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How do I quote if the rate is set by outsourcer?
Thread poster: the Train

the Train  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
English to Arabic
+ ...
Mar 6, 2007

Hi,
The outsourcer has set the rate already and it is fair for this particular job. In this case, does the quote work merely as an expression of interest in the job? Or do translators quote less to land the job? What do you think is the common acceptable practice?
Thanks


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:25
English to German
+ ...
The outsourcer cannot set the price Mar 6, 2007

Hi Train,
(I hate to call you this, but then...)

An outsourcer can propose a price, but he cannot unilaterally set it.

If you are quoting on a job posting (e.g. at ProZ.com), you will need to make sure the price level is in line with your own calculations. You may, of course quote a higher price, and some providers may want to try and quote a lower price. (Hence, you shouldn't rely on pricing alone - make sure the outsourcer knows why you are the right person to do the job.)

Best regards,
Ralf


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:25
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not only the price counts Mar 6, 2007

It's not just the price which outsourcers consider. There's also (relevant) experience, knowledge of the subject matter, time to finish the job and such considerations. So if the outsourcer states a fixed price, it's up to you to tell him why you are the _best_ (in stead of the cheapest) translator for the job.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The quote just officialises it Mar 6, 2007

the Train wrote:
In this case, does the quote work merely as an expression of interest in the job?


If the outsourcer specifically wants a quote, but has already indicated what price he is willing to pay, then perhaps the quote is just some document to satisfy his accounting department's peculiar requirements.

Ditto the invoice -- in many cases clients can easily pay you without an invoice (or even create your invoice themselves), but as part of "normal business procedures" you are requested to submit an invoice with certain specific information on it (information the client already has in various e-mails from you).


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 13:25
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I understand the quote... Mar 6, 2007

In this case, does the quote work merely as an expression of interest in the job?


as a legally binding document - wheverever the price quoted comes from. Add an ounce (or a pound) of human nature (sg) to the soul-searching process of deciding on the price...

I quote what I feel comfortable with - and then I stick to it. Fact is, I have to. But I do quote - because that's the (only) leverage I have.

Regards

smo

[Edited at 2007-03-06 20:05]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Easy Mar 6, 2007

If you feel that the rate offered by the outsourcer is fair, then quote that.

If you feel it is too low, quote more.

If you want to try to undercut the competition and will accept less, then quote less.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:25
English to French
+ ...
Freedom to negociate Mar 7, 2007

Even if the rate entered by the outsourcer may only be a mere indication of what s/he is willing to pay, it strips you from your freedom to negotiate.

As a service provider, it is your right to state the rate for which you are willing to take on a job. You should be the first one to indicate a rate, and the outsourcer should only try to set his/her rate once s/he has seen yours. That is fair. I know some will find my example annoying, but still... If you went to the grocery store and there were tomatoes on display, would you go up to the clerk and propose a price you are willing to pay for the tomatoes? No. You would rather ask how much they want for it - and negotiate in case you don't like the price.

I have proposed before to change the job posting form so that rates cannot be entered by the job poster. This would mean that service providers would quote their rates and the job poster would have the choice to accept or decline the rates. This would help a lot since there would be no pressure on service providers to offer a certain rate, and on newbies to actually try and undercut an already low rate in many cases. It still wouldn't even come near price fixing. This would simply give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - the freedom to negotiate to service providers.

Many users of the site think that the "going" rate for translations is an average of the rates proposed by outsourcers in job posts. They couldn't be farther form the truth! I estimate the job post rates to be on average 30% below the actual going rates (up to 80% below in an increasing number of cases). This wrong perception weighs a lot in the balance.

If you agree with the rate stated in the job post, quote the same rate. If it's too low, don't even quote - it is clear to me that when an outsourcer displays a rate in a job post, s/he is not inclined to negotiate. Take it or leave it!

I just wanted to add something about the common acceptable practice. There is no such thing. What is important is not to go with the majority - if you always go with the majority, you are all but competitive. The important thing to target, therefore, is not the common acceptable practice, but rather to put a price on your work and sell it at no less than that price (and preferably more). As mentioned above, there are different ways to be competitive - price can be one of them, but there are tons more to explore.

[Edited at 2007-03-07 03:19]


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 14:25
English to Russian
+1 Mar 7, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Train,
(I hate to call you this, but then...)

An outsourcer can propose a price, but he cannot unilaterally set it.


Fully agree with Ralf (including 'Train' feelings).


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