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Poll: Do you charge extra for payments via PayPal?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 05:41
May 3, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge extra for payments via PayPal?".

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
Member (2008)
English to Italian
YES/NO May 3, 2010

I only have 2 clients who use paypal and moneybookers, well one of them usually adds something so I do not waste money, I have to say that I never asked for it, but this guy is simply a wonderful outsroucer.


Local time: 14:41
English to Swedish
Sometimes May 3, 2010

I voted "Yes", but it should really be "sometimes". I charge extra if the amount is so large that I end up losing more than I would have if I had received a bank transfer instead. This happens roughly once or twice per year, so it's not that big of a deal.

It has simply turned out so that I don't work for those clients who only pay by Paypal. Technically, Moneybookers is much better from my perspective, but not many clients use it. Most of my clients are based in Europe and since there is no charge for bank transfers between Swedish accounts, the bank is not allowed to charge for inter-European transfers either = optimum solution.


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
Member (2006)
German to English
No May 3, 2010

And I tend NOT to use it because of the amounts they charge to the person picking up the money. They went through a phase of having a bad reputation here in Germany and since then, I always use Moneybookers for my transfers in countries far away.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
No May 3, 2010

I only used it once, to bill a company in the UK (I am based in Spain). If they had paid me by transfer, the fee would have been extortionate - the bill was for less than 100€ so I didn't mind, I left it in the Paypal account and use it to pay for online SW purchases or whatever.
I usually only have to bill clients in Spain so there is no problem with payment by bank transfer. This (and the risk of being stiffed again) is what makes me reluctant to do business with clients from outside the EU, it is simply not worth the bother.


xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
No - but... May 3, 2010

I admit I have grumbled a lot.

Then, a couple of months ago, a new agency said that they were going to bill their client for 15USD more than the amount of my invoice to cover the cost of sending the funds... So, only last night, I picked up courage and together with my invoice, I sent another agency the request that they do the same, to cover Paypal charges.

It's a great coincidence to see this poll here this morning, and I would love the hear from the people who voted YES. I think maybe I should include a standard phrase about this in all my future quotes. How do you all do it? Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Have a good week.


Vicky Nash  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:41
Member (2008)
No but... May 3, 2010

I don't normally charge extra as the amounts are small so I wait until I have a build up in my account and then remove it (bypassing at least some of the costs). However, once, on a really large project, I did warn the client I would have to charge them more for payment by Paypal and they decided to pay by bank transfer. Needless to say, this suited me much better!


Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:41
German to French
+ ...
No but... May 3, 2010

Actually sometimes I do, because Paypal turns out to be really expensive.

Instead of charging it extra, I try to negociate to round up the amount, or to avoid Paypal at all.


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:41
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
No May 3, 2010

1) The amounts charged have been minimal.
2) I expense the charges on my taxes
3) The clients who use paypal tend to pay ON THE DAY that the project is delivered, and I can live with a small fee for that kind of promptness.

There has only been one exception to 3), and since they had a tendency to pay late, I no longer accept projects from them.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:41
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not enough paypal clients May 3, 2010

only one or two. I just leave the payments in the account and let them accumulate.
We don't have moneybookers available in this part of the world, alas! If they offer bank transfer, I prefer that. A lot of my clients are local or in the province, so they pay by cheque.


Chun Un  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
No May 3, 2010

I collect payment via PayPal only from one of the clients. They charge $20 for each bank transfer transaction but $10 for PayPal. When a payment is large enough, I just write to them and request for a bank transfer. Options are important.


CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:41
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, but... May 3, 2010

I have some clients who pay me through Paypal (outside the EU) but only recently I started to pay more attention to Paypal fees, since the amounts paid got larger. I'm asking my clients now to pay through Paypal eCheck (takes longer to clear but the fee is only 5 dollars). No problems until now. One of them couldn't do it (the Paypal system is very confusing too) and paid me by bank transfer.


Isabell Scherg  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:41
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No, but I wish I could..... May 3, 2010

My main clients are located in Canada, India and Hongkong and I am based in Germany. So I loose money because I am getting paid in US$ and live in an Euro currency country AND I am paying Paypal fees. The problem is that the agencies are getting paid by their clients via a Paypal account and forward the money to me. So as long as the end client isn't willing to switch to Moneybooker or use bank transfer, there is nothing the agency can do. With the Canadian agency, I agreed to get paid within a large project concerning 15 more freelancers in a so called mass payment. We all had to wait a bit longer for our money but we weren't charged any fees.
With the agency in India, I just agreed that they shouldn't accept any more clients for me if they are only offering dumping prices and refuse to even consider other means of payment. Having worked for this agency more than a year now, we do have a very good understanding and trusting cooperation. I now feel in the position to ask for the fees or a higher price per word....but it was a long way....


Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:41
English to Dutch
+ ...
of course it can May 3, 2010

Isabell Scherg wrote:

The problem is that the agencies are getting paid by their clients via a Paypal account and forward the money to me. So as long as the end client isn't willing to switch to Moneybooker or use bank transfer, there is nothing the agency can do.

Of course it can. It's the translator's choice to accept payment through PayPal or not.
It's amazing how translators readily accept to pay fees and lose money just to get their invoices paid. Freelance translators run a business, so why would we accept to be treated as customers rather than as service providers?

I don't know any company that would accept my payment if they had to pay a fee to get the money! They would kindly ask me to pay the invoice in full. Alas plenty of translators don't seem to care all that much (they have too much money anyway?) or think they are in no position to demand anything. But agencies can't survive without freelancers...


Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:41
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I used to dislike Paypal May 3, 2010

Now I have asked most of my clients payment by Paypal.

The reasons:

1. I don't have to provide any longer my bank details.
2. I ask them to use e-check from Paypal, it only charges you US$5 regardless the amount you receive. NOT MANY PEOPLE SEEM TO BE AWARE OF THIS ADVANTAGE.



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