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Are to stuck to the first rates you quote, or can you raise rates over time?
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Flemish to English
+ ...
Nov 3, 2003

Almost decade ago,one of my acquaintances started teaching MsWindows95 for nothing at social organizations.
This was his way to get into that sector. Of course, he did not continue to teach for free, but always added a bit to his rate. From 0 to 50 euro/day to 200 euro per day to 400 euro/day (programming) to 600 euro per day (Oracle programming and training).
With translation, I have the impression if you would quote a low rate and you try to increase it in the same way, it would not work.
Are you really stuck to the rate you quoted at first or were you able to raise your rates gradually by changing of customer and pointing out your years of experience?


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:53
German to English
+ ...
Yes and no Nov 3, 2003

were you able to raise your rates gradually by changing of customer and pointing out your years of experience?


Yes, by raising rates. No, not gradually; in some cases by large jumps. Price structuring (differentiation) has also been a major factor in my case.

Yes, by changing customer, but not always; some customers accepted quite considerable price hikes, others disappeared for a couple of years but then returned.

Never by "pointing out years of experience"; I don't think that impresses people much - if it did, the over-50s wouldn't be the largest group among the unemployed as they are here in Germany. It's the same with all this talk about "quality": people bandy the word "quality" around when they have nothing better to talk about. What impresses customers is someone who is able to discuss their specific problems and needs intelligently with them.

Marc


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davidgreen
German to English
rates Nov 3, 2003

There are clients who will pay the rates you desire. Low rates generally serve to lower the rates for all translators, not ultimately to get you more business. I built up a thriving translation business in the US via repeat relationships with agencies and noticing which type of marketing attracted the type of business I wanted. In the music industry playing for free or cheap is called "exposure" and my experience is that it only exposes you to clients who want to pay very little. I have also raised rates diplomatically with agencies and clients and they have always accepted. I hope this serves to inspire you a bit.

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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:23
English to Hindi
+ ...
Increasing rates gradually Nov 3, 2003

I think it is best to gradually increase rates. Yes, one can increase rates by 25-30% with newer clients but it is always good to hike rates with regular clients by 10-15% every two years or so and they will usually absorb the hike, keeping in mind market conditions etc. The best excuse to give regular, old clients is that you need more money on hand for expenses as also for more R & D!!! That's legitimate.

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Doru Voin  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 18:53
English to Romanian
+ ...
Increments vs different rates Nov 3, 2003

I agree with Marc, one note though: you forget thet you do NOT have to have the same rates for the same client. Rates depend on specifics of the project, turnaround time, etc. I charge different rates for different projects for the same client, and he does not mind it, on the contrary. Of course, this applies to clients having different types of projects in your language pair.


Best regards from Bucharest,
Doru Voin


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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:53
Dutch to English
+ ...
It is in how you quote rates Nov 3, 2003

I always include the following when giving a rate quote to a client:

Rates valid until July 2004

Then, when July 2004 comes along you inform your customers of your new rates. You can always have a 'valued customer' discount if a particularly excellent client looks like they will drop you because of the price hike (or you can delay the increase, etc). In any case, by using this approach you are preparing the client for your eventual rate increases.

-JR

[Edited at 2003-11-03 19:55]

[Edited at 2003-11-03 19:56]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:53
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Negotiate higher rates with new customers Nov 4, 2003

When you have a solid base of job suppliers cite higher rates to new customers. Eventually you'll rise your income. And everybody knows inflation, a 10 percent increment every two years is only normal and understandable.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advice, but Nov 4, 2003

Why did most suppliers who contacted me lately as a result of publishing my profile, hovered around 0.07-0.08 eurocent per word and why was this their "critical rate". I was paid this rate back in 1986 and life has become more expensive since then(inflation, introduction of the euro and the subsequent price-rise, lower value of the pound).
One cent higher was too much for them.
They offered about 20%-50% less than they were asking their final customer.
Thank you for good tips, but whether or not they will work...wait and see. I guess I will have to tap other sources than this site to get better rates.

[Edited at 2003-11-04 13:18]


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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:53
Dutch to English
+ ...
Proz as a supplement to other marketing activities Nov 4, 2003

I think that most of us get only a small % of our work from Proz.com. And in my experience, the work I have gotten from this site is always on the low paying side. However, the real benefit of Proz is in networking and support. Use the job bidding function as a supplement to other ways of getting new projects.

Williamson wrote:

I guess I will have to tap other sources than this site to get better rates.

[Edited at 2003-11-04 13:18]


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 17:53
French to Dutch
+ ...
Nov 5, 2003



[Edited at 2003-11-05 08:40]


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