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A note to cheapskate agencies
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:00
English to French
+ ...
Feb 16, 2008

I found this in a recent job posting:

Since the estimated word count is about 20,000 words and we need to work in a team of translators, we require the use of Trados.
Considering the large volume of this project, please quote your most competitive per-word rate.


1. What makes you think I will accept to give you my "most competitive per-word rate" when I don't even know anything about you?
2. What makes you think I will be so grateful that you keep me busy for two weeks? What makes you think 20K words is such an awesome contract? What makes you think I have so little work that I would be impressed by a 20K word contract?
3. What makes you think I will sell my professional services to you at a rebate just because you offer me a one-time opportunity of 20K words, probably with a CAT tool rate scheme to top it off?

There is a red velvet rope in front of my door, and this kind of requirement is exactly what will NEVER get you past it.

To those who also have a red velvet rope at their storefront, please do say so. I don't care if I get blacklisted for this - and these people will be on my blacklist before they even read this post. These people need to know that their bait is not worth biting for any serious professional (and poseur translators are not to be trusted with civil engineering documents unless the agency likes getting in trouble with their client). Just as it is the case for cheapskate agencies, for me too, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

[Edited at 2008-02-17 00:17]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:00
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
No passaran, Victoria! Feb 16, 2008

+

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:00
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
What about those interesting agencies who... Feb 16, 2008

give copious work to their latest batch of regular translators (new since the previous Christmas) in late November and early December, agreeing to 30-day credit terms, but with no intention of paying any of the invoices earlier than March......

...... and then go looking for fresh credit with yet another batch of translators in January and February.......


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
There are plenty of fish in the sea Feb 16, 2008

And that kind stinks so bad you can smell them a mile away!

Don't let 'em in.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:00
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
What about a "top of the poops" Feb 16, 2008

... list on the home page? Those never ending KudoZ listings are an absolute non-issue compared to this subject.


[EDIT] No, on the second thought, no. What's a foul fish or two - nothing that some feel-good spray could not neutralize. Just hope, this kind of fish will not turn into my daily diet.

[Edited at 2008-02-16 21:32]


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:00
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
dont even knock on my door... Feb 16, 2008

...with such offers.;) To me they are like those countless adverts that get thrown into my mailbox each week. Do I read them? Nope. Can I be bothered? Absolutely not.;)

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:00
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Indeed Feb 16, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

give copious work to their latest batch of regular translators (new since the previous Christmas) in late November and early December, agreeing to 30-day credit terms

[/quote]

Sounds too good to be true!

I just wanted to let cheapskate agencies know that I am not available, not now, not later, not EVER, to take work from them (and I don't even care to know how much they would have been willing to pay me). I think we need to remind them once in a while of what a serious professional is made of - and that a serious professional is out of their league.

I am seriously thinking of including some warnings about such requirements in my profile and kindly ask cheapskate agencies not to contact me, EVER.

I also want to say thanks to my agency clients who have never tried to pull such tricks on me. Although their market share is decreasing fast, they do exist, even on this site. I really appreciate them, and the headaches they DON'T give me.


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pascie  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:00
English to French
+ ...
Good for you Feb 16, 2008

[quote]Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I found this in a recent job posting:

Since the estimated word count is about 20,000 words and we need to work in a team of translators, we require the use of Trados.
Considering the large volume of this project, please quote your most competitive per-word rate.


I support you hundred percent. I am reading all your posting.
In fact, I just wrote a book about this.
Best Regards,
Pascale


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
always Feb 17, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I found this in a recent job posting:

Since the estimated word count is about 20,000 words and we need to work in a team of translators, we require the use of Trados.
Considering the large volume of this project, please quote your most competitive per-word rate.




