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  1. #1
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    Default Payment for Services

    I had a client ask me the other day if I accepted Paypal. I do not but I have looked into it. I have tried a search on IN but did not see anything on it. So...

    What are you using for payment for services? Check on site, Paypal, credit cards, cash, no payment at all hahaha?

    thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I use credit card processing through my bank, hassle free but the fee and length of service may be a little high for some. I just consider it a cost of doing business, about $40-70 per month. I have recently started telling my customer the preferred method of payment like this $xxx fee payable cash, check (preferred), Visa or MasterCard.
    It is easier for them to whip out the credit card but most have no problem paying with check if you ask. Credit cards are great for payment over the phone if the client is not at the inspection or if the client needs it for some other reason but for me cash or check is easier and cheaper, customers get it.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Cash or cheque.


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    1. Cash is nice.

    2. As a matter of fact cash is really nice.

    3. Come to think of it I really like cash.

    4. As far as the last method of payment....I really like cash


  5. #5
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Check, cash, credit cards via paypal.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I take CC's but not through PayPal, I use the service from Costco. I don't care for the way you have to transfer funds from PayPal to your bank account.

    I have also done a few barter trades this year. Traded a new set of tires on my F-150 for a home inspection. When my son's baseball coach finds a home I'm trading the inspection for a few months of private lessons.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Bill Emelander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I have been using PayPal for three years now and very pleased. But I have very few clients that want to pay with CC. I average less than 10 a year. PayPal work best for me.

    Bill


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    If you do visa/mc Costco is the cheapest but it's still a chunk of money each year. It is definite though (no bounced checks, waiting for a check to show up, etc.).

    A friend of mine does a lot of Paypal for his company and likes it but I believe there's a fee of a couple % which is about the same as the credit card route.

    Checks or cash are best. Like someone else mentioned I mainly use credit cards for buyers who will not attend the inspection.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Check or cash for me.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    Check, cash, credit cards via paypal.
    Ditto.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    No CC here. Cash, check, or money order accepted.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I didn't use to take credit cards and didn't realize how much business I was losing because of it.

    It's just a cost of doing business now.

    I tell em I prefer cash or check but it they absolutely must do credit card, I can accomodate them.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I take CC's but not through PayPal, I use the service from Costco. I don't care for the way you have to transfer funds from PayPal to your bank account.

    I have also done a few barter trades this year. Traded a new set of tires on my F-150 for a home inspection. When my son's baseball coach finds a home I'm trading the inspection for a few months of private lessons.
    Hey Scott, I am not a member of Costco but I am a member of Sam's. Woud;l they probably have the same thing? Also how does that service work?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Emelander View Post
    I have been using PayPal for three years now and very pleased. But I have very few clients that want to pay with CC. I average less than 10 a year. PayPal work best for me.

    Bill
    Hey Bill, how exactly does Paypal work? If the client pays through Paypal, how does it get into your account?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    Hey Scott, I am not a member of Costco but I am a member of Sam's. Woud;l they probably have the same thing? Also how does that service work?
    They have a similar program for their members. Costco/Sams acts as the middle man. The contract with a national service. Your membership allows you to participate in their program. I pay a min monthly fee of $20, if I have no charges for that month I know that I will pay $20. Every charge I have deducts from that amount. Say I have 4 charges that amount to $18 in fees, I will only pay the $18 plus another $2 to make the $20.

    If I have $30 in fees for the month, I will pay only $30.

    When you join you will need to decide if you want to have a virtual terminal (on your computer, this is what I have) or if you will have a machine to scan the cards. You will need to buy one or the other.

    I can also run checks through my service; just input the information off the check into the terminal. Yes, it does charge me per check. It all depends if I want to go to the bank that week! At 50 cents per check, it is not all that bad. Me fee for a CC is around 1.99% to 2.50% depending on the card. The money is in my account in about 36 hours.

    All of the fees are also a business expense and are deductible as such. Last year I had around $900 in credit card processing fees.

    I'm getting real close to charging a convenience fee of 2%, heck everyone else is doing it!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I always tell my clients I accept Cash, Check and all Major Credit Cards. Please no small children.

    rick


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Cash (duh) Checks (most often) or CC via PayPal or Google Checkout.

