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Agency asking me for an alternative rate?
Thread poster: Kyle Moore
Kyle Moore  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:35
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 15, 2008

An agency has said my first rate was too low, so I bartered with them a bit. They replied, "that's reasonable, but what is your alternative rate?"

I get the feeling that she's either, a) playing "how low will he go?", or b) she wants to know how much I charge per target word? Is this unheard of?

Thanks.


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:35
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Why not asking them directly? Aug 15, 2008

Like,

Dear XXX,

Can you please explain what you mean by "alternative rate"?

BR,
XXX


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Kyle Moore  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:35
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yep Aug 15, 2008

I did. Just wondered if I'm the first person to get that question.

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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:35
Swedish to English
+ ...
That's a new one Aug 15, 2008

Orgullomoore wrote:

An agency has said my first rate was too low

Unless you meant to say "An agency has said my rate was too HIGH"


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Kyle Moore  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:35
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh dear, Aug 15, 2008

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Orgullomoore wrote:

An agency has said my first rate was too low

Unless you meant to say "An agency has said my rate was too HIGH"


Oops, yes, that's what I meant.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:35
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Higher alternative rate Aug 15, 2008

Tell them you do indeed have an alternative rate for these situations, a higher rate.

Time is everything. Consider that your precious translating time is being wasted flaffing around and haggling back and forth, and therefore you actually need to charge a higher rate for lost time. They are probably sounding out other translators in the same way at the same time, and so they may not give you this job, but at least they will think twice before wasting your time on the next occasion.


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:35
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Not exactly new, but quite rare Aug 15, 2008

Orgullomoore wrote: An agency has said my first rate was too low

and Madeleine MacRae Klintebo commented:That's a new one


I should have kept an email from a client I offered my services to some 7 or 8 years ago. As a background, I was only searching the web for job opportunities, having left an inhouse position at a translaiton agency. The common local market rate was about one good American dollar per standard page, and I had a single web client who paid me USD 2.5 per page (I thought it was generous!).

Back to the response: the job was posted at ProZ, and I emailed the client telling them I thing I'm a perfect fit for the project. The answer taught me a lot: considering the extremely low rate you offer we don't believe you can provide the adequate quality of translation. Or, simply, you are too cheap to be good!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Same here Aug 15, 2008

Oleg Rudavin wrote:
The common local market rate was about one good American dollar per standard page, and I had a single web client who paid me USD 2.5 per page (I thought it was generous!). ... The answer taught me a lot: ... you are too cheap to be good!


I had the same experience the first time I quoted for a non-local agency. I quoted a rate that I though was quite high compared to the local standard, and the agent told me "you're not asking enough, you should be asking X". They did hire me, though, and they did pay me X.


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