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Fair fee or nickel-and-diming?

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

Most of my clients pay by check. And I pay most of my subcontractors by check, except for one German friend of  mine who does some development work—he gets paid by wire transfer, which I run through a personal account at the same bank I have my business account, so it’s free (although kind of a hassle from a bookkeeping standpoint—I definitely wouldn’t advise it for incorporated businesses.)

I feel vaguely conflicted every time I’m asked whether I take PayPal (I do) because of the fees. They’re not huge, but they do eat into my profit margin, since I don’t price my services to include transaction fees.

Whenever I’ve brought up the subject with other small business service providers, people split cleanly into two camps: the Cost-of-Doing-Business camp and the Convenience-That-Merits-Surcharge camp.

Ultimately, I’ve decided it’s a cost of doing business, although I’ve started looking at revising my pricing to cover the charges.

I’m curious, all you solopreneurs, creative freelancers and small biz types: what’s your policy and your rationale behind it (or the circumstance that brought you to it)? Would love your answers in the comments, along with what business you’re in (look at it as a free plug!)

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