    PayPal you have to 'withdraw' to your account (takes about two biz days) with Google checkout, it's automatically transferred into your account (still normally two days). Both are painless and cheap.

    We know why you fly: because the bus is too expensive and the railroad has a dress code...
    www.atozinspector.com

  18. #18
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Concerning getting paid in cash - yes, it's nice to skip out on the taxes due if that's your thing, but in the long run, I've found that when it's time to get any kind of loan, prove my business gross income, salary, etc., the more $$$ you show on your books and in your bank account over the long haul gets you better lending terms, easier approval, etc. You also don't have to worry if that letter from Uncle Sam comes saying - by the way, we need to look a little closer into your returns from the last 5 years, just bend over. My thoughts from past experience


  19. #19
    Ken Bates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Anyone who never reported cash payments should start worrying. Why? The IRS has recently hired thousands to investigate evasion.

    Phone records last a long time.

    Phone numbers now last a long time due to cell phone portability.

    IRS flunkies call the numbers that called you on your business phone.

    They ask them if you inspected for them.

    They ask what method they paid with.

    How many clients still love you and are willing to commit perjury for you?

    BINGO: You may meet Bernie Madoff in the cafeteria.


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch buchanan View Post
    Concerning getting paid in cash - yes, it's nice to skip out on the taxes due if that's your thing, but in the long run, I've found that when it's time to get any kind of loan, prove my business gross income, salary, etc., the more $$$ you show on your books and in your bank account over the long haul gets you better lending terms, easier approval, etc. You also don't have to worry if that letter from Uncle Sam comes saying - by the way, we need to look a little closer into your returns from the last 5 years, just bend over. My thoughts from past experience
    I said I like cash

    I did not say I did not claim what I maid. But then of course what did any of us really make.

    Personally I have never worked a day in my life

    But of course talk is cheap and all this talk about all this cash is cheap. We all know the real percentage of what any of us gets paid in cash.

    Unfortunately it is not enough as far as I am concerned

    But again. Talk is cheap. I have never taken any cash for any job I ever did!!!!!!!!!!! Honest But of course I never worked a day in my life


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
    Anyone who never reported cash payments should start worrying. Why? The IRS has recently hired thousands to investigate evasion.

    Phone records last a long time.

    Phone numbers now last a long time due to cell phone portability.

    IRS flunkies call the numbers that called you on your business phone.

    They ask them if you inspected for them.

    They ask what method they paid with.

    How many clients still love you and are willing to commit perjury for you?

    BINGO: You may meet Bernie Madoff in the cafeteria.
    I gotta call BS here.... There's no way this is possible. Are they going to call every call in and out of your bill for a month and try to forensically put together the last 30 days, complete with cancellations, rescheduling and everything else screwy that happens?

    Think about how much time/effort it would take to do this.... and then there's the whole privacy thing. Isn't a search warrant needed for this type of stuff? Everytime I call the phone company they give 8 different explanations of how all my records are private and nobody can access them.

    If we can't even get phone records for terrorists trying kill us I really doubt the phone company is going to turn over (or that anyone would be interested in) Acme Home Inspection Service.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I've never had a client who did not have the ability to use cash or checks. And the few times that it's been difficult to collect payment it was never due to lack of checks.

    As for reporting cash income - well, I have a guilty conscious. I always leave a wide paper trail if ever audited.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Whatever or however you collect your fee is strictly a business decision.

    Cash or checks only is fine. Cash, checks, credit/debit cards are fine. It really makes little difference as long as you collect the fee.

    I even use the ability to take CC's as a form of a security down payment. When I have an out of town client or a person that just wants me to bill them I require a CC number and information as a security measure. Before I release the report I verify that the CC is good for the amount of the inspection. They have 5 days to get the payment to me before I charge the card for the amount. I have never had a problem in the 10 years I have been accepting CC's.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  24. #24
    Grant Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    New to the business, but taking Cash, Check, Visa/MC. No Discover or Amex because of their massive fee structure. I get lots of requests for a sucker who will take payment after closing. Does anyone actually accept this?

