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Lowest offer ever? USD 60 for 20000 words
Thread poster: Hendarto Setiadi

Hendarto Setiadi  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 08:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Mar 3, 2007

Just opened ProZ and couldn't stop laughing:

"20000 words
at 0.003 USD per word [ TOTAL: 60.00 USD ]
Payment 3 days after date of delivery.

If the job is satisfactory, I will shortlist the candidate for future project and also recommend to all my partners."

Has there ever been any lower offer?

Have a nice weekend!
Hendarto

[Edited at 2007-03-03 00:40]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:02
English to German
+ ...
Contact a Jobs moderator... Mar 3, 2007

Good morning, Hendarto,
I'm not sure what exactly your point is...
If you find the job interesting per se, you may want to contact a Jobs moderator, indicating the URL (thanks for not quoting this here), so we can look into it and check whether the job poster made a mistake. (These things do happen.)

Kind regards,
Ralf


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Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:02
English to French
+ ...
Such a rate should not even reach Proz Mar 3, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:


I'm not sure what exactly your point is...
If you find the job interesting per se, you may want to contact a Jobs moderator, indicating the URL (thanks for not quoting this here), so we can look into it and check whether the job poster made a mistake. (These things do happen.)

Kind regards,
Ralf


I do not understand YOUR timid reply, Ralph. Unless I am mistaken, the message came across very clearly: Here is

1) a person who thinks slavery is still around and he is a slave driver, kindly offering future jobs upon acceptance of these ignominous terms AND to let it be known to his friends (!!!) that he has found a dud who is willing to work for such rates.

2) A professionnal website such as Proz, extremely (and that is the word) dynamic and always offering more and more , which yet forgets the basics. Forget the frills! We are on this site to get work at and be considered worth more than 60 USD for 20000 words. That should be ProZ's main battle.

You think it is a mistake. Could there be a mistake TWICE in the figures? The fellow worked out the total price and it comes to 60 USD for 20000. It he meant 2000, it would still be way too low.

I really think that Proz should get its priorities right. There are some very good things on the site, and we enjoy them when we have time to look at them or take part in them. But if people are allowed to post such job offers on the site, there is a serious problem; why can't this type of offer - mistake or not - be barred from Proz. Surely your clever people can find a way for this not to reach our screens, together with a sharp message to the client. That should be done automaticalley. We often get prompts telling us that this or that is not possible because we have forgottent to fill in this or that , or because we do not keep to the minimum rate which is ours, so why can it not be the same for clients offering such rates?

I would be grateful for a detailed reply, Ralf.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:02
English to French
+ ...
An idea Mar 3, 2007

Why not add a function to the site that will let each user set the absolute minimum amount (per word, per 1000 words, per page, etc.) below which we are simply not willing to work, and then filter such job posts as the above so that nobody sees offers below their set minimum? That would not be called price fixing, would it?

This would have a huge benefit to most of us: offers such as the one above would virtually not appear on the site at all. I have trouble to believe even "poor" translators in India, Russia and China would work for such rates...

Anybody supports this idea?

[Edited at 2007-03-05 02:54]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:02
English to German
+ ...
Stated site policy Mar 3, 2007

Claudette,
I believe you are aware of ProZ.com's policy regarding rates - but of course, I'll quote it again:

Why doesn't ProZ.com set a minimum rate for translation?

At times, the suggestion has been made that site staff institute some form of technical mechanism to dictate minimums. Although ProZ.com has instituted certain mechanisms which may help to stabilize rates (see the FAQ on rates), ProZ.com has no intention of instituting a minimum rate mechanism in the near future, for the following reason:

We believe that each member should be entitled to set his or her own minimum rates. We provide a rates calculator to assist site users in making the necessary considerations, and provide optional filters so that in effect, a site user can set his/her own minimum rate. This is in line with the site's philosophy of not interfering in members' businesses.

If that is not reason enough, consider that:
(1) Even if it were conceptually possible and advisable to set a minimum rate, we would not currently have a means of enforcing it.
(2) Whether attempting to set a minimum is legal or not is an open question, and not one on which we have had adequate advice (comments from lawyers are welcome: http://www.proz.com/support )
(3) Other sites have attempted to set minimum rates, with no apparent effect.

