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Thread poster: Astrid Elke Witte

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Sep 12, 2008

Does anyone know whether the rates on our profile pages are supposed to be those for end clients or those for agencies?

Up to now I have been displaying my end client rates, however it has occurred to me that it is only really agencies who see our profiles, since everything else on Proz.com is also geared towards collaboration with agencies.

A couple of months ago there was a suggestion that there might be a new system, where we could enter two sets of rates, one for agencies and one for end clients, and the system would only show the appropriate one to the person viewing the page, depending on whether they claimed to be an agency or an end client. However, I have heard no more about this proposal, so assume it must have been abandoned.

Astrid


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never quite grasp why different prices Sep 12, 2008

Hi Astrid. Good question indeed. I never thought about that. Not that I publish my rates in my profile (as I consider that there are different kinds of jobs and therefore different rates).

But something I never quite grasped is why some people have different prices for the same job depending on who pays. Isn't it a bit unfair for end clients (or for agencies, depending on what price is lower)?


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Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:14
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Price differentiation Sep 12, 2008

Hello Astrid and Hello Tomas,

Dear Astrid, I don"t know the answer to your question right now, but the comment of Tomas was rather tempting!

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Hi Astrid. Good question indeed. I never thought about that. Not that I publish my rates in my profile (as I consider that there are different kinds of jobs and therefore different rates).

But something I never quite grasped is why some people have different prices for the same job depending on who pays. Isn't it a bit unfair for end clients (or for agencies, depending on what price is lower)?


Dear Tomas,

As an entrepreneur in a free market, we, as suppliers, are in need to optimise our balance sheets. My prices for agencies are therefore lower in certain cases so that I can attract more jobs from them. Agencies, when they provide a translator with a job, they aim at covering their own risks in regard to the quality of translation as well as at earning money themselves. Assuming that their price should also be competitive with the market, they will try not to inflate their prices so that they can keep the end client. So, for these messengers, why not lower the translation cost by the translator?
On the other hand, in case of direct contact with the end client, the end client can pay the translator, what the translation agency was hoping to earn for its work as an outsourcer.
Already optimised balance sheet.
Dear regards,

Binnur


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:14
Spanish to English
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Charge direct clients more Sep 12, 2008

Now, Tomás you are having a laugh here aren't you. Freelancers get as much as they can out of an agency, and for direct clients we undercut agencies by a couple of cents. While agencies usually offer a 10% to other agencies.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:14
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
New rates structure delayed without dates given Sep 12, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
Does anyone know whether the rates on our profile pages are supposed to be those for end clients or those for agencies?

At the moment this feature is not yet implemented.


Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
Up to now I have been displaying my end client rates, however it has occurred to me that it is only really agencies who see our profiles, since everything else on Proz.com is also geared towards collaboration with agencies.

Yes, the general idea was to separate "end client" rates from the rates for "outsourcers", and to show them (optionally) separately, according to the type of member/visitor. For example, the rates for outsourcers should have been visible only to agencies registered with ProZ.com, having a corporate profile, or some other qualifying criteria.

There was also, I remember, a third set of prices, called "default", to be used by anyone not making a clear distinction in terms of rates between end clients and outsourcers.
I did not understand the need for this "default" set of rates, but that was the choice of the site.
In my opinion it was a bit confusing, muddling the clear distinction obtained with the two previous sets of rates: "end clients" and "outsourcers".


Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
A couple of months ago there was a suggestion that there might be a new system, where we could enter two sets of rates, one for agencies and one for end clients, and the system would only show the appropriate one to the person viewing the page, depending on whether they claimed to be an agency or an end client. However, I have heard no more about this proposal, so assume it must have been abandoned.

A few weeks ago there was a thread about this feature, it was announced as being close to its release within a few days, and then, suddenly, it has been canceled due to technical problems.
When I inquired about the specific problems encountered and the duration of the delay, I have been told nothing specific, and no dates either.

The feature is officially still in the works, but no dates are given for its release.

Gianfranco



[Edited at 2008-09-12 20:14]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for clarification Sep 12, 2008

Hello Gianfranco,

Thanks for clarifying the matter. Yes, I can understand that it is maybe not technically easy to implement. I look forward to the feature once it is possible to implement it.

For now, I have hidden my rates, because they are intended for end clients, but seem instead to have the effect of putting off agencies.

Astrid


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Retail versus wholesale Sep 12, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:
But something I never quite grasped is why some people have different prices for the same job depending on who pays. Isn't it a bit unfair for end clients (or for agencies, depending on what price is lower)?


Hi, Tomás.

If I work for an agency, they do part of my job for me: finding clients, hiring an editor/proofreader (one hopes), project management, assuming financial risk, following up if the client doesn't pay, etc. Therefore, the agency get to keep a portion of the money and I earn a bit less.

When I work for direct clients, I do charge more but the fee is less than an agency would have charged them. That works out well for both the clients and for me. They pay less and I earn more by "eliminating the middle person." It's analogous to the difference between retail and wholesale.

For the reasons Astrid cited, I have chosen not to display my rates in my profile. Besides, both my agency rate and my direct-client rate can vary slightly based on the type and difficulty of the job, so it's just easier not to publish fees.

[Edited at 2008-09-12 14:36]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:14
German to English
+ ...
"Outsourcers" Sep 12, 2008

gianfranco wrote:

Yes, the general idea was to separate "end client" rates from the rates for "outsourcers", and to show them (optionally) separately, according to the type of member/visitor. For example, the rates for outsourcers should have been visible only to agencies registered with ProZ.com, having a corporate profile, or some other qualifying criteria.


Aha: "outsourcers" refers only to agencies....

