Is $350 enough for a Filipino VA?

by 0898
103 replies
Hi Warriors,

All the material on outsourcing to the Philippines suggests you can hire a full time VA for $200-$250 per month.

But I'm starting to doubt that's a viable wage - even in the Philippines.

Let me tell you my story quickly. I've had a full time virtual assistant working for me for 9 months now. It's going great -I started him off at $250 and now he earns $350 per month.

But recently, I was wondering whether this was enough - so I looked into what it costs to rent an apartment in the Philippines.

It turns out, $300 is basically what you need to pay in rent to get somewhere average.

Am I paying my guy enough? Has there been some wage inflation since 2009, when a lot of these 'outsource to the Philippines' blog posts were written?

What do you guys pay your VA?

Thanks
Ian
#$350 #filipino
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    All the material on outsourcing to the Philippines suggests you can hire a full time VA for $200-$250 per month.

    But I'm starting to doubt that's a viable wage - even in the Philippines.

    Let me tell you my story quickly. I've had a full time virtual assistant working for me for 9 months now. It's going great -I started him off at $250 and now he earns $350 per month.

    But recently, I was wondering whether this was enough - so I looked into what it costs to rent an apartment in the Philippines.

    It turns out, $300 is basically what you need to pay in rent to get somewhere average.

    Am I paying my guy enough? Has there been some wage inflation since 2009, when a lot of these 'outsource to the Philippines' blog posts were written?

    What do you guys pay your VA?

    Thanks
    Ian
    $350 is fair and whether you want to give her higher is your choice depending on your experience with her.

    $350 = 14,500 PHP

    Standard Call Center rate is 15,000 Php for non-technical accounts like billing and customer service. The call center job is the worst job for someone who experienced doing it (including myself)... Your VA is earning from the comfort of her home without a boss wandering around so she is fortunate.... That's fair (not too high and not too low)...
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    • Profile picture of the author pdrs
      Originally Posted by Adie View Post

      $350 is fair and whether you want to give her higher is your choice depending on your experience with her.

      $350 = 14,500 PHP

      Standard Call Center rate is 15,000 Php for non-technical accounts like billing and customer service. The call center job is the worst job for someone who experienced doing it (including myself)... Your VA is earning from the comfort of her home without a boss wandering around so she is fortunate.... That's fair (not too high and not too low)...
      This sounds about right but take into account how much your VA actually makes YOU per month.

      If you're paying out $350 but it's really helping you clearing 5 or 6k at the end of the month then I'd be dropping some more just to make sure they stick around as they are pretty valuable.

      But if you're barely scraping by or just getting started and your return isn't that great yet then $350 is probably fair.

      Talk with them, maybe look at a bonus structure etc...
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      • Profile picture of the author Adie
        Originally Posted by pdrs View Post

        This sounds about right but take into account how much your VA actually makes YOU per month.

        If you're paying out $350 but it's really helping you clearing 5 or 6k at the end of the month then I'd be dropping some more just to make sure they stick around as they are pretty valuable.

        But if you're barely scraping by or just getting started and your return isn't that great yet then $350 is probably fair.

        Talk with them, maybe look at a bonus structure etc...
        That's why I said "$350 is fair and whether you want to give her higher is your choice depending on your experience with her."
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      • Profile picture of the author mgsmith
        Originally Posted by pdrs View Post

        This sounds about right but take into account how much your VA actually makes YOU per month.

        If you're paying out $350 but it's really helping you clearing 5 or 6k at the end of the month then I'd be dropping some more just to make sure they stick around as they are pretty valuable.

        But if you're barely scraping by or just getting started and your return isn't that great yet then $350 is probably fair.

        Talk with them, maybe look at a bonus structure etc...
        I agree. If you are getting high enough I don't think it would hurt if you would increase his monthly pay or give him a bonus. Especially when your VA is performing well.
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        • Profile picture of the author chibiks
          Hi, how exactly may I go about hiring a Filipino VA if I so wish?
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    I second what Adie said. Better yet, let me share this tool with you. It's a Basic Salary Report used by many Filipinos whenever they apply a job online at JobStreet.com. Please know that we're not an affiliate of this site.


    Rates will vary depending the location of your Virtual Assistant. Try it out and see for yourself.

    I hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author farahR
      Originally Posted by contentwriting360 View Post

      I second what Adie said. Better yet, let me share this tool with you. It's a Basic Salary Report used by many Filipinos whenever they apply a job online at JobStreet.com. Please know that we're not an affiliate of this site.
      Basic Salary Report

      Rates will vary depending the location of your Virtual Assistant. Try it out and see for yourself. I hope this helps.
      Don't forget to change the Country dropdown box from Singapore (default) to Philippines... I almost fell off my chair.
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  • Profile picture of the author Evocess
    I think it is yes but it depends on you.
    If you see your people working for you worth the budget and it's fair enough to give him/her the right budget.

    As a Filipino worker $350 is enough if you are single but if you have already your family $350 is not enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author WorldAmbassador
      Originally Posted by Evocess View Post

      As a Filipino worker $350 is enough if you are single but if you have already your family $350 is not enough.
      But if your husband works, then $350 would add nicely to your income especially if you perform your work at home where you can look after the kiddies.



      P.S. Always add bonuses onto the salary if they prove to be valuable in adding to your bottom line.
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  • Profile picture of the author ex9to5guy
    $350 is fair depending on your VA. If you havea a VA that is trying to support 3 children then it is not enough. however if you have a VA that is young, single and lives at home that that is more then enough.

    You said that your VA has been with you for 9 months. If they did not like they pay they would of not lasted 9 months. Also, if they wanted more money they would ask for a raise.
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    • Profile picture of the author Elle Holder
      Here's my take on it, although I'm sure many will disagree.

      Why pay someone based on their address?? Why not pay them based upon the value they bring to your business? That's like some mulit-millionaire looking at you or I and saying, oh, you live in the low rent district - at least compared to his - so I get to pay you less.

      I can just hear the cries of "discrimination" if someone tried to pull that off on this part of the earth.
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      • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
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        Originally Posted by Elle Holder View Post

        Why pay someone based on their address??
        It's because there are different rates per city. In some cities in the US, you get paid hourly at a rate of $7.25. In some cities, it's more than that.

        Originally Posted by Elle Holder View Post

        Why not pay them based upon the value they bring to your business?
        That's something that can be considered and I think that's how one should be paid once he has proven his self-worth. But for a beginner, it's alright to start working on the hourly rate, depending on the city you're in. Prove yourself and collect some accomplishments first.
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      • Profile picture of the author bluecoyotemedia
        Ellie

        cmon... what kind of naive statement is that?? the whole concept of outsourcing is to not use our own standard of salary but what is right for the work they do in that particular country.

