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Buying and Selling Writing Accounts: A Kenyan's perspective

RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 15, 2017 | #1
Since I have browsed through the threads in this forum enough, I know that this is something most people who have been here long enough know.

I'm just posting this because I wish to share the perspective of the Kenyans who engage in this business

Who sells freelance writing the accounts? Who buys them? For how much? What are the motivations?

Usually, anyone with one registered with a writing company can sell one. However, there are some people, brokers, known as TDs (trusted dealers) who buy them from people and advertise them to others in groups, pages and even other forums outside . the primary seller may wish to go through a TD if they do not want to go through the hassle of picking and receiving calls from potential buyers and informing the clueless about the writing industry. Additionally, most TDs often have ready cash and accept even those accounts without a good reputation( too many fines, warnings about plagiarism, warnings about the quality of work, warnings about lateness, etc.)There are a variety of motivations to sell. The main motivation is quick money. The price of accounts ranges from as little as $20 to as much as $4000 (possibly more). The stricter the company in terms of personal information and the tests required to get accepted as a writer, the more expensive it is. For example, companies that hire ENL writers alone tend to be more expensive. There are other factors that determine the price of an account. For example, how much it pays per page and whether writers bid for orders or take them without bidding or are assigned by a support team. Bidding accounts are usually cheaper despite being more flexible in terms of how much one can earn per page and the choice of working hours. Another motivation to sell could occur when a writer no longer wants to work in this industry. Since the market is already available and people do not question the ethics regarding it, the writer may not find it sensible to give up the career without getting some money back.

What are the risks for a seller?

One of the main risks is being defrauded. I don't think I need to explain this. Another risk is that one may not find ready buyers. This rarely happens though.

What are the risks for the buyer?

One of the main risks is the fact that companies that have been in the essay writing business for a long time can be quick to detect such fraud. What this means is that one may buy an account and then have it terminated as soon as they change the password and payment details. It does not help that such accounts tend to be more expensive.

Still on the issue of termination, most Kenyans overestimate their writing skills. This means that they may 'invest' a good amount of money, say $1000, in the accounts in the hopes of earning the same amount within a week or less. However, when they begin to write and submit their essays, the company realizes a significant drop in the quality of papers and terminates the account before the writer has been able to recover the amount 'invested'.

Buyers also face the risk of being defrauded by the sellers.

How can companies curb this?

at this point, I think the business is too far gone in Kenya for companies to consider putting an end to it. However, as stated before, the stricter the company, the more expensive the account. The higher price may be a deterrent especially for people without much experience in the essay writing industry. This could work especially when people learn that the account could easily be terminated. I've also read on a blog somewhere that some companies encourage their writers to guard their accounts and not sell them. I don't think this can work so well because people already know that it is wrong and do it anyway.

Points to note:

I have used account and company interchangeably here.
While I have tried my best to remain objective, there may still be some points that are not very accurate since these are my observations.
Major 39 | 1,379 ☆☆☆☆  
Nov 15, 2017 | #2
A company can easily check who logs into their system; the reputable ones who work with native speakers only would ban a Kenyan/Indian/Pakistani/Ukrainian IPs AND all accounts that use a proxy IP service (which typically indicate an African fraudster).
OP RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 15, 2017 | #3
I know one company that bans Kenan IPs (won't mention because of Forum rules and stuff). Despite that, there are Kenyans that work for that company using proxy IP servers. Typically, people get accepted to work for the company because they use fake IDs and certificates and work as teams in order to pass the tests. Sometimes they collude with some Americans when it comes to phone interviews. Maybe working for such a company as an individual would make sense if one could produce papers with impeccable grammar all the time. People still sell the accounts though. For the most part, after selling, the quality of the papers produced will drop significantly. When the quality drops, then the company gets suspicious and checks all the other issues regarding the account. Usually, they find the fake certificates and IDs, the use of proxy IP servers and any other issue that would indicate fraud and the account is terminated immediately. This particular one is one of the high-risk ones and yet very expensive.
Smiley73 4 | 382 ☆☆  
Nov 15, 2017 | #4
This is precisely the reason why ENL writers who work for legitimate writing companies have an axe to grind with the Kenyan writers. You of all people acknowledge the fact that Kenyan writers (present company excluded) do their best to get around legitimate system using fraudulent means. The mere fact that they would participate in such an intricate method of deception is indicative of the kind of personality or background that these Kenyans have. You have to remember that first impressions count and normally, become the standard by which others judge those of the same kind or, in this case, those from the same country. Companies indeed keep an eye out for people who sell their writer account but normally, the damage will have already been done before they can catch the problem. So everything you are saying now is moot and academic. In fact, there are some writing companies so conscious of the sales of these accounts that some of them no longer allow the writer to change any information in his writers profile. Only the Admin of the site can do it and they require the submission of a valid, government issued, photo ID prior to any changes being made. Companies know how to stop the procedure dead in its tracks already. Thanks for the explanation as to why there are Kenyans who wish to purchase writer accounts though. It clarifies a number of questions and issues that others may have about the whole process and why it is lucrative for some to engage in.
OP RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 16, 2017 | #5
who wish to purchase writer accounts though.

I don't think I did a good job explaining why people buy them. I mainly concentrated on the sellers' perspectives because I felt that it is not usually understood. For the buyers, it's quite obvious in my opinion: Inability to pass the various writing tests coupled with a desire to earn money, lack of qualifications, maybe lack of time but I don't see how one could lack time to do a couple of tests yet still have the time to write for the company.

