Outsourcers should not be allowed to make payment propositions
Thread poster: Ulrich Garn

Ulrich Garn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:51
English to German
+ ...
Oct 14, 2002

Does a hungry man go to a restaurant and tell the waiter: \"I\'m ready to give you 2 dollars for a meal\"? Or does someone who needs an operation go to a doctor telling him: \"I have a very tight budget, I can only pay you 200 dollars\"? This is just ridiculous. The current situation on the translation market is something unthinkable of in other professions. If ProZ wants to be a serious place for professionals, I think ProZ should not accept ANY payment propositions by the outsourcers. The outsourcer says what he needs, then the translators make their offers - that\'s the way things should be. As I see it, in accepting payment propositions by the outsourcers ProZ encourages low rates, as this unprofessional practice attracts people who think this is a good place to get cheap translations.

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:51
Member
German to English
+ ...
The hungry man chooses which restaurant to go to! Oct 14, 2002

The outsourcer always sets the price to a certain extent. If your hungry man has a low budget, he will go to McDonalds, if he wants the best quality that money can buy, he will go to a gourmet restaurant.



There are very few instances where, as an outsourcer, you have no influence over the budget. As a ProZ job offer is targeted across the whole spectrum of translators and rates, it makes sense for the person or company offering the job to give some sort of idea what their budget is. It allows translators to realise when they would be wasting their time. There would be no point giving a man wanting a gourmet meal a Big Mac, in the same way as you would be wasting your time preparing exquisite delicacies for a man with only two dollars to spend!



FWIW



Mary


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:51
English to German
+ ...
Fully agree with Mary Oct 14, 2002

Being able to specify a price (or a price range) which is acceptable within the framework of the project avoids a waste of time and effort for all those who would be prepared to bid, but require a higher price for their services.



Thanks to the rates system applied for jobs, offers at excessively low price levels will not be communicated to the vast majority of members for the language pair(s) involved. Remember that a number of bids for a given job does not necessarily mean that all those submitting a bid have actually accepted the price level specified - members frequently submit bids at prices above the stipulated level.


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Ulrich Garn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:51
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is ProZ on the same level as McDonalds? Oct 14, 2002

I am not convinced. The hungry man with a low budget goes to McDonalds. Right. And those who don\'t want to spend much money on translations go to ProZ - that\'s what it looks like to me. I\'ve seen propositions in older postings to completely ban outsourcers offering extremely low rates. I think it\'s a better idea just not to let them indicate their outrageous rate offerings. Although I have to agree that outsourcers who specify rates help translators to avoid wasting time on bids for inadequate jobs, I still think that this practice exerts a downward pressure on the rates on ProZ.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:51
English to German
+ ...
ProZ is not making a market here Oct 14, 2002

Ulrich,

Please don\'t forget that ProZ.com is not a party to the contracts entered into by its members - which is why the site does not \"make a market\". While it\'s true that competition increases in a transparent marketplace, it\'s not ProZ.com bidding and accepting work at what other perceive to be low levels. That is something translators do.



What ProZ.com has done is to implement a rates regime that has a negative incentive for those willing to submit bids at, say, 0.02 per word - to be able to do so, they have to fix their maximum to just 0.05. By the looks of it, this has made some think twice about it. And don\'t forget that \"x bids\" to a job doesn\'t necessarily mean that all those bids actually matched a low level that may have been specified.



I don\'t believe any attempt to control prices (whether by imposing arbitrary minimum rates, preventing outsourcers from indicating their target price or otherwise) will work - the market will simply find a mechanism to circumvent such controls (bear in mind that the visible jobs are just a part of the business concluded as a result of contacts established via ProZ.com). To augment prices, translators must establish and communicate core areas of expertise and act as problem-solvers to existing and potential clients.



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Konstantin Lakshin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:51
Member (Feb 2017)
English to Russian
+ ...
You are what you eat, are you not? Oct 15, 2002

I am afraid that many (translation buyers) never tasted a good meal, and are not aware of the corporate health problems caused by junk food. (You may become too obese even to go through a wide-open door to new markets, not to mention kicking one open.)



Is there a health warning anywhere on this site? :=)


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Ulrich Garn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:51
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a last word on it Oct 17, 2002

Thank you for your extensive comments, Ralf. I am sure that this topic has been thought over and talked over many times and that the ProZ \"authorities\" have come up with a solution which they sincerely believe to be the best possible one so far. Just the same, I still like my idea. It really drives me mad every time I see an outsourcer offering 4 cents per word, 3 cents, 2 cents . . . sometimes they get dangerously close to negative numbers. I take such proposals as an insult to our profession and consequently to myself and I would certainly feel better if they weren\'t there. And I also still believe that they have an impact on other potential outsourcers who take a look at the ProZ site, see these numbers, get the impression that ProZ is a place to get cheap translations, and post a similar \"offer\". But perhaps it\'s time to stop this discussion, it doesn\'t seem to provoque much interest, and I don\'t want to give the impression that I insist on my cranky idea.

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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:51
English to German
+ ...
Ulrich, you're not alone Oct 18, 2002

I even suggested once to scrap the job board altogether but no one else seemed to like the idea.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:51
English to German
+ ...
What would be the benefit? Oct 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-10-18 02:10, OlafK wrote:

I even suggested once to scrap the job board altogether but no one else seemed to like the idea.



To avoid any misunderstanding: I am not using the Jobs section to source work. But it\'s obviously there for a purpose - and don\'t forget: those looking for translators are only one part of the equation. For any job awarded, there must have been at least someone who submitted a bid. Pushing this part of the market off ProZ.com would not abolish the segment of the market we perceive as \"low price\" (whatever the definition by whoever), but it would deprive ProZ of the opportunity to implement measures to improve the general situation. The rates system was the first important step in that direction, and ProZ staff are working on other initiatives.

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