It is in the interest of translators, and ProZ.com, for rates charged to be consistent with the demands of our challenging profession. To that end, ProZ.com's staff has welcomed and encouraged legal communication and cooperation among translators. But we believe that control of rates does (and should!) reside in the hands of service providers.



I do not understand YOUR timid reply, Ralph.

No reason to shoot the messenger...

Unless I am mistaken, the message came across very clearly: Here is

1) a person who thinks slavery is still around and he is a slave driver, kindly offering future jobs upon acceptance of these ignominous terms AND to let it be known to his friends (!!!) that he has found a dud who is willing to work for such rates.

I believe the concept of slavery doesn't apply here, as he cannot force anyone to work at these prices. Nice try, of course, but certainly one for the bin.

2) A professionnal website such as Proz, extremely (and that is the word) dynamic and always offering more and more , which yet forgets the basics. Forget the frills! We are on this site to get work at and be considered worth more than 60 USD for 20000 words. That should be ProZ's main battle.

Precisely. But the minimum price at which I am prepared to take on work should be my decision - not ProZ.com's.

You think it is a mistake. Could there be a mistake TWICE in the figures?

I don't know, as I haven't seen the job posting (which is why I politely asked the poster of this topic to indicate it to a moderator). Of course I can search for it, but with your kind permission, I'd like to spend my Saturday off the screen (at least a few hours...).


The fellow worked out the total price and it comes to 60 USD for 20000. It he meant 2000, it would still be way too low.

Fair enough - again, that is your decision. Personally, I wouldn't work for prices most members consider as acceptable (not least because I pay more...) - but again, that's me.

I really think that Proz should get its priorities right. There are some very good things on the site, and we enjoy them when we have time to look at them or take part in them. But if people are allowed to post such job offers on the site, there is a serious problem; why can't this type of offer - mistake or not - be barred from Proz.

See above.

Surely your clever people can find a way for this not to reach our screens, together with a sharp message to the client. That should be done automaticalley.

Job posters entering below-average prices get a message to that effect.

Besides, if you set your minimum price level accordingly, the notification for such a job shouldn't reach you. (I am aware that there are jobs posted without a clear price indication, conceivably to circumvent this mechanism - Jobs moderators have already asked for a change in this respect.)

Best regards,
Ralf

[Edited at 2007-03-03 07:18]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:02
English to German
+ ...
Filtering Mar 3, 2007

Hi Viktoria,

Why not add a function to the site that will let each user set the absolute minimum amount (per word, per 1000 words, per page, etc.) below which we are simply not willing to work, and then filter such job posts as the above so that nobody sees offers below their set minimum?

This might work - although I don't think this will mean the end of such discussions. Judging by my personal experience in dealing with job postings, people will try to get around that, and will still look at the stuff...

This would have a huge benefit to most of us: offers such as the one above would virtually not appear on the site at all. I have trouble to believe even "poor" translators in India, Russia and China would work for such rates...

Slighly OT:
What amazes me is how many translators in supposedly 'rich' countries are prepared to work for ridiculous prices. To give you an example, I recently used the Connect platform to identify a translator for a very specific technical job (which I cannot, and will not, handle myself). I explicitly asked for an end-customer quote, as I was willing to introduce the translator to the end customer. The person who I thought was best suited to do the job quoted a price of EUR 0.07 per word. I just shook my head in disbelief, and went to get a decent quote from the next professional.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Daniela Warman
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:02
English to French
+ ...
Definitely too low but possible mistake Mar 3, 2007

Claudette Hepburn wrote:

You think it is a mistake. Could there be a mistake TWICE in the figures? The fellow worked out the total price and it comes to 60 USD for 20000. It he meant 2000, it would still be way too low.



Claudette,

I definitely agree that prices of this type are way too low (i.e. even 0.03USD per word - unless they mean 0.30USD per word!!!). However it is possible that there is a mistake (at least in one 0 too many) because I believe (I am not 100% certain) that the ProZ job form automatically calculates the total once you have put in the price per word and the number of words.

Have a nice weekend.

Daniela.


