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Minimum charge
Thread poster: pmcd

pmcd  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:45
French to English
Mar 19, 2003

I was recently asked to translate 350 words for a French agency. I informed them of my 60 Euro minimum charge fee. The agent expressed her shock and told me that the standard minimum charge fixed by freelance translators was 10 Euros.

Is 60 Euros really outrageous?


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xxxAAG
Local time: 16:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well.... Mar 19, 2003

I have never charged 60, but 10... that is NOTHING my dear!!! I haven´t met anyone who charges 10 Euro!!!! It depends, but I normally charge 35-40 Euro!!!!

Take care and good luck,

AAG


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 16:45
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Minimum Charge = 250 words Mar 19, 2003

Hi,



I charge 250 words minimum charge for all little jobs under 250 words, that is my normal rate per word x 250.



I see 350 words as over a minimum charge (250 words = 1 international page). And the total amount I would have charged for 350 words, would have been +/- EUR 60.



EUR 10 for 350 words is like EUR 0,02857 /word. I call this a very very low rate.



My 2 eurocents,



Giuliana
[addsig]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 12:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
If you check some profiles Mar 19, 2003

You\'ll see that often the minimum charge is between US$ 20-35, I\'d say.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:45
German to English
+ ...
Minimum charge Mar 19, 2003

If you feel you can justify a 60 Euro minimum charge, go ahead! It\'s your right to charge what you like. However, I do think it is on the high side.



As to the \"standard minimum charge\" being 10 Euros, this is absolute rubbish. There is no \"standard minimum charge\", and many translators charge substantially more than 10 Euros. I have had a minimum charge of 40 or 50 Deutschmarks (20-25 Euros) for many years, and have just raised it to 30 Euros.



One approach is to consider how much time is involved in dealing with a small order (half an hour, an hour?) and base your minimum charge upon your hourly rate, if you have one.



My approach is this: either a customer only sends small jobs, in which case he is financially unattractive and a good reason for a high minimum charge; or you value the customer because of other, larger orders, in which case you can group a small order with a larger order, or not charge for it at all.



Marc


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:45
Dutch to English
+ ...
I charge my hourly rate as my minimum rate Mar 19, 2003

My minimum rate is my hourly rate: £ 20 or EUR 30.



Good luck!


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:45
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Depends on the translation.... Mar 19, 2003

If the text is very technical, it may require the same amount of research as a longer text for much less money. Sometimes, I suspect small translations are simply used to let someone do the hard work. Furthermore, those small translations are often rush-jobs. If it is something I can easily fit in, I only charge a minimum of 30 Euro. But I have become more careful about accepting those requests...

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:45
English to German
+ ...
Precisely! Mar 19, 2003

Quote:


My approach is this: either a customer only sends small jobs, in which case he is financially unattractive and a good reason for a high minimum charge; or you value the customer because of other, larger orders, in which case you can group a small order with a larger order, or not charge for it at all.



In a nutshell - I agree wholeheartedly, particularly since it also emphasises another important issue: if you\'re self-employed, the person setting your prices is you.



Good luck, Ralf

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Christiane Brüggemann  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:45
Spanish to German
+ ...
Minimum charge like rate per hour Mar 19, 2003

I live in Spain where generally translation rates are quite low. My minimum charge is 25 € and normally agencies don\'t refuse it. My minimum rate per hour is exactly the same rate.

In my opinion, 60 € as minimum rate is too high and 10 € too low. You might adapt your rate to those that are usual in the clients\' or agency\'s country.

Christiane.


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Denis HAY  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:45
English to French
10 € is ridiculous... Mar 19, 2003

I would stay away of such an agency. They\'re b.[censored].ing you. Hmm, let\'s say they\'re telling you tales. Either they\'re working with western translators and have to bear with $20-$40 minimum fees, as you can easily see browsing many profiles, or they\'re working with eastern translators who would have the entire 10 € gobbled up by bank fees. No, there\'s no way 10 € can be an \"average\" minimum fee.

Don\'t waste your precious time with such people. There are plenty of decent and professional agencies around.



Denis


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Denis HAY  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:45
English to French
Minimum fee = 1 hour Mar 19, 2003

As a general rule, I would say that in almost any language pair, the \"average\" minimum fee is equivalent to the hourly rate.

Of course, you are right to charge whatever you feel is worth for the minimum time you spend on small translations.

As a bonus for regular clients, whenever I get really extra small translations, I usually do it for free. The time spent on administrative issues on their side and mine wouldn\'t be compensated by a few cents. And they usually appreciate it. When I feel that I will spend at least an hour doing it, then I charge my minimum fee, which is my hourly rate.



Denis


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:45
English to German
+ ...
small jobs are a lot of work Mar 20, 2003

Obviously a 300 word job doesn\'t just take the 10th of the time of a 3000 word job. I regularly get small jobs that require a lot of research. My minimum is €50 or £30 and I never had any complaints. Otherwise small jobs would be a waste of time. Just think like a plumber...

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pmcd  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:45
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 20, 2003

Thanks for all your answers and advice.



I\'ll bring down my minimum charge to 30 Euro which seems more reasonable.



I actually ended up phoning the agency back and offering to do the 350-word translation for free (Marc\'s idea) - since the agency gave me several very long documents to translate last year and I didn\'t want to be removed from their list. I also didn\'t want them to consider me as a contact for translating short documents on a regular basis.



It felt like good business strategy until I ended up spending 5 hours researching a 350 word text in PDF format!



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Kevin Harper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:45
German to English
+ ...
It depends on circumstances. Mar 20, 2003

I consider my minimum charge to be very low, at GBP 10.00 (for payment in sterling), and would never consider going as low as €10.00.



The reason I am going for a low MC is that I am unavailable for two days in the week at the moment, and need to attract smaller jobs. If you are getting a lot of large jobs in, and don\'t need to do smaller jobs, then go for a higher rate.



From my experience working in agency, it\'s unusual to find less than GBP 20.00 as a minimum charge.



Incidentally, I have a different minimum charge in euros, because of the difference in cost of paying in a cheque in euros into my British bank account. It\'s GBP 5.00 per cheque with my bank, although I know other banks charge as little as GBP 1.00. When you have such a low minimum charge, these things can be significant.



Of course, there are very few jobs that I actually charge GBP 10.00 for, because they have to be about 200 words or less.


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xxxanngvo
English to Russian
+ ...
So strange Mar 20, 2003

All those discussions seem to be a bit ridiculous to me. It\'s VERY hard to find any project connected with Russian or Ukrainian (these are my native lang.), there are so many translators. The normal rate in Ukraine and Russia is (get ready) - $0.01 or 0.015 per word. What do you think of that? As for me I charge about 3 USD per page (1800 symbols with spaces pr 250 words) and I\'m afraid there is no chance for me to get more.

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