I've been working with a client for I think a couple of months now, writing book summaries. He has been sending me the books either by Kindle or (one occasion) through the mail.
Everything was going really well and I was looking forward to working with the client for the longterm. A problem has arisen, however. He found that some of the books he next wants me to summarize are not available through Kindle in Canada. As he does not want to spend the money to mail the physical books to me, he suggested directly transferring money through Paypal (yes, seriously!) so that I could buy the books myself. The fact that accepting money directly through Paypal (whether for materials or not, I'd assume) would compromise my account is apparently not as important as him being able to avoid the costs of shipping. It's nice to see how highly I am valued.
Obviously, I told the client that this is out of the question and that I am not sure I feel comfortable with continuing to work with him after this week (which I've already agreed to).
Any thoughts or insight on this situation? Anything at all would be appreciated.
@Samantha L wrote:
He doesn't want to because then there would be a five-day hold and we'd be put behind schedule with the summaries.
Can't you buy them with your own money when the client pays? Once they paid you know it will be there in 5 days.... surely that 5 days is not an issue for the occasional cheap book?
I actually was about to post a question on here about an issue I am having with a client and payment and read this post first and saw your comment about an expense payment. If you don't mind me kind of hijacking this thread with my own question I would greatly appreciate your expertise and some information.
I have a client that wants me to receive products for him and send them into the Canadian Amazon Warehouse. He is located in China I believe. He wants to pay my hourly rate through Upwork but then after I accepted the job, he now asks if he can pay the shipping and customs fees through PayPal. I obviously told him no, that's not an option. He stated that UpWork charges him a 10% commission when he makes a payment via Upwork. Now I am no expert, but I have never heard this before and am starting to feel like he is trying to pull one over on me. I offered to allow him to pay upfront for the fees after I calculate them and then I will have them available to use via Upwork and that was when he said that about he commission fee. I also suggested he open an account at USPS since that is how he wants to ship the products and his response was that he did not think he could do that since he is out of the country. I don't see why he couldn't do that, he would just need a credit card to prepay postage fees into the account. But that was his reply.
I am starting to feel like this might be a scam and don't want to do anything to jeapordize myself if it is. However, if it is not then I want to do my best to work with him. You mentioned in this post about an expense payment. How does that work for the client and are they charged fees on that amount and is the service fee we normally pay to Upwork deducted from that amount as well, as that would make a big difference in the amount I would receive to cover the actual costs.
Thanks for your help!
Alison, YOU are charged a fee between 20% and 5% when you receive money paid by clients, that is correct, the client is also charged a small payment fee, but not 19%.
That said, the whole "job" sounds dangerously dodgy and personally I would walk away from it....
Sorry for the delay in replying to your help. The client says the fee was 10% not 19%. But I read through Upwork and it seems the fee is 2.75%. Here is the thing, this client is not a fraud at all. He has spent over $300k on Upwork and has a very long client history. He has almost 300 completed jobs in his history. I am sure there is an explanation, but I don't really know how to deal with it. He clearly is a true client with a great reputation. Any feedback. Are you able to see my contract and possibly enlighten me further as to how to proceed. I did email him back and told him that Upwork was the only option for payments. He's hired someone before to do this same job, so I am not sure how they did it other than maybe they used PayPal when they should not have, I don't know. I don't want to upset him as I believe him to be a genuinely good client. But I can't agree to his suggestion either.
I agree with Petra ... it sounds beyond dodgy. But I want to add something I think others will back me up on.
There are clients with long histories and monies paid, but that doesn't mean everything they've done on this site is on the up-and-up or in alignment with UW policies. I think sometimes jobs with strange intents may be ignored by freelancers who need the work, and therefore are never reported or brought to light.
So take client histories with a grain of salt.
Alison, I would be wary of that project/job for all kinds of reasons. Why does he need you to send his product to Amazon? There may be legitimate reasons, but often thieves and money launderers hire online freelancers to accept and mail packages as part of their scam. Often it is to protect themselves from the paper/digital trail to avoid consequences. Sometimes it results in the freelancer being the subject of an investigation or even facing criminal charges. At the very least, it sounds like he might be either trying to circumvent customs charges or somehow mislead Amazon about the origin of the product.
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