Monday, May 21, 2007

Microstock: Being Paid

The big day has come, your efforts are being paid off, it is time for you to receive your payment from the microstock sites. How will you be paid?

Almost all the microstock sites have a minimum payment requirement. This means you must earn up to a minimum amount before you can request for a payment. The minimum amount varies from site to site as well as payment modes.

In general, there are three modes of payment:

a) A check by an American bank
b) Paypal
c) Moneybooker

Paypal and Moneybooker are electronic money transfers which post smaller overheads to both the microstock sites and the photographers. For example, in Singapore where I reside, it costs about US$50.00 to cash a check issued by a foreign bank. This cost goes up higher in less developed countries.

Paypal is my personal preferred payment mode. The transfer is fast, it only takes a day or two for the money to go into my paypal account. The payment is in US dollars. I can either keep the money in my Paypal account to fund my online purchases or convert the US dollars into Singapore dollars and directly deposit them into my Singapore bank account. It is convenient, but the exchange rate is less favourable than the published rate or the street rate.

Opening a basic Paypal account is free of charge. There are some restrictions on the basic account. You have a withdrawal limit of US$500.00 per month without paying an extra fee or an upgrade to the business account.

The table below shows the minimum amount required before you can make a payment request for the various sites and payment modes. ShutterStock has the highest minimum amount required to ask for a check payment. Just a few months ago, that amount was still US$100.00, then they feel US$100.00 is too small a sum for all the hassles to issue a check. In addition, it is not very beneficial for some photographers who are from Eastern Europe, where they have to pay a hefty sum to cash their American checks. With the fast sales at ShutterStock, it is not really a problem to reach US$300.00. Just a side note, ShutterStock is the only site that you do NOT need to make a payment request. Once your earnings reach the default minimum amount, or the minimum amount you have specified in your account setting, they will automatically make the payment at the end of the month.

Microstock SiteCheckPaypalMoneyBooker


  1. with Fotolia there is no minimum.
    But they take a small fee is the transfer is less than $50.


  2. Thanks for the information, mate.

  3. latest Minimums for 123rf - paypal $50, MoneyBookers - $50, checks - $200.

    Great job!

  4. Thanks for the latest information, alex. I didn't know they had lower the minimum payout. That's good news :)