Reading Booking Codes and Assessing Risk

independent camgirl with pink hair posing

Knowledge is Power: The Vital Importance of Booking Codes in Assessing Risk

I wanted to write a post about reading booking/transaction codes and assessing risk levels of new potential clients, due to some questions I’ve been receiving lately about booking declines and how to assess and mitigate chargeback (cb) risk without turning away legitimate clients.

While every processor will occasionally decline the odd legit client, for the most part declines are an indy chica’s best friend, in that they help ensure that you won’t do work you won’t get paid for.

As independent camgirls it’s vital for each of us to know how to read declines, in the interests of  both minimizing our risk and easing any fears of chargebacks that one may experience when interacting with new clients.

Declines are generally pretty rare, but when they occur they generally occur for one of the following reasons:

1) insufficient funds on the debit or credit card

2) no CCV data, which means the user has no access to the back of the
card-meaning the highest risk of cb

It’s really important for all indy cam girls to become accustomed to reading decline codes, as no matter what independent listing site you work the same codes still apply. If you receive a decline with a Transaction ID NSF 51 that means your client needs to use a new card as he’s over his limit on that card, whereas if you receive a Transaction code N7 that means he likely doesn’t have the card in hand (meaning a HUGE cb risk as there’s a good likelihood that the card data is stolen).

For those who are interested in a chart on decline codes, this: https://stats.slimcd.com/documentation/Error%20Codes_full.htm is the best I’ve found, and can really help you guide clients towards making successful payments and avoid the thieves. In all honesty if you want to do skype shows the above should be your bible.

If the decline is simply a matter of an NSF card you can ask your client to switch to another card. However, if he can’t provide a CCV number (the 3-4 digit number on the back of the credit card) tread with extreme caution, as chances are the card info is stolen and he doesn’t have access to the actual plastic held by the legit owner.

 

Risk Level in Not Tied to Booking Amount

Unlike many independent camgirls I’m not afraid of large sum bookings, as I’ve set my scrubbing system up to catch the losers no matter how much (or how little) they spend. If anything I’ve found that cb’s tend to be tied to lower-volume bookings, and that high-volume regs are the least likely to chargeback.

 

Independent Camming is Lower Risk Than Other Adult Niches

Regarding the risk of cb’s, avoiding them successfully is in large part due to a diligent scrutinizing of your bookings, but there are also a few factors that make independent camming far lower risk than other forms of adult entertainment that I’d like to explore below:

First off, please don’t stress out about cb’s too much, as indy is actually very low risk. The main reason why is that with our payment systems the funds are taken from the credit card before the show begins. With many pay per min cam sites the funds are only deducted at a later date, meaning many cb’s are actually card declines. Every now and then you’ll encounter a declined payment from a client with a ‘do not honor’ code, which simply means that the card is either closed or the client is over his limit. That’s a good thing, as an upfront decline means you won’t end up doing work you won’t get paid for like you would on a network cam site that doesn’t cover cb’s. On a site like IMLive for example, that NSF payment for a cam show would result in a cb.

Indy is also less high risk than porn membership sites, in that much of the fraud there is guys signing up with stolen cards to steal the members are material to sell on file locker sites for their own profit. Since there are tons of cam girls performing sex shows in free chat there’s no incentive for guys to use a stolen card to record a skype
show-they can get that for free already all over the net.

 

Main Red Flags for Indy Cam Girls

The main risk factors are female names (indicating either a stolen card or a mom/gf/wife’s card-and she WILL charge back once it’s discovered because her coward partner/son will deny it was him) and disposable email
accounts; beyond that it’s about trusting your gut and knowing how to read the booking info for each transaction notification you receive. Another successful strategy involving geo-blocking nations associated with high fraud risk. In almost 6 years as an indy camgirl I’ve had 4 cb’s worth less than $200 in total, pennies when considering my overall booking volumes. In sum, cb risk is something to pay attention to, but not stress over.

