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Minimum charge
Thread poster: Iris Shalev

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 13, 2007

Hello all,

I would like to ask your help on something. One of the translation agencies I work for regularly sends me single sentences or even single words to be translated. They occasionally send me larger files, but mostly very small jobs of a few words or a few sentences. The problem is that I am not sure how to charge for this. Until now, I have been charging per word, but I wonder if I should establish a minimum charge? It gets quite complicated now because I have been asked to proofread files of a couple of sentences, and the amounts are becoming so low that the invoice amounts to almost nothing.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to deal with this?

Thanks and regards,

Iris Shalev.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
Minimum charge! Dec 13, 2007

Definitely go for a minimum charge. For each job, there is an amount of time and effort for overhead, such as creating the invoice.
Quite usual is a minimum of 100 words, at your normal word rate. Many agencies offer this as a default.


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xxxDE-EN-FR
Local time: 00:50
English to German
+ ...
Absolutely Dec 13, 2007

Hello Iris,

Yes, you should implement a minimum charge. Wasting time and effort on one-word assignments that are charged per word will ultimately lead to your business going bankrupt.

Should your client not accept a minimum charge: Forget about her/him and use your time to look for clients that have more substantial assignments for you.


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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:50
French to Italian
+ ...
I normally charge a minimum Dec 13, 2007

thai is one page.
But I happened to have a client sending me titles of puzzles, and not accepting a minimum fee, so we agreed on a monthly invoice, summing up the numbers of word translated.
Would that suit you?
Regards,
Giulia


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Italian to English
+ ...
Whatever you decide to do, invoice by month not by job Dec 13, 2007

I only tend to apply minimum charges for irregular clients anyway, but if you're doing lots of very small jobs every month for the same client, it would make more sense to issue them with one invoice a month regardless of whether you decide to apply a minimum charge.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I agree Dec 13, 2007

DE-EN-FR wrote:

Hello Iris,

Yes, you should implement a minimum charge. Wasting time and effort on one-word assignments that are charged per word will ultimately lead to your business going bankrupt.

Should your client not accept a minimum charge: Forget about her/him and use your time to look for clients that have more substantial assignments for you.


I agree. Definitely go for a minimum charge. Mine is what I would get for a job of 350 words. These fiddly little jobs are more trouble than they are worth and often more tricky than a longer job because of the absence of context.
I also agree that if this client won't accept a minimum charge you should seriously seek better clients.
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Dec 13, 2007

Thanks to everyone who replied! Your responses were very helpful. I do send monthly invoices, not per job, but they ares sometimes still for very small amounts. I think I will have to think about a minimum charge, as you said these tiny little jobs are hardly worth the effort otherwise.

Iris.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:50
French to English
+ ...
Or charge on an hourly basis Dec 13, 2007

The other way round this might be to charge on an hourly basis. If you tell your client that you're going to add up all the time you've spent on these one-word or one-sentence jobs over the month, then submit a final invoice at the end of the period. It seems unfair to charge a minimum charge for one word, but by the same token it's obviously not worth your while doing it for the word rate. That way, you're covered if the sentence/word involves lots of research. I think it also depends how much you value this particular client as other people have said!

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