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How to Receive Payment when the Choice is Yours

With most new freelance writing projects, the client will tell me how they prefer to pay. In most cases, they are open to negotiating this, but I usually move forward with whatever method they prefer. With that being said, I have worked with some clients that let me choose how to receive payment. This is always a difficult decision, and I usually decide on a case by case basis.

As outlined in my freelance writing income report, I receive payment in three ways during most months: PayPal, check, and bank wire. PayPal is the most common method, with check coming in second, and bank wires last. 

The main benefit of PayPal is that you can request and receive payment within a matter of seconds. If you are not the type who likes to wait for checks in the mail or give out bank account information, you will want to rely on PayPal. Of course, this online payment service is not perfect. They take a fee out of each payment you receive, which can cut into your profits over time. For a basis of comparison, I usually pay somewhere between $100 and $200 month in PayPal fees.

By opting to receive payment by check, you will get the full amount that is coming to you. With that being said, are you willing to wait for payment to arrive? Some freelance writers have no problem with this, but it can be nerve racking to check the mail for payment everyday of the week. Did the client really send the check? Did it get lost in the mail? These are the types of questions that will be going through your mind until your money arrives. If you are lucky, you may find a client that is willing to overnight your check to ensure its safe and timely arrival.

Finally, the bank wire option is quite similar to PayPal. In order to do this, you will need to supply your client with information such as your bank account and routing number, name and address on the account, etc. From there, they can wire your payment directly to your account. This is a great option because it is quick, and fees are kept to a minimum. Of course, check with your bank to make sure that they do not attach high fees to bank wires; some do, some don’t. The downfall of a bank wire is that you have to give out personal information. Are you willing to do that? I would suggest that you only rely on the bank wire option if you trust your client completely.

So what option do I choose when presented with the opportunity? Despite high fees in most cases, I usually opt for PayPal. This allows me to receive funds quickly, and then transfer the money into my personal bank account when need be. While check and bank wire offer benefits, I personally feel most comfortable with PayPal.

How do you prefer to get paid by your freelance writing clients? 

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7 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 5th, 2008

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