PayPal is  the only method of payment I accept from new, untested clients.

What makes you a new, untested client? Well, “new” is easy to explain: someone I have not previously worked with. However, you may be new to me, but be a well-established and respected agency. In that case you would not be untested, so I would accept checks and other methods of payment. Untested means that I have no way of verifying your bonafides. An easy way for me to verify if you pay your translators/interpreters/editors on time is to check Proz.com’s Blue Board. I may also be able to ask around or do some internet research to see if you are who you say you are, and if there are any negative reports about you on the internet. Unfortunately, there are many fly-by-night agencies and unscrupulous people who take advantage of language professionals. But any legitimate business can get a free PayPal account, so this method of payment makes it possible to start building a relationship of trust.

Furthermore, if you are new and untested, I will require up-front payment of $50 or 30% of the final cost, whichever is greater. If the project is over 10,000 words, I require up-front payment for 30% of 10,000 words, and will deliver the work in 10,000-word increments. If this is a multi-day interpretation assignment, I require full payment at the end of the day. I will, of course, make sure to provide you with proof I was at the assignment.

 

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