Knowledge is power, and learning how to read transaction/booking codes is a vital tool in both protecting yourself from fraud and in enjoying your new clients as you grow your own independent cam business.

Good luck out there, and happy camming 🙂

My New Site For Independent Webcam Girls

independent webcam girls smoking on skype

Change is a Constant For Independent Webcam Girls

Like the adult industry in general, the field of independent camming changes rapidly, and while some changes have been amazingly positive, some of the changes have had the effect of significantly raising the bar to entry for webcam girls who wish to dive into this niche. Over the past year one of the most significant challenges for newly independent webcam girls has been the issue of payment processing, more specifically the costs associated with payment processing for skype cam sex shows. As frequent readers of this cam sex blog already know, payment processing has been a pretty significant focus of my posts, and up until now I’ve always suggested the newly independent webcam girls look into payment processing with Zombaio, as this IPSP (internet payment system provider) presents the lowest processing cost (at 9.99%-12.99% it’s less than the 15% charged by CCBill, Epoch et al.) without the yearly fees charged by Visa and Mastercard, which range between $1000 and $1500 USD per year depending upon provider.

Overall my experience with Zombaio has been a positive one, I’ve been well-treated by the company and received my payouts without issue, however in my visits to online adult webmaster forums I’ve discovered that my experience hasn’t been a universal one, that some account holders are experiencing significant and apparently frequent issues with overdue payments. This worries me on a number of levels, both personal and in terms of overall effect on our niche of the adult industry. The personal affect is obvious, as I have skype cam show bookings that are processing through Zombaio, but I also worry about what the stability of this company means for our niche, in that if Zombaio were to close or became an unreliable option the bar to entry for skype webcam girls would increase significantly.

The effect of a higher bar to entry for webcam girls who wish to become independent of the cam site concerns me because, well, I care about this niche. I want it to thrive, I want independent webcam girls to thrive, and I want us to be able to operate our own businesses on terms that our favorable to us. I am concerned that as options for independent processing narrow the indy listings sites gain more power in our mutual relationships, particularly in regards to payout terms and payout rates.

My Plan for My New Webcam Site

As I began investigating my own payment processing options I began to think about how I could create a plan that would benefit this niche, as well as myself as individual webcam girl, and I came up with a plan that I think and hope will raise the bar for skype webcam girl options within this niche. My plan is a listing site that offers competitive payment processing and promotion via a one-stop-shop for independent webcam model skype shows, videos and fetish clips and phone sex, and I’m incredibly excited about it. In creating this new site my aim is to incorporate and improve upon my favorite features of existing sites while simultaneously addressing what I feel are the drawbacks of those sites, all at a payout that is higher than existing options whilst still maintaining the highest frequency of payout at the lowest payout threshold.

In the initial stages my new site for independent webcam girls will offer a payout of 80% base and 85% for those camgirls who earn $100 per week or more via any of the features of the site (skype cam shows, videos and phone sex will all be included in the overall weekly earnings as calculated for payout rate). However, my business plan as I’ve devised it allows for a payout of 85% base and 90% reward payout for webcam girls who earn $100 or more, so I do expect to be raising payouts within the next few months. My reasons for starting out conservatively are twofold. Primarily I want to avoid the ‘bait and switch’ approach many sites seem to use during their initial stages, promising higher rewards only to backtrack after the site has become established and camgirls have invested time and effort in using the site, but also I hope that other sites will rise to meet my 80% base payout, which would mean that my site would help raise the bar across the niche for payouts within this niche. By then I’ll be raising payouts to 85% base. 🙂

Even at my current, opening payout, the independent webcam girls who join and earn $100 per week or more will receive the payout (and frequency of payout) offered by CCBill and Epoch without the additional Visa and Mastercard fees attached to these services. At the 90% reward level I have planned, the camgirls who join and earn $100 per week or more will receive the same payout as is offered by Zombaio, with a far higher frequency and lower threshold of payout than is offered by that service. All this means that with my plan and my site independent webcam girls will be able to reap the benefits of an individual IPSP merchant account without the costs involved in setting up those accounts. This is an important aspect of my new venture, as I don’t want this to be solely a profit venture. I want this directory for independent webcam girls to give something back to the niche and to the community of camgirls who operate within this niche.

