Alternative Payment Methods For Webcam Shows

camgirl in blue silking performing webcam shows

Before I begin, let me state that I think the processing rates for so called ‘high risk’ services such as adult-oriented webcam shows are ridiculously high. That said, many new independent camgirls don’t seem to understand the importance of having sustainable payment processing such as Zomabio, CCBill or Epoch, so I figured I write about the pros and cons of the ‘ad hoc’ alternative payment methods most commonly used by newer independent camgirls.

Gift Rocket

Gift Rocket is an American-based system through which camgirls with a Gift Rocket account can receive ‘gifts’ or payments from customers. The pros are that the cost of sending money to another party are borne by the person sending the money, not the recipient. This means that processing costs for the camgirl are zero, and the customer pays the fee of $2 plus 5% of the total gift amount in processing costs. The other main benefit of using Gift Rocket is that the customer does not need to have his own Gift Rocket account in order to send money, he simply uses his credit card to send the agreed upon amount to the camgirl’s email address that is registered with the site. The customer never sees the camgirl’s name, address or identifying info, making Gift Rocket safe and anonymous, which is important for our purposes.

The main downside of using Gift Rocket as payment for skype webcam shows is that only customers located in the US can use it, the service does not allow people from outside the US to send funds through their system. Independent camgirls outside of the US can create a Gift Rocket account, however non-Americans can only withdraw funds through paypal, which is NOT a safe or sustainable solution. If you use Paypal as an independent camgirl in any capacity related to your webcam sex work, it really is only a matter of time before your Paypal account gets frozen or suspended.

Another negative about Gift Rocket is that while the recipient of funds receives the ‘gift’ immediately, Gift Rocket only debits the customer’s credit card at a later date, meaning that there is no guarantee you will get paid for the webcam shows you perform. If the credit card is declined at that later date you are totally out of luck.

Amazon Gift Cards

Amazon gift cards are a popular payment option for independent camgirls providing skype webcam shows, as these cards are anonymous and safe, provided you always redeem the gift card prior to starting the cam show. The main drawback to these cards, and the reason I don’t accept them myself is because I can’t pay my bills with gift cards or deposit them into a savings account, I can only spend them on consumer goods. That’s great if you’re a fan of online shopping (I am not) but even for those of you who are Amazon gift cards will never be able to replace payment processing.

Payoneer

Payoneer private loads are an efficient and low cost payment option for camgirls offering yahoo and skype webcam shows, but there are significant drawbacks to the service as well. First off, the good: the fee for private loads is 3.75% and customers only need the email address attached to your payoneer account, they don’t need to create an account themselves. The downside is tha as of now only payoneer debit card holders can accept private loads, you cannot do so if you receive payoneer payments via direct deposit/global bank transfer. This means that while the fees for receiving payments are low, the expenses attached to card maintenance and withdrawal of funds from the card are expensive. Further, unless you regularly receive payoneer payments from a registered partner (such as a cam site) your card will be deactivated and your ability to accept private loads removed.

Payoneer is a great service but they aren’t a payment processor, and are quite vocal about it. As a camgirl you are not permitted to put a Payoneer payment link on your website, and your ability to accept private loads is at the sole discretion of the company. Expect that as your volume of payments rises your ability to receive private loads will be curtailed.  See this link for further information on the payoneer private load policy.

Another drawback to using Payoneer as a payment option for webcam shows is that customer payments are not transferred immediately, there is often a two day hold on the customer making a payment and the funds being removed from his credit card and appearing in your account. This means that if a payment is declined you only find out after the fact, unless you always require Payoneer payment two days in advance. Not a great solution for spur-of-the-moment webcam show requests.

