Rate to give to agencies when sending resume
Thread poster: Anna Fitzgerald

Anna Fitzgerald  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:02
French to English
Apr 18, 2005

Hello,

I am a freelance French to English translator working on extending my client base. I've been sending my out my resume to agencies and occasionally they will respond and ask for my rates. For direct clients, my rate is $0.10 per word. Is this the same rate I give to agencies, or should it be lower?

Thank you.


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Laura Vinti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:02
German to Italian
+ ...
Rates applied to direct clients should be higher than agency rates Apr 19, 2005

Hi Anna,

As a rule, agency rates are lower that direct clients'.
Based on their freelancers' rates, the agency usually charge approx. 50% to 100% more to the direct client. True, they have higher costs and offer services (in case of value-added agencies) which you as a freelancer cannot provide. But placing an order with an agency also has some drawbacks as opposed to dealing directly with the translator in charge of your text (the advantages of the latter include terminological consistency on repeat assignments, easier and more direct communication of special wishes and feedback, knowing who will translate your text instead of being exposed to the risk of having your text translated by inexperienced/non knowledgeable translators, etc.).

Therefore if you charge a direct client a little more than you would charge an agency, it is still a good deal for the client.

That said, I think that your rate of $0.10 / (source?) word is quite low for direct clients.
EUR 0.10 per source word (which is more than $ 0.10 given the low dollar exchange rate to the dollar) is the lowest I as a financial translator would accept from an agency. However I am not sure about the fields in which you work or the countries where your clients are located.

HTH,
Laura

[Edited at 2005-04-19 07:32]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Agency rates are lower, but don't make it lower yourself Apr 19, 2005

Anna Fitzgerald wrote:
I've been sending my out my resume to agencies and occasionally they will respond and ask for my rates. For direct clients, my rate is $0.10 per word. Is this the same rate I give to agencies, or should it be lower?


Agencies generally know that their rates are lower than direct clients' rates, so why not put the following on your résumé:

> Rate: USD 0.10 per word (negotiable)

or:

> Usual rate: USD 0.10 per word

or if you're desperate:

Rate (direct clients): USD 0.10 per word (rate for agencies negotiable).


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
Just an idea... Apr 19, 2005

Hi Anna,
I notice that your Proz profile indicates a minimum rate of 9 cents per word, and a maximum of 12 cents. Have you thought of applying it to your clients? For instance charge 9 cents to an agency (if it provides a constant flow of work), and 12 to a direct client. This might make you more competitive in the eyes of agencies, many of which are always asking us translators to lower our rates. To date, not one has come up with a good reason of why I should lower my rates for them, other that to make THEM more competitive. I wish less translators would give in to this type of pressure.

I believe that my knowledge, experience, certifications, and working tools are equally as valuable to a direct client than to an agency, so why should I help the agency? There is always the argument of volume, which can only be applied to a certain extent; otherwise, as a colleague of the Spanish forum explained, the translator might end up paying the agency for translating a large volume of words.

I like it more when Laura says "Rates applied to direct clients should be higher than agency rates", than when she states "As a rule, agency rates are lower that direct clients". My question is always why so?, what is that rule?

As you can imagine by now, I have more direct clients than agency clients. But I do work with a few of them, and I have lowered my rates several times, when the arguments have been good enough: a particular project for which they have a restricted budget; a transaltion for a small NGO; a constant flow of work, and a few others. However, IMHO, lowering our prices just to get to work for agencies seems to me not to be a good approach, and something that translators should reflect more upon.

[Edited at 2005-04-19 11:58]


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Anna Fitzgerald  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:02
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 20, 2005

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I feel more informed now as I deal with agencies.

Anna


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