I have to say in approaching my peers with my new site concept I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I’ve been truly blown away by the support and encouragement I’ve received. Thank you so much, I really look forward to creating with this site a vibrant, active community for independent webcam girls and customers.

If you’d like to join or are interested in learning more, visit the ‘become a model’ link at LiveCamModelShows.com


A New Option for Independent Cam Models

Happy camming y’all 🙂

Love Your Independent Cam Work

independent cam girl Quinn in tight black dress

Ok, first off I want to state that even though I love independent cam work I know even the best job has crappy days, so this isn’t some fan service piece on why each and every client/shift/day is oh-so perfect. Life is life, and some days suck no matter what one’s occupation. That said, what inspired this post was an email I received from a newly independent cam girl who basically composed a rant delineating everything she hates about the job, and then inquiring as to how she could boost her independent cam show income. Huh?

Independent Cam Work Can Be Anything We Want It To Be

The above title is why I love independent cam work; I can shape it to suit my needs, my interests, my lifestyle. I’d actually argue that all camgirls possess this advantage but as independent cam girls we have more latitude than most. We don’t have to worry about cam site rules, customs and preferences, we can organize our work and shape our personas to suit us, rather than the other way around. That’s what I found so surprising about the aforementioned email I received, the chica was complaining about aspects of her work that are entirely under her own control, aspects that she has the power to alter.

Feeling burned out and need a break from skype and live cam shows? Shoot videos and post them for your regular clients to enjoy in your absence, or post your phone sex line for live sex without the cam component. Offer text chat over skype, or just ignore your messengers until your favorite clients drop by. Tired of trolls asking for paypal and previews? Ignore and move on. Most camgirls don’t have the luxury of being able to direct our playmates to any site or service we choose, so to not take advantage of this benefit when need be is to miss out on one of the coolest features of independent cam work.

I receive a lot of emails from newly independent cam girls asking for tips and strategies on succeeding in this niche, and while I try to be encouraging and helpful ultimately this niche is a difficult one in which to thrive. Very few camgirls who ‘go indy’ actually succeed in attaining a sustainable high income doing independent cam work, but a guaranteed recipe for failure is disliking the work, disliking one’s clients, feeling that as an independent cam girl one can just phone it in and go through the motions without negative repercussions.

Indy is hard, full stop. Creating, maintaining and growing a client base is hard and sticking with it through the ‘trial and error’ period is hard. If you don’t find a way to enjoy your time in this niche you won’t succeed, both because you won’t be able to perform to your full potential and because you’ll ultimately resent the time you’ve put in with little in the way of sustainable reward.

All that said, independent cam work really can be anything we want it to be; we’re independent entrepreneurs and we decide how to run our own businesses. What I’m arguing here is that if you don’t approach the niche with that in mind you will burn out, you will return to the cam sites and you’ll have missed out on an amazing opportunity to do your own thing on your own terms. To carve your own space you need to actually care about it though, you need to find something fulfilling in what you do in order to make all the hard work worth it.

I haven’t as of yet responded to the aforementioned email, to be honest considering the tone of it I suspect she’s left the niche already, but still I thought it was worth writing about here if only to give new skype cam girls a sense that they’re not alone if they’re feeling frustrated. Never forget that YOU choose how to run your business, and that as a skype camgirl you have the privilege of designing your work to suit you. There’s tremendous power in the fact that you decide how you work and when you work. In sum, find something to love in this field or chances are you will crash out. Not every day (particularly when just starting out) will be sunshine and roses, but if you embrace your job as YOU define it you’ll build a strong client base who enjoy you because you enjoy them, and your hard work will pay off.