Paxum

Paxum is a similar service to payoneer although unlike the former they encourage private use. Paxum is anonymous and the low costs of payment (which are paid by the customer) are 4.95% of the total amount + $0.50 + 25 cents. Still, fees to withdraw ones funds from a Paxum account are quite steep, at 5$ for check and $8.95 for ACH (EFT). There is also a $40 surcharge if a payment from a customer is charged back, which means that in the event of a chargeback you lose the cost of the webcam show plus an additional $40. Another drawback is that customers must create a Paxum account in order to send payments to your Paxum account, and creating your own verified Paxum account in order to withdraw funds can be quite a bureaucratic ordeal.

Money Pak/Blue Bird

Money Pak and Blue Bird are two great safe, secure and anonymous alternative payment options, but since they can only be used by Americans within America I don’t consider them to be a general viable option for webcam show payments. I’m not American, but even if I was easily half my customers are located in nations outside the US, simply put these services would be useless for a great percentage of my webcam show clients. Feel free to do your own research if you own circumstances are more US-centric, however.

 Why Alternative Payments Do Not Replace Adult Payment Processing for Webcam Shows

All of the options listed above have their uses and pros and cons, but they don’t replace adult payment processing for skype webcam shows because none offer the protection offered by processors such as CCBill, Zombaio and Epoch. Adult payment processors blacklist customers who have charged back, and cards that are declined for innocent bank errors appear immediately, before you have performed the agreed upon webcam show service. Anyone who uses adult payment processing knows how frequently innocent errors that cause credit card declines occur, and few of the services listed above offer any method to protect independent camgirls against that. Further, many of the options listed above offer low cost processing but carry high fees to withdraw funds, in effect raising the cost of accessing your money far above the initial processing fee.  I’m not saying don’t use these services, I’ve used many of them myself and been pleased, but I could never run a thriving business without adult payment processing that notifies me immediately of card declines. If you want to be a full time independent camgirl you need to either get your own merchant account or use a site for payment processing that offers a sub-account system of the same. That’s the only way to protect yourself as you grow your business.

 

Independent Cam Girls Do It Better

The Independent Cam Girls Scene is Changing: We Need to Be on Our Toes

independent cam girls on webcam in black lace

I feel a bit odd writing this, but the topic of changes to the independent cam girls ‘scene’ has been on my mind a lot recently so I figured I’d just write it out 🙂 Like cam sex itself, the niche of independent cam girls is a new niche and the field is constantly changing. New technology emerges rendering the old obsolete, independent cam girl listing sites rise and fall, but through it all the tough (that’s us) 🙂 keep thriving. First off, I want to make something clear. I’m not averse to change, while I’m somewhat cat-like in the sense that when things are good I want them to stay exactly the same for ever and ever, I’ve come to realize over the past few years that change is pretty much always for the better, if we use our minds creatively.

Sites With Problematic Payment Options, Camgirl Contracts and Business Plans

There’s been a couple of new independent cam girl listing sites that have emerged recently that really concern me. One features really questionable payment options, and the other has an independent cam girl contract that makes me cringe. It’s seriously that bad. I don’t want to put these sites on blast publicly, partly because I don’t think it’s fair to critique a site without giving the site reps an opportunity to respond (and I’m not about to turn my beloved cam sex blog into a mouthpiece for PR) and partly because I don’t want to  give the site any extra traffic from the independent cam sex fans who read here. What I would hope is that if you’re a cam girl who is new to independent camming, that you would scrutinize the model contracts of every independent cam girl listing site you join. Think critically, and when in doubt ask questions, both to your cam girl peers or to the site reps themselves.

If you’re wondering about the sites to which I’m obliquely referring, feel free to drop me an email at jesse@quinn69.com. I would never try to tell other independent cam girls how to run their businesses or which sites to use or not use, but at the same time there are a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I don’t want anyone to get burned simply because they don’t know what to look out for. With that said, there are a few (old and new) listing sites for independent cam girls that are run by open, honest and legitimate webmasters, so if you need some rec’s on the good guys (and girls) feel free to hit me up via email for those as well.

