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Rates in the profile: display or not display?
Thread poster: Cristina Lo Bianco

Cristina Lo Bianco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:40
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Dec 10, 2008

Hi everybody,

I was reading through the profiles of people with more or less my ranking in my top pair (english-> italian) and I was surprised to find out that many of them didn't display their rates.
What do you think about it? Is it a good strategy?

Thanks!
Cristina


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:40
Italian to English
Two points Dec 10, 2008

Hi Cristina,

I don't mention rates in my profile for at least two reasons.

The first is that I don't want prospective clients choosing me on the basis of cost and the second, perhaps more practical, point is that I probably wouldn't remember to keep them up to date!

Giles


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
I show them Dec 10, 2008

For me, there is no reason NOT to show my rates. In any case, it will discourage some agencies and end-clients from approaching me if they think my rates are too high/low for them. And I don't want to waste a lot of time with agencies that don't want to pay for my services. So, I always display them.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:40
Member
English to French
I tried both Dec 10, 2008

and reverted to displaying my rates, because I get less inquiries focusing on low rates.
Even more so since my residence country features cheap bread, labour and tomatoes compared to Europe, so people think that computers, internet connections, cars, petrol, housing, utilities, taxes, training, insurance and software must be much cheaper too.
I don't mind one way or the other, but it proved more relevant for me to display my rates. Less time is wasted on all sides.

Philippe


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Anja Weggel  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
Member (2007)
English to German
more room to maneuver Dec 10, 2008

Hi Christina,

I do not display my rates to give myself more room to maneuver... meaning, I can decide more 'on the spot' what I offer a client (in both ways). For me, there are just too many factors involved, for example, is it a good client, is it a prompt payer, does the client send lots of work, is it an interesting project, is there a charity aspect to it, is it a rush job, is it a client who sends always rush jobs or is it an exception and so forth. That does not mean that I have an infinite price range but it means that I consider the circumstances of each case and then decide what I can offer.

Kind regards
Anja


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:40
Italian to English
Point three Dec 10, 2008

Penelope Ausejo wrote:

For me, there is no reason NOT to show my rates.



Here's one

Not all texts are alike. I prefer to take a good look at documents to be translated before I propose a rate, which may also have to take into account factors like urgency, weekend work, daft text formats and any number of other variables.

FWIW

Giles


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Cristina Lo Bianco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:40
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Let's see if I get it right Dec 10, 2008

Thanks to everybody for their advice.

What I understand is that:
*if I display my rates and they are low or lowish, I run the risk of attracting people who wants to pay cheap for a cheap job;
*if I display them and they are average or high, I get the benefit of not being pestered buy the above mentioned people;
*if I don't display them, I can decide from job to job what is the rate I whant to apply.

My conclusion would be that is better not to disply the rates.
The only problem is that I'm still quite a beginner, I don't have that many regular clients and when I tried to raise my rates it didn't work.

For example: a few weeks ago I passed a translation test with an agency and they told me that they would put me in their database but were not likely to call me becouse my proposed rate of 0.075 Eur/word was too high...

Ciao,
Cristina




P.S.
Anja Weggel wrote:

Hi Christina,

I do not display my rates to give myself more room to maneuver...
Anja


Thank you very much Anja, is very good advice. Just one word... actually... you do show your rates, I just saw them:)

[Edited at 2008-12-10 16:35 GMT]


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't give up Dec 10, 2008

Cristina Lo Bianco wrote:

For example: a few weeks ago I passed a translation test with an agency and they told me that they would put me in their database but were not likely to call me becouse my propose rate of 0.075 Eur/word was to high...

Ciao,
Cristina



Don't give up, there are many agencies that will be willing to pay you that.

Anyway... I don't take free tests anymore, but when I did, we agreed on the rate beforehand. That way, we didn't waste our time if we don't get into an agreement regarding the rate.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:40
Portuguese to English
+ ...
My rates vary Dec 10, 2008

I don't publish my rates, because they vary according to country, type of job, and other factors. For example, if I were to charge an agency here in Brazil the equivalent of what I charge an agency in the US, I'd never have any work here.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:40
English to French
+ ...
I never displayed them Dec 10, 2008

I have never displayed my rates so far, and I will not try to either, because my reasons render a test irrelevant.