Beyond that, life is too damn short to not love what you do. Good luck out there.

Indy Camgirls, Gift Cards and Wishlist Issues

indy camgirls in erotic art

In my last post regarding alternative payments for webcam shows I touched on Amazon Gift Cards, which seem to be one of the most popular options used by indy camgirls who dabble in indy camming. While Gift Cards are assumed to be a risk-free payment option, I wanted to clarify how to use gift cards safely and to clear up any confusion regarding gift cards and wishlists, which are two entirely separate systems with their own respective procedures and risks.

How Indy Camgirls Use Amazon Gift Cards

In selecting any payment method, security and anonymity are vital factors. For this reason, smart indy camgirls create ‘work’ amazon accounts that don’t have their real names or addresses attached. This is because it is possible for customers to contact Amazon and inquire about the personal info of the individual to whom they sent the card. From there, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to redeem the gift card prior to performing a cam show or sending content. Up until the gift card is redeemed it can be cancelled, so waiting until a later date to redeem to gift puts you at risk of being ripped off. Receive the card, redeem it and then perform the cam show. 🙂

Many camgirls assume the it’s impossible for shady customers to chargeback gift cards, and while chargeback rates with this payment option are very low, it is possible to have a gift card refunded if a stolen credit card was used to purchase it. Know that even after redeeming the gift card there is a very slight chance you’ll have the value of the card refunded.

Amazon Wishlists and Indy Camgirls: Issues To Keep in Mind

The main thing to keep in mind when creating an Amazon wishlist is that as an indy camgirl your privacy needs to be a top concern. For that reason, smart indy camgirls set up a P.O. Box through which to receive wishlist purchases, as the wishlist system does leave quite a few holes in security of private information. The primary issue with Amazon wishlists is that many items featured on Amazon are sent via a third-party distributor, and third-party distributors tend not to uphold Amazon account privacy settings. This means it’s quite easy for customers to track down your name and address if a wishlist purchase is sent through a third party. Unfortunately even confining one’s wishlist to items delivered straight from Amazon itself isn’t a guarantee, as I’ve heard of indy camgirls who had their account information shared with purchasers when the purchase was confined to Amazon itself. For that reason, I’d suggest no indy camgirl set up an Amazon wishlist without having a P.O. Box or other anonymous address through which to receive gifts. The risks of having your address and full name revealed to any random person on the internet is just too high to take chances.

Another issue with wishlists is that they aren’t viable options for cam show payment. Up until the time an item is shipped the purchase can be easily cancelled by the purchaser, so wishlist purchases are NOT a secure payment option for skype cam shows or custom videos. If you do want to accept wishlist items as payment, wait until the item actually arrives prior to performing the skype cam show or sending the video, as up until the day it arrives at your door there is no guarantee you will actually receive the item purchased.

Amazon Gift Cards and wishlists will never replace secure and reliable payment processing for skype cam shows, but for indy camgirls who do want to avail themselves of these systems it’s important to know how to do so safely, protecting both your personal information and your time. In sum, never attach your real name and address to an Amazon account you use for indy camming customers, and always redeem gift cards as soon as you receive them, prior to completing a skype cam show or video order. Lastly, let your customers know that wishlist purchases are not a viable form of payment and never perform a cam show based on a wishlist purchase you haven’t yet received.

While I don’t accept Amazon Gift Cards and don’t have a wishlist, these are great services for indy camgirls provided they’re used appropriately. Safety first, always 🙂

Independent Webcam Girls Readiness Quiz

independent webcam girls smoking on skype topless

Are you Well-Equipped to Work in the Niche of Independent Webcam girls?

Inspired by a peer of mine who created a checklist for discovering one’s ideal cam site, I decided to create a little quiz to help camgirls discover if they suit independent webcam work. Obviously this isn’t a peer-reviewed scientific study or anything, but I do hope it helps new independent webcam girls discover whether they’re on the right track in regards to pursuing work in this niche.