        I live in costa rica and I have a fulltime maid. I pay her standard wage which is $300 per month.

        should I say

        hey wait a minute.. the same job in NY gets $2000 a month so i should adjust her salary??

        personally I never want to overpay someone but I also do not want to underpay also.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
          Originally Posted by bluecoyotemedia View Post

          Ellie

          cmon... what kind of naive statement is that?? the whole concept of outsourcing is to not use our own standard of salary but what is right for the work they do in that particular country.
          That's not the whole concept of outsourcing.

          Outsourcing is about distributing workload to take advantage of other peoples skills and / or to elleviate workload.

          The fact that people around the world have different costs of living just happens to be a strong reason for outsourcing on a financial level. If everyone on the planet had the same cost of living, a person who has more work than they can handle, or work that involves skills they don't possess is still going to outsource regardless.


          I live in costa rica and I have a fulltime maid. I pay her standard wage which is $300 per month.

          should I say

          hey wait a minute.. the same job in NY gets $2000 a month so i should adjust her salary??
          You should pay her an amount you deem fit.

          In this case, you deem the minimum wage to be fit which reflects that you have financial concerns at the very forefront of your mind.

          Here in the UK the minimum wage is pittance. If I had a maid, I'd pay her above the minimum wage as an incentive to carry out quality work and to discourage her from running to work for the next person who will offer the same. Pay might also be increased again in the future to serve as a motivating blind target.

          If your maid knows that she's only going to get $300 now and in the future, then you can probably expect her to do the bare minimum that she needs to for that $300.

          personally I never want to overpay someone but I also do not want to underpay also.
          In most countries you'd be breaking the law if you "underpaid" so nope, you don't want to do that.

          A lot of people might consider the legal minimum wage an actual "underpay" and they might, they just might, go the extra mile to chip in that little bit more to encourage and motivate trusted, worthy employees.

          It certainly works in the world of corporate business where they adopt effective systems of commissions, bonuses and promotions...
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          • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
            Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

            That's not the whole concept of outsourcing.

            Outsourcing is about distributing workload to take advantage of other peoples skills and / or to elleviate workload.

            The fact that people around the world have different costs of living just happens to be a strong reason for outsourcing on a financial level. If everyone on the planet had the same cost of living, a person who has more work than they can handle, or work that involves skills they don't possess is still going to outsource regardless.


            You should pay her an amount you deem fit.

            In this case, you deem the minimum wage to be fit which reflects that you have financial concerns at the very forefront of your mind.

            Here in the UK the minimum wage is pittance. If I had a maid, I'd pay her above the minimum wage as an incentive to carry out quality work and to discourage her from running to work for the next person who will offer the same. Pay might also be increased again in the future to serve as a motivating blind target.

            If your maid knows that she's only going to get $300 now and in the future, then you can probably expect her to do the bare minimum that she needs to for that $300.

            In most countries you'd be breaking the law if you "underpaid" so nope, you don't want to do that.

            A lot of people might consider the legal minimum wage an actual "underpay" and they might, they just might, go the extra mile to chip in that little bit more to encourage and motivate trusted, worthy employees.

            It certainly works in the world of corporate business where they adopt effective systems of commissions, bonuses and promotions...
            Daniel,

            I can assure you that the PRIMARY reasons that major US corporations outsource to other countries is the financial side of things. It always boils down to money...

            They want cheap labor.

            If they wanted to just spread their workload out, they could do that here, in the united states, because there are lots of educated people living here and plenty of able bodies. We just do not want to work for peanuts.

            So, they go to India, or some other country, where the people live in poverty or at least below the levels and standard of living that most people at least here in the US live under. Where the people are thankful and grateful to get a job and make some money to put food on the table etc...

            Or they go somewhere else where they get huge tax breaks, etc... again, it always boils down to the money.

            I am sure that my blanket statement does not cover all scenarios, but most for sure. And I am sure there may be some exceptions.

            Also, I am not trying to argue with you, just trying to be honest about the whole outsourcing thing. Maybe you guys over there in U.K. do it differently, not sure. But the guys (corporations) over here, they want cheap labor, and if they can, they will go overseas to get it....
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
              Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

              Daniel,

              I can assure you that the PRIMARY reasons that major US corporations outsource to other countries is the financial side of things. It always boils down to money...

              They want cheap labor.
              I stated that it was a strong reason for the fact that the other reasons are that the person or corporations do need to seek the skill, regardless if it's internal in their own developed country or delegated externally.

              The untrue suggestion that's being pushed by some is that you should spend only the minimum. Spending the minimum will often result in reaping the minimum.

              Ultimately it's about cost effectiveness and this doesn't always involve "cheapness".
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        • Profile picture of the author BobbyHicks
          Exactly, if you aren't getting value than why not hire someone locally. Listen, I live here in Cagayan de Oro. You are talking rent for an apartment is like $75.00. Food for an entire month is less than $100. The cost of living here is very cheap so $350 ends up being enough for them here. It's not like we are paying $350 and there rent is $1,200 a month like in Los Angeles.

          Hey, I got paid $1,600 per month when I lived in Los Angeles as a sales manager for a company called CyberTel USA. My Rent was $1,000 per month. Food was almost $350. I had no money to buy a vehicle so I had to pay $100 per month for a Metro card leaving me at $250 left. Is it really any better.

          In all fairness, I basically made the exact same income as these people if you add the cost of living to everything. Paid just enough to get by so we have to come to work everyday. Economic slavery. There is no way to escape it.

          Originally Posted by bluecoyotemedia View Post

          Ellie

          cmon... what kind of naive statement is that?? the whole concept of outsourcing is to not use our own standard of salary but what is right for the work they do in that particular country.

          I live in costa rica and I have a fulltime maid. I pay her standard wage which is $300 per month.

          should I say

          hey wait a minute.. the same job in NY gets $2000 a month so i should adjust her salary??

          personally I never want to overpay someone but I also do not want to underpay also.
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      • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
        Originally Posted by Elle Holder View Post

        Here's my take on it, although I'm sure many will disagree.

        Why pay someone based on their address?? Why not pay them based upon the value they bring to your business? That's like some mulit-millionaire looking at you or I and saying, oh, you live in the low rent district - at least compared to his - so I get to pay you less.

