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Scam Avoidance: How to get a product in your possession to photograph & edit

Active Member
Lauren H Member Since: Apr 28, 2019
1 of 7

I made a proposal for a job to take photos of a product/edit the photos for Amazon. Here’s the catch, the client would like for me to order the product on Amazon but that the he/she will pay for it. I have witnessed people trying to scam on Upwork before. Because this client has hired before and has been given very positive reviews I would like to keep the conversation going for now. It is NOT an option for me to purchase something, because there is absolutely no certainty that I will be paid back. My questions are: 1) How have you wisely gone about ordering a product to photograph? 2) What steps have you taken to ensure that the client is the one who will be paying for the product? 3) What questions would you recommend I ask this client? Thanks.

Active Member
Lauren H Member Since: Apr 28, 2019
2 of 7

P.S. I’m curious if you have tips to share or anything helpful you’ve learned along the way.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
3 of 7

Here's the key to this, Lauren.

You are a good person. You are honest.

 

What would YOU do if you were the client, as an honest person?

 

Would you ask a freelancer to use their own money to buy something? Or would you purchase the item yourself and send it to the freelancer?

 

If you know anything at all about buying things on Amazon.com (and I'm assuming you already know this), then you know that a person can purchase a product on Amazon.com and have it sent to anybody.

 

So you could provide the client with your mailing address, or your box office address at a post office, and the client can have the product shipped to you directly.

 

If I was the freelancer, I would just offer my address, and assume that is what they are going to do. If they say they can't do that, I would wonder why not. I would assume they are a scammer. I would ALWAYS be polite to them no matter what. But I'm not going to go along with a scheme when there is such a simple, obvious way for a client to demonstrate their honesty.

Active Member
Lauren H Member Since: Apr 28, 2019
4 of 7

Excellent advice. Thank you! I agree... the client can mail the product to a P.O. box address. If they refuse to do so, then I will not being doing business with them. I appreciate your feedback. Have a wonderful day.

Active Member
Lauren H Member Since: Apr 28, 2019
5 of 7

Also, I agree with always being polite. You never know where people are coming from. 👍🏻

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

This is also how I would work with a know, 100% honest client.

 

BECAUSE:

The only way Upwork allows money to be exchanged is through Upwork.

So the client can't pay you back directly.

The client can pay you back using the Reimburse Expenses tool.

 

Which charges the same fee rates as if the client pays you for working.


So if the product costs $100, and the client sends you $100, you would only receive $80.

You and the client both know this.

So the choice is between you helping to fund the client's project with your own money, or the client paying you extra to cover the fees. The client would need to send you $125 in order to reimburse you for the $100 purchase.

 

Which means the client is simply losing money that he could have saved by making the purchase himself and having the items shipped to you.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 7

Preston H wrote:

 

 

Which means the client is simply losing money that he could have saved by making the purchase himself and having the items shipped to you.


This is true, but also...by the time I've futzed around logging into Amazon and getting the freelancer's information and adding the address and sending the product and sending the tracking information to the freelancer, I might as well have just photographed the damned thing myself. While I don't fault anyone unwilling to make this kind of advance purchase, efficiency is one of the most valuable things a freelancer is selling.

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