Try this negotiation on a field service firm that wants you to do some work for them and they want you to pay $25 upfront for a background check. Propose that you will pay the $25 provided that they agree to rebate the $25 back to you if you do not receive at least $300 in pay over the next six months. If they agree, get the agreement in writing. It’s not fair to you if you pay for a background check and then don’t receive a minimum fair amount of work. The $25 is 8% of $300. If the background check fee is $60, you will need a minimum earnings of $750 over 6 months … again 8%. May it should be 5% and not 8%. Do the math.
If they agree … fine … you will get your $25 back if they do not provide $300 in pay in the next six months. If they don’t agree, it may mean that they were going to get the $25 and you might have gotten only a small amount of work. Maybe they were only going to use you for one inspection.
There is nothing wrong with declining work. If they are not willing to negotiate, it’s probably best to just walk away. Be polite and just say “NO”. You still have a lot of choices in the industry.