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 🙂

FTP for Indy Skype Camgirls

indy skype camgirls smoking in lingerie

Sex and Fetish Videos are Ideal for Indy Skype Camgirls

As indy skype camgirls we’re lucky in that we can easily make both cam shows and videos available to our clients, whereas many of the ‘big box’ impose rules to prevent the camgirls who work those sites from directing customers to anywhere other than their on-site profile page. Beyond providing an additional source of revenue and being really fucking fun to shoot, video sales are great for keeping clients interested between skype cam sessions, in that through our videos our guys can get an experience with us even when we’re not available for cam shows.

Why Camgirls Who Sell Videos Need FTP

Sex and fetish video sales are great for business, but on the downside they can be resource intensive to upload, particularly for indy skype camgirls who publish videos on more than one site. Unless your internet upload speed is lightning-fast you can’t stream video and upload videos at the same time, meaning you need to find tools to speed up the upload process and minimize the drain on your time and resources. Here enters FTP, the best friend to every indy skype cammodel who also sells sex and fetish videos.

What is FTP, and How Do Indy Skype Camgirls Use It?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it’s basically the generic name for any downloadable pr0gram that allows you to upload files without using a slower-paced browser-based system. One of the most popular forms of FTP is a free, open source program called Filezilla, which can be downloaded here. After downloading the program, open it up and you’ll reach a window that resembles the screenshot posted below:
filezilla 1a

To log into Filezilla and upload files through the program:

Enter the ‘HOST’ name in box #1.

Enter your ‘USERNAME’ in box #2

Enter your ‘PASSWORD’ in box #3

For the ‘PORT’ box #4, the default port is 21. Unless the site to which you are uploading files specifies a port other than 21 you can leave this box blank

Then click ‘QUICK CONNECT’, the box to the far right of the login area.

Once logged in, open a screen that contains your files. Click on the file you wish to upload and drag it over to the area circled in red. Some sites require you to upload files to a specific target folder within that space, however in general unless that space already contains folders simply drag your desired file to the empty box. If you’ve done this correctly you should see your file appear in the very bottom section on the far left titled ‘Queued files’. Once the file has been completely uploaded it will appear in the ‘Successful transfers’ list. And that’s it, you’re done. 🙂

FTP Makes Sex and Fetish Video Sales Easy For Indy Skype Camgirls

 Video sales are a great way for indy skype camgirls to earn extra income and have fun while maintaining engagement with your client base, and file transfer protocol programs such as Filezilla are fantastic for minimizing computer ‘downtime’ spent uploading videos to host sites. While we’re always free to send files ourselves to clients via skype and dropbox, sites that allow customers to download our videos allow our clients to enjoy us even when we’re not online and available for skype shows or peer-to-peer video sharing, and afford indy skype camgirls  additional passive income streams. In sum, FTP programs make it easier for us to make everyone happy, including ourselves by speeding up the upload process, leaving us with more time for skype cam shows and having a life away from our computers.

Win/win. 🙂

 

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.

Skype Webcam Girls and Payment Strategy: Independent vs Sub Account

nude skype webcam girls looking cute on cam

Like all entrepreneurs, as skype webcam girls we need to employ conscious strategy when designing our independent webcam businesses. In designing our businesses, deciding how to handle payment processing is one of the most important decisions we can make, and that’s why it’s been such a frequent topic in my information for skype webcam girls blog posts.

Deciding how as skype webcam girls to handle payment processing essentially comes down to a choice between three options: independent merchant accounts, sub-accounts of payment processing companies or a combination of the two. As I’ve explored before here, amazon gift cards, gift rocket and payoneer private loads are not suitable options for skype webcam girls who are creating thriving and expanding independent businesses.

The Pros and Cons of Independent Processing For Skype Webcam Girls

Since true sub-account payment processing companies tend to be very low risk from a security-of-funds perspective, the main benefit for skype webcam girls who handle their own payment processing is financial. When I decided to go completely independent and created my own Zombaio merchant account all of a sudden I was earning an extra 15% from each skype show booking I received, and over the past year that has added up to a pretty significant sum. Strike that, I earn a massive sum of extra money simply by handling things myself. For that reason, despite the hassle of installing the Zombaio script the effort was more than worth it for me from a financial perspective. An additional benefit of having my own processing is that I can scrub my own purchases, reducing my charge back rate by paying attention to the payment codes that are provided along with each customer booking.

The main downside of handling my own processing is that I eat the cost of chargebacks, as some processors charge a fee over and above the cost of the chargeback. Luckily (knock on laptop) I’ve yet to receive a chargeback on my own processing due to my personal scrubbing system, but the risk is there for skype webcam models who use an independent merchant system.

The Pros and Cons for Skype Webcam Girls Who Use Sub Accounts For Processing

The main benefit for skype webcam girls who use sub-accounts is ease of use. There’s no hassle installing payment scripts, and you don’t even need to host your own website since most payment processor companies for skype webcam girls offer payment links hosted on their servers. An additional benefit is that, since most adult payment processors (with the exception of Zombaio) require upfront annual fees, sub accounts can actually be more financially beneficial than independent merchant accounts for skype webcam girls who are still in the process of building their businesses and do not book high steady volumes of funds. The main downside is that sub-account processing companies typically charge 20-25% (a combination of processing fees and profit), compared with independent merchant accounts that typically take 10-15% percent for processing fees alone.

