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Increasing rates - what about existing clients?
Thread poster: Ramona Ali

Ramona Ali  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
Member (2004)
English to Malay
+ ...
Jan 11, 2007

Hi, I hope those of you who have actually increased your rates before would care to share your experience on how you handled your regular clients. Do you just inform them about it and expect to lose some business? Or do you apply a reduced increase? Or do you ask for their opinion before applying their new rates? How did they actually react?

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Ilona Kangro  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:33
Member (2006)
Latvian to English
+ ...
Consultation + justification Jan 11, 2007

Recently I increased rates for one of my outsourcers, and there were no problems whatsover. First, I wrote an e-mai stating that I intended to increase my rate up to .... and provided the justification of such step. In my case, I explained that I had become a member of Translators' and Interpreters' Association and we had agreed on a certain minimum rate, going beyond which would be dumping of prices. Besides, I had obtained my Professional Diploma by then. In my opinion, inflation is also a good and obvious reason to reconsider your rates now and then.

If the client/outsourcer really values your work and services, they should understand and accept your new rates, as it happened in my case.

Good luck!


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lexical  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
Portuguese to English
stagger the increases Jan 11, 2007

I agree with Ilona - if your existing outsourcers value your services, they will accept a reasoned case for a fair increase. We all live with inflation, and you can be sure they regularly increase their rates to end customers.

You may want to think about not increasing your rates to all of them at the same time. That way, you avoid the anxiety of worrying if they will all abandon you, and you can see whether they still send you the same volume of work afterwards, before you put up your rates to others. I increase my rates to clients every 3 years - a couple of clients this year, a couple more next year, and so on. It's worked for me so far.

Good luck!

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Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What about agencies? Jan 15, 2007

I have been wondering about this exact issue, so thanks for the posting.

But what about agencies?

I have some agencies who ask me to state my own prices (and usually pay them, but if my rates are much above their "guidelines", they will ask me to "reconsider them").

Other agencies have their own "take it or leave it rate".

I assume that for the latter it would be almost impossible to ask for an increase, and I just have to hope that they increase their prices at some point. For the former, I could try increasing the rates and see if they request further "reconsideration".

Can anyone offer any insight?

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