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Need a fax machine to get established?
Thread poster: Ricki Farn

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2005)
English to German
Dec 6, 2005

Hi out there

I am trying to get into the swing of being a freelance software localizer, and I am wondering if it is a must to buy a fax machine. I am worried that if I do, I will be flooded in spam faxes - plus I would have to keep it switched on all day for the 3 bona fide faxes a year that I suppose I will get. The fax-to-email services I find on the interhet that use regular phone numbers would all charge me quite a bit of money, which is really disproportionate for the tiny number of faxes I am expecting. The services where the person who sends the fax must pay, cannot be reached from abroad (or that is what I think; I am referring to German 01805 numbers, the kind also used for hotlines). How are other freelancers handling this?

Thanks for your input,
Ricki


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Katherine Mérignac  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:01
Member (2004)
French to English
Not a necessity Dec 6, 2005

Hi Ricki,

Although I haven't been in the business that long (just over a year), I do now work full time and even have to turn down work occasionally... and yet I have only once received a project by fax.
I don't know if other translators feel the same way, but when starting out, and if money is tight, then other things should take priority (ie: CAT tools, a decent internet connection, dictionaries, software, etc.). Most work is now done via e-mail.
If I were you I would wait a little - buy one later if you see that you are missing out on a lot of work... but I don't honestly think you will!

Good luck!

Kate


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xxxScout2003  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
Italian to English
+ ...
up to you Dec 6, 2005

Hi Ricky,

I believe it is easier to communicate with a client if you are having a fax machine. I believe most of the translation offices need signed documents, e.g. a NDA. It saves time if you can fax those papers...

Sascha


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
German to English
Secondary, but nevertheless important Dec 6, 2005

I made it by for a couple of years without a dedicated fax machine by sending letters out through my computer's built-in fax modem and by receiving faxes through a free version of eFax.

So yes, you can do it for a while anyways. At some point your business will grow enough that the hassle isn't worth it NOT to have a fax, but by then the money'll be there too.

Good luck!


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Katherine Mérignac  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:01
Member (2004)
French to English
Depends what other material you have Dec 6, 2005

You're probably right actually, Sascha. I tend to scan documents and send them signed by e-mail, but that means you have to have a scanner... so it probably depends what equipment you already have.
Mind you, if I had to choose between the two I'd say that I use the scanner a whole lot more than I do the fax..!

K.


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Use a fax-to-email gateway Dec 6, 2005

Ricki Farn wrote:

I am trying to get into the swing of being a freelance software localizer, and I am wondering if it is a must to buy a fax machine.


Nowadays there are email services that provide you with a fax number; any faxes arriving that way are automatically converted into an email attachment. This is what I do. It is part of my regular EMail package and costs a few Euros per month.

Note that most such services don't provide the service to send arbitrary images as a fax. (Even though you can usually send faxes for a fee, those cannot consist of arbitrary images). You can get by through scanning the documents you would have faxed and sending the scans by email as GIFs or TIFFs.

P.

[Edited at 2005-12-06 15:11]


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
German to English
+ ...
Fax not a bad idea; alternatives in Germany Dec 6, 2005

Hi Ricki,

I have 2 comments for you:

1) A fax is not a bad thing to have. Your own website and associated email address, a land-line, a cell phone, and yes a fax tend indicate to clients that you are "legit". I've had a public fax number for years and have only ever received one spam message (knock on wood). If it's at your house you can always program it to be silent at night. I use it several times per month, for instance for new clients to fax a signed contract agreement, when the text is only available in printed form, etc. I just think that when potential clients call you, you want to make it as convenient and easy as possible for them. Not everyone has reached the digital age

2)
The fax-to-email services I find on the interhet that use regular phone numbers would all charge me quite a bit of money


Really? This surprises me. I have an alternative online fax number from one of the major German internet providers, which gets converted to email and sent to my regular address; while I haven't checked the exact prices lately as I recall it costs me something on the order of 10 cents a page. This is just a regular number, somewhere in Karlsruhe if I recall, i.e. not a 0180-number. If you only get a few faxes a year, this would be pretty cost-effective for you. Who do you use as an your internet provider? As part of your package they often will provide such an online fax number. I tend to use this more as a backup or when travelling though, and have had problems with it when the fax is larger than 10 pages or so. Feel free to contact me via my profile for more information about specific providers.

Edited: Note I just checked the conditions and receiving faxes in this manner appears to be *free* (as part of my hosting package).

[Edited at 2005-12-06 14:15]

[Edited at 2005-12-06 20:14]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
German to English
+ ...
Need a fax machine to get established? Dec 6, 2005

You can probably manage without one, but with prices starting around 50 euro (new, with guarantee, try eBay - much less for a used one), why bother? They can also be used for the occasional photocopy.

Marc


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Spiros Doikas  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:01
Member (2002)
English to Greek
+ ...
If your focus is on localization.... Dec 6, 2005

then I do not think that a fax is necessary. I have managed to live without it and if I need it I use efax - although, to be honest, I am not interested in clients and jobs that are sent in such a low-tech way.

I could not live without my scanner though!


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Tadej Kokalj  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 23:01
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I live and work without fax Dec 6, 2005

Buy scanner, approx. same investment (or buy multifunctional unit - printer, scanner, copier, if you don't have printer yet).

You may scan all NDA agreementst, contract etc. and send them through mail. Fax is nothing else as scanner&printer in one box.


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:01
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Spam fax need not be a problem Dec 6, 2005

Ricki Farn wrote:

Hi out there

I am trying to get into the swing of being a freelance software localizer, and I am wondering if it is a must to buy a fax machine. I am worried that if I do, I will be flooded in spam faxes - plus I would have to keep it switched on all day for the 3 bona fide faxes
Ricki


I have a combined telephone, answering maching and fax machine. If somebody or something rings when I am out, the answering machine answers, not the fax machine. Therefore fax spammers who ring random numbers to find fax machines do not recognise that there is a fax machine on my number. Of course it is switched on all day, because it is combined with the telephone.
To send me a fax, the "send" button on the sender's fax machine must be pressed and then my machine will recognise the start of a fax transmission.

Oliver


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 14:01
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I recommend.. Dec 6, 2005

... TrustFax.com. More affordable than others I've considered and great service.

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 00:01
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Why hardware fax? Dec 6, 2005

There are many fax programs around, AFAIK, even Windows have an inbuilt one (never have used it, though). Install some fax program and all your expenses are a modem (if you already don't have one).

Just type "free fax program" in Google.

Uldis


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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
Infofax.es Dec 6, 2005

This company has been providing me with excellent fax services and client support for years. No need to buy a fax machine, paper, ink, no more paper jams! (except for that hungry printer, of course...) You can give it a try for just a month and see for yourself.

I'll stop here, I´m starting to sound like one of their sales representatives!


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Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 16:01
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Try Jfax Dec 6, 2005

Hi Ricky,

I have been using jfax for some years now and it has worked well. They send you faxes to your email address. I do not know how well it works for Germany, though.

HTH,
Patricia


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