My personal, perhaps very subjective opinion is that buying is fueled by the sellers and especially the TDs most of the time. Their advertisements on various platforms naturally raise the curiosity of potential and uninterested buyers. I believe (with evidence) that sometimes they look for clueless people and coerce them into spending cash on these writer accounts. As I said, a TD is likely to have an account that isn't very good due to plagiarism warnings and quality issues.
Smiley73 4 | 382 ☆☆  
Nov 16, 2017 | #6
Right. This is still a very good post to read because it informs us of things that we may not have been able to consider before regarding the Kenyan writers and their writer accounts. It also explains a number of things as to how these zero rate quality writers manage to get around the already stringent testing system of the legitimate companies. I will not refer to the illegitimate / scam companies because those companies pretty much just want to have writers, regardless of the quality. Thank you for being straightforward in sharing your thoughts and observations with us. I realize that you are doing this in order to try and change the image of the Kenyan writers as per our understanding of them as less than appropriate peers in the business. It would be nice of there were more Kenyans on the job like you. However, you seem to be more of the exception to the rule rather than the norm. I'm glad to have made your acquaintance on this forum though. I know a good egg when I see one and so far, you have proven yourself to be separate from the rotten ones.
OP RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 16, 2017 | #7
I don't doubt that there are good honest Kenyan freelance academic writers. Honestly, though, I think you're not likely to find them because if they know about all these and disapprove-and they probably do, then they probably work on their own with their writer accounts or clients without caring for such publicity because in most cases it will be negative. Most find out about the negative image out there by accident- maybe from an abusive client like I did or from a forum like this.

On a related note, I think the reason why it exists is that Kenya as a country does not value its intellectuals. A friend of mine once analyzed the state of the economy and social lives here and realized that unless you get into politics or have a successful business, the other career options will pretty much wear you down. Foreign currencies, dollars and pounds, tend to be attractive because of their high value in the country. People try and find ways to get paid in these currencies. Consider this, the minimum wage in the US is roughly $7.25- $10 per hour (You can correct me if I'm wrong) If a Kenyan were to earn $7.25 an hour, work 6 hours a day for 25 days a month, they would be somewhere in the middle class (Upper middle class if they reside in places far from Nairobi and lower middle class if they are in Nairobi and its environs). Not a bad life if you ask me.

Relating this back to the issue of buying and selling accounts.
A TD's advertising strategy involves telling you how much you could from the accounts. If you are clueless, they let you know that you can earn $5-$10 per page (this is the average per page for most common writer accounts that will accept Kenyans) and that you can write 2-3 pages an hour. I'm sure you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this is lucrative enough for anyone to consider. The TD will also let you know that you choose your own working hours. Not many people picture themselves working only 6 hours a day when they could do more and earn more. The not-so-clever ones will buy one immediately. Clever Kenyans usually try and find out about the writing accounts from sources other than the TD. Even more clever ones will try and sign up for the accounts. Some get accepted in the process and begin their writing careers just like that. These ones may later think of the TDs as fraud.They may also try and sign up again later using different credentials for the purpose of selling them. The TD will be there as a ready buyer if they choose to do this. Some will not get accepted. A clever one will know that this was above them. Some seek training (I have had people asking me to train them). Yet others think that it is not an opportunity to bypass and go back to the TD with ready cash maybe from a loan or from whatever sources and buy the accounts.

Now that I think of it, maybe solving the crisis would require a complete change of the things in Kenya; education system, work culture, politics, and business outlook. I may have stumbled upon people and organizations that seek to change these things and have actually considered them because I do not plan on being a writer in the long term.
Smiley73 4 | 382 ☆☆  
Nov 17, 2017 | #8
It's nice to know that you don't plan on being a writer on a long term basis. You truly speak with the training and mindset of a highly educated individual, worthy of respect and being spoken to as an equal. That is why I think you will do well during your time as an independent writer. I truly hope that the income that you make as on can help you advance in life and help you get to the life status that you ambition for yourself. May I ask what your degree is in? I am curious to know if you will eventually be spinning off into a writing related career or if you are in for an eventual total career change. Don't get me wrong, I am not out to use any of this information against you. I simply admire your straightforwardness in dealing with us here and the fact that you are taking the time to at least try and change the definition of what it means to be a Kenyan writer. That is admirable in my opinion and should be appreciated instead of frowned upon. That is why I would like to get to know a Kenyan, such as yourself, beyond the popular beliefs about them as writers.
OP RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 17, 2017 | #9
May I ask what your degree is in?

I'd rather not say in public.

eventual total career change

Yeah, this is the plan
FreelanceWriter    5 | 1,315 ☆☆☆☆   Freelance Writer
Nov 18, 2017 | #10
The only companies for which I've ever written in this business paid by paper check and/or direct deposit or Money Gram. All of those require a match between your ID and the name by which the company knows you. If someone buys a writer account from a writer registered with a company, how does the new (fraudulent) owner of the account even get paid by the company?
Extremely experienced, honest, versatile American writer in NYC with a Law Degree from NYLS: Visit NYCFreelanceWriter "dot" com
OP RandomRandom    4 | 47   Freelance Writer
Nov 18, 2017 | #11

I haven't been active in the Kenyan writing forums for over a year now so I do not know exactly how they do it. When I checked though, they'd sell everything that came with the writer account to minimize suspicion (sim cards, PayPal address, email address, literally the whole identity) this is for companies that are very strict on such details. As stated these tend to be very expensive. Kenyan banks and mobile phone service companies are a little strict so this does not always work out and leads to cases with the police and law enforcement officers. This is a major deterrent but honestly, it just drives the prices up. I'd think by now they have stopped selling these things out of fear for Kenyan authorities. Other companies pay through PayPal, skrill, etc and these details are relatively easy to change

Forum / Writing Careers / Buying and Selling Writing Accounts: A Kenyan's perspective

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