        I can just hear the cries of "discrimination" if someone tried to pull that off on this part of the earth.
        ...that happens every day. This is one of the reasons why companies choose to build things like support centers and labor based jobs in states with lower minimum wage.
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        • $350/month = Reasonable for a remote assistant in the Philippines? Consider these things:

          • Calculate buying power in direct relation to the cost of decent living conditions in the main city in your country and Manila. That's right = Don't just use forex rates and nothing else. Now, let's use USD and the cost of decent living conditions in Los Angeles and Manila as an example ---

          =>> $350/month x 40 (current forex rate) = Php14000 * 3 (the Philippines is a developing country and the US is an industrialized country, so "third world" and "first world" countries, respectively) = Php42000 / 12 (difference of living conditions between these two countries, i.e. Infrastructure quality, government security and programs like housing and education among others, services of banks and credit institutions and insurance companies, health care system, service quality of public and private institutions and so on) = $3500/month. This means:

          • Your remote assistant, if he or she were living in Los Angeles, will have the same buying power and living conditions as someone with a $3500/month income in Los Angeles, though keep in mind that you aren't offering insurance and retirement benefits. Now, to counter compare the monthly income and living conditions of someone living in Los Angeles with a $3500/month subcontractor income, if this person were living in Manila:

          =>> $3500 / 3 ("first world" to "third world") = $1165 x 40 (current forex rate) = Php46650/month / 12 (difference of living conditions) = $3888/month. This means:

          • This remote assistant in Los Angeles, if he or she were living in Manila, will have the same buying power and living conditions as someone with a $3888/month income in Los Angeles, though keep in mind that you aren't offering insurance and retirement benefits. Now:

          =>> I believe $3500 to $4000/month ($42K to $48K/year) is around the standard wages of entry level blue collar jobs in main US cities, though I believe, based on the accounts of my friends and associates in the US, some of whom are Filipinos:

          • People in the US have better living conditions (as described above) when compared against the living conditions of people here in the Philippines with the same jobs in the same industries...
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          • Profile picture of the author zapseo
            Originally Posted by Marx Vergel Melencio View Post

            =>> I believe $3500 to $4000/month ($42K to $48K/year) is around the standard wages of entry level blue collar jobs in main US cities, though I believe, based on the accounts of my friends and associates in the US, some of whom are Filipinos:
            .
            From wikipedia:

            In 2006, the "real" (adjusted for inflation) median annual household income rose 1.3% to $50,233.00 according to the Census Bureau.[6] The real median earnings of men who worked full-time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113 (about 3.6 times minimum wage in 2006 to 3.7 times minimum wage in 2007). For women, the corresponding increase was from $33,437 to $35,102 (2.8 and 2.9 times minimum wage respectively). The median income per household member (including all working and non-working members above the age of 14) was $26,036 in 2006
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    • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
      Originally Posted by futuremills View Post

      Also, if they wanted more money they would ask for a raise.
      Unfortunately, only very few Filipinos could dare to do that.

      Okay, listed below are the monthly rates for a forty-hour week job. These prices are equivalent to the level/type of expertise and experience of the Filipino Virtual employees.

      It is important to note that the cost of living in a particular city is also a basis for the employee’s rate. Thus, employees living in Manila are expected to have a higher pay than with those living in provinces especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

      Data entry – $250-350
      Article/Content Writing – $350-1000
      SEO – $350-500
      Web Designing – $400 -800
      Web Development – $450-900
      PHP Programming – $800-2500
      Ruby on Rails/Django Programming – $2500-4800
      Mobile Apps Development – $800-1200

      For a General VA, I think 400 USD/month is already a good rate for a start.

      Christmas is coming very fast. If you could give a Christmas bonus to your VA(s), you have no idea how happy your VA(s) would be. Let me tell you, they are expecting for it.

      I have 2 Filipino web developers working for me. I treat them as partners, hence until now they are still with me.

      In a nutshell, just treat them well and they will do the same to you. Happy outsourcing!

      Cheers,
      Louie Tugas
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  • Profile picture of the author janzco
    $350 is fair enough here in Davao but if you live in Manila, it should be $500
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    As I said, $350 is fair. But is the OP is really satisfied and wanted to give his VA a little incentive or increase, then that's his decision. Everyone who has good compensation always work diligently...
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    • Profile picture of the author 0898
      Thanks for your replies everyone. There's a lot of material out there that says $200 is a realistic salary, but I just don't see that being true any more.

      To be honest I think $350 probably isn't enough because my VA has a small kid and a wife.

      What I'm thinking of doing is bumping him up to $400 – but also hiring his wife on $300-$350 to begin with, to work on one of my other projects.

      I know she's looking for work.

      That should be win/win I think.
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      • Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

        Thanks for your replies everyone. There's a lot of material out there that says $200 is a realistic salary, but I just don't see that being true any more.

        To be honest I think $350 probably isn't enough because my VA has a small kid and a wife.

        What I'm thinking of doing is bumping him up to $400 - but also hiring his wife on $300-$350 to begin with, to work on one of my other projects.

        I know she's looking for work.

        That should be win/win I think.
        That's very generous of you. I think you VA and his wife would be thankful to have a boss that's concerned about their welfare.

        I just want to point out that it's not just a matter of inflation, it's also a matter of the exchange rate. In as short as six months, the exchange rate between the Philippine peso to US dollar can change by as much as 10-15%. This means that there might be some months that he's actually earning less than what you actually pay him. I suggest that if you really want to be fair with your employee, you either set his salary in peso or make allowances for the changes in exchange rate. Like if the value of the peso rises against the dollar, try to send a little extra to offset the balance.

        Bonuses are always good. Don't forget his 13 month bonus at the end of the year. There are some employers here in the Philippines that offer a midyear bonus (around June) in time for school enrollment. Since your VA has a kid, you may want to consider that.
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      • Profile picture of the author W Wattles Fan
        Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

        Thanks for your replies everyone. There's a lot of material out there that says $200 is a realistic salary, but I just don't see that being true any more.

        To be honest I think $350 probably isn't enough because my VA has a small kid and a wife.

        What I'm thinking of doing is bumping him up to $400 - but also hiring his wife on $300-$350 to begin with, to work on one of my other projects.

        I know she's looking for work.

        That should be win/win I think.
        Well done mate. There is more to life than screwing someone over for the sake of a few extra notes in your pocket. Clearly, you will give them a better quality of life and the child will have a loving upbringing.

        Share the wealth a bit and keep everyone happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Online Guru
    $350 seems ok if he is not living in a large city
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    A good rule to follow is "value added", meaning that your VA salary is not location dependent, it depends on what kind of value is added to your business by the salary.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trevor
    I used to hire a guy from the Philippines and would pay him $250/month. He was doing SE O full-time for me. He would work 40 hours per week and send me daily reports of the backlinking he had done.