From the latest edition of the ITI Bulletin, which I received today:

[Very comprehensive information about oneself] can then be searched by customers and translation companies (known generically as 'outsourcers'). (From an article by ProZ member Peter Linton.)


...or not.

Can someone enlighten me why customers/agencies (or TCs)/end customers (whichever the case may be) are referred to as "outsourcers" on ProZ? Where did this strange usage of the term originate?

Marc


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Outsourcers Sep 12, 2008

Traditionally, corporations hired in-house staff to handle most of their ongoing tasks. But since the 1980s, there has been a growing tendency to "outsource" tasks to specialized companies. For instance, some corporations outsourced their entire computer-support function to IT firms.

"Source" in this case means "vendor" or "supplier" and "out" means external. So it means using a source of labor or goods outside the company. Agencies are outsourcers, but so are corporate direct clients.

According to Random House, the term originated circa 1975-1980.

[Edited at 2008-09-12 14:50]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:14
German to English
+ ...
Outsourcers Sep 12, 2008

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Traditionally, corporations hired in-house staff to handle most of their ongoing tasks. But since the 1980s, there has been a growing tendency to "outsource" tasks to specialized companies. For instance, some corporations outsourced their entire computer-support function to IT firms.


Yes, I'm aware of the conventional meaning. I was referring to the meaning of "any customer" (or "any agency customer", depending on your point of view).

Marc


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:14
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...
ProZ.com's use of term 'outsourcer' Sep 12, 2008

Right, Steve.

Here's the definition of the term from the ProZ.com Blue Board Glossary:

Glossary of Blue Board terms...

Outsourcer: An umbrella term that includes agencies, companies, clients and any other entity or person that buys translation services. The Blue Board is a database of outsourcers accompanied by service provider entries.
http://www.proz.com/faq/blue_board_agency#glossary


Steven Capsuto wrote:

Traditionally, corporations hired in-house staff to handle most of their ongoing tasks. But since the 1980s, there has been a growing tendency to "outsource" tasks to specialized companies. For instance, some corporations outsourced their entire computer-support function to IT firms.

"Source" in this case means "vendor" or "supplier" and "out" means external. So it means using a source of labor or goods outside the company. Agencies are outsourcers, but so are corporate direct clients.

According to Random House, the term originated circa 1975-1980.

[Edited at 2008-09-12 14:50]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:14
German to English
+ ...
So now we know Sep 12, 2008

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Here's the definition of the term from the ProZ.com Blue Board Glossary:


Thanks, Yolanda.

Marc


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:14
English to French
+ ...
One reason for not displaying rates Sep 12, 2008

The fact that my rates vary depending on whether I work with an end client or with another type of outsourcer is one of the reasons why I don't display my rates. The other, main reason, is the one Tomás provided: my rates vary depending on text difficulty and specifics.

If you work with outsourcers who handle part of the work for you (they provide you with TMs, glossaries, lists of preferred terms, they format documents before they hand them over to you, they do QA, etc.), then it is only normal you charge less because then you only really translate - you don't have any other tasks you may have had had you worked with a direct client. A good example is PDF files: end clients will send these to you a whole lot, while professional agencies will never send PDFs, even if the original source file was in that format. However, you need to also consider that outsourcers who only act as postal boxes and translation brokers should be charged end client rates, since you will have to perform the tasks that normally belong to them yourself, which takes more time. If you charge agency rates to postal box type agencies and to translation brokers, you are helping them cheat you out of your money.

I think that if you are to display a rate, it should be the end client rate, even if the ProZ market segment is largely composed of agencies. Agencies know that freelancers charge more to direct clients than to agencies. So, your rate structure should be X base rate and X base rate -30% for agencies. However, I doubt that profile tools on this site will ever reflect this. The community on this site is a huge bunch, with different ways of charging, different clienteles, different laws for different countries and different preferences as well. ProZ will never be able to satisfy everybody.

I'd say the sensible thing to do is to hide your rates and to explain in your profile that your bare minimum rate is X, and that agencies get the same rate -30%, because they handle some of your tasks for you (this may even help ward off postal boxes and translation brokers). Then, add a little message saying you will determine the exact rate you will charge based on text difficulty and other specifics, so that those who may contact you are aware that you may charge them more than your base rate. This way, everybody knows your bare minimum and those who are not prepared to pay that much will not bother contacting you, while those who would pay rates at or above your bare minimum will also understand that rates vary from one project to another and will be prepared to negotiate.

[Edited at 2008-09-12 16:11]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
The law of the jungle Sep 14, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

But something I never quite grasped is why some people have different prices for the same job depending on who pays. Isn't it a bit unfair for end clients (or for agencies, depending on what price is lower)?

I fully agree, and I charge depending on the required services.

If I charge end clients in average more than agencies, this is because end clients often need a more comprehensive service, which needs to be reflected in the rate or lump-sum.

Otherwise it would be unfair, but a "free market" means that it is as fair as a jungle, anyway..


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Viktoria! Sep 15, 2008

Many thanks for your detailed input. What you describe sounds a very sensible scheme for tackling the problem - at any rate until such time as we have the opportunity to enter two sets of rates, to be shown to agencies or end clients, as the case may be.

I have experienced the extra work that agencies normally have to do at first hand, when being requested by an end client to outsource work in languages unknown to me: converting poor quality .pdfs, finding that the text was too poor for conversion, spending hours typing out the text in languages unknown to me, containing characters unique to that language (something which is quite difficult and requires intense concentration), and finally, after it feels like most of the work must be done, sending them off to translators of those language pairs.... There are quite a number of agencies which will not go to such lengths (which you term "postal boxes" and "translation brokers" - what is your distinction between these two terms?). However, the truly professional agencies, as you say, will carry out of all this, and so they definitely earn their cut.

Astrid


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