Are you familiar with html and basic website design?

  • Yes (2 points)
  • No, but I’m prepared to give myself a crash course (1 point)
  • No (0 points)

Do you enjoy regular cam sex customers or do you prefer to always interact with new people?

  • Yes, I enjoy cultivating a real connection with my regular playmates (2 points)
  • I enjoy a mix of both regulars and new clients (1 point)
  • No, I don’t like repeat clients and I’m not interested in building an authentic connection with them (0 points)

How many hours per week are you prepared to spend on self-promotion, web design, advertising, etc?

  • 14 hours or more (2 points)
  • 7 hours (1 point)
  • I rarely self-promote (0 points)

Assess your creativity…

  • I love being creative, thinking up new ideas and strategies and following through on implementing them (2 points)
  • I’m not very comfortable with the unknown, I prefer to do what I already know how to do but I’m willing to push myself into trying new things (1 points)
  • Camming is about tits and ass, what does creativity have to do with it? (0 points)

What sort of cam shows do you enjoy most?

  • Individualized and unique cam shows (2 points)
  • I have a pretty set routine but I don’t mind specific requests (1 point)
  • I do my thing, they watch, they cum. Rinse and repeat (0 points)

Assess your skills at maintaining boundaries:

  • I’m comfortable establishing what is ok with me and what isn’t. I respect my own time and demand that my cam sex playmates do the same. I’m not afraid to say ‘no’. (2 points)
  • I’m uncomfortable with vocalizing my boundaries and I never know what to say when a customer is requesting something (free chit chat, a particular sex act, etc) that doesn’t work for me. I always manage to get through it but establishing and maintaining boundaries is uncomfortable. (1 point)
  • I get angry when customers disrespect my time and never know how to handle it smoothly. I have a difficult time vocalizing my needs so customers tend to take advantage of me (0 points)

My approach to camming is:

  • A marathon, not a race. I understand that when just starting out building an independent webcam model business takes time, and a tremendous amount of work. I’m willing to invest whatever is required to reap rewards down the road. (2 points)
  • I want/need immediate results but I’m willing to invest time and effort for rewards at a later date. (1 point)
  • I need money now. Camming is not my future (0 points)

When I am off-cam I spend time strategizing…

  • Frequently. I often think about what I want to do next, what I want to try next, how I can improve on things I’m currently doing. I follow through on those ideas. (2 points)
  • Every couple of days a thought pops into my head but I don’t often follow through on those ideas. (1 point)
  • Rarely if ever. (0 points)

When it comes to responsibility level in providing cam sex shows:

  • I want to handle everything. Website design and maintenance, payment processing, promotion and advertising; I want to do it all and I trust my own skill and work ethic (2 points)
  • I want to branch out into providing things for myself, but I’m still learning. I’m implementing new skills quickly though, and I’m not afraid of handling new responsibilities all on my own. (1 point)
  • I prefer to just do cam sex shows. I don’t want to pursue real payment processing and I’m not all that invested in self-promotion (0 points)

 

Assess Your Independent Webcam Girl Readiness Score:

0-8 points: The good news is you can still be an amazing and successful camgirl, but the niche of independent webcam girls is probably not for you. If you don’t enjoy the specialized work that comes with running your own independent business chances are you won’t excel at maintaining the required level of that work long-term.

9-13 points: You’re still learning the skills required to be successful in this niche, but you’re on the right track. Try building your independent webcam girl business while still working the network cam sites so that you still have a regular income coming in while you’re learning the ropes. You’re on the right track but you still have a lot to learn and new skills and strategies to implement.

14-18 points: You are perfect for the niche of independent camgirls, and you’re well positioned to achieve amazing success running your own independent business. Trust your skill, your creativity and your work ethic and go for it. (and contact me for a link exchange once you build your website!) 🙂

 

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