Cost, Compensation, Earnings - The Dollar and Sense of Service
Who pays a process server? How much does it cost?
- Who does the process server work for? Are they an employee?
- How does a process server get paid?
- How much does a process server make?
- Is this a career?
Process serving, and the mechanics of it, are historically not understood by all of the parties. This lack of understanding can make it difficult for process servers (a Seller in the marketplace) to do their job and difficult to make money doing their job. This lack of understanding can also make it difficult for the person needing process serving (a Buyer in the marketplace) to have a positive experience in the transaction. Most notably, the person being served is often the most in the dark…….we will cover that in a future market intelligence series focused on WhoKnocked.
Most commonly, the party representing the Plaintiff is paying for process serving. Generally speaking, it is the Plaintiff's obligation to notify parties of the suit. While the Plaintiff or Plaintiff's representative compensates the process server, they are intended to provide the service for the benefit of all parties, including the court and the person to receive service of process.
The cost of process serving can and does vary; however, in practice, several components ultimately drive cost:
- Cost of living in the area service is being requested, i.e., cost of living of the process server.
- Population density in the area service is requested; the denser the population, the higher the likelihood a process server is working multiple serves in a smaller area and therefore has reduced costs of doing business.
- Complexity of the service i.e., large page counts, difficult recipients, wait times.
- Volume and consistency in other words, is the buyer paying retail or wholesale prices when considering the cost (we will cover wholesale and retail markets in more detail in a future article)
Generally the cost of a standard service across the continental US will average around $75.
What the process server is paid for service of process can vary drastically from the actual cost incurred by the buyer. Mostly process servers are paid on a per-job basis, which generally equates to delivering a set of documents to a single person at a single address. Standard practice in process serving is for a process serving agency to act as a middleman, a contractor of sorts, with subcontractors performing the actual process serving. For example, on $75 paid by the buyer, a process server could traditionally be paid as little as $20 by the agency they work for. The EZ Knock Marketplace specifically avoids this. The seller is paid their agreed rate, and the marketplace charges $20 additional to the buyer for facilitating the transaction.
Most process servers are not employees of the agency(s) they represent. Process servers are typically 1099 independent contractors, and many work for more than one agency as well as for themselves (have direct customers/buyers). Additionally, many process servers have full-time employment in other fields and serve process on the side.
Process servers get paid by their agency or customer a myriad of ways:
- Check whether it's prepaid or after the fact, a check is still a prevalent payment method for process serving.
- ACH Transfer a more direct method of payment equivalent to eCheck
- Credit Card some payments are made by credit card and in many instances a processing fee or convenience fee may be charged
- Digital Wallet process servers (sellers) in the EZ Knock Marketplace are paid via digital wallet
What a process server makes is a tricky question. Similar to how service is priced (the cost to the buyer), several key factors come into the profitability of a process server as an individual.
- Miles traveled to complete the work, population density and the amount of work the process server has drastically impacts this. For example, if they drive a route that is 30 miles round trip and complete one serve vs driving the same route and completing four serves.
- Time spent to complete the work, reviewing documents, entering data, printing documents, preparing a route are absolutes. Occasionally a process server may also have to wait for a recipient to become available(wait time) as well as other factors including getting to and from their vehicle in apartment complexes
- The number of attempts, a little known fact is that not all successful serves occur on the first try. Process servers routinely make multiple attempts to complete service and most commonly they are compensated only for the job and not per attempt.
- Business expenses, things like paper, toner, hardware, software, licensing, insurance, bonds, websites, business cards all factor into the profitability of an individual process server
Career vs job vs gig? For most process servers it’s exactly what they want it to be whether that is a full time career that they have professionalized and become a leading expert in or a part time job they use to pay some bills or even a gig they do occasionally or sporadically to make some vacation money.
EZ Knock Marketplace, changing the world of process serving through innovative technology. Buy, Sell, Serve with confidence.