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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    Help! Design, Bartering, and Paying

    sorry for the long post =( help please

    Hey guys i got a little dilemma here. first off, im not yet a professional designer but im looking to start a site soon...
    on edevboards (www.edevboards.com) i responded to a bartering post. the swap was one template for a site 'web host watch' for a year of level 3 hosting from 2ninety.com
    welp i designed a site for them and won and got the hosting. (im not particularly proud of the design it was a quickie but nonetheless they like it www.webhostwatch.co.uk [please note its not updated])
    then they asked me to do a second site for them. balingo.com. for this they gave me another year/account and a .com domain name. (template at www.geocities.com/wvmi/balingo.html [again not updated])
    now, they asked me to do a third site. this time, all i was offered was a domain name. one. thats like ten bucks. im not done with the template yet, but so far its at www.wvmimaging.com/secure.html
    my question is- am i getting ripped off? i mean, im not yet a pro designer and so im timid at asking for pay. (and it makes it harder that they're in the UK im in the US). the payment for the template is something thats worth a couple burgers at McDonalds. get my point? are they taking advantage of me?
    if so, what should i do? demand $$ (and how much) and say if they dont pay they dont get the template? im stuck! the only thing that even makes me think i might be able to ask for $$ is they told me they had to pay hundreds of pounds to display the official SSL logos (can see them on 2ninety.com) and so i know they are willing to pay for SOMETHING

    help is appreciated =)
    Last edited by geiger; Jul 11, 2001 at 19:05.

  2. #2
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    I think you should try to get money, yes, or at least advertising impressions. Good business relationships and partnerships are very important, but when one side starts taking advantage of the other it just doesn't work.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    i wouldnt say its a partnership. they've said i can include a link to my site, but i dont have one yet! ill probably start one soon... how old do you have to be in the US before you can generate income?

    what does everyone else think? am i getting taken advantage of?

  4. #4
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    Once they contract you to do more than one site, it's a partnership in a sense. And I sure as hell hope 14 is old enough, cause if it's not I'm in some kind of trouble. Might want to check stuff out like incorporation, tax status, income tax, etc. though.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    im thinking of asking for 100USD. its a small price and they should be willing to pay it. im just worried about the transaction... can they be trusted to leave the design until after payment? can we GET SOME MORE OPINIONS, PLEASE?? lol thanks

  6. #6
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    Well... Maybe half up front and the rest later? As for trust... well, they ARE a hosting company, as opposed to the first site I designed (the guy told me I'd get $200 for the job, after the site went up he hasn't contacted me since, whenever I AIM him he puts his away message on, etc. etc.), which was a "non-nude" site (read: tasteless shots of celebrities in bikinis). Anyway, this was a total waste of time as it's not the kind of site you put in your portfolio, and I only gleaned one thing from doing it: Make sure you have some way of securing payment.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    The bottom line is this.

    Unless you talked about getting paid up front (read: before you started the work) then you have no legal right to ask for $$ now. If you do, then YOU are the one being unethical.

    It does sound like they are mildly taking advantage of you, but that might just be because you agreed to really small compensations for the first two sites. I would finish the site you are working on and leave it at that. Then send them a polite email asking them if they are happy with your work. If they say they are then offer to become their "designer" for a small stipend. Maybe $300 a month for up to 4 websites a month. Or something like that.

    If you feel that you are being taken advantage of (even if you are not) then your client will not be getting your best work. That's not fair to them OR to YOU.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    well i decided to forget asking for money this site anyway, but thanks creole. im leaving in 2 days for two and a half weeks and wont be reachable. in that time they already have to have the template and any transaction would be difficult. Creole, i agree what you said about asking for money at this point in time. Thanks
    I know they want me to do at least one more site for them, so I will ask for something then, but there's no way I will be able to create 4 sites a month or anything like that. I doubt they even need that many. They're a group of web business partners that create a bunch of sites, but i think 50 sites a year is a bit excessive. Plus it hinders me that im still in schooling.

    so i think i basically solved it... dont ask now, ask on the next site and up front.

    thats pretty much my decision, but if anyone else has an opinion id like to hear it =)

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    okay well its decided. i didnt ask for anything on the secure290 template. however in the final email concerning it, i included the following

    "would you still like a 4netdesign template? if so, i can begin working on it in about 2-3 weeks. and up front, i'd like to ask for a mere 150 USD for it. im sure you know templates can often be upwards from $300. sometimes even above $1000. A small fee would also ensure my full potential =)"

    hope that sounds okay. im nervous for a response lol
    they're my only source of business right now and if they say no, i cant give in and say "fine ill do it for free". so that means if they say no im screwed =/ but i guess in business you take chances, right?

