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Different rates for the same client
Thread poster: Anil Gidwani

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:19
German to English
+ ...
Oct 2, 2008

Is it okay to quote different rates for different jobs from the same client, depending on the level of difficulty or subject domain of the job?

I believe the standard practice is to have one rate for a client, but I'm not sure why a variable rate should affect the outsourcer-vendor relationship.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Of course it is OK Oct 2, 2008

Anil Gidwani wrote:
Is it okay to quote different rates for different jobs from the same client, depending on the level of difficulty or subject domain of the job?


Of course it's OK - I do it all the time with both agencies and direct customers. I have "standard rates" that I usually apply, but if I see a case where something is exceptional, I have no problem with changing the basis for calculation. Sometimes this means a job is cheaper than expected, but usually not.


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Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 16:49
English to German
+ ...
Certainly Oct 2, 2008

Anil Gidwani wrote:
I believe the standard practice is to have one rate for a client, but I'm not sure why a variable rate should affect the outsourcer-vendor relationship.


For me, it's standard practice to have different rates for one client, since not all projects from the same client have the same degree of difficulty or urgency. I find that dropping my "standard" rate every once in a while when a job is really easy for me to do makes clients more inclined to accept a higher rate when the source text is really tough.


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
A range Oct 2, 2008

I stay consistent when quoting on a job or telling a new agency what my rates are. I have a range and I stay within that.


Anil Gidwani wrote:

Is it okay to quote different rates for different jobs from the same client, depending on the level of difficulty or subject domain of the job?

I believe the standard practice is to have one rate for a client, but I'm not sure why a variable rate should affect the outsourcer-vendor relationship.


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Vimal Panchal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:19
Member (2008)
English to Gujarati
+ ...
Agencies worldwide work at different rates for end-clients resulting into acceptance of translators' Oct 2, 2008

Agencies worldwide have to work at different rates for end-clients, this resulting into acceptance of translators' different rates.

As you may have experienced and probably agree too, you may witness the Agencies worldwide offering on their websites, different rates structure to end-clients based on the following different scenario:

1) Rush jobs

2) Higher rate for Technical content of job (again based on technicality, difficulty involved, etc simply because time taken to complete such jobs is always more than the regular, simple content based jobs).

3) Minimum job charges irrespective of a particular job's word counts, etc.

I'm sure some of you might have witnessed at least one or more of such situations so offering and living with different rates is considered as a normal practice.

Comments / critics welcome.

Thanks to readers!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's your business, my friend! Oct 3, 2008

Luckily translation is not regulated and we can manage our business as we like. It's your business Anil. You might also choose to do freebies for your main customers, or send them a crate of oranges with every big job. It's entirely up to you!

And BTW: We do have slightly different rates for the same customer depending on the complexity and volume: big volumes+simpler job = lower rate; small volumes+a copy-editing stage = higher rate.


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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:19
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the feedback Oct 3, 2008

Thanks to all for the valuable feedback.

When I started out in my career in translation, I was told that it was difficult to re-negotiate rates with clients once you started working with them at a particular rate (irrespective of domain or difficulty, which was MY assumption).

Down the road, it doesn't seem quite that logical, which is why the question arose in my mind. Just as Washington apples are more expensive than New Zealand apples (at least in India), translation services in different domains should be able to be priced differently even though the client is the same.

Very true, Tomás, we are independent small business owners and can set our own policies. Thank God for small mercies!


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Renegotiating Oct 3, 2008

Anil Gidwani wrote:
When I started out in my career in translation, I was told that it was difficult to re-negotiate rates with clients once you started working with them at a particular rate (irrespective of domain or difficulty, which was MY assumption).


Well, with some agencies, objections like that do come up, but they can be countered with simple explanations of why something different applies in a particular case. I seldom hear any argument, because I briefly explain the basis for determining my price and the services included with any unusual offers I submit. In my case, for example, I think it is helpful to note that I have a second qualified translator in-house to review the work, and this is included in the offer. Thus a "high" price may quickly look very affordable, or the service is at least clearly identified as premium. If you plan to include dual review in any project, by all means mention this explicitly as a selling point; if the formatting of the material requires significant additional effort, state this specifically; if the subject matter is cutting edge and requires heavy research, don't hesitate to mention this. Doing so shows clearly that you have taken a close look at the work and are treating it more seriously than some fool who quickly quotes ten cents a word without even looking at the text.

I vaguely remember a case years ago where an agency PM (a young, inexperienced one) told me that the "system" did not permit a different price. I then informed her in my smoothest, most seductive voice that *my* system did not permit me to do the job for less. I don't remember if I got the project, but there were and are plenty more out there....


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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:19
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Simple explanation Oct 3, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:

I vaguely remember a case years ago where an agency PM (a young, inexperienced one) told me that the "system" did not permit a different price. I then informed her in my smoothest, most seductive voice that *my* system did not permit me to do the job for less.


I like that simple explanation!


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