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:02
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
yes, final price calculated automatically Mar 3, 2007

Hi Daniela,



Daniela wrote:

I believe (I am not 100% certain) that the ProZ job form automatically calculates the total once you have put in the price per word and the number of words.


Correct. Once a price per "unit" (word, line, page, hour, character) is entered and the quantity, the final price is calculated automatically.

Of course, I can't tell in this case, but it does happen very often that job posters forget that decimals must be indicated using "." or add a zero too much. We also had cases of job posters offering EUR 20 / word. Somehow it does surprise me that in this latter case, all accept that it is a typo, but the other way round have to presume it is no mistake.

Colleagues regularly complain about low rates, but it has never happened that the same job was re-posted at a higher rate, so we have to conclude that someone did accept that rate. As long as there is a market (= someone offering and someone accepting) for rate X, it is clear that there will be jobs offered at that rate X.

The concept of *low* - *acceptable* - *good* - *high* does vary according to the market a professional is in and the required all-around service. Personally, I wouldn't wish a third person or a system to tell me what I have to consider low-acceptable-good-high, as much as I haven't appreciated being told that my rates were absolutely unacceptable after having been contacted for a job.

I still think that we live in a world of business freedom - clearly ruled by some business conditions forming the price to be offered, so as much as I expect outsourcers to respect my price set after having considered all elements relevant to its forming, I have to accept that lower and higher prices can be offered for the same job by both service providers and outsourcers, no matter how irritating I can find that a colleague (or more) regularly do similar jobs for a much lower rate.

Of course, I'd be pleased to find out that higher rates are regularly offered & accepted for the same (high) volume and steady flow of work

Giuliana


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:02
English to French
+ ...
Slightly OT to Ralf Mar 3, 2007

Yes, I agree, many people in "rich" countries are willing to work for "poor" rates or even less. This still beats me and always will. I get paid very reasonable rates and am far from complaining. This means there are people willing to pay "normal" rates, as illustrated by your own experience above - I still don't understand why 90% of the market doesn't realize this. The rates are out there, you just have to charge them!

We all know that rates in Europe and North America are in general considerably higher than they are in Asia and some parts of Eastern Europe. I was only trying to say that the above stated rate is a very lousy one even for people to whom the rates I call lousy are good rates. They are lousy, lousy rates!

Let's hope it was an error. However, I am surprised how many job posters don't check their posts before posting (wow, that's a chain right there!). If I was posting jobs, I would read my post before confirming it precisely to avoid errors such as this one might be, or the EUR 20 per word error. I simply don't understand why so many people allow such errors to exist - and then the same people wonder why so many of us are so openly offended by those rates...

[Edited at 2007-03-03 08:47]


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Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:02
English to French
+ ...
Touché! but.... Mar 3, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:

This is in line with the site's philosophy of not interfering in members' businesses.....




Dear Ralf, allow me to "cough, cough" at this, as I recently objected to the pressure that was put on us to sell us the idea of the system of referrals (willing to work again etc...) and various others so called improvements. Fortunately and in response to general protest, that function was made optional. I must say that, on the whole, ProZ does listen to objections put out by the users. That is democratic enough, but of course, disagreements are bound to happen when people generally speaking, break new ground, particularly when it involves people who can read and write and have indeed written and read. On the whole I think that ProZ and its vigorous team are trying too much sometimes and must therefore expect the mixture of hostile and good reactions they get in return. And I appreciate the fact they can step back and adapt their moves accordingly

No reason to shoot the messenger....

T'was barely a scratch...

Besides, if you set your minimum price level accordingly, the notification for such a job shouldn't reach you.


Whether it is addressed to me or not, makes no difference to the fact that such an offer is offensive to any fellow translator. You may be surprised , but I do have a sense of belonging to the ProZ community and not just out of greed.

I may express myself with the forceful energy of a typical French citizen for whom 1789 means something to this day, but never with (lasting) hard feelings towards my interlocutor.

Have indeed a restful weekend.