In being independent cam girls we occupy a pretty unique space, when ya think about it. On the one hand we’re entirely independent, but on the other we rely upon each other to help build this niche, as not a single one of us can do that alone. In that way I do think of each one of us as members of a pretty wicked community, even those independent cam girls who have never exchanged a word between each other. That’s where I’m coming from with this post…I see a couple of sites that have huge warning flags waving and I don’t want to just sit by silently and watch my peers potentially get burned.

In closing, just watch out for yourself. Read your contracts, question anything that seems odd and never feel you NEED to join any given site in order to succeed. Have faith in your own judgement and ability to turn hard work into something awesome.

*drops dildo and steps off soapbox*

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Payment Processing for Skype Cam Girls: Update

 

skype cam girls live on webcam

 

New Fees for Skype Cam Girls

Not all change is for the better, and the latest development in the arena of payment processing for skype cam girls sucks. Those of you who have independent skype cam girl merchant accounts already know this, but for those skype cam girls out there who are weighing the pros and cons of different payment processing options before making the leap, know that Mastercard has now decided to charge an annual $500 fee per merchant account for the ability to offer this particular credit card option. Combined with the annual $500 Visa fee, upfront charge of $750 and per-sale payment processing costs that typically range from 10-15%, we’re talking a significant chunk of change per year, solely for the privilege of offering Visa and Mastercard payment options to our cam sex customers.

 

Options for Skype Cam Girls That Do Not Involve Annual Fees

Luckily there are ways around these new skype cam girl merchant account fees. Zombaio is one payment processing option that involves no upfront or annual fees for credit card processing and has low processing rates by adult industry standards. It’s a service I recommend highly. The drawbacks, as I’ve explored before here, are that the installation of Zombaio can be quite tricky if their automatic installation system won’t work on your site, and payouts must process for a full month before being sent out. It’s not an ideal solution for those skype cam girls who rely on quick payouts.

One positive thing I’ve noticed about Zombaio is that over the past couple of years it’s become far more well-known amongst customers and potential customers. This is important because many guys are a bit wary of using a total unknown (to them) payment method, and it wasn’t too long ago that many guys only felt safe using a well-known system like CCBill. I’ve definitely noticed that over the past couple of years more and more new customers feel comfortable using Zombaio, perhaps because many mainstream cam sites use non-CCBill options so they are growing accustomed to trying other systems, but either way this is good news for independent camgirls who want to process their own payments without paying a ton of money to Visa and Mastercard for the privilege of doing so. Zombaio is my first choice processor and I’ve been happily using it to book high volumes of business for almost a year now.

You can also join an independent skype cam girl listing site and use that site’s payment processor, but the drawback here is that sites that do not offer processing through CCBill are set up in such a way that you have no control over the money you earn until the site owner sends it to you. The main risk involved in using private processing offered by sites that list skype cam girls is that you rely upon the goodwill and professionalism of the site owner to send you the payments you’ve earned. Luckily the vast majority of skype cam girl listing site owners are honest and professional, but still I’d be wary of building too much of your business around something you don’t fully control.

While the processing rates for skype cam girl listing sites that offer CCBill tend to be high (at 25%, leaving you with 75%), the main benefit is that payments are sent directly through CCBill, these sites do not act as a middle-man between you and your money.

 

How Should Skype Cam Girls Proceed Regarding These New Credit Card Fees?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer, of course, but if you’re a brand new to being a skype cam girl I would not recommend that you set up your own merchant account and pay the fees for credit card processing right away, as many skype cam girls start off making fairly little as they build their customer bases and businesses. What I would suggest is using a range of options to minimize risk, using a combination of Zombaio and skype cam girl listing site processing to ensure that, should something go wrong, your entire business model does not come crashing down or your funds lost.

In all things, we skype cam girls must think strategically. Being an entrepreneur means using creativity and logic in equal doses when creating and executing a business plan, and finding secure, reliable and sustainable payment processing options is a huge part of that. You can’t build a successful and sustainable business on amazon giftcards, moneypak and payoneer private load paments alone so finding good credit card processing options are a must.

