How should I request payment?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I got an email from someone in another state who saw my copywriting website and wants me to write some Web content for him. We haven't discussed payment terms yet, but I need to figure it out, obviously. Normally when I do writing jobs for businesses, they are local folks who hand me or mail me checks (personal or corporate), which I deposit. Simple and effective. Very rarely I get a deadbeat, but generally if I know where they live/work, they don't try it.

    I worry about PayPal, because I can see a few different ways a seller can get scammed that way. Other methods might be:

    -Insisting on money order, cash or check upfront; must clear my account before product is delivered. But if I were a buyer, that would make me nervous....

    -They can pay installments, but interim drafts will all be watermarked PDFs until final payment goes through. So if they want to steal it at the draft stage, they have to retype the whole damn thing before they can use it.

    As you can see, I'm paranoid. But I'm open to any advice.
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Simple contract, signed by both parties as to how much content is expected, and payment terms and anything else you may need.

    Just because you know somebody, if you don't have a contract, the verbal contract is going to become a rather nasty character assassination attempt.

    Simple for them to walk away if they change their mind, as long as they don't publish they can always use the, "that invoice isn't what we agreed, and I'm not going to pay."
  3. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    Assuming I had to take them to court, doesn't the out-of-state thing cause a problem?

    I do know a guy who runs a collection agency. That might be a good thing.:cool:
  4. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I don't know if I'd use Paypal for a professional services contract, but not because I don't trust it. In fact, it's a pretty damn safe way to escrow funds between strangers.

    Just do the contract thing, all terms defined, (non-refundable?) deposits & partial payment schedule, the whole thing. Get a PO, create the paper trail from the get-go.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Just use the typical dispute resolution clauses in most contracts...

    "#.# LITIGATION If the dispute cannot be settled pursuant to Paragraph #.#, an action may be brought in Your County Your State. The parties agree that Your County Your State is the appropriate venue for any litigation arising out of this Agreement."

    All you need to do is make sure they are served according to the court's rules, then they have to appear or lose.

    Then your collection agency contacts will help a lot.
  6. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    I typically use PayPal, and if I haven't done work for the person before I will require a deposit before I even start the work.

    Of course, a contract is always a good way to do it. ;)

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