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If I want to say that someone can pay for something after receiving a good, service or job done (as opposed to a pre-payment) with a specific amount of money, can I say

You can use this feature for the post-fee of $20

Or the only correct option is "for the post-payment fee of $20" ?

The prefix "post" here only refers to a payment opposed to a pre-payment and has nothing to do with the post mailing service.

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    Neither "post-fee"nor "post-payment fee" are in common use in standard English. "post-fee" could mean a fee for mailing something, but I don't think that is the meaning here either. Please explain more clearly just what sort of fee or charge you have in mind here. Is this a fee charged after an initial purchase? Feb 13, 2023 at 0:59
  • By a "post-payment" do you mean an additional fee charged after an initial payment? or a fee charged after a purchase? Or a purchase made on credit, with payment later? I am afraid I do not find this question clear yet. Feb 13, 2023 at 1:30
  • I think it's assumed that you pay for something when you receive it unless pre-payment is specified. I would say payment of $20 on receipt. Feb 13, 2023 at 10:39
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    If it's a service rather than a physical item, you can call the payment a fee. Feb 13, 2023 at 16:12
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    There are various terms like payment in arrears, purchase on account, buying on credit, etc, which mean payment is made after receipt of the goods. This depends on whether it's consumer or business-to-business and the exact payment schedule (e.g. is an invoice sent with the goods and prompt payment expected, or are goods sold with the understanding that you don't have to pay until a certain time has elapsed). There's also e.g. cash on delivery/payment on delivery.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 15, 2023 at 21:39

4 Answers 4

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I think the assumption is that you pay for goods or services when you receive them, unless pre-payment is specified. For a physical item, you could say payment of $20 on receipt (when it arrives). For a service, you can call it a fee. If you are paying someone to do a job for you, you could say something like on completion of work.

In response to your later question - if you regularly buy items, for instance from a mail-order company, you may have an account with them - they keep a record of what you owe and you can add money to it at any time rather than paying for each purchase separately. This can be called payment on account.

(Disclaimer - I'm not a financial expert, but this is how I understand the terms.)

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I would have used to term invoice, saying something like:

You can use this feature for a fee of $20 to be paid by invoice.
or
You can use this feature for a fee of $20, paid by invoice.

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  • Can it be also something like "for the invoice payment of $..." or "for the invoice fee of $..." ?
    – elluser
    Feb 20, 2023 at 10:59
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The opposite of "pre-payment" is "post-payment". So, the correct phrase to use in your sentence would be "post-payment fee of $20".

While "post-fee" might convey the intended meaning of payment after receiving the good or service, it is not a commonly used term in this context, and may cause confusion or be misleading. "Post-fee" could also potentially be interpreted as referring to a fee for some kind of post or mailing service. Therefore, it would be clearer and more appropriate to use the more common term "post-payment" in this context.

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  • Yes, I was heard or read about "post-payment" as the opposite of "pre-payment" many years ago. But now here at SE I'm wondering that noone (except you now) mentioned such an option and someone even became associated it with the post mailing service. Could you specify some authoritative sources or at least simply web pages where "post-payment" is mentioned?
    – elluser
    Feb 18, 2023 at 7:10
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    Based on the context you gave, I would suggest using "post-payment", since audiences could understand if you mentioned "pre-payment" before. However, I just asked one of my friends who's studying business, he said "balance" or "due" would be more common because it means owned to someone either as a debt or because they *have a right to it*. Longman Dic: Due
    – Alex Teng
    Feb 18, 2023 at 7:33
  • Thanks! Do you mean "for the due payment of $..."? You may add it to your answer
    – elluser
    Feb 18, 2023 at 7:54
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"Post-fee" and "post-payment fee" are rarely used by native English speakers. The usual word is postage hence

You can use this feature to pay the $20 postage.
or
You can use this feature to pay $20 for [the] postage.

"the" is optional in the second version.

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    "postage" refers to a payment for mailing something. I don't think that is what the OP is referring to here. Feb 13, 2023 at 0:55
  • @DavidSiegel You could well be right, I didn't think of it that way. In which case my answer is completely wrong! A post-payment could then be something like invoiced / billed amount You perform a service or supply goodes and include an invoice (or bill) which the client then pays afterwards. Feb 13, 2023 at 1:10
  • Note the recent edits to the question by he OP. Feb 13, 2023 at 1:28

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