    Using Merchant Warehouse which ends up being $31 a month minimum total. Sounds like I may need to look into Sams...

    Grant Jones
    La Vergne (Nashville), TN


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Cash, check or cc's for me. I also belong to Tradebank and barter exchange in a legal manner.
    While it is done all the time the way Scott is doing it, it is illegal according to IRS (if you don't report income). Tradebank takes away to need to find direct barter partners.

    According to my credit card processing provider, it is against the rules for me to charge more for taking credit cards.

    As far as the IRS calling me up, or past customers up to find out how they paid.........BS.

    Last edited by Jack Feldmann; 09-16-2009 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Changed IRA to IRS

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Cash, check or cc's for me. I also belong to Tradebank and barter exchange in a legal manner.
    While it is done all the time the way Scott is doing it, it is illegal according to IRS (if you don't report income). Tradebank takes away to need to find direct barter partners.
    Of course the income is reported.....

    According to my credit card processing provider, it is against the rules for me to charge more for taking credit cards.
    They all have that requirement. Just don't advertise it in print!

    As far as the IRA calling me up, or past customers up to find out how they paid.........BS.
    Agree!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Of course the income is reported.....

    As is the expenditure for goods purchased FOR THE BUSINESS, which is a write-off.

    You "sell" a $250 inspection.

    You "purchased" $250 worth or tires for your business vehicle, which is a vehicle maintenance expense.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I woudln't want the IRA or the Orange Order to call me up.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    We have a law in Illinois that we must turn over the inspection report to the client within 48 hours of the inspection. That's "must," as in shall. Cleverly, the law has no allowance for our being able to withhold the report due to lack of payment.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    We have a law in Illinois that we must turn over the inspection report to the client within 48 hours of the inspection. That's "must," as in shall. Cleverly, the law has no allowance for our being able to withhold the report due to lack of payment.
    Eric, most if not all licensed states have that same requirement. The payment part, I bet can be found in a loophole or wording in the rule or statute.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    According to my credit card processing provider, it is against the rules for me to charge more for taking credit cards.
    That may be but it isn't against the rules to offer a discount for paying in another manner, such as Net, 2% Cash. Non-issue for most business accounts with a national bank, that offer "soft" variable fees debits vs. higher average daily available balance "soft" credits; Its the clearing house for "soft" approval codes that "hurts". Not necessary to have a retail account just a commercial one - the latter being cheaper averaging less than 1,500 deposit "items" a month. When you consistantly double that number of deposit "items", it is cheaper to simply open a second account.


  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Eric, most if not all licensed states have that same requirement. The payment part, I bet can be found in a loophole or wording in the rule or statute.
    Yeah

    The loop hole is...........................

    If you have your car fixed and you do not pay the bill when you come to pic the car up.....You do not get your car.

    Same with any service. You pay or you do not get that service finished.

    Go to Walmart and see if you can get a shopping cart full of trash and walk out the door with out paying for it.

    You can have anything any licensing party wants to have in their rules. When you do the inspection you can not give folks the report if it is not finished. The report being given to the client in a certain time frame is based on the completion of the inspection and report. No pay....no completion of the inspection and report as the report is part of the inspection.

    No state guidelines are going to enforce any 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 day rule if you did not get paid.


  33. #33
    Tom Comer's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Payment for Services

    I use PP through my website. The customer goes to my website, clicks on the payment tab and enters their information. Easy...they charge about 3% per transaction and it is in my bank account 2 days after i withdraw it from PP, which takes about 2 minutes...

    Tom Comer


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Comer View Post
    I use PP through my website. The customer goes to my website, clicks on the payment tab and enters their information. Easy...they charge about 3% per transaction and it is in my bank account 2 days after i withdraw it from PP, which takes about 2 minutes...

    Tom Comer
    How do you withdraw it? Write a check from a different account?


  35. #35
    David Selman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Mitchell,

    It is a good idea to stay away from PayPal in my opinion. At one time, I was using it to process payments on another company website that I ran. It was time consuming to operate and I was never quite comfortable about the transfer of money from PayPal to my bank account.

