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  • Better way of getting paid?

    Well, I finally stumbled upon a possible source of income.

    My Dad im'ed me on Yahoo! IM (I live in ME, he lives in CA), saying he might have some work.
    Turns out some person says for the website he will pay $300 each time one of his products is bought because of the website.

    I am under the impression that currently there is no initial payment for the site. This I definitely want to change, as there are a lot of grey areas imho.

    What determines if the product was bought as a result of the website? Or can me (and my Dad), independant freelancers, keep track of this? I'm not too trusting of complete strangers.

    And then, is the $300 price per item sold good enough?

    Basically, this guy is selling items at $30,000 to $80,000 apiece. (Deals with motor vehicles - which is why I'm iffy about the payment by vehicles bought method). My Dad seems to think it it could get really popular, I have my doubts.

    The site itself is not too intensive either - no backend work at all needs to be done. Period, though I personally would like to set something up.
    The only thing I really need to do is wow him, and I can (and probably) will resort to some cross-browser DHTML, utilizing proprietary features when needed (yes, I just said that ), to achieve that.

    This guy is also computer illiterate - Dad says he doesn't even own a pc.

    Has anybody here had a similar contract? And what worked/didn't work for you?

    I feel that perhaps a one time payment, on top of some money for vehicles bought because of the website's existance is more appropriate that just a one-time fee, or inflated amounts of money for items bought.

    Thouhts anyone?

    Also, this guy has made a few ludicrous claims (understandable though, considering his lack of computer experience). I mean, he said that he wants his pages in the top 20 results when a search engine is searched for a certain key word, etc.

    Is there an easy way to explain to a client that some things are not feasible, but still keep them interested enough to pay you?

  • #2
    If he doesn't own a PC, how does someone buy something from his website if they can't email him or have a form email him?

    As for payment, I'd suggest a one time payment on top of the kickback from the products just in case the website totally tanks you won't have done your hard work and gotten nothing.

    As for the top 20 for search engines? That would be hard to explain to a completely computer illiterate person... dunno on that one.

    You should work out some kind of contract that would define the perameters of your arrangement so he doesn't give you the shaft.


    • #3
      Sounds like something that could turn out pretty good for you, all factors considered. You mentioned that the project wouldn't be too intensive...definitely worth pursuing.

      As to the payment options, I would get some more information and don't be afraid to ask questions (which I'm sure you're not...). Find out and / or specify a way that you can track sales made via the website that you are entitled to payment for. Be candid, I mean you don't have to make it obvious that you're questioning the guy's integrity, but let it be known that as a standard practice you need a little more than the honor system when it comes to being credited with sales from the website .

      Also, be sure to have a contract (you can find some here if you don't already have one: http://www.globalserve.net/~iwb/site_dev/index.html#law ). There's quite a distance between you and the client, which complicates things a little. I made a site for some (supposed)friends once who resided in Texas. When payment was not received, I took the site down and started small claims proceedings here in Maine. This would force them to come to Maine to dispute the case, payment was received a week later .

      Also, try negotiating the payment offer a bit. Not enough to drive the client off, but sort of get a feel for how steadfast he is on the payment per sale amount. This also goes for some payment upfront. Just say, "Well, I usually require a retainer of $xxx.xx befor beginning a job" (or something to that effect). You'll be able to tell right away whether he is willing to talk or walk...giving you the option to reel him back in or let him go.

      The other plus here is that it will get you some work out there for other potential clients to see. Something for a portfolio is valuable and quite often it's even worth doing some 'non-profit' work to get something out there .

      Is there an easy way to explain to a client that some things are not feasible, but still keep them interested enough to pay you?
      LOL...You'll probably find this to be one of the most common pain in the necks you'll have when dealing with computer illiterate clients. They think that you can do anything and no nothing of the limits there are in web development. Like they'll ask you to make the site say the user's name as soon as they arrive at the site...when you try to tell them that's a bit ridiculous, they say, "Well, I thought you were good?"....or they'll start telling you how they've seen this and that before so they know it's possible, but they can't remember where... .

      At any rate, good luck to you .
      CodingForum Moderator
      "How did a fool and his money get together in the first place?"


      • #4
        Thanks for the excellent advice so far.

