Good faith advance for larger jobs?
Thread poster: Kathy Saranpa

Kathy Saranpa  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:11
Member (2003)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Sep 9, 2003

I'm new to this site and wondering if anyone has advice about accepting a large job from an unknown person/business. I want to ask for some good faith money up front because I don't want to spend weeks on something I won't get paid for. Any advice? Thanks!

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:11
English to German
+ ...
Competition, risk and safety cover Sep 9, 2003

Hi Kathy,
Welcome to ProZ.com. Taking an upfront deposit from an unknown customer is a good idea in principle - obviously, you might set yourself at a disadvantage compared to others. Don't get me wrong: we did a major translation job for an exchange-listed American company earlier this year; since we didn't know the customer, we demanded (and got) 40% upfront. So I'm not telling you not to do it - you just need to be aware of the fact that others might not require this. Obviously, you'll have the last laugh if that customer turns out to be a "bad apple".

In any case (and particularly if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot demand a deposit), make sure to get proper documentation (i.e. a written purchase order, at least by fax), and ensure to check the outsourcer's reputation and business practices, e.g. on the ProZ.com Blue Board.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Kathy Saranpa  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:11
Member (2003)
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Sep 9, 2003

Many thanks Ralf for your quick and edifying reply. And special thanks for pointing out that asking for an advance could put me out of the running!
Best,
Kathy

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Kathy,
Welcome to ProZ.com. Taking an upfront deposit from an unknown customer is a good idea in principle - obviously, you might set yourself at a disadvantage compared to others. Don't get me wrong: we did a major translation job for an exchange-listed American company earlier this year; since we didn't know the customer, we demanded (and got) 40% upfront. So I'm not telling you not to do it - you just need to be aware of the fact that others might not require this. Obviously, you'll have the last laugh if that customer turns out to be a "bad apple".

In any case (and particularly if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot demand a deposit), make sure to get proper documentation (i.e. a written purchase order, at least by fax), and ensure to check the outsourcer's reputation and business practices, e.g. on the ProZ.com Blue Board.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 15:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
There is an intermediate way Sep 13, 2003

I don't have as much experience as some, but when an unknown client approached me with a 600 page literary translation, I proposed that he pay me as each 1/4 of the job was finished, thereby limiting my risk. To my surprise he offered to pay me every time 10% was finished -It has worked out nicely.
Good luck.


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