    In addition, there were times when I received tons of "scam" emails claiming to be part of PayPal or PayPal security. Sometimes it was actually hard to tell the difference between a scam email and the real thing.

    Stick to cash, checks and credit cards. They are a safer bet. I would suggest contacting your bank about what vender they recommend for accepting credit cards.

    I wish I had a home inspection to charge a credit card for today....

    Good Luck,
    David Selman
    Selman Home Inspections
    Home Inspection Professionals With A Free Limited Warranty


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by David Selman View Post
    Mitchell,

    It is a good idea to stay away from PayPal in my opinion. At one time, I was using it to process payments on another company website that I ran. It was time consuming to operate and I was never quite comfortable about the transfer of money from PayPal to my bank account.

    In addition, there were times when I received tons of "scam" emails claiming to be part of PayPal or PayPal security. Sometimes it was actually hard to tell the difference between a scam email and the real thing.

    Stick to cash, checks and credit cards. They are a safer bet. I would suggest contacting your bank about what vender they recommend for accepting credit cards.

    I wish I had a home inspection to charge a credit card for today....

    Good Luck,
    David Selman
    Selman Home Inspections
    Home Inspection Professionals With A Free Limited Warranty
    Thanks David. I am beginning to lean that way myself. I do not want any more expenses that I have to have right now and I usually have a check within a few days anyway. I have never had a check bounce with any of my customers.

    Thanks for the input guys.


  37. #37
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I have used paypal for several years without any problem.
    Transferring the $$ is easy - push a couple of buttons - done.
    Actually, I used the money market acount - everything went in to the money market -- then I transferred when I had a better place for it.
    Right now, the money market rate, as well as all other interest, rates are very low.
    (edit) One of the reasons I use Paypal is that I do not want anything to do with anyones credit card -- clients appreciate that.

    Last edited by Richard Stanley; 09-19-2009 at 08:56 AM. Reason: add

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I cannot remember the last time someone paid me by cash.
    I would hope before the IRS went thru all my phone calls, they would first go after the contractors that demand cash for $20,000-50,000 remodels, and pay their employees with cash.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  39. #39
    David Letkeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I went through the hassle of setting up a CC merchant account one now customers can pay right on my website. I'm not crazy about it but whatever sets me apart from my competition :-)


  40. #40
    Stefan McGuire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I've always felt that doing CC's are a big waste.

    If someone can't write a check (that won't bounce) or pony-up cash they probably aren't responsible enough to be purchasing a home, or they are going to have the cheapest inspector they can find do their inspection (I don't want to work for those people anyways). I have never had someone say to me "Sorry, if you won't take a credit card I will find someone else to do the inspection".

    In about 2500 inspections I've only had 2-3 checks bounce and every time the person has been really embarrased (and it's usually some fluke that it happened anyways) and paid me ASAP.

    I suppose one day cash and checks will all be obsolete anyways, and we are going to have a built in magnetic strip on our foreheads... Uncle sam will get his share everytime that way.


  41. #41
    Bruce Hutton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Do any of you guys get paid through the closing statements?
    I do several this way.
    Most of the agents in my area demand for payment to be made through the closing statement...Their comment = Well I dont get paid until closing.
    I dont argue unless they are closing beyond 30-40 days.
    If I did argue I may loose a lot of business.

    I would perfer they pay on site & about half do.
    The jobs I book without an agent making the call to me pay on site.

    So again do any of you guys get paid through the closing statement.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Hutton View Post
    Do any of you guys get paid through the closing statements?
    I do several this way.
    Most of the agents in my area demand for payment to be made through the closing statement...Their comment = Well I dont get paid until closing.
    I dont argue unless they are closing beyond 30-40 days.
    If I did argue I may loose a lot of business.

    I would perfer they pay on site & about half do.
    The jobs I book without an agent making the call to me pay on site.

    So again do any of you guys get paid through the closing statement.
    Why are the agents dictating on how you get paid? Next time they say this tell them that a home inspection is a service not unlike getting a haircut. You pay for that service when it is provided. Inspectors do not work on commission or on a contingency fee.