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Independent Camgirls and Taxes

 

Independent Camgirls Gotta Pay Taxes

Since I just finished wrapping up the oh-so-fun task of doing my taxes last week I figured this would be a good time to write about the responsibilities that we independent camgirls regarding taxes. As tax laws differ from nation to nation obviously you’ll need to research the laws in your own jurisdiction, but please know that independent camgirls gotta pay tax. I observe some independent camgirls who seem to assume that if they aren’t being paid by a company that they don’t need to declare that income, but this mentality couldn’t be further from the truth. Even setting aside the ethical issue of each of us paying our fair share for participation in a civilized society, not declaring income can set up independent camgirls for a whole host of legal and financial difficulties down the road.

 

As Independent Camgirls Our Incomes Are Traceable

If you work online and accept electronic payments from customers for skype cam sex shows and content, the payments you receive are impossible to hide. There is always an electronic record of the transfer of money from our customers to our financial accounts (eg: bank accounts, payoneer accounts, etc) so if you opt not to declare your income and end up getting audited it would be quite easy for your government to discover your undeclared earnings. Under-reporting taxes can result in huge penalties and interest charges that greatly exceed any tax you would have owed had you just declared your income in the first place.

 

Benefits of Declaring Income

Beyond the ‘downside’ of having to pay tax on our earnings as independent camgirls, there are a whole host of benefits that come along with declaring income honestly. One such benefit emerges when it comes to large ‘milestone’ purchases. Let’s say you’re saving for a down payment on your first home or want to buy a new car or rent your first apartment, in all these cases your financial records will be factored into your ability to pay for what you seek to purchase or rent. If you declare your income, you can also deposit large sums into savings accounts without worry that the government will question where all this money is coming from. If you want to enjoy your life and secure your future you need to keep ‘clean’ financially, as making a large purchase will raise red flags is your reported income is significantly less than your actual purchasing power or savings account balances.

For independent camgirls who are in school, have children or are in a low income bracket, declaring income can actually result in a net financial benefit, in that by filing taxes you will be eligible for tax breaks and tax credits that you won’t receive if you don’t file.

 

How to Set Money Aside for Expected Taxes

In general, it’s advised that all camgirls (not just independent camgirls) set aside 30-35% of our earnings each week/month to a specific ‘tax fund’ so that when tax time rolls around you won’t struggle to come up with the tax monies owing. Bear in mid however that if you are earning well (eg: 2k per week or more consistently) you’d be wise to set aside more than that.  One way to estimate how much money you will end up owing come tax time is to look over your earnings records and extrapolate that over the year. Then consult tax bracket calculators online to get a rough sense of what your tax responsibility will end up being. It’s always better to over-save than to be left without necessary funds, so err on the side of saving too much than too little for taxes. If your taxes end up being less than you thought you end up with a nice little boost to your personal savings accounts, so it’s a win/win to save more than you expect you’ll need.

Many camgirls who do not set aside money for taxes end up with a great deal of stress come tax time, as they find themselves without the funds necessary to pay what they owe. The biggest mistake I see many camgirls make is in assuming that the whole of each paycheck is disposable income, for each of us to use however we wish. Nothing could be further from the truth, in that unlike those who receive paychecks as employees (and thus have state, federal tax etc deducted automatically from each paycheck), as independent camgirls we are NOT employees of any company and receive our payments with no such deductions. It’s our responsibility to set part of each payment we receive in anticipation of the taxes we will be required to pay at a later date.

If this is your first year as a camgirl, you don’t need to make quarterly tax payments, although if you are an American camgirl do anticipate that you will be required to make quarterly tax payments during your second year as an independent contractor and each year thereafter. In Canada the rules are slightly different, and camgirls need not make quarterly tax payments unless notified to do so by Canada Revenue.