    But due to the inconsistency of his work, I was forced to fire him and find someone else.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adie
      Originally Posted by Trevor View Post

      I used to hire a guy from the Philippines and would pay him $250/month. He was doing SE O full-time for me. He would work 40 hours per week and send me daily reports of the backlinking he had done.

      But due to the inconsistency of his work, I was forced to fire him and find someone else.
      Based on your experience with him, I think he deserves it. Other VA's who are working diligently and over deliver the products deserves a little increase as well so it's fully depends on the employer. I have 2 VAs but do not hire them full time. I give assignments for 4 hours of work daily. They can do the 4 hours worth of work anytime of the day. I require only 4 hours per day for the following reason.

      I am not around to monitor their time so hiring full time will make them inefficient considering a lot of distractions online (facebook, youtube, other sites).

      Hiring 2 VA's having 4 hours each daily is far more effective than hiring a full time VA with 8 hours of work daily.
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  • Profile picture of the author OK
    I pay the people I work with in the Philippines more when I'm happy with their service.

    It's always way cheaper for me and I like to have people that are happy to work for/with me, so the end result is better quality and long term relationships.

    I like win-win business relationships.
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  • Profile picture of the author tofrar
    Where in Philippines is he living. I did live in Bacolod for few years and rent a big house for 8000 peso

    $350 = 14,500 PHP

    In Manila everything cost lot more

    Worker in sugarcane 3 - 5000 peso

    Teacher salary 12000 peso and so one

    Philippines is over 7000 island and far a way from having same price everywhere

    I was there 2007-2009
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    Paying someone at $350 is not a bad start. But if this person has proven himself or herself to you, it's only logical to give him/her an increase. This means you appreciate the great work he/she has given you.
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  • Profile picture of the author interactivex
    Depends on the experience and background of the person and where they live. It can be enough, but it's low for a good person in Manila. It's reasonable for outside of Manila.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Dalangin
    $350 isn't enough if the VA is married and has children to feed especially if there's a baby because there's daily diapers and milk. You will feel the outcome of the worker based on the salary you gave. Many will get another employer if they feel their salary isn't enough for them to live. Put yourself in their shoes, what will you do if you are in their situation?

    For a decent house to rent in Manila is around $200. You'll have to pay the electricity, water bill and internet subscription which is around $80. Do you think $70 is enough for a month? Even without the expenses which isn't possible or near the reality, $12 a day for the expenses isn't enough. Think about it!

    Ross
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    • Profile picture of the author 0898
      Originally Posted by Ross Dalangin View Post

      $350 isn't enough if the VA is married and has children to feed especially if there's a baby because there's daily diapers and milk.
      This is what I'm talking about. There's so much stuff online about hiring Filipinos for $250 a month -*but I just don't think it's realistic. $400 - $450 is more realistic.
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      • Profile picture of the author Adie
        Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

        This is what I'm talking about. There's so much stuff online about hiring Filipinos for $250 a month -*but I just don't think it's realistic. $400 - $450 is more realistic.
        If the job includes some programming and webdesigns, that's pretty fair. But its always depends on the employer. If he is happy with his VA then why not give the right amount...
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      • Profile picture of the author jotranscriber
        I think we have to view this from a different angle, is the VA really earning you money from the work that he/she is doing? Many people out there would say it's "fair." But think about this, there is a thing called role reversal, would it be fair if you got that kind of compensation for your work?

        Because you asked if it's enough or not, it's up to you to decide. It's not even a matter of him/her being single or married, but what he/she is to you. Is this VA helping you grow your business? Is this VA an asset to your business? If yes, then by all means, give her "just" compensation, but it's up to you to decide.

        But remember this, if that VA is offered by someone else at a higher price than what you are offering, there goes your asset...

        Joseph
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  • Profile picture of the author Mekanism
    i hire unskilled filipinos and train them. so they're happy to work at $250 at first
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  • Profile picture of the author vududawg
    Most ask for $200.00 part time and $400.00 full time as the norm, the best thing is if you can find someone who does many things and communicate well, you will not let him/her go.
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  • 350$ seems pretty fair. If it would be my VA then I would give him/her extra 100$ or so on bigger holidays to keep the motivation up.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    Yes. It's a fair amount. Most people in Philipinnes get paid much less than that.
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  • Profile picture of the author OutsourceFactor
    Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    All the material on outsourcing to the Philippines suggests you can hire a full time VA for $200-$250 per month.

    But I'm starting to doubt that's a viable wage – even in the Philippines.

    Let me tell you my story quickly. I've had a full time virtual assistant working for me for 9 months now. It's going great –I started him off at $250 and now he earns $350 per month.

    But recently, I was wondering whether this was enough – so I looked into what it costs to rent an apartment in the Philippines.

    It turns out, $300 is basically what you need to pay in rent to get somewhere average.

    Am I paying my guy enough? Has there been some wage inflation since 2009, when a lot of these 'outsource to the Philippines' blog posts were written?

    What do you guys pay your VA?

    Thanks
    Ian
    Hi Ian,

    What does your VA do for you? Does your guy do general admin tasks, writing, comment moderating?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is it totally depends on the tasks. We actually have a blog post (plus podcast) on this. Basically, if you have a Jack-of-all-trades kind of guy then $350 is totally alright but if he's a guy that has a specialty on, let's say writing or coding then you probably need to up the salary a notch.

    Mea @ OutSource Factor
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  • Profile picture of the author AlfredKo
    Let's make it simple.
    It's enough initially. But when he/she starts working efficiently and making you money.
    You need $400-$500 to retain him, else he will go elsewhere. He knows what he's worth soon enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author dlane1987
    Yes currency do a currency exchange. The are cheap but also not very efficient
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  • Profile picture of the author rockong
    if your VA is a good worker, then I'd give extra bonuses here and there. That'll make them happy.

    psychologically, bonuses make ppl happier than a standard monthly salary. they'll get used to the standard - but bonuses always puts a smile on people's faces
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  • Profile picture of the author ProAffiliate01
    Those are cheap rates. I'd say the rent for a place should be no more than a third of the total monthly salary.
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    • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
      Originally Posted by ProAffiliate01 View Post

      Those are cheap rates. I'd say the rent for a place should be no more than a third of the total monthly salary.
      Are you referring to the rates I listed? If so, how can you assure that those are not fair rates?

      Have you lived here in the Philippines?
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  • Profile picture of the author nobluff
    I also think that some VA's do not work exclusively for one person, and there is no way for you to find out. Not that it should matter to you if your work is being done.
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  • Profile picture of the author kartherma
    Having been there 9 times in the last 30 months or so I have a unique view on this subject.
    I have friends there who run phone/call centers, web businesses (ranging from design to full on seo linking projects), restraunts, hotels, etc.