    What happens if the home does not close? I can tell you... You will not get paid! One of the reasons I have the following requirements if I'm to get paid at closing.

    If I'm asked to wait for closing I have a couple of requirements:
    1. I charge a $50 fee for this service
    2. I must have a credit card number. I do not charge the card unless I do not receive the payment by 10 days after the scheduled closing date.

    Those are my rules and they do not change.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  43. #43
    Bruce Hutton's Avatar
    Bruce Hutton Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Why are the agents dictating on how you get paid? Next time they say this tell them that a home inspection is a service not unlike getting a haircut. You pay for that service when it is provided. Inspectors do not work on commission or on a contingency fee.

    What happens if the home does not close? I can tell you... You will not get paid!
    Those are my rules and they do not change.
    Scott,
    I am in a small community 70,000...That's is home town & surrounding areas.

    I do this full time...If I had the pit bull attitude I'd be looking for work.

    I have no problem getting paid...Agents will have money held at excrow if necessary so that I may be paid.

    I work with the top 20 producers in my area.

    And no I do not tailor my reports to the agents...If that was your next thought!

    To me its all about presentation / proper commucation!

    I have great luck with what i am doing i just wondered if anyone else gets paid at closing.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Hutton View Post
    Scott,
    I am in a small community 70,000...That's is home town & surrounding areas.

    I do this full time...If I had the pit bull attitude I'd be looking for work.

    I have no problem getting paid...Agents will have money held at excrow if necessary so that I may be paid.

    I work with the top 20 producers in my area.

    And no I do not tailor my reports to the agents...If that was your next thought!

    To me its all about presentation / proper commucation!

    I have great luck with what i am doing i just wondered if anyone else gets paid at closing.
    Hi Bruce,

    I'm in a town of about 25,000 but I also cover about a 100 mile radius, and this does include Nashville TN. This is a full-time profession for me as well.

    Don't forget that you are running a business and that if you do not lookout for your well being, nobody else will. I know many inspectors across the country and I would say that 90% get paid at the inspection or prior to the delivery of the report. For those that allow payment at closing, most secure that payment with a credit card.

    When I started this gig 15+ years ago, I did everything I could not to upset the agents and the clients. If they wanted me to wait for payment till closing I would do it, etc, etc...... I wised up when I realized that I was on the loosing end if the home did not close.

    It is good to hear that you have had a positive experience in getting paid at closing, I did not have the same experience. This is why I now secure such payments with a credit card.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  45. #45
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    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I accept cash or check, however, if I know a client is out of town and would likely be mailing a check, I recommend that they pay through PayPal (have had numerous occasions where client "forgets" to mail check for a couple of days). It's easy for both parties, with the only downside, that it can take a few days to get the money into my account. I require that the payment be made and verified by PayPal prior to the inspection report being released (and have never had any delays).

    One great thing that I have been able to do this year is through my credit union, I can deposit checks on-line which get credited to account immediately (it's called Express Post) and I have 5 days to mail the check to the credit union. It's better than even cash as I NEVER have to make a trip to the bank!

    NICE!


  46. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I accept Checks, Cash or Check by phone but no Credit Cards. I have Draft Creator software ($79.00) that is downloadable for a trial and then can be purchased. I got it years ago to sign my tenants up for their rent. I would simply do a draft on the 1st of the month. Now I sign up my recurring pest control customers and draft their account each service period. Other than the cost of the program there is nothing to pay.


  47. #47
    Timothy M. Barr's Avatar
    Timothy M. Barr Guest

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    I got stung once while paying at closing.Clint walked away from house when they got my report. It took a letter from my attorney to get my money. Now if they want(realitor) wants me to get paid at closing he/she writes me a check at the time of inspection to cover cost .If clients doesn't I cash check.Other than that cash,check,or $25 more added to cc for service fees.
    Question for everybody Has anybody ever had an agent ask for a kick back for lining you up with client?


  48. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Payment for Services

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy M. Barr View Post
    Question for everybody Has anybody ever had an agent ask for a kick back for lining you up with client?
    Nope, and if they did I would not do except clients from that agent.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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