Schnell's suggestion for PayPal is good. I have a PayPal account for US payments. I can transfer money from PayPal electronicaly to my UK sterling account at a favourable rate. Or I can use my dollars to pay for ProZ, ProZ conferences etc.

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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cashing Canadian cheques in Spain Jul 15, 2010

I used to have a kindly relative in Canada who would send my children small cheques of 50 Canadian dollars or so every Christmas. However, I soon learnt that there was simply no point in cashing them because Spanish bank fees would equal or exceed the value of the cheques. I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
English to German
+ ...
Oh dear... Jul 16, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

I used to have a kindly relative in Canada who would send my children small cheques of 50 Canadian dollars or so every Christmas. However, I soon learnt that there was simply no point in cashing them because Spanish bank fees would equal or exceed the value of the cheques. I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.





However, it is crucial that we keep educating our clients. They don't know how much such transactions will cost. To this day I am encountering (newbie) PMs who try to send domestic (!) payments via PayPal. Why exactly should I be eager to have PayPal fees deducted when depositing a check doesn't cost me a cent?


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
Danish to English
aggregate small amounts Jul 16, 2010

I have several regular clients who I do small jobs for. I mean like 5 pages at a time, sometimes just a page. It is not worth getting paid small amounts of money, for the reasons being discussed here. I have told these clients that I can only do these small jobs if they are willing to let me send invoices that cover several jobs, sometimes 5-6, and get one single payment. I have this arrangement with several clients. This has worked well. Otherwise it is simply not worth the bother. Also, most of my clients make direct deposit to my bank in Denmark. As Nicole pointed out, wire transfers are expensive. I either transfer a large amount at one time, or wait until I get to Denmark, and use the money for my vacation. That is my favorite option!

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Klaus Urban  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your valuable comments Jul 16, 2010

This is exactly what I suspected. Thank you for suggesting PayPal.
I have contacted my client suggesting PayPal instead with the cheque being returned uncashed. Now I have to wait for their response.
Best regards
Klaus


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed Jul 16, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:
I used to have a kindly relative in Canada who would send my children small cheques of 50 Canadian dollars or so every Christmas. However, I soon learnt that there was simply no point in cashing them because Spanish bank fees would equal or exceed the value of the cheques. I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.

Indeed the cost of cashing an US checks exceeds US$ 50 according to my experience. That is why we prefer to ask the customer to hold the payment until the amount has reached a more reasonable figure, in case no other payment option is possible. This sometimes means that we hold small payments for many months, but it is better to wait than to lose all the money to the bank.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You should have kept the cheques Jul 16, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:
I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.


You should have kept the cheques, so that your children could make a collage of it when they reach a certain age. A collage of foreign cheques would be an interesting show-and-tell for any teenager.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
They're sending a cheque Jul 16, 2010

Klaus Urban wrote:
"Payment Delivery Method: Snail Mail".
Does this mean I will receive a cheque by mail? With my fee being absorbed by bank charges?


You should have told the client beforehand how you want to be paid. If you don't tell the client your preference, the client assumes that you'd be happy with his preferred method. The preferred method of many United States clients is cheque, with PayPal a far second. Your bank charges are likely to be quite high when cashing the cheque.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hm... Jul 16, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:
John Rawlins wrote:
I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.

You should have kept the cheques, so that your children could make a collage of it when they reach a certain age. A collage of foreign cheques would be an interesting show-and-tell for any teenager.

Hm... But then how would you explain the fact that you are not cashing the checks? The kindhearted relative might actually prefer to keep his/her hard-earned money is it was going to be used as art-deco...


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cashing foreign cheques in Spain Jul 16, 2010

I regularly pay cheques in Australian dollars into my standard Euro account. I get charged commission for the exchange and I suppose something for putting the cheque into my account. Can't remember how much this is, but it is definitely not a significant amount. What is significant are the 30 days I then have to wait until the funds now in my account can be touched.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Unpaid cheques Jul 16, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
John Rawlins wrote:
I didn't have the heart to tell him and 'cashed' the cheques for my children myself before throwing them in the bin.

You should have kept the cheques, so that your children could make a collage of it when they reach a certain age. A collage of foreign cheques would be an interesting show-and-tell for any teenager.

Hm... But then how would you explain the fact that you are not cashing the checks? The kindhearted relative might actually prefer to keep his/her hard-earned money is it was going to be used as art-deco...

Well, if the cheque isn't cashed, then the relative would pay only the bank fee (if any). The fact that the relative doesn't notice that his cheques aren't cashed does say something about the state of his home accounting, though. Or what am I missing?


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