    I agree that taking care of the one you hire is necessary. I also warn that the guys who are there on the ground supervising their work crews in person have a devil of a time with them.

    My best item to point out for anyone looking to hire in a foreign country (such as the PI) is that your expectations in your home country are very different than in many of the countries you would look to hire in. With that, there are do's and don'ts that will not be readily apparent to you without some experience first.

    If you have any sort of attitude when you step in line at your local burger joint and the teenager behind the counter screws up your order... If you are impatient at all in situations like this, I suggest you might need to research hiring VAs.

    That said, if a company is taking a cut of what you are paying the VA, I warn on that as well- that is an area ripe for fraudulent activities and can cause you some frustrations as well.

    Just left there last week, my Chosen's two bedroom apartment costs me 4000 peso a month, I think with electricity and internet (cable tv included) runs me 6500 peso a month. (4000 peso is about 100USD)
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  • Profile picture of the author savvy linguist
    Pay what your VA deserves.

    That could motivate your VA more.
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  • Profile picture of the author gavincolee
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Dazzling Content
      $350 is hardly enough for an ordinary Filipino, especially one with a family to feed. About half of that will go to food and groceries. The average apartment rent costs about $150-$300 per month.... and you're hiring him on a full-time basis. Basically nothing would be left after food and rent.

      I would understand paying him $350 a month if you only hire him for part-time tasks, but you're taking all of his working hours. I have to say that rates below $500 are bordering on slave labor wages. Filipinos who accept such rates for full-time work are either desperate or know nothing better. If you value a working man's labor, then compensate him well for his hard work and quit paying slave labor wages just because other people are doing the same thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
        Originally Posted by Dazzling Content View Post

        $350 is hardly enough for an ordinary Filipino, especially one with a family to feed. About half of that will go to food and groceries. The average apartment rent costs about $150-$300 per month.... and you're hiring him on a full-time basis. Basically nothing would be left after food and rent.

        I would understand paying him $350 a month if you only hire him for part-time tasks, but you're taking all of his working hours. I have to say that rates below $500 are bordering on slave labor wages. Filipinos who accept such rates for full-time work are either desperate or know nothing better. If you value a working man's labor, then compensate him well for his hard work and quit paying slave labor wages just because other people are doing the same thing.
        Thanks a lot for this.
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      • Profile picture of the author garrypalomo
        Originally Posted by Dazzling Content View Post

        $350 is hardly enough for an ordinary Filipino, especially one with a family to feed. About half of that will go to food and groceries. The average apartment rent costs about $150-$300 per month.... and you're hiring him on a full-time basis. Basically nothing would be left after food and rent.

        I would understand paying him $350 a month if you only hire him for part-time tasks, but you're taking all of his working hours. I have to say that rates below $500 are bordering on slave labor wages. Filipinos who accept such rates for full-time work are either desperate or know nothing better. If you value a working man's labor, then compensate him well for his hard work and quit paying slave labor wages just because other people are doing the same thing.
        I strongly agree with this!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Agabin
    $350 is enough for a basic VA.
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  • Profile picture of the author iamrichard
    $350 should be enough for a VA who is new to IM. I hired straightly from college, and i paid them $350 and they are very happy. However, if we are talking about some VA with expertise, like web development, video creation or graphic design, the salary will be much more. It depends on their experience. It can be in $800 - $1000 range if they are good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Inspired, Inc.
    $350 for VA, i think that will be enough as a basic salary.... basic means the usual VA duties... however, if you will ask for more time and tasks than what you have agreed upon, then you should give your guy some token of appreciation....
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  • Profile picture of the author mialove
    I agree about extra bonuses here and there. I think it's the right way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronnieavelino
    Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    All the material on outsourcing to the Philippines suggests you can hire a full time VA for $200-$250 per month.

    But I'm starting to doubt that's a viable wage - even in the Philippines.

    Let me tell you my story quickly. I've had a full time virtual assistant working for me for 9 months now. It's going great -I started him off at $250 and now he earns $350 per month.

    But recently, I was wondering whether this was enough - so I looked into what it costs to rent an apartment in the Philippines.

    It turns out, $300 is basically what you need to pay in rent to get somewhere average.

    Am I paying my guy enough? Has there been some wage inflation since 2009, when a lot of these 'outsource to the Philippines' blog posts were written?

    What do you guys pay your VA?

    Thanks
    Ian
    I'm a bit sad because I believed that's not the worth of our service. $500 full time is a reasonable price if your VA is working at their home (no expense on apartment).

    Regards,

    Ronnie
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingg
    Pay someone what they "deserve"?

    Yeah... who ever says that im sure is a great business man. Why dont you tell apple to sell an iphone at a price the "should" sell it at? What does any of this even mean. Outsourcing is there for one reason and because of everyone overpaying prices go up too high. If i have to pay more i would just hire someone here locally even if it costs a little more. I dont feel bad for paying someone just enough to get by, thats life, that business, im not just going to throw money at employees because im happy with the current work situation. Im always happy, i was happy when i worked just by myself, what does that have to do with anything.

    Remember, every dollar counts, every single dollar and most IM'ers should know that between CPA and your XXXX/m that many make livings off of. I used to start giving employees more and it was the worst thing ever, they started losing motivation and acting as if they had a choice on some projects. Pay someone just enough to be good and nothing more... anything past that will come back and bite you in the ass, it sounds shrewd, it sounds scum bag but it is true.

    What if i make $4,000 a month and i pay you $,2000 thats ok but not if i make $40,000 a month i have to give you more? No you get ... drum roll .... $2k per month. I think it is funny how employees are so concerned with what the owner is making in the business, it has nothing to do with them and they should remain at the same pay, maybe give them a bonus once a year but even that, guess what they will expect every year after that... and if its not more every year.... your a bad person? So like i said, hit it spot on from the start and stay there.
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    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by marketingg View Post

      Pay someone what they "deserve"?

      Yeah... who ever says that im sure is a great business man. Why dont you tell apple to sell an iphone at a price the "should" sell it at? What does any of this even mean. Outsourcing is there for one reason and because of everyone overpaying prices go up too high. If i have to pay more i would just hire someone here locally even if it costs a little more. I dont feel bad for paying someone just enough to get by, thats life, that business, im not just going to throw money at employees because im happy with the current work situation. Im always happy, i was happy when i worked just by myself, what does that have to do with anything.

