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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Do you charge agencies and direct clients the same rate?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:06
SITE STAFF
Nov 17, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge agencies and direct clients the same rate?".

This poll was originally submitted by Siang Yu Tham. View the poll results »



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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 03:06
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 17, 2011

I have my usual basic rates for basic services, but sometimes we need to be flexible.

Agencies will usually try to impose their own rates, or haggle until we reach a compromise.

Direct clients tend to want to stay at the same rates once we have established them, although they may sometimes ask for a discount for repetitions or volume, or I may just give them one anyway unrequested if I'm feeling generous.

As long as I can more or less get my basic rates, I'm usually quite happy. Unfortunately, nowadays I'm being offered a lot of work but at approximately 50% of the usual average, standard rate in my area. I'll leave it up to the reader to ponder exactly why this is happening...


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:06
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Nov 17, 2011

There is but one basic rate for both agencies and end clients.

However, for long term clients of either "nature" a (slightly) reduced rate is possible.

But all offers of more than 25% below my standard rate are politely turned down.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 03:06
English to French
+ ...
Other Nov 17, 2011

I set the rates for agencies and it is a take it or leave it deal. The difference between my rates and what the agency charges to the end customer pays for the marketing (and other) costs of the agency. In other words, the rates I charge agencies are (at least a little) lower than for direct clients.

One of my direct (dollar) customers sets the rates (fair, regularly adjusted).
I granted another direct (dollar) customer (an NGO) the agency rates, or about. Then the dollar went down and they paid the lowest prices. When I raised my rates, they "found someone else" but still come back occasionally.

My highest rate ever was for framework-contracts with a direct client, but the bid had to include everything, like subscriptions to paying on line dictionaries and even the possibility to have to travel for a job. They also adjust(ed) prices every year, basically to take inflation into account.


[Modifié le 2011-11-17 10:56 GMT]


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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 19:06
English to Dutch
+ ...
higher for direct Nov 17, 2011

I only have one direct client, because I don't find it very pratical to work for them.
However, my rate for direct clients is a bit higher than that for agencies.
That's normal, if you ask me. Agencies take a lot of the burden away (however, most agencies do take a huge profit margin too, often so much more than we could possibly imagine ...).


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andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 20:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
the agencies set my rates and I charge my direct clients Nov 17, 2011

the agencies set my rates and I charge my direct clients

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Dean Ryan  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Negotiable. Nov 17, 2011

Hi,

I have a set rate for direct clients which is more or less the average market rate (if such a thing exists). Agencies will usually offer you way less than your usual rate and like Thayenga I tend to turn down any offers of about 25% less than my usual rate. I have had agencies offering me the rate I charge for proofreading for translation jobs! For ongoing collaborations with both agencies and direct clients my rates are slightly negotiable.


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Other Nov 17, 2011

I don't tend to have set rates. Instead, they vary, depending on the agency (some I like better than others) and how long I have been working for said agency.

Rates for direct clients depend on the project.

And then there's the friends and family rates.


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Henny Willis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:06
Member
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Depends Nov 17, 2011

Same with Dear Ryan: For ongoing collaborations with both agencies and direct clients my rates are slightly negotiable.

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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
English to Polish
+ ...
But how does that become "Other" instead of "Same"? Nov 17, 2011


Thayenga wrote:
There is but one basic rate for both agencies and end clients.
However, for long term clients of either "nature" a (slightly) reduced rate is possible.

Identical base rate, identical willingness to negotiate if there's a long-term / intense relationship.
To me, this means "the same charge" and I voted accordingly.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Direct clients pay more Nov 17, 2011

Most of my direct clients are international organizations, and they follow a standard that is negotiated annually. Many agencies would be out of business if they paid that well, and I understand that. If I want to work for them and they want me, we usually end up with a rate somewhere between what they offered me initially and what I usually get from the international organizations.

Volume and repeat business are not, in my book, excuses for lowering the rate. The work I do is the same, so why should I accept less?


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Kitty Brussaard  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:06
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Absolutely different Nov 18, 2011

I would say there's a basic difference between delivering a translation to a direct client or a translation agency. In the latter case, the final responsibility in terms of quality assurance (revising and/or proofing) lies - or should lie - with the agency and not with the translator.

Acting as an outsourcer myself on a regular basis, I always use a 'second pair of eyes' before sending the translation to the client. Even the best of translators are only human beings and errors are always lurking in some place or other:-) Revising and proofreading require time, and time is money. Likewise for project management.
I have always considered this a valid reason for charging the end client more than the rate that I have agreed on with the translator.


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes and no Nov 18, 2011


Kitty Brussaard wrote:
I have always considered this a valid reason for charging the end client more than the rate that I have agreed on with the translator.

From the point of view of an outsourcer providing an added value and extra services, you're absolutely right.

From the point of view of an individual translator - what do I care that someone else is taking over the responsibility before the end customer? This does not mean I can be irresponsible and careless to the point of "well, let the PM fix it if it proves wrong". I try to deliver top quality regardless of the nature of my recipient - use the second pair of eyes whenever possible, take care of any doubtful point, consult experts etc. - all in all, do everything you've mentioned as agency's tasks, apart from DTP. And I do that in all cases (agency or no agency) for the same reasons - my professional reputation and consequently the view of my future custom, be it from the agency or from the direct customer. I don't think I can afford any difference in attitude in this respect - and if the level of diligence is not different, why should I price my efforts differently?


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Poll: Do you charge agencies and direct clients the same rate?






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