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Crazy exchange rates
Thread poster: Gillian Searl

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
German to English
Nov 19, 2008

Yesterday I was contacted by one of my UK agencies about a job. 7000 words market research text - on tobacco. Well, I'm not too keen on promoting tobacco so I was considering the issue carefully. Then I realised that there was also a financial issue involved - if I take 7000 words from a UK agency it would be at a lower rate than for a job priced in EUR because of the crazy exchange rates at present. This means that it is basically now uneconomic to work for UK agencies compared with Eurozone ones. This happened a few years ago with the dollar but the concept is strange for me that I will be doing less work than ever for UK agencies for that very reason. If the exchange rate keeps going GBP and EUR are heading for 1:1.
Have any of you stopped working for UK customers?
Gillian


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:01
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Funny you should mention this.... Nov 19, 2008

Gillian Searl wrote:
Have any of you stopped working for UK customers?


I've been considering just that. When the euro rose so much I had to jettison the US market; now taking on a UK client is becoming more of a favor than a business. I suppose that means its time for another rate hike so issues like this matter less.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Raise rates for UK customers? Nov 19, 2008

I am not sure they can could cope with that kind of increase, e.g. from GBP 60 to GBP 80 or more because of exchange rate changes.
Gillian


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
Italian to English
+ ...
I charge them in Euros Nov 19, 2008

As I live in the Eurozone anyway, I charge my UK clients in Euros, so the exchange rates don't affect me directly. However, I've recently had to tell my main UK client that my rate will be going up in January (after over 2 years with no rise) - they haven't commented, so I'll have to wait and see whether I'll still be cost effective for them at the new rate. I'd already made the decision not to raise my rate with them this year due to the strong euro, but my costs are going up and there's only so long I can keep the rates down.

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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
Charge in your own currency Nov 19, 2008

I always charge foreign clients in my own currency. If they insist in paying in their own currency, I calculate my own rate, and convert it at the rate of the day of invoice. That way, I loose at most a month's worth of exchange rate slide. (Did I mention I always insist on payment within 30 days?)

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
in this case, my currency would be GBP Nov 19, 2008

so the only alternative is to refuse the work...

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
I've been turning down jobs from UK agencies Nov 19, 2008

I earn more from euro-based agencies and customers than from UK ones (20% more, in fact). It makes no sense to work for UK agencies at the moment.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:01
Turkish to English
+ ...
I am in the same boat Nov 19, 2008

Gillian Searl wrote:

I am not sure they can could cope with that kind of increase, e.g. from GBP 60 to GBP 80 or more because of exchange rate changes.
Gillian


I recently told a UK client that I would have to raise my rate by 20% in order to protect my income in euros. Unfortunatley, I have received no more work from that particular source since!


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:01
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
A thorny issue Nov 19, 2008

Like Marie-Hélène, I'm in the euro zone and conduct my business in the notes plastered with the highly symbolic bridges (connecting us, presumably) and archways (ushering us in somewhere?), but usually offered in GBP to UK customers, with payment to a sterling account I still have there, to keep it in funds for the odd trip.

While the €/pound rates were going haywire I hadn't been doing much business with the UK, and it was only after a couple of jobs subsequently that I noticed the nasty loss I was making. It was a leap of twenty quid per 1,000 words I had to finally slap on, which most demurred at, but I think I'm just going to quote in €s from now on, and whistle nonchalantly.

I always thought it was crazy for an EU country to be in the EU but not use the EU currency, though.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
That'll be the day Nov 19, 2008

I always thought it was crazy for an EU country to be in the EU but not use the EU currency, though.

I can't wait for that day although I think I my find myself in a tiny minority on this little island. Then people will finally discover what rip-off Britain really means.
Gillian


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:01
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Refuse to use the pound Nov 19, 2008

Gillian, go out for lunch, enter a crowded restaurant, eat the entire menu, and present euros for payment. When they refuse, make a fuss (in German), call loudly for the manager, say I'm an EU citizen and I demand the right to pay in the EU currency, bring in the press, for they'll love it, get on TV, create a popular movement, doorstep Gordon Brown etc., and before you know it you'll have your own Searl's World programme on Channel Four, whereupon the problem of losing out on your geld will disappear. Simple!

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
German to English
+ ...
That'll be the day Nov 19, 2008

Gillian Searl wrote:

I always thought it was crazy for an EU country to be in the EU but not use the EU currency, though.


Are you saying that the UK is in the EU? I thought it was in NAFTA.

Marc


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
Down Shep down Nov 19, 2008

Marc P wrote:

Gillian Searl wrote:

I always thought it was crazy for an EU country to be in the EU but not use the EU currency, though.


Are you saying that the UK is in the EU? I thought it was in NAFTA.

Marc


Behave!

I like Mervyn's idea. Worth considering since I always wanted to be a 'celebrity', not!


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Seamus Moran  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
German to English
+ ...
Good to know Nov 19, 2008

Thanks for alerting me to this fact. I work quite a bit for a UK agency at what is not a great rate but I am now alarmed to see that 65 GBP only get you 77 EUR, for example. I did try to raise my rate with them a good few months back but they refused to budge. I can't really rock the boat as they do provide me with work in what are increasingly difficult economic times. I was going to launch my campaign to look for direct clients in 2009, but if people are cost-cutting why bother?

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
or at least Eurozone clients Nov 19, 2008

I was going to launch my campaign to look for direct clients in 2009, but if people are cost-cutting why bother?

That would make sense. I don't do a lot of work for UK agencies. Most of my work is within the eurozone but I will be having some interesting conversations when people do send enquiries.
Gillian


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