- My rates vary depending on many factors - I don't have just one rate for the entire language pair.
- I don't want to be labeled based on my rate - just like agencies don't want to be labeled (and none of them display their rates either).
- If I display my rate, chances are that people will contact me asking me to work for them at that rate -20% - some clients are sleazy like that.
- Most of all, I don't want to be offered work that already has a price tag on it - if I displayed my rate, I would give a chance to potential clients to fix a price before they even contact me, and considering that I am always the first to name a price, that wouldn't be compatible with my business scheme.

I do, however, have a small section in my profile indicating that I am not cheap and telling potential clients straight up that I negotiate and that translation is a craft and not a commodity. Since I've had that section in there, I've been getting less offers - but the ones I get are of much better quality. Funnily, I've been getting more requests from Canada since then - maybe people closer to home are more likely to share my views. Needless to say, I don't mind working with Canadians - at least, I don't have to constantly explain to them that three cents per word is not enough to make a living in Canada, and there are no exchange rate issues either. One even applauded that blunt little section. Go figure!


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:40
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Rate policies Dec 10, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
One even applauded that blunt little section. Go figure!


A person with good sense, obviously. If you understand quality, you understand that it isn't free.

I may have a minimum rate displayed to outsourcers - I actually don't remember, nor do I particularly care, because I quote as I see fit for a particular job or work out appropriate rates with clients individually. I work on progressively increasing rates with every new client unless there is something so very compelling about the material they offer to work with that I am willing to do so at "old rates". If it's just the usual mess of contracts, sales brochures, marketing plans and badly written technical reports, then new business must simply be prepared to pay more to get a place in the queue. However, this also gives this new business the advantage of priority over all except my favorites in the established client base. And so the cycle goes on....

So as far as the agencies (that's what I am referring to in the previous paragraph) are concerned, that's how it works, and I see no real reason to advertise my rates there. The rates are also dependent on other factors, such as payment terms and the general competence of the PMs. If an outsourcer pays within three days and is a superb project manager who never gives me headaches, he'll get a much better rate than someone who wants to pay in 45 days, makes me fill out extra forms to include with my invoice, constantly screws up word counts, etc. "Dummheit hat einen Aufpreis" as the Germans say.

Also there is the issue of end client rates to be considered. In most cases, end clients require significantly more effort to work with and support effectively than agencies, and these are charged an appropriately higher rate. (There are also uncomplicated ones who get the same rate or even a better rate - I really do consider the individual circumstances. In some cases these end client rates can be double my higher agency rates. I see no reason to advertise that on my profile, as it is probably irrelevant to most people who would make an inquiry. In each case clients are presented with a detailed quotation or general framework for estimation and the reasoning behind the pricing for a particular case. Often I'll suggest things which might be done to lower the price (better file preparation, provision of certain useful references, etc.). The result is very little argument about prices and a result that I think both parties feel good about. I'm not in this game to get rich (there are better ways of doing that), I'm in it to have fun, and I insist on having the flexibility to adjust my pricing to the level of fun involved. Published rates would just get in the way.


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Anja Weggel  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
Member (2007)
English to German
trial Dec 11, 2008

Cristina Lo Bianco wrote:

Thanks to everybody for their advice.

What I understand is that:
*if I display my rates and they are low or lowish, I run the risk of attracting people who wants to pay cheap for a cheap job;
*if I display them and they are average or high, I get the benefit of not being pestered buy the above mentioned people;
*if I don't display them, I can decide from job to job what is the rate I whant to apply.

My conclusion would be that is better not to disply the rates.
The only problem is that I'm still quite a beginner, I don't have that many regular clients and when I tried to raise my rates it didn't work.

For example: a few weeks ago I passed a translation test with an agency and they told me that they would put me in their database but were not likely to call me becouse my proposed rate of 0.075 Eur/word was too high...

Ciao,
Cristina




P.S.
Anja Weggel wrote:

Hi Christina,

I do not display my rates to give myself more room to maneuver...
Anja


Thank you very much Anja, is very good advice. Just one word... actually... you do show your rates, I just saw them:)

[Edited at 2008-12-10 16:35 GMT]



Hi Christina,

Yes, I actually decided to give it a try after the topic was raised here. I simply want to try if there is a benefit to it...

Kind regards
Anja


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