        There is the distance, but my Dad is local to him, and he originally contacted my Dad. No offense to my Dad or anything, but he designs websites like I did when I was 13 (only 3 years ago, can't be too critical ), and if he wants this to be done right, needs me on in it .

        The money made will be split, though I suspect I will be doing more of the work - I would never have come across any work like this on my own. How the money will be split I think will be more personal than official, and it seems to be more convenient to consider us both as one entity in terms of the contract.

        Anyway, this is the first professional job I have had a chance at. I will secure a one-time fee for sure, and am debating what amount to first present.

        Given that he is willing to give us $300 selling one item as a result of the website, my gut instinct says $500 is a fair one-time fee? Though I have no experience in this matter, and the more I think about it, if he even sells 5 vehicles as a result, $1500 - taxes, and since he's selling them for so much money, $500 doesn't seem too much to ask to begin with, maybe even a little low for the one-time fee?

        Thanks a lot guys.


        • #5
          I would veer away from a deal like that. Too risky. I've met quite a few people that think they are better salespersons than they actually are. It is very unlikely that people will purchase vehicles via a website. 99% of the time when someone wants to buy a car they are gonna go car lot hopping and browse and not make any committments through a website. Just charge for the work you do.
          CodingForum Supreme Overlord
          All Hail Spookster


          • #6
            Spookster's post makes a lot of sense. Most people probably aren't going to purchase their vehicle from a website. When you said:
            .....he will pay $300 each time one of his products is bought because of the website.
            Do you mean someone has to purchase the vehicle from the website or does 'because of the website' mean that if they mention the fact that they browsed through some vehicles online you'll get paid?...lol.

            After reading Spookster's post, I'd have to agree that you should charge for the work on an hourly, page, etc. rate. I dunno, the whole concept seems to leave you wide open the way the agreement is currently proposed .
            CodingForum Moderator
            "How did a fool and his money get together in the first place?"


            • #7
              I agree completely you need to include in provisions that guarantee you get some sort of payment for your work. A one time payment sounds like the least complicated and most feasible way here. It's easy to get caught up in grand "revenue sharing" proposals, but from personal experience, and especially on the internet, 9 of out 10 are huge disappointments. The fact that this individual is computer illiterate means his perception of the internet is probably based completely on what the media's been feeding us, as the "put up a site and instantly sell millions!" crazy sales vehicle. Most of us know that that is simply not true . His lack of computer understanding probably also means he's grossly oversimplified the procedures involved in tracking online sales and fairly calculating/ allocating your share of the "cut."

              My suggestion is, work in a one time payment plus a REDUCED revenue sharing plan (ie: $150 instead of $300). This gives you room to negotiate down to just the one time payment should it come down to that. Whatever you do, make sure you get paid for your work.
              - George
              - JavaScript Kit- JavaScript tutorials and 400+ scripts!
              - JavaScript Reference- JavaScript reference you can relate to.


              • #8
                As for the top 20 in SE's. Explain the Search Engines like "name recognition". Wal~Mart, Meijers, Kay-Be Toys, Barnes & Noble, Nike, Reebok, Levis - these places have high name recognition because they have the money to spend to get their name recognized by millions.

                The alternative is to propose does he really want the hassle of selling a car to a guy three states away? No. Look around his locale for "Local Directories" (similar to Search Marion. Show/Explain to him the benefits of the LOCAL search Engines over the International ones.

                And most of all, explain to him that he does have the money to get listed high in these local SE's. But to get listed in the top 20 at Yahoo or Google, he's competing with Car Lots across the US. One of them is just south of me about 45 minutes - the largest car lot in the US, I think. Dude has ACRES of concrete. Has a Dealership for nearly every make of car - excluding the "high priced names" (Porche, Ferarri, etc).

                I've rambled long enough. And probably bored you. Sorry. Hehe

                Jers-Web, Inc.
                Ever seen 49,825 Alert Boxes on one page? I have!


                • #9
                  Thanks a lot, this means a lot to me.

                  I'll let you guys know how it goes through come Tuesday.

                  The deal with getting $300 per item bought is that I'm under the impression if the customer became aware of the product, and began forming the idea that he wants to buy it because of the website, then we get the money. Though that way is too grey, and there is no way to 100% know or determine whether the customer did that or not. Definitely an area I'm not too keen on.

