Friday, February 15, 2008

To get paid sooner or later

One of the things that both amuses me and confuses me is the number of people who reset their online earnings payouts to a higher amount than the lowest one possible. I first learned about people doing this on MyLot (a paid to post forum). The baseline payout amount is ten dollars there, but one can choose to set it to a higher amount. This behavior makes as much sense to me now as playing the lottery does.

If it was just to aviod paying fees to paypal, I would understand it. Paypal fees, for frequent recievers of payments, I understand are as bad as the fees that credit card machine service providers charge businesses. But many of the people resetting their default payout are not doing it to aviod fees; they are doing it because they are saving up the money for a bigger payment.

I understand the psychology behind it; it is the economical reality that I find faulty.

My viewpoint of this issue is colored, I must admit, by the fact that I ran a restraurant for someone else for a little over a decade. I learned a lot from the Renzios brothers.

Every dime that came in got deposited every night into an account at the closest bank to the location of the various restraurants that they own. And twice a month, this money would be taken out and transferred to their main bank account, so that they could write out payroll and expense checks.

The most important thing is the entire time it was in the bank, it was in an interest bearing account. So they were making money on money that they owed to other people. They are not alone in this practice; all businesses do this.

So by setting your payout to a higher amount, you are allowing those online companies that owe you money to keep the money in an account and earn interest on it. You are paying the opportunity cost of the interest you could have earned.

Why would anyone want to do this? Personally, I have my payout amounts set to the lowest amount that I can get them because I would rather have myself earning the interest rather than other people.

Now there is one occasion that I will wait to do a payout, and that is when I have to manually request payout, such as on Helium. Last month, I will admit that I gained the ability to cash out in the first week, but chose to wait until almost the end of the month to hit the request payment button. Why? Because it takes awhile for me to make payout there, so I waited until the last moment to request my payment. It allowed me to get another two dollars in my hands now that would have sat in their bank account for several months before I could request another payment.

The only reason I could do that is that one has to manually request payment, and they only sends out payments once a month. So I waited until the end of the payout cycle to request. Sure, it will only earn me a couple more cents of interest this year, but better that I earn it than them.

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