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Client charges PayPal fees
Thread poster: Isabell Scherg

Isabell Scherg  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
May 21, 2012

Hi there,
Recently, I started working for a large agency based in the US with very interesting projects and nice PM's. So far, I had some smaller projects here and there. They have their own invoice system online so no need to create an invoice and send it....everything lean, well organized and proficient.

Their term of payment is 45 days so I inquired how I would get paid and was told "by check" ....which won't work for me because I live in Germany. I then asked to be paid by Paypal - as they offer that as an option for freelencers living outside the US - and payment by Paypal was confirmed. BUT they will charge 10$ per Paypal transfer!

I am working with many clients and agencies abroad and I am getting paid very often by Paypal. Some large agencies even figured out a way to use mass transfers and avoid any Paypal fees for me and some clients will make up for the fees by the end of the year. But I have never heard that a client/an agency charges fees on top of the Paypal fees just to process my invoice?

Let me know what you think?


 

Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:29
English to Russian
+ ...
4 the next time May 21, 2012

State clearly, that the fees are paid by the respective parties within their national PayPal (WebMoney, bank, etc.) bodies. That would be fair, IMHO.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Agencies May 21, 2012

Some agencies pay up to 50% of the PayPal fees while others simply refuse to contribute to these fees with the justification that all fees should be included in the rate, notwithstanding the fact that they set the rates.

Any agency that intends to charge your for paying you through PayPal instead of sending you a check - which will "devour" quite a lump of your pay! - should either raise the rates they accept or work only with translators who accept checks.

No matter how high (or hopefully not) low your rate is, if you deduct the general PayPal fees and the additional USD 10.00 per transaction your hourly income will decrease.

Good luck!


 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Checks are fine in Germany May 21, 2012

Hi Isabell,

I also work with quite a few US clients who regularly send checks. You need to carry them to your bank, but that's the only trouble with checks. The fees are usually around EUR12.50 per check.

Some of my international clients also pay with Paypal, but I have never heard of a fee for issuing Paypal payments. As the payment recepient, you will already have to pay the Paypal fees.

Could it be that your PM confused something? I have really never heard of such a fee.

Good luck!

Stefanie


 

Isabell Scherg  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Stefanie May 21, 2012

Hi Stefanie,

I guess I could accept checks and pay these fees...

BTW, this is the answer I got from their acccounting department when I inquired about payment methods...


'We can offer PayPal as an alternative form of payment. However, I wanted to bring to your attention that our primary form of payment is USD check. Given that, our system processes checks in a quick and efficient manner. In contrast, paypals require significantly more time and labor to be processed. As a result, there is a single $10 processing fee for each transfer made. In order to avoid frequent fees, you can set a minimum payment threshold for ANY dollar amount.'


 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
I would use checks May 21, 2012

Hi Isabell,

Well, no misunderstanding there... They really charge for issuing PP payments!

If I were you, I'd ask them to send checks whenever you have reached a certain treshold. I would set this treshold at around 400 or 500 dollars. But, of course, this depends on your workload with them.

Stefanie


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:29
Member (2008)
French to English
Stay in the driver's seat May 21, 2012

Try to do sufficient marketing that you are confident of being sufficiently busy that you can set your own terms.

I have had clients tell me that they charge this or that fee for payment and I have turned down the job as a result. Suddenly the accounting department doesn't want to tell the project managers that their accounting policies are costing them translators, and the extra fee disappears. Amazing what people can do if they're sufficiently motivated.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree with John May 21, 2012

If you stick to your guns (firmly but politely) you will likely find that you can negotiate equitable terms regarding not only transfer fees, but even payment terms and deadlines (at least in many instances).

The bad news:
This is less likely in the cases of the agency you are referring to, which has fairly rigid payment and accounting policies (and, if I might add, typically offers fees well below average, at least in my language pair).

Best of luck!

[Edited at 2012-05-21 14:36 GMT]


 

Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
US agency May 21, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:
The bad news:
This is less likely in the cases of the agency you are referring to, which has fairly rigid payment and accounting policies (and, if I might add, typically offers fees well below average, at least in my language pair).