  10. #10
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    You'll get more sources of business soon enough, don't worry.

  11. #11
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    hey, man. Don't sweat this too much. They are a business and for all intents and purposes so are you. This kind of thing happens in business hundreds of times a day. I think you are doing the right thin in not trying to get money on these last sites, but if they are happy with your work, they will pay you for the last one. If they aren't willing to pay, you probably don't want to work for them anyways. I like your work. You seem to have a knack for know-how and I encourage you to keep at it. You are ahead of your time.

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  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    thanks =) well i got an email back from them. they said they are putting 4netdesign on the backburner for now (they're currently working on 10 sites) so im not sure if they lost interest in me of they are still looking for me to design something in the future.

    anyone know about a few of these things (US only)?
    minimum age for generating income
    how to create a business account
    lol- where do i start???

  13. #13
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    when you work for yourself, there is no limit. All you need is your social security number...and make sure you pay quarterly income taxes. Find an accountant to help you if need be.

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  14. #14
    PHP Developer W1LL's Avatar
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    Here's what I do to secure payment...
    Make a few of the pages for the site, and take some screenshots. Send them off to the customer, as proof that you are serious of making his site. They then, of course, can not steal any of your coding.
    When the screenshots have been received demand half of the total payment. When you have received this (if it is by cheque make sure it clears), complete the site, and send all the files. Then demand the other 50%.

    *demand may have sounded a bit harsh, but I'm tired and cant be bothered to think up any other words.

    - Will

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict michaelwheaton's Avatar
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    I agree with W1LL that you should get 50% before you do much work. How much is WebHostWatch charging these companies to have a website built? They could have charged Belingo five hundred bucks for the site and then just payed you some hosting and a domain name. Hopefully this is not the case, but I'd ask them. These are some of your first websites so you shouldn't expect too much for them, but come on...a domain name for a site template!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    uh... what are you talking about? what companies for webhostwatch?? I was the one who made that site! not some companies... and same with balingo.

  17. #17
    What's HTML?
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    As far as I know, there is no minimum age in the States for making money. Eventually, though, you will need to pay income taxes (don't forget to keep all your receipts and write off ALL your expenses). If worse comes to worse, have clients write out checks to your father or a business account "owned" by your father.

    What exactly do you mean by setting up a "business account"? A checking account specifically for your business? If that's the case, it varies from state-to-state. In Iowa, I just went to my bank and set one up, didn't take more than half-an-hour.
    Last edited by RKuhle; Jul 12, 2001 at 16:27.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict michaelwheaton's Avatar
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    Lol, let me see if I've got this right. Are WebHostWatch, Balingo, and Secure290 the same business/person? Or is it that WebHostWatch is getting inquiries from other businesses and passing these jobs on to you? I understood that you were basically working for WebHostWatch, who were doing jobs for Balingo and Secure290.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    yep... it doesnt count as me making money if i just send everythign to my father right? he will have to pay the income off of it and no one would ever know its me =)

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    lol. you dont understand any of it. i designed webhostwatch. i designed balingo. i designed secure290. i designed all of these sites. the latest was secure290 (right now at www.wvmimaging.com/secure.html ) and the only thing they offered was a doman

  21. #21
    What's HTML?
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    Well don't screw your father out of the deal or make him pay the taxes. Be sure to pay him the appropriate amount of money. I really see no reason for you to do this though, just have the companies write out the checks to you.

    Another thing, save your Internet and phone bills (if you're on dial-up), you can write them off your taxes.
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    well im 14 (15 in 2 months) and im not old enough for a checking account. so how can i accept checks? lol

  23. #23
    What's HTML?
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    My 5 year old brother can accept checks.

    Writing checks is a different situation, but easy solution. Have your father co-sign your checking account. That's what I and half the kids in my school did.
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    dont you have to pay money for checking accounts? i think you do... if its not a lot then it doenst matter much. but hundreds isnt good.

  25. #25
    What's HTML?
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    My credit union requires that $100 be in my account at all times (to protect from over-drafting I believe). But other than that, they don't charge me. In fact, I gain interest on my checking account.

    Shop around...
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