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Off topic: Need advise on small translation billing
Thread poster: Giuliana B.
Giuliana B.
United States
Local time: 12:28
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 4, 2007

I have been working for a company doing translation on a on-demand basis from English into Italian. Recently the company has had a need for small translation jobs of between 7 and 20 words. I was wondering if anyone could give me advise on a reasonable method of billing for such small job. I am not sure weather to go with minimum fee or a flat rate. I would appreciate any advise or help you may provide. Thank you in advance.

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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 12:28
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Moving this topic... Sep 4, 2007

...to the Money Matters forum.

Nancy


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Giuliana B.
United States
Local time: 12:28
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 5, 2007

Thank you Nancy, I am a first time poster and I was not sure where to post this.

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JennyC08
Local time: 12:28
German to French
+ ...
Minimum fee Sep 5, 2007

Hello,
I personally invoice a minimum fee, but I read on this same forum that some translators invoice their regular fees and collect them until the end of the month in case of regular clients.
Do a search and will be able to find more info.
HTH
Caroline


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:28
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Depends on client/frequency Sep 5, 2007

Giuly65 wrote:

I have been working for a company doing translation on a on-demand basis from English into Italian. Recently the company has had a need for small translation jobs of between 7 and 20 words. I was wondering if anyone could give me advise on a reasonable method of billing for such small job. I am not sure weather to go with minimum fee or a flat rate. I would appreciate any advise or help you may provide. Thank you in advance.


Hi,

You don't mention two decisive factors - how good a client is it and how many short jobs do you receive a month from them?

If I receive a translation of 20 words or less, it very much depends on who it's for and how many they send.

Scenario 1: For many of my good, regular clients, a short sentence which takes me approx. 10 sec. won't be billed. I don't charge clients for asking me the time.

If the same client sends me 2 or 3 a day, I'd open a single, running document and simply copy and paste these short texts into this one document which I'd then bill at the end of the month.

I once lost a client by charging a minimum fee for this type of short texts. The irony is I'd already realised it was costing them a small fortune for something which took me next to no time and was contemplating doing exactly as I've just described.
I was too late.

Scenario 2: A sporadic client who sends me the odd short job now and again will probably pay a full minimum charge. And even then, I'll probably delay billing them for it until I have something substantial to include in the same invoice.
Less paperwork for me, and the client does not feel he's being bombarded with bills for translations.

Let's see what others have to say,

Andy

[Edited at 2007-09-05 01:01]


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Heike Reagan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:28
Member (2004)
German to English
I agree with Andy Sep 5, 2007

and handle it pretty much the same way.
I have one very steady, reliable client, to whom I send monthly invoices and who used to send me 2 to 20 word jobs fairly irregulary (once/twice a week). I never invoiced the small jobs, but did list them on my invoice with an amount of zero (I want them to know and remember...).

However, for the last few months I have been getting approx. 5 - 10 very small jobs per day - so I started invoicing them at my regular rate but not a minimum fee. When I first starting invoicing them for the small jobs, I did send them a note, saying that I now see myself forced to invoice such minor amounts because there are just too many to do for free. However, if the small jobs will one day be back at 1 or 2 a week, I will stop billing them for it.


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Giuliana B.
United States
Local time: 12:28
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 6, 2007

Thank you all for your advise, your answers have been very helpful.

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Ali Al awadi  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:28
English to Arabic
+ ...
It depends! Sep 6, 2007

I have a client who sends sporadic assignments, 2 jobs every ten days (certifiactes and such like) which can range in wordcount between 30 and 200 words. I charge a flat rate for such jobs. However, last week I was approached by that same client to proofread a job of 15 words; and I asked to apply the same flat rate. The client wanted to negotiate the flat rate. But I refused! Why? Because they used to deduct, on a regular basis, the fees of transferring my money from the amount due although I have helped them with proofreading their website and throughout the publisheing-related follow-up process for free. They ignored all that free help, so it's a tit for tat. Two dollars for transferring translation costs have been a thorn in their sides but my free help has not!

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