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New client, large project...should I ask for up-front payment?
Thread poster: Bertha S. Deffenbaugh

Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 31, 2002

I have been contacted by a new client in Europe. Though the agency may be perfectly respectable, the truth is I do not know anything about them.



They would like me to handle a long 95 pages project and I think I should ask them to pay some money up-front.



The problem here is that a cheque [ I don\'t accept credit cards] would take about a week or more to arrive in the USA.



What do you think I should do? How much do you think I should ask them? 30%, 40%, 50%?



Thanks!


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Heather Drake  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Staggered payments May 31, 2002

I would ask for 40% up-front. 30% is too low to cover your costs in the event something goes wrong, 50% communicates outright distrust. I would offer partial deliveries with 30% before beginning, 30% with the first installment of the translation, and the remaining 40% upon delivery of the complete work.

Good luck!


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Guy Bray  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
Member (2002)
French to English
Not a check May 31, 2002

I don\'t know how much the advance payment should be, but whatever you do, don\'t accept a check (unless they can give you one drawn on a U.S. bank): U.S. bank charges and delays are prohibitively expensive on foreign checks. Wire transfer or a service like Paypal or the new Citibank version is the way to go.

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Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Foreign checks in US banks May 31, 2002

I have received several checks from France and Canada and I don\'t remember having had any problem with the charges. It is true there was a delay, though.

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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:28
English to Spanish
Since we are talking about... May 31, 2002

USD 2500 (or more), I´d ask for an up-front payment without a second thought for an agency I never worked with. I´d say a 30% is a good number. Regarding payment, you can always ask for a money order, which are bought online from a third party that notifies you by email that the purchase has ocurred. Therefore, regardless of mailing times, you know the agency is serious and willing to pay.



Of course, you have to contend with the expense of buying such a money order, but you can offer to split the charges with the agency (after all, what´s USD 20 compared to USD 2500?) and everyone happy.



Good luck,

Rossana



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Francisco Herrerias  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
French to Spanish
+ ...
WIRE TRANSFER May 31, 2002

It is the best option, I work in Mexico, and I have never had any problem with transfers from England, short time and low cost.

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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
PAGO POR ADELANTADO May 31, 2002

Conviene solicitar un pago por adelantado del 25 al 30 por ciento del importe previsto para el texto por traducir.

Ello no supone desconfianza alguna hacia el cliente.

Incluso he tenido la grata experiencia de recibir todo el importe del pago de la traducción por adelantado, y en más de una ocasión. Claro que se trata de una empresa fabricante suiza (!).



Cosas veredes, amigo Sancho...
[addsig]


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 21:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
35% up front for large jobs May 31, 2002

Berta:

I usually ask for 35% up-front for large jobs (US$2,500 or more) and I haven\'t had any problem. Most of the time I ask for money order or wire transfer. I do not accept checks, because it takes too long to clear out (around one month, at least here in Panama)

So far, this practice has worked for me, and this way the you are happy and the client is happy, and you are also sure that the client is serious.

Hope it helps you!

Saludos,



Dinorah


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hschl  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:28
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Open a bank account May 31, 2002

If you expect more large projects from that client, just open a bank account in that country. I have various low fee (no fee) accounts, they can wire the funds in that country usually on on the same business day. A quick check via online banking, and off you go with your translation.(It even sometimes pays off, to have income in various currencies, due to exchange fluctuations.

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Robert INGLEDEW  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH AN AGENCY FROM BELGIUM May 31, 2002

ALTHOUGH I WOULD NOT DARE TO ACUSE THEM OF NOT BEING HONEST PEOPLE, I DID A JOB OVER TWO MONTHS AGO FOR PAUL JANSSENS (BELGIUM) AND STILL HAVE NO NEWS REGARDING THE PAYMENT.

THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS OVER 500 US DOLLARS.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Have you checked them out? May 31, 2002

I ask because 95 pages, normal typeface, don\'t generally presuppose more than a month\'s work and thus do not really imply an abnormal delay in invoicing. If the client checks out, maybe it\'s not necessary.

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Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Answer to Rosanna May 31, 2002

Hi Rosanna.



I have been working for agencies over the internet for quite a long time now. Here in the USA, we always use **cheques**. No need for money orders at all. These checks can be safely sent via post office and they ALWAYS arrive safely. As you perhaps know, in the USA, everybody pays their bills with cheques. [I do too.]



Though I generally work for agencies here in the USA, I also work on a regular basis for agencies in France, UK and Canada. I have never had any problem with payment and they have always paid through *checks*.



Why am I a bit concerned right now, then? Only because I do not know the agency, and I have not been able to get info on them *anywhere*.

They have a nice internet site, but that\'s all.



I have done several huge jobs for agencies both here in the USA and abroad. But in every case, they were agencies I had already worked for before on smaller projects so when they came up with big ones, there was no need to ask for an up-front payment.





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