For further reading on taxes as they relate to camgirls (including independent camgirls), visit the tax authority website for your jurisdiction (eg: the IRS, HM Revenue & Customs or Canada Revenue  for American, UK and Canadian independent camgirls, respectively). Do not get caught in the misconception that just because we as independent camgirls do not receive earnings statements (such as 1099′s) from cam sites that we are free and clear of paying tax on our earnings. What we earn is traceable and it’s impossible to live a good life and plan (and save!) for your future without declaring your income. The risks of not doing so just aren’t worth it.

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Money Tips For New Camgirls

camgirls smoking on webcam

How Much Money Do Camgirls Earn?

If you’re new to adult internet modelling and cam sex sites, probably your biggest question is “how much money do camgirls typically earn?”. Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all” answer to that, as every cam girl will have different levels of earnings that also vary from site. You could make $100 an hour average, you could make nothing, or you may hover somewhere in between. As camgirls we’re independent contractors, which means that it’s up to us to earn the money we want, no customer or cam site is simply going to hand it to us. That said, below I’ll explore some of the tips I’ve learned from my peers throughout the years, as well as a few earnings tips that I’ve figured out for myself that will hopefully help you earn the money you want as a camgirl or ‘adult internet model’ (personally I hate that latter phrase…I’m not a fucking ‘model’).

 

New Camgirls Need Network Cam Sites

I love being an independent skype cam girl and I do a ‘fuck yess’ every time I see camgirls really commit themselves to this cam sex niche, but I would never recommend that brand new camgirls venture out independently. The main reason why is that without customers you have no business, and acquiring customers as an independent camgirl is a marathon, not a race. If you start out as a skype camgirl and have no clue what you’re doing (how to promote, acquire customers, manage boundaries, maintain your website and payment processing, create return customers) chances are you’ll earn very little. I see many camgirls who assume that all that’s required to be a skype camgirl is throw up a website and join an independent camgirl listing site or two, when in reality that’s not even 1% of the job.  That’s why most of the independent camgirl websites floating around out there on the net will be dead in a year…most camgirls who venture out independently quit because it’s really hard work.

 

Which Cam Sex Sites to Choose?

As different cam sites offer different features, have different site cultures and cater to different types of customer traffic, your best bet is to sign up to at least two cam sites and experiment until you find the cam site that works best for you. Some camgirls do well on one site and can’t earn a dime on another, with other camgirls it will be vice versa. A huge part of being a successful camgirl is experiementing with different strategies until you figure out what works best for you, so have patience and confidence and don’t give up if you have a rough start. Most successful camgirls worked up to their earnings levels, it’s rare for a new camgirl to consistently bank each and every shift right off the bat. Check out the forum linked above to learn more about the different cam sites and pick a couple that you’re interested in trying out.

 

How Camgirls Earn Money on Cam

You might assume that camgirls strictly use our sexuality to earn money, but there’s really far more to the job that that. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your cam persona and be original and unique in everything you do on cam and with your customers. If all customers wanted was a routine ‘paint-by-numbers’ sex show they’d be on the tube sites surfing free porn, but they come to us because they want an authentic and symbiotic experience with another human being. There’s way more to being a successful camgirl than weilding a sex toy, so use your mind, your personality and your creativity to give your customers an interactive experience they’ll never forget. They’ll keep coming back (hate the pun, not the punner), you’ll have fun and your earnings will grow and grow.

Most importantly though, in order to earn large you actually have to log in and turn on your webcam. All of the successful camgirls I know (myself included) work steady, regular hours. Simply put, if you want to bank you need to be prepared to work. It is a job, and the hours you put in will be reflected in your paychecks.

I’ll probably expand this post when I have a bit more time, but for now I’ll leave you with a couple more links to check out in your research. Good luck and happy camming!

Avoid Studios

Starting Place for Camgirls

How to Do a Search

Camgirl Computer Health

How To Choose a Sex Toy

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