Best regards,
Claudette


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:02
German to English
+ ...
Banning dumping prices Mar 3, 2007

Claudette Hepburn wrote:

I really think that Proz should get its priorities right. There are some very good things on the site, and we enjoy them when we have time to look at them or take part in them. But if people are allowed to post such job offers on the site, there is a serious problem; why can't this type of offer - mistake or not - be barred from Proz. Surely your clever people can find a way for this not to reach our screens, together with a sharp message to the client. That should be done automaticalley.


Claudette,

How exactly should we define "such offers"? Personally, I consider a rate of 0.05 to 0.08 EUR, which I believe some colleagues here openly offer, to be derisory. But I am not sure that we should prevent these offers from reaching our screens, or send sharp messages to these people...



Marc


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Hendarto Setiadi  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 08:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Probably no mistake Mar 3, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Good morning, Hendarto,
I'm not sure what exactly your point is...
If you find the job interesting per se, you may want to contact a Jobs moderator, indicating the URL (thanks for not quoting this here), so we can look into it and check whether the job poster made a mistake. (These things do happen.)

Kind regards,
Ralf


Dear Ralf,

I did indicate this was off-topic, ie more play than work. I really was curious if I had stumbled on some kind of record setting job offer

But seriously, I don't think this was a mistake. Here's the complete job posting:

"Translation of an ebook... It's about a 100 page. I'm a small time entrepreneur so cost is a big factor. I'm willing to have a part time translator or student to do the translation as long as it's good.

Included in the package is also a 2 page website to be translated. My budget is less than US$80.

Payment can be by Paypal or Postal Order. Delivery by email.

Job's due in 1-2 weeks.

If the job is satisfactory, I will shortlist the candidate for future project and also recommend to all my partners.

Regards.

Source format: Microsoft Word

Delivery format: Microsoft Word

Volume and pricing:
20000 words
at 0.003 USD per word [ TOTAL: 60.00 USD ]
Payment 3 days after date of delivery.
Further payment details Negotiable-Paypal or Postal Order"

I know, I know, I shouldn't have laughed as this is a perfectly normal business proposition. You either take it or leave it, but sorry, just can't help it.

This is so sad, it's funny. At the very least the poster shows a serious lack of understanding of what translation is all about.

Best,
Hendarto/Indonesia

[Edited at 2007-03-03 11:03]

[Edited at 2007-03-03 11:06]


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xxxGabi Ancarol
Italy
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Right... Mar 3, 2007

Claudette Hepburn wrote:

(...) We often get prompts telling us that this or that is not possible because we have forgottent to fill in this or that , or because we do not keep to the minimum rate which is ours, so why can it not be the same for clients offering such rates?



Couldn't agree more. Translators can be "suggested" / "told" what to do.

What about agencies??

Regards,


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
A dangerous tool Mar 3, 2007



...We provide a rates calculator to assist site users in making the necessary considerations,



If an Argentine translator in his/her twenties with his/her brand-new diploma joined ProZ.com today and decided to start submitting bids, which rate would s/he propose (after feeding the calculator with his/her Argentine data?

Two cents per source word.

(Even myself, with memberships in ProZ.com and in a couple of other places, plus more expenses than somebody in his/her twenties... reach a rate of 3 or 4 cents per source word, because the critical mass has to do with my country's economy.)

As it is now, the current calculator is a DANGEROUS tool for the profession.

I have already proposed that something must be done about it, at least include a colorful banner advising that with that tool you will end up quoting according to your country's Xr (which is fine if the client is a law firm in Buenos Aires, which is not fine for an agency or a direct client from UK).

Best,

Au

[Edited at 2007-03-03 13:47]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree Mar 3, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Why not add a function to the site that will let each user set the absolute minimum amount (per word, per 1000 words, per page, etc.) below which we are simply not willing to work, and then filter such job posts as the above so that nobody sees offers below their set minimum? That would not be called price fixing, would it?

This would have a huge benefit to most of us: offers such as the one above would virtually not appear on the site at all. I have trouble to believe even "poor" translators in India, Russia and China would work for such rates...

Anybody supports this idea?




I do.

Hopefully, ProZ.com will be the place where clients come to find seasoned translators that can compete with their professional skills and not with their countries' exchange rate. This is an international site. Let's not forget that. Let's teach that to those who join us in the profession every day.

Au


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