In my case I have a design job, designing for a 3D printed assembly. This requires me to test print, which is starting to run into money for filament, and I also want to fedex some samples to the client, and also buy some other hardware for the assembly.
I have been searching around, and I don't see any way to "legally" invoice my client for these expenses.
Is there a proper way to handle this? It seems like this must be fairly common, but I'm not finding any answers on the forum here, maybe I'm just failing at searching well.
Paying or receiving money outside of Upwork is grounds for having your account terminated.
You have three allowed options:
a) eat the expenses; you get paid enough; you don't get reimbursed
b) get reimbursed through Upwork; may use Bonus tool or Expenses tool; these are client-side tools.
c) have client purchase materials directly and send them to you; use FedEx account number client provides you with
Thank you Preston.
Do you have any insight as to why this is not an option on the freelancer side?
Of your answers, "a" is not it . "c" is ok but less desirable. "b" expenses tool sounds like maybe the key. I'm surprised though if there is no official way for me to submit my expenses to the client in order for them to make the expenses payment, and also not having access to the expenses tool, I don't know how it works or what the client sees, so not sure how to handle it.
So I guess I just talk to them about it and tell them I will invoice them for expenses and they should use the expense tool to reimburse me. A bit awkward though, while the rest of the site is so automatic and smooth.
@Jay A wrote:
So I guess I just talk to them about it and tell them I will invoice them for expenses and they should use the expense tool to reimburse me.
Remember the fee applies to expenses / bonuses etc just as it applies to all other payments.
There is no freelancer-side tool for invoicing clients.
You can create an invoice if you want, and send it to the client. Or not. Whatever works for you. This requires communication and trust.
Upwork has no rule requiring clients to pay for freelancers' expenses.
re: "Do you have any insight as to why this is not an option on the freelancer side?"
Because Upwork is not really built around jobs that entail expenses. It is built around remote online work that rarely involves expenses.
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