I always offer clients "my most competitive rate".
That crap annoys the heck out of me.
I am, both, a freelancer, AND an outsourcer running a small agency.
As a freelancer, my rate is my rate, and the client can pay my rate
or find someone else
As an outsourcer, I never quibble on rates.
I tell providers, "your rate is your rate.
You tell me what you need to do the project."
Either I can afford it, or not, and, if I can't I move on, but I don't
ask for discounts, and I'm not rude about it.
As a translator, myself, I deeply value the work that my providers do for me,
and I respect the rates they offer (see my blueboard record).
I am disgusted by these attempts to beat us up on rates.
We're not flipping burgers in a diner.
We're highly educated professionals.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:00
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What annoys the heck out of me Feb 17, 2008

Anthony Baldwin wrote:

I always offer clients "my most competitive rate".
That crap annoys the heck out of me.



It's not as much the fact that I am being asked to offer my most competitive rate that bothers me than the fact that this time, they don't even promise regular work in exchange for it, as they usually do (whether the regular work follows or not is an entire question on its own, as Astrid pointed out). Being asked for my most competitive rate is already insulting as it is - but being asked for it without being offered anything in return really gets the cake!

Your best rate is something very relative - I can interpret that the way I want, really. Someone in this forum said a while ago that their best rate is their highest rate. From my perpective, the best rate is the one that will allow me to take an early retirement. But I doubt that I would even get a reply if I quoted that. Luckily, I don't need to rely on such agencies to earn a good revenue.

Job postings like the one I quoted actually make me think that the agency in question is a young downtown thief who sees each and every translator as an old lady with a purse or a tourist with a camera... They don't even try to negotiate anymore - they just demand it outright! Well, good luck to them anyway. I'll just keep working with my loyal and respectful clients who are willing to pay me my best rate (whatever makes cheapskates think I'll charge them less than I would charge my established clients?).


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:00
Spanish to English
And the other thing that catches my eye is... Feb 17, 2008

offering such a large translation to an untried translator. Any serious agency would try out translators they have never worked with before on relatively small jobs and only give a job this size to someone whom they have tried and tested.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You hit the nail on the head Feb 17, 2008

Lesley Clarke wrote:

offering such a large translation to an untried translator. Any serious agency would try out translators they have never worked with before on relatively small jobs and only give a job this size to someone whom they have tried and tested.




If Proz.com (and other comparable sites) would take their mission seriouly, only small volume jobs should be allowed to be posted in the job-section. Any outsourcer that offers big volume translations to unknown translators or would-be translators is in fact risking not only their own reputation but the reputation of our trade.

These people are just to lazy to contact selected members for the job on offer.

So I would advocate a volume limit of 1000 words for job-postings.

Regards
Heinrich


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 09:00
Dutch to English
Let the buyer beware Feb 17, 2008

The comments so far are all very interesting, but I would strongly disagree with limiting the size of jobs posted to 1000 (I can translate that much in 1.5 hours). The thing I like about the job posting is that all sorts of opportunities are offered. The first job I accepted from proz was for several thousand words, and that outsourcer is now my primary client.

Accepting jobs on proz is nothing more or less than doing business, and as always, you should always be careful when taking on work.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:00
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
not all are professionals Feb 17, 2008

Anthony Baldwin wrote:
We're highly educated professionals.


And therein lies the rub: the Proz community as a whole covers a broad range of abilities, from top-class, highly educated, full-time professionals to casual translators without formal training or experience. A competent project manager will recognise to which group his addressee belongs. If they want cut-price translations they will get cut-price quality.

I turn down at least 3 projects a week due to time constraints, so if I accept a job below my usual rate I will actually lose money. That does not make good business sense.

However, there are newbies out there looking for experience who will accept such jobs. If I am interested in such a job offer I send my standard answer along with my usual rates. They can take it or leave it.

And giving a 20,000 word project to a team of translators is asking for consistency and terminology problems, at the very least. I dump these offers straight into the bin.

Cheers,
Jill


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:00
Member (2004)
English to Italian
plenty... Feb 17, 2008

they will find plenty of professional - yes, professional and good - translators prepared to work at these conditions. Viktoria, I think you live on a different planet sometimes...

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A note to cheapskate agencies

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