      Remember, every dollar counts, every single dollar and most IM'ers should know that between CPA and your XXXX/m that many make livings off of. I used to start giving employees more and it was the worst thing ever, they started losing motivation and acting as if they had a choice on some projects. Pay someone just enough to be good and nothing more... anything past that will come back and bite you in the ass, it sounds shrewd, it sounds scum bag but it is true.

      What if i make $4,000 a month and i pay you $,2000 thats ok but not if i make $40,000 a month i have to give you more? No you get ... drum roll .... $2k per month. I think it is funny how employees are so concerned with what the owner is making in the business, it has nothing to do with them and they should remain at the same pay, maybe give them a bonus once a year but even that, guess what they will expect every year after that... and if its not more every year.... your a bad person? So like i said, hit it spot on from the start and stay there.
      I think you may have missed the point a little bit here. You're right that it is irrelevant how much the business owner makes in comparison to your staff, but I don't agree with paying your staff wages that force to live a subsistance lifestyle.

      So yes, if Apple is paying slave wages to staff in a factory in China, and if those staff can barely afford to survive on those wages, then YES, they should pay their staff more.

      Nike got hammered for this, Apple is being hammered for this, and every corporate or small business that gets hammered that increases awareness that staff should be paid fair wages is fantastic.

      The actual amount paid to the staff member is irrelevant, it's how much that wage buys, and the lifestyle that it allows them to live.

      And if the wages that you pay allow them to only subsist (ie effectively a slave wage) then you should pay more. Simple.

      I know it sounds preachy, and I apologise, but one thing that my Grandpa said to me when I was 8 years old, and i've never forgotten it is:

      "John, if you can't look yourself in the eye when you're brushing your teeth, then you're doing something wrong, and you need to fix it"

      I feel that this applies here.

      Normally I'd put an IMO or IMHO there, but on this issue I just can't.

      On a positive note, thanks to this thread, I was reminded of the 13th month, and zipped in to Paypal to get this into my VA's account so that he can get his Christmas presents, all the while feeling vaguely ashamed that I hadn't thought of it before.

      So thanks to the OP for coming up with this thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Woolard
    Invest in monitoring software...Most of these people you try to low ball for $250 a month are really working a few gigs and not fulfilling all the hours you think they are.

    The monitoring software can seem invasive but if if they're honest they should have no problem using it, and $400 should go a long long way in your production goals.
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  • Profile picture of the author dean fergusson
    Originally Posted by 0898 View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    All the material on outsourcing to the Philippines suggests you can hire a full time VA for $200-$250 per month.

    But I'm starting to doubt that's a viable wage - even in the Philippines.

    Let me tell you my story quickly. I've had a full time virtual assistant working for me for 9 months now. It's going great -I started him off at $250 and now he earns $350 per month.

    But recently, I was wondering whether this was enough - so I looked into what it costs to rent an apartment in the Philippines.

    It turns out, $300 is basically what you need to pay in rent to get somewhere average.

    Am I paying my guy enough? Has there been some wage inflation since 2009, when a lot of these 'outsource to the Philippines' blog posts were written?

    What do you guys pay your VA?

    Thanks
    Ian
    hi,
    $300 is some how 50 , 50 pay per month neither too big nor to small.
    and i think a stable for a philippines working with you.

    dean
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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    Industry salary norms have little to do with the charity of the manager, and more to do with what your neighbors are willing to do for what price, and whether you can get a job at your price when a hundred others offer more for less.

    Outsourcing raises certain costs: in communications effectiveness, cultural contexts, remote management, credibility, customer satisfaction, etc. The costs may not be in the margins, but they are all over the book.

    Generally speaking, it has nothing to do with empowering people in developing countries, and everything to do with cutting costs.

    If you lived in a lower cost of living society and demanded "fairness" at the same salary as a skilled worker in the original socioculture - you will have lost your competitive edge entirely. Where's the fairness in not even having a job - or an industry? Is it fair to then offer the products for sale at the same lower cost of living, thus driving the globe to a third world market? Is that "fair"?

    Keeping in mind that the higher salary in the lower cost of living area - will be driven right back down to the bottom by your neighbors who really know what they can get by on. Also - why then couldn't workers in the original country demand the same inflated percentage of salary to cost of living?

    It has nothing to do with ethics, and everything to do with economic forces & counterforces.

    Value is never in the thing itself. It's always in how badly people want it.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    found most my VA's from elance, cause I love that place and know how to use it properly.

    The thing is, we did tests, that were sort of $80 - $100 first before choosing the VA's that performed, Yes we lost a bit of money, but the VA's we have are killer and worth spending a bit of money for.

    Then you have a good relationship with them. We are even planning to visit them in 2013 no matter how bad the economy is next year. Give your workers small tests first and see if they want to work full time for you. That is a killer way to build a good outsource team if you ask me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Billy Rey
    350 is good already for a basic salary

    just communicate about what your expectations are and maybe increase after 3 months depending on how it works out for you
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
    From what I understand, there are waaay more educated workers over there, then jobs available.

    Many people from what I understand have educations but no work because jobs are hard to find.

    Am I right?

    If so, then the law of supply and demand kicks in.............

    Lots of workers - lots of supply
    Not a lot of Jobs - low demand
    which = less pay for workers

    Not saying it's good, just being honest about it.....

    That's why people work for lower amounts easily, because a job is a job. It's better than no job.

    Your supplying these people with work, with a lifeline, and many are thankful for that I am sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt79
    I actually live here in the Philippines, and I can tell you that $350 is good for a place like Cebu. keep in mind, most young people here live at home or have several roommates. But I do know in terms of VA's and people working online, a lot are new and are trying it out for the first time with virtually no experience. So you're going to go through several before you find a good experienced one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abdul Wafiy
    I think it fair enough for $350 for a VA in Filipino but its depend on you whether you want to increase it or not but it will make them happy if you increase it
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  • Profile picture of the author kyle4hire
    350USD for me basic task to be done not including major skills like programming and development is enough and fair already.
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  • Profile picture of the author brunom
    I usually just throw in a bonus at the end of the year based on how much they produced.

    Why would I raise their salary and make them feel like they have more power? That's not something I find desirable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
      Originally Posted by brunom View Post

      I usually just throw in a bonus at the end of the year based on how much they produced.

      Why would I raise their salary and make them feel like they have more power? That's not something I find desirable.
      You raise their salary when they perform well for you. And you want to keep them. You got it backwards. Never raise their salary or pay them the absolute least you can get away with and that is when they will feel empowered.

      Empowered to go find another employer.

