As-salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you), Dear Readers...

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Q&A: Getting Paid while Living Abroad

Question: I wrote an article for an overseas publication that will pay about $30. We do not have PayPal in my country. What are my options for payment, considering that a bank transfer may cost $30-$40? Will the magazine cover the cost?

~ A Sister in Islam

Answer: This depends on the magazine in question. Some magazines do pay the costs of transfer fees, while others do not. Some magazines will split it 50-50. This is something you should ask about and agree on before writing for a particular magazine or publication.

Another idea is to write several more articles for the same magazine and then wait until the amount of payment is enough to justify the transfer fee. For example, if you make $180 for six articles, the impact of the $40 transfer fee will be less. Of course, this depends on your relationship with the magazine, if they are interested in having you write for them again, your trust in them, how long you would end up waiting for payment, etc.

If they value your writing services, they may also be willing to increase the amount of your payment if you explain that it is not economically viable for you to work for rates that are too low, and especially if you are losing money in the process.

The bottom line is: Negotiation.

Other than that, look into money transfer services such as Western Union and Money Bookers. These have fees, too, but you may find they are less than a regular bank transfer.

Write back, and let us know how it goes, insha'Allah.

Amel S. Abdullah

Do you have a question you’d like to see answered on this blog? Post it here, or send it to me via e-mail. All questions sent via e-mail will be posted anonymously (unless you request otherwise). Click here for an index of all questions answered on this blog.

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This blog is maintained by Amel Abdullah, a freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator.