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Thoughts on prices for agencies (vs. prices for end clients)?
Thread poster: Sabrine Di Trani

Sabrine Di Trani  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
Italian to French
+ ...
Apr 5, 2004

I'm getting establish and I've my own prices for "generals" clients, but I was asked to give a price for agencies. How can I do to find It? for example, 0.10€ per word for a "general client" it becames 0.08€ for an agency???
please, tell me how to do!

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
English to German
+ ...
Your decision Apr 5, 2004

Salut Sabrine,
That's a decision you will have to make: how much of your income are you willing to give up for working with an agency? What you should take into account is that working through an agency can take away some of the extra efforts in acquiring and maintaining direct customer relationships (such as marketing, ongoing customer care, etc.), but also consider the payment terms (which tend to be longer), and don't forget to check the agency's payment practices.

I know that isn't the answer you were looking for, but maybe it helps nevertheless.

Best regards, Ralf

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:34
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Dear Sabrine, Ralf is right, Apr 5, 2004

and I have to add- an Agency (honest one, of course) pays the translator on agreed time, so for these 2 cents a word you can have a perfect sleep and wholly concentrate on your next job, while the Agency itself often is waiting for payment from the "direct client" for many months, is going through legal actions, etc.

But of course it's your decision either to go after a direct client or an agency


[Edited at 2004-04-05 20:50]

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United States
Local time: 18:34
English to Russian
+ ...
From my experience as a project manager Apr 6, 2004

The exact amount of cents fished out of your pocket depends on the country and on the scale of the agency as well. I believe, in many countries 2 cents would allow a small agency with little overhead to prosper. In the U.S., for example, 7 years ago (and this was the last time when I was working as a project manager) the minimum profit margin for a small business (officially under 100 people on staff) to survive was 37%, which means that they would have to take 3.7 cents out of each 10 to stay affloat or go belly up otherwise. The number comes from the official government statistics. So instead of subtracting the money from your rate you should cooperate with the agencies who charge the clients at least 14 cents/word for the translation alone. Honest agencies, which were able to survive in today's market with high rates, do value a good translator more than an extra cent. Of course they aim at cost saving strategies but they manage to find a proper balance.

Just imagine a large-scale agency with rented office, all the equipment and staff and losses they inevitably bear like any other business, in the expensive country. 2 cents won't do. IMHO.

The rest depends on your personality and preferences, Ralf is a 150% right. I, for one, give them their margin gladly for all the mess and logistics they have to go through, for client search (saves a lot of unpaid time), for working under the familliar and foreseen editors' requrements (saves even more time and nerve cells), for keeping my hands free to accept an interesting interpretation assignment and jump on the plane at any given moment (almost, previous committments permitting, of course), for giving me the exact instructions so that all I have to do is translate/interpret, for free evenings after the working days, for a knowledge that there is a readily available replacement from the core pool of translators, my good friends and colleagues, in case of critical emergencies, which takes a lot of stress off my shoulders, etc. I do not insist on anything, this is nothing but my personal attitude.

[Edited at 2004-04-06 07:49]

[Edited at 2004-04-06 08:03]

[Edited at 2004-04-06 08:32]

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