      I don't understand your mindset, brunom. Employees are there to help your business earn money. Not to be held in subjugation while you act out the role of Scrooge from Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

      If you live in North America or Western Europe, throw an extra $50 dollars on top of their salary, if in doubt. It doesn't matter where you live - this motivates people to work harder for you and pay closer attention to detail, in general. I understand you have to watch your prices as a business owner and don't want to drastically overpay for any position, but don't lose the forest for the trees - 50 bucks per month means a real improvement in the quality of life for most of the 6,000,000,000 + people on this globe.

      Don't be a cheap ass and anyone you hire from different parts of the world is NOT your slave or someone who you should keep held down and in their place.

      You'll catch more flies with honey instead of vinegar.
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  • Profile picture of the author johan_malmo
    What exactly do this VA do for you? Is it high end SEO or "just" article marketing or whatever. Seems to me this would matter.
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    • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
      Banned
      Originally Posted by brunom View Post

      I usually just throw in a bonus at the end of the year based on how much they produced.
      In the Philippines, they call it a 13th month pay.

      Originally Posted by johan_malmo View Post

      What exactly do this VA do for you? Is it high end SEO or "just" article marketing or whatever. Seems to me this would matter.
      In our case, our VAs are just doing some marketing tasks such as promoting our services (not only writing) on Facebook and Craigslist.
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  • Profile picture of the author BillyParadise
    Last year, I had a few people working for me in the Phils. I used to pay P10,000 to P12,000 in Olongapo - nobody every complained about their wages, and always had plenty of applicants.
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  • Profile picture of the author PvPGuy
    I've always been a fan of the bonus structure. They key is to make sure you clearly outline your expectations; challenge them but keep the goal measurable and attainable. Of course the VA needs to know that these bonuses are a reliable, so make sure you keep your end and pay them timely. Its a win-win, you get outstanding work, and the employee has a sense of accomplishment and feels appreciated for their hard work, not to mention they can earn an above average wage for the services provided.

    Its my understanding that the 13th month is not a bonus per say, so I would be careful to consider this as a cultural expectation rather than a bonus as we in the western world would naturally perceive it to be. In other words, ignore the 13th month and pay bonuses as appropriate throughout the year.

    This always a great topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
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    Chris, we got the same principle when it comes to empowering employees to do better. For me, I still believe that most people will be motivated to do better if you show them their worth before you ask for more/better work.

    For an instance, when I was still in the world of rat race, when my boss gave me a bonus for no reason at all, I was inspired to exceed his expectations. When he was replaced by another manager because he was promoted, the scenario drastically changed. If bonus came first prior to a better output, this new manager demanded for a better output before a bonus - if there is a bonus. That was a big difference to me and it created a huge difference to how I performed, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaCato
    What constitutes full-time? Is that 40 hours a week, working on a USA timezone?

    If so, $350 seems slightly low. I typically pay closer to $500 for that arrangement.

    But at the end of the day, this question does not really have a definitive answer. It really depends on employer+employee satisfaction.

    If both parties agree that it is fair, then it is fair!
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    • Profile picture of the author BobbyHicks
      There is a Filipino BPO company right by where I live that pays there people 10,000 PHP ($250 USD) per month for a Graveyard shift (US hours) which is considered good pay here in Cagayan de Oro City. You have a lot of college graduates who are desperately looking for work who can't find it and are happy to work for a lot less.

      You should consult an expert before trying to give advice on how much to pay a VA. If we start paying VA's more than they are worth or more than the local equilibrium then you inflate the prices for everyone...locally and internationally.

      Originally Posted by DaCato View Post

      What constitutes full-time? Is that 40 hours a week, working on a USA timezone?

      If so, $350 seems slightly low. I typically pay closer to $500 for that arrangement.

      But at the end of the day, this question does not really have a definitive answer. It really depends on employer+employee satisfaction.

      If both parties agree that it is fair, then it is fair!
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      • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
        Originally Posted by BobbyHicks View Post

        There is a Filipino BPO company right by where I live that pays there people 10,000 PHP ($250 USD) per month for a Graveyard shift (US hours) which is considered good pay here in Cagayan de Oro City. You have a lot of college graduates who are desperately looking for work who can't find it and are happy to work for a lot less.

        You should consult an expert before trying to give advice on how much to pay a VA. If we start paying VA's more than they are worth or more than the local equilibrium then you inflate the prices for everyone...locally and internationally.
        I remember when I just got out of university, and I was thrilled to get a job at Burger King that paid me $226 per week after tax...

        That doesn't mean that everybody at that time should have been paid $226 per week (which in Australia is very little), it just meant that I was relatively unskilled and so got paid the wages that an unskilled person earns.

        And it didn't mean that other people who earned more (and by definition were being paid more by their employers) were contributing to inflation or upsetting the local equilibrium, just meant that their skills were worth more to the market than mine were.

        We pay our staff (in the philippines) US$450 per month, and we feel that they are good value at that amount, although we have trained them extensively and they do fairly complicated work compared to usual VA fare.

        Could I pay them less? Maybe, but I have found that when we pay less we get higher staff turnover, and contrary to what some people are saying here US$350 is not a highly paid, or even average wage, it's more like just above minimum wage, which is exactly what unskilled labour is worth.

        Personally I haven't found that i've been able to find staff of any reasonable caliber or longevity for US$250 per month, or even US$350 per month. You might find a diamond in the rough, and get lucky that they're prepared to work for peanuts, but pretending that they are being paid well seems... well, it doesn't seem right. IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author aphx
    I pay my VA 25,000 PHP / month. He's a talented developer. I think the VA's you pay less than 18,000 PHP will definately take on several other jobs as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarcusJohnson
    I think $350 to $400 is good enough. I also have outsourced some of my projects to mostly Filipinos because the quality of work they produce is better than the others. Plus they speak and understand well in English.

    My rates are also the same as yours and so far it's doing great, they are working for me for over two years now. I would also give them bonuses from time to time especially when the business is doing great but when it comes to Christmas bonus that I wouldn't miss...
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  • Profile picture of the author alan01
    350$ seems pretty ok... But living in large city it may not sufficient.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vincent Abrugar
    I live in Tacloban City, eastern part of the Philippines.

    $350 (net) is enough starting salary for a Filipino VAs here.

    But for VAs in Manila I think $500 would be a fair rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    Treat people right, that is about an average wage, which gives them an average living, but odds are they can get that off others if they have any problems with you.