                  The more I think about $500 one-time fee + the money per item sold, the more it seems right...


                  • #10
                    To me it seems like this guy is wanting something for nothing and is in a win win situation. I agree with WA post's 100%. I have done a couple of auto web sites and I would recommend you not doing this unless you get a substantial upfront fee for building the site.

                    The referral thing is way to fuzzy.Lets say Foo sees a brand new Yugo on the site and goes down to the dealer. Foo sees the Yugo and decides he wants the Pinto instead. Do you get paid for that? Who is at the dealership looking out for you when you get a refferal? If this place does high volume sales I am pretty sure that web refferals will be missed. Is the dealership going to pay for the web hosting and all the site maintenance? You said there would be no back-end work so who is going to update the site with all the new auto pics?

                    Sorry to be so negative, but many times these things look really great in the beginning and then you end up getting burned in the long run. I do not think a $500 upfront fee will do you justice to build the site. But if you must do this, get a solid contract to cover yourself and so you get paid. A good contract will also help if you find out they are not giving you money for online referrals and for any kind of fuzzy situations.

                    As far as search engines it is something that takes time. On one of the dealership sites I have done it has taken me about 6 months to get decent search engine placement (first 3 pages). Really good people can get placement in about 3 months. This is by just using meta tags, key words, and submissions. I have never tried one of the "pay" placement things.

                    Well good luck, again I am sorry to be negative but this just comes from personal experience.

                    P.S. So are you going to code the site for ie first? Just Kidding
                    does this sig match?


                    • #11
                      i would go for it, but i would ask for the money upfront, and less per car... or you could set a "trial period" to see how much people are interested in buying a car through the site and judge it from that, if you get what i mean.



                      • #12
                        no backend? that means you have to trust him to kept track of the number of referals from the website...
                        Projects I work on: http://www.devnet.info, http://www.mybboard.com
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                        • #13
                          If this guy is so confident that he will sell heaps of cars, ask for the first three/five "commisions" up front.(Kinda have to sell him on the idea)

                          If he says no, he is not that confident after all.

                          If he goes for this, the first three/five cars he sells you wont get a commision for, but at least you cover your butt.

                          Another idea....

                          If you do do it...

                          Sell him on the idea of a follow up e-mail after each car is sold. Explain that customers of $30,000 - $80, 000 cars expect the company they are dealing with to provide proffessional and quick service, - can't get quicker than an e-mail the day the car is sold.

                          Charge (I dunno $50.00 an e-mail) for the service. and in the e-mail, ask what interested them in dealing with this person and what influenced the purchase.

                          This provides valuable feedback to the guy, if the web site directed them to the dealer / guy - you get paid for all the cars bought through the site, and you can then sell the "data base management" service (not the database, as you have charged for the info to be sent out and received, - he owns it - charge for the management of the data base!!!) and e-mail news letters.

                          As the forum always says - get a contract.

                          Good luck

                          Beware, the Cybertooth tiger cometh


                          • #14
                            I agree with the above posts. I would be really leery of a computer illiterate (used?) car salesman!

                            Definitely get paid up front for whatever work you do.

                            Also, if he says "You get $$$ for whatever cars are ordered online", and you find out he is legit, then set up an account with a reputable credit card processing service, like authorize.net or cybersource, or whatnot - that way you have clear proof that the vehicle was ordered and paid for online and you can collect your money according to the contract (you do have one of those, right?! )

                            Former ASP Forum Moderator - I'm back!

                            If you can teach yourself how to learn, you can learn anything. ;)


                            • #15
                              hi Jkd,

                              consider this payback for answering questions in the past.

                              contact me at:

                              [email protected]

                              We'll put this protential customer of yours up in a matter of
                              a half hour and if he doesn't pay, we'll cut his water off.

                              I'll consider him a beta site and you collect the revenue. If
                              you make money on the deal, you'll owe me a favor.

                              for an example, take a look at:

                              broadband is best, but dialup performance is still ok.

                              We're rolling out our marketing in September with a national
                              car association.

                              Bob Paulsen
                              Product Manaqer

                              P.S. Thanks to all the folks here from the old WA forum.
                              Last edited by bpaulsen2000; Jul 3, 2002, 11:09 PM.