Skype Webcam Girl Strategy: Combining the Two Systems

So we’ve explored the pros and cons of independent vs sub account processing for skype webcam girls, but designing a strategy can be more creative than a simple ‘one or the other’. An additional issue to keep in mind is the concept of cascading billing, which is employed by most large scale adult companies. Cascading billing involves a set-up that provides additional payment options to clients and customers that were declined by the primary biller. This system increases sales simply because it’s not uncommon for legitimate clients to be declined by one processor, only to be accepted by another. For example, my primary processor occasionally declines even some of my most frequent clients, so having additonal payment options to offer them allows them to make a payment for a webcam show even when they are declined by my primary option. While I obviously strive to keep the majority of my clients to my own independent merchant account, having additional payment options increases my income, even taking into account the additional fee charged by sub account companies.

Issues For Skype Webcam Girls to Keep in Mind When Selecting a Payment Processing Company

The twin primary concerns for skype webcam girls who use payment processing companies are payout percentage and security of funds. In regards to the former, look for a company that charges no more than 20%, at maximum 25%. At 20%, you’re only losing 5-10% compared to handling payment processing independently. In regards to security, ideally skype webcam girls should choose companies that use a true sub-account system, where you have access to the ‘back end’ and receive payments directly from the processor, not the company providing you with the sub account. Having access to the back end allows skype webcam girls to ‘scrub’ their own purchases (thus reducing chargebacks) and receiving payments directly from the processing company reduces the likelihood that you’ll get ripped off if the provider of the sub account decides to close their business. Speaking as someone who had to sue my prior payment processing provider to receive the funds I’d earned through their company (happy ending, I sued and got paid back in full), security of funds is not a given when dealing with a payment processing provider. Had I been receiving payments directly from the processor when my old provider closed up shop, I would have received my funds as usual, without having to file a lawsuit.

Not many payment processing options for skype webcam girls offer true sub-account systems, so in choosing companies that handle sending out payments it’s important to select companies that send out funds weekly, with a very low payout threshold. That way, even if the worst happens and the company takes off with your funds, you’re only out at most a weeks worth of funds. Also, I would advise skype webcam girls to only select companies that offer adult-friendly payment options. Payment processors that offer skype camgirls paypal, for example, are doing you no favors. They don’t care about the security of your funds so your chargeback ratio will be sky high, and they don’t care about the sustainability of their payment system (paypal is NOT sustainable) so it’s just a matter of time until they close their businesses.

One of my top choices for skype webcam girls who don’t wish to handle their own independent processing would be CamGirlServices.com, a company that provides low cost and secure payment processing for camgirls. I’ve worked with this company for a couple of years now, and while I no longer use their processing in my cascade for my own customers (as they offer Zombaio, for which I have my own independent merchant account), I’m impressed with their system because it’s a financially optimal and secure option for skype webcam girls who don’t wish to host their own processing script on their own website server. CamgirlServices offers a true sub-account system with a 78% payout sent directly from Zombaio, meaning that security of funds is guaranteed and the cost of their service works out to $12 on every hundred earned, as compared to having one’s own independent Zombaio account. This is a great company that’s been around for quite a while, and I highly recommend ’em to anyone looking for a high percentage and zero risk payment processing option.

Update: In response to payout issues experienced by some merchants who use Zombaio, I’ve also created a payment processing option for skype webcam girls that balances high, frequent payouts with a low payout threshold. For further info please read this post.

There’s No One ‘Right’ Method For Skype Webcam Girls Designing a Payment Processing Strategy

These days it seems like everyone and their brother is offering payment processing to skype webcam girls, but out of all the options out there only a few offer secure payment processing at a low cost. While I highly recommend that established skype webcam girls with their own customer bases select independent merchant accounts, sub account payment processing companies do fill a legitimate need and can be a tremendous ally in building and maintaining successful and growing independent webcam businesses. The decision on how to handle payment processing is an individual choice each of us needs to make for ourselves (as each skype webcam girl will have her own unique business needs), so design a system that works best for your needs, think strategically and choose your partners wisely if you decide to go the sub account route.

Options for Skype Webcam Girls

CamGirlServices.com:

High payout (78%), no risk payouts (sub-account system)

PayMyShow.com:

High payout (80%), low risk payouts (immediate withdrawal of funds with no minimum), wide variety of payment processing options

LiveCamModelShows.com:

Highest payouts (80-85%), low risk (weekly withdrawal of funds with a $20 minimum, (plus I own it and I’m not about to fuck over my peers).

Options I’d Suggest Skype Webcam girls Avoid

ANY site that offers paypal as a payment option to customers

Skyprivate.com:

This is a relatively new addition to the payment processing scene, and while their payout is within the standard range of 75% their model contract contains some glaring issues. The contract grants the site exclusive use of one’s cam name (this is NOT standard in independent camming) and the right to sell your content commercially. This means that not only are you giving the site a percentage of each show, you’re providing the site with free content they can resell. Also know that selling adult content within the US requires that the seller provide 2257 documentation, which means your private information (ID scan, full name, etc) could be passed along to the purchaser of the content. The contract also (bizarrely) appears to prohibit ‘hard core sex shows’.
Additionally, skype camgirls who have joined this site have reported that charge-back ratios are unusually high and that receiving payments can take up to a month, which is not ideal from a security of funds perspective.
For the above reasons I’m personally quite wary of this particular site, and I haven’t been impressed by the owners refusal to respond to questions regarding his unusual contract terms.

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 🙂