    If they are doing a good job pay them a little more and they are unlikely to jump ship if a offer came in, if your doing well out of them then it right you should send a little bit more now and then even if it is just a little thank you bonus when you have a good day or week.
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  • Profile picture of the author hgustavs
    If you really make good money from your VA work, I would consider raising it to $400.
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  • Profile picture of the author garveyonweb
    It would seem that you are satisfied with the VA and the work, and are happy to pay more. i would suggest putting them on a bonus structure, and possibly allowing for the exchange rate. This would seem sensible, and fair to me. The VAs vaule would become very clear if you were trying to replace them.
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    • Profile picture of the author MKaren
      $350 is enough for a VA from the Philippines considering the level of experience and expertise...

      There are some who stick around base on the relationship you built with your VA with 350$ or even 200$ they are willing to work for your project.Its already a good income regardless of the geographic location within the Philippines.

      But if the VA has more experience in the field, with more things to contribute with your project, 500$ would be reasonable.
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      • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
        Originally Posted by MKaren View Post

        even 200$ they are willing to work for your project.Its already a good income regardless of the geographic location within the Philippines.
        For fulltime VA that will work 8 hours a day 6 days a week? That's not fair.... if the rate exchange is like 3-5 years ago $200 is okey but depends on the location. $200 a month is lower than minimum wage

        A laborer construction worker is earning $260 a month
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        • Profile picture of the author MKaren
          Originally Posted by edpudol1973 View Post

          For fulltime VA that will work 8 hours a day 6 days a week? That's not fair.... if the rate exchange is like 3-5 years ago $200 is okey but depends on the location. $200 a month is lower than minimum wage

          A laborer construction worker is earning $260 a month
          Thanks for pointing out my mistake to elaborate more.

          I just meant build your relationship with your VA and give them what is due base on experience and expertise.

          I also doubt bonuses can do more to retain them, its the monthly income they count and do a lot for them.

          In addition, Considering the factors such as inflation which is higher than last quarter of 2012,no Insurances nor benefits, Shifting hours, Environment.

          If you want to know whats best rate for your VA best is to see your labour turnovers,If they stick more benefit on your end because you dont need to train,or reapeat common mistake start up VA commits the better for business. but if its high then you know it only boils to one. Wages!
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  • Profile picture of the author techbul
    Is your VA working full time for you? If not, he may be having some other people he's working for. If yes, how valuable is he for you? If he is making you a lot of profits, you should be paying him a little more so that you don't lose him.
    I saw that you increased his wage to $350 from $250 over the course of 9 months. That seems fine, and you should continue this trend so you give him incentives to work for you. You can also offer bonuses from time to time, like Christmas bonuses and so on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Fascinating post! I should utilize the services of a VA, eventually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    One of my writers is earning $700 to $750 a month. In fact, there is no such thing as "enough".
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  • Profile picture of the author zapseo
    I just wanted to indicate that what the poster I quoted said about "entry level wages" is, in fact, NOT beginning at all..but "average" across the country for ALL occupations (for men; and lower for women.)

    Many people work at minimum and barely above minimum wage .. and that the listed "entry level" salaries indicated are WAY above that (3.6 to 3.7 times.)

    Also, in terms of paying, people don't generally live in a house by themselves. In fact, in the U.S., one of the big demographic changes over the last few decades has been 2 income households, because, otherwise, housing would not be affordable. So, to compare ONE income to the cost of housing may not be the best reflection of "cost of living" ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick ASD
    As far as I can tell, a lot of VAs do a lot of side work. I'va been using a great guy for around $40/week. I see sometimes he's looking for other jobs or has tabs open on his screen for other employers, but he gets my work done so I'm happy.
    As long as he is okay with the pay for now, why increase?
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  • Profile picture of the author Porphyrogenitus
    The "average" wage is what it is for a reason. Where people are getting $30/mo on average, its because thats all they are producing. It should go without saying that if you make all your business decisions based on looking around and copying what everyone else is doing, you will be nothing better than the masses.

    Give him the value of what hes really producing, in his capacity, according to the market. This means just his actual labor, not how you happen to be organizing it. If hes worth $200/mo, anything extra that's produced is as a result of you organizing his labor, not his work. If he's producing double what a $182.5/mo filipino is making, then up him to $350. If hes not, give him less accordingly.

    If you're paying him more than hes worth, you're putting more people into poverty, while damaging your own business. If you want a profitable business, and or even one that will help society, you should never waste resources on so-called "social justice". Its irresponsible to do so. In fact, its not "justice" at all, but rather total injustice to people you'll never meet, based on your personal situations and arbitrary judgments, leading to a misallocation of resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
    I'm the type of guy who provides services.

    I hate it when people pay me based on the fact that I live in a third world country.

    I want people to pay me what my work is worth. If someone in NYC does it for $35/hr and I can do it better, I should be earning $40/hr.

    Period.
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    • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
      Originally Posted by jrjohn View Post

      I'm the type of guy who provides services.

      I hate it when people pay me based on the fact that I live in a third world country.

      I want people to pay me what my work is worth. If someone in NYC does it for $35/hr and I can do it better, I should be earning $40/hr.

      Period.
      You can't say that, ppl hire you coz it's cheaper, if they were to pay you the same rate as in NYC then they might well hire someone from NYC, you have to appreciate that someone willing to give you a job, if you don't take it, the next one will.
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    • Profile picture of the author zapseo
      Originally Posted by jrjohn View Post

      I'm the type of guy who provides services.

      I hate it when people pay me based on the fact that I live in a third world country.

      I want people to pay me what my work is worth. If someone in NYC does it for $35/hr and I can do it better, I should be earning $40/hr.

      Period.
      Performing a job takes in a LOT of factors including...
      ...convenience to interact with the person providing the services (eg same time zone)
      ...clear communication (communication can quickly and easily derail what should be an easy 15 minute task into hours of discussion)...
      ...ease of getting along
      ...positivity/attitude/gratitude
      ...reliability

      There are a LOT of factors that go into it. Not just "better job."

      And it's not just third world countries that get differential pay based on location, either.

      When I worked at Apple, Apple opened up offices in Austin ... and it was pretty common for employees who moved there (or got moved there) to get a pay cut based upon a lower cost of living than that of Silicon Valley. Cost differentials exist WITHIN countries, as well as between them!

      A $1 is not a $1 is not a $1 ... I had a client who have hired in 3rd world countries where one of the people they paid had a higher standard of living than my client did. (And no, this wasn't someone with super-special skills.)

      In some places, that $1 can buy a full day's worth of food (or more). In another, it doesn't even pay for one meal.

      Wish there was a magic wand that would make it seem fair to everyone, but there's not. Arbitrage is the way of the world (the Chinese are getting in on this, too ... by helping to develop resources in Africa...).

      Incidentally, like you, I perform services, and, incidentally, have never hired a 3rd world VA.
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  • $350 is fair enough.
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