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Best way to get reimbursed

Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
1 of 14

I believe the only way to get reimbursed for an image purchased for a client is to have them issue a bonus, but Upwork will take 20% of that. So I'm thinking of asking the client to add 20% to the amount.

 

I'm asking because it's been a long time since this has come up, and maybe now there is a better way. Any thoughts?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 14

When this has been discussed in the past, the most popular option was to ask the client to buy the needed resource directly and send us the file or license number.

 

Alternatively, yes, the client can use the Pay Bonus tool, which you already understand means that Upwork takes 20% of what the client pays.

 

On larger projects, I typically eat the cost. I charge enough for the work that I don't itemize individually-expensed items. I just pay for them myself.

Community Guru
Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
3 of 14

I agree with Preston as I always ask the client if it is a job on upworks to purchase the required images/videos etc. in order for me to get the job done. For my clients who I work with locally and all I do it for them and add the charge in or get them to buy it.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
4 of 14

If Upwork doesn't allow a freelancer to be reimbursed by a client outside Upwork, so the freelancer isn't forced to pay a commission to Upwork for non-income, it should.

 

I suppose you could agree with the client that they will reimburse you via bonus payments grossed up to account for Upwork's substantial fees, but that's a workaround Upwork shouldn't require. There is no good reason Upwork should expect the client to pay this unnecessary fee either.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 14

Will L wrote:

If Upwork doesn't allow a freelancer to be reimbursed by a client outside Upwork, so the freelancer isn't forced to pay a commission to Upwork for non-income, it should.

 

I suppose you could agree with the client that they will reimburse you via bonus payments grossed up to account for Upwork's substantial fees, but that's a workaround Upwork shouldn't require. There is no good reason Upwork should expect the client to pay this unnecessary fee either.


There's a very good reason. The moment Upwork allows any payment to pass outside the platform or be passed without charge, it completely loses control of ever taking a fee on anything.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
6 of 14

What evidence can you share with us, Tiffany, that Upwork's current systems ensure Upwork has complete control of what clients and freelancers do that generates fees for Upwork for all work performed by freelancers?

 

Upwork could allow clients to freely use an authorized Upwork channel for payments to reimburse freelancers for the specific cost of non-labor-related costs of projects, for a small fee. 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 14


Will L wrote:

 

Upwork could allow clients to freely use an authorized Upwork channel for payments to reimburse freelancers for the specific cost of non-labor-related costs of projects, for a small fee. 

 


Within days lots of projects would  consist mainly of expense reimbursements and verifying it would turn into an expensive nightmare.

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 14

Will L wrote:

What evidence can you share with us, Tiffany, that Upwork's current systems ensure Upwork has complete control of what clients and freelancers do that generates fees for Upwork for all work performed by freelancers?

 

None whatsoever. And, why would I want to, since I never suggested that they do and don't believe that they do.

 

Similarly, retail stores do not have complete control of their merchandise ensuring that they lose absolutely nothing to shoplifters or internal theft. But, surely no one would suggest that since they lose a few percent to shrinkage each year, they should get rid of their security and cameras and stop locking the doors.

 

Upwork could allow clients to freely use an authorized Upwork channel for payments to reimburse freelancers for the specific cost of non-labor-related costs of projects, for a small fee. 

 

And would you like them to just take people's word for the fact that it's a reimbursement (opening the door to a lot of $10 projects with $100 reimbursements), or are you suggesting that they hire a large staff to review each of those transactions?

 

 

 


 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 14

Remember adding 20% to $100 is not the same as subtracting 20% from a larger amount to get $100.

 

Add 25%, but personally I'd upcharge 30% for my time but also get the client to just go buy the image himself.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 14

Will makes a valid point, but I don't think anything is going to change in this regard.

 

I think one needs to think of Upwork as a "tool for finding remote freelancers and paying them for work"

 

...and not a tool for "complete project management, including reimbursing expenses."

 

Essentially the whole "reimburse expenses" tool within Upwork is a tool "by that name only", which is really a work-around or patch added onto the core functionality.

 

It is intended to "allow" this task, without opening a complex can of worms associated with the possibility that clients will pay freelancers using the reimbursement tool instead of the fee-incurring standard methods.

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