I came across a question that I thought was a good topic of conversation and that is: should you pass fees onto clients?
When we say “fees,” we’re talking about all those little miscellaneous fees you get charged by your bank, by PayPal, by your merchant accounts, etc.
My answer: No. No, you should not pass those fees onto clients. And here’s why.
1. First of all, those fees are just the cost of doing business. They’re your problem, not your clients (and that’s how they feel about this as well).
2. Those fees are expenses that you get to write off at the end of the year come tax-time. In fact, you want to have those kind of expenses because it’s going to reduce the amount of money you have to pay taxes on. They actually help you in a round-about way. So make sure you are recording them religiously in your bookkeeping as expenses.
3. Passing on nickel and dime fees like that to clients is terribly un-customer friendly. It generates ill-will. Nothing pisses clients off more and causes resentment (which is NEVER good for any relationship) than to be nickeled and dimed like that. You should already have those kinds of things built into the professional rates and fees you charge. If you can’t absorb those kind of costs, you aren’t charging enough.
4. You want policies that generate good-will in clients. A lot of this has to do with mere perception and interesting human psychology. Clients much prefer to pay one simple fee, even if it’s higher, than having to be hit up at every turn for reimbursement of nickel and dime expenses. It just feels less to them and so it feels like a better experience.