I think we all know who you are talking about. I stopped working for them a few years ago since they kept lowering and lowering their rates (in addition to the bad exchange rate), so it was simply impossibile keeping working for them.

I used to be paid by cheque by this company. My Italian bank would charge me approx. 10 euros per cheque. The only problem that it takes ages to actually cash the cheque (approx 30 working days here in Italy).

Laura


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What PayPal fees? May 21, 2012

PayPal is designed for - and owned by - eBay. So all fees are charged to the payee, not the payer. If they owe you $100, they'll only spend $100, not a cent more.

I don't know how PayPal works into other countries, but in Brazil they deduct about 6.5% in fees from the payee. So if a client sends me $100, my PayPal account is credited only $93.50. If I decide to squander that online, that's it. However if I want that amount converted into BRL and transferred to my bank account in Brazil, they openly admit that their exchange rates are 3.5% below the prevailing market rates, so this would cut the original $100 down to $90 in BRL.

Were that not enough, after PayPal set up their own operations in Brazil, a transfer from them to a local bank account began taking 3-5 local business days. To make matters worse, if the client paid via eCheck, its clearance will take additional 3-5 business days in the USA.

Bottom line is that when you receive a payment via PayPal, you get 10% less money and possibly up to two weeks later. Isn't that bad enough, so they want to charge additional fees?

For a comparison, Xoom.com costs the sender USD 5 for transfers up to USD 3K (only works from the USA, and only into some 30 countries), yet it works overnight on destination country banking days. Costs nothing to the payee.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Just accept it May 21, 2012

Isabell Scherg wrote:
I inquired how I would get paid and was told "by check" ....which won't work for me because I live in Germany. I then asked to be paid by Paypal - as they offer that as an option for freelencers living outside the US - and payment by Paypal was confirmed. BUT they will charge 10$ per Paypal transfer!


That is their policy. If you are happy with it, accept it. If not, don't work for them. Their accounting is streamlined for paying by a method that is simple and straight-forward in their country, but hey, if you want to be paid by Slobovian money order, they'll gladly do it, for a fee. I see nothing wrong.


 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Checks between the USA and Germany May 21, 2012

The last check my client from Wisconsin sent took exactly one week to reach me by mail. And from the moment I cashed it in at my bank, it took one or two working days for the money to appear in my bank account. That's not too bad.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
PayPal fees May 21, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

PayPal is designed for - and owned by - eBay. So all fees are charged to the payee, not the payer. If they owe you $100, they'll only spend $100, not a cent more.

I don't know how PayPal works into other countries, but in Brazil they deduct about 6.5% in fees from the payee. So if a client sends me $100, my PayPal account is credited only $93.50. If I decide to squander that online, that's it. However if I want that amount converted into BRL and transferred to my bank account in Brazil, they openly admit that their exchange rates are 3.5% below the prevailing market rates, so this would cut the original $100 down to $90 in BRL.



Hi José,

Looks like PayPal/eBay are working well for you in Brazil.icon_smile.gif

Here in Germany there's a minimum PayPal fee of 3.5 % + 0.35 EUR transaction fee deducted the moment payment arrives in my account. This means that I alone am paying that fee - whether I want to or not.

Once the new PayPal terms become effective July 1st, these fees will increase even more. Additionally, the fee percentage increases the higher the payment received is. My last fees were nearly 5.8 % plus those EUR 0.35.

They sure are making good money of those who need to use PayPal, at least in my country.icon_frown.gif


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
USA/Germany checks May 21, 2012

Stefanie Sendelbach wrote:

The last check my client from Wisconsin sent took exactly one week to reach me by mail. And from the moment I cashed it in at my bank, it took one or two working days for the money to appear in my bank account. That's not too bad.


How high was the transaction fee on your end - if I may ask?


 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
@Thayenga May 21, 2012

Usually, I lose about EUR12.50 for checks from the US.

 
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