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Poll: Are you in the process of raising your rates?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:45
SITE STAFF
Dec 2, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you in the process of raising your rates?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anabel Martínez

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Mercedes Davila
Local time: 15:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only locally Dec 2, 2005

I am in the process of increasing my rates to local customer, however for International ones, I see that the majority of potential customers indicate the rates they are willing to pay, so there is no point even thinking about it. However, altough I have answered to a lot of job postings, so far I have never received an answer. I have two International customers (which I found by myself through the internet) and they pay me well.

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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:45
German to Dutch
+ ...
Increasing pressure Dec 2, 2005

I voted with the majority (holding steady). Especially this year there seems to be an increasing pressure from outsourcers to get discounts on rates earlier agreed (within the past 3 or 4 months I received three requests from long-standing clients for lowering rates up to 10%) but I do not want to give in, as in my opinion doing so brings you on a 'slippery slope'. Nevertheless, I'm still getting jobs from those clients.
I've kept my rates steady for 5 years now (over the same period other people saw their wages/salaries increasing - as did the cost of living) and managed to 'keep track' by making my processes more efficent (increased use of CAT-tools, etc.).
Of course, now and again I've (temporarily) lost a client to low-rate countries, but most of those I've seen come back, because they notice that quality is usually more important than relatively small "savings".
Of course, one should be flexible enough to discuss an incidental (modest) volume discount when volumes are really high; but at the other hand not be afraid of asking a surcharge for really complicated jobs.
It's all about delivering quality and keeping deadlines - do so and you'll see that there is no real need to lower your rates.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 14:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'm not raising them Dec 2, 2005

I already charge a normal/cheap price, so I don't think I will raise them. Most of my clients are international and with only 40 translated pages per month, I can make a good living in Peru.

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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:45
French to Portuguese
+ ...
I'm applying new rates to new clients Dec 2, 2005

This is because I've just had a baby and my expenses have just increased a lot. I go to the pharmacy twice a week (and just for minor things I usually need, such as cotton, since my baby is very sound...hopefully!), I had to buy him new clothes this week because in less than a month he has grown a lot and his zero-sized clothes don't fit him no more, I change his diapers many times a day and spend a fortune in diapers, and so on. Those who have the experience know what I mean... :0)

I don't dare to ask my "old" clients to raise their rates (specially because most of them pay me at their rate, not mine), so I decided to raise my rates to new clients. I've already worked for a new client with my new rate. ;0) I hope it will make a difference in the near future.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Raised rates yesterday Dec 2, 2005

I informed a couple of clients yesterday that I would be increasing the rates from January 2006 (by approx 8.5%). I normally do this for all my clients every two years or so (last time was Jan 2004). I have lost quite a few in the process over the years, but have always managed to replace them relatively easily.

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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:45
Spanish to English
Raising Rates Dec 2, 2005

[quote]ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you in the process of raising your rates"

I am always in the process of raising my rates. Most agencies will set their limits and it's difficult to do anything about it. High rates do not attract clients, unless you are well established and known for your high quality, reliable work. I lost two regular agencies (over 2 years with them), by attempting to raise my rates.(I posted a response in a forum, a little while ago about rates in general, so I won't repeat what I said). I do try, with new clients, to "tweak" my rates upwards, but there are plenty of translators in this global business,who will see our rates (without an increase) as high enough, and woul leap at the chance for some of the action. Maybe I can expect new clients if others increase their rates too much!!!


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:45
English to German
+ ...
that depends on the project type Dec 2, 2005

I can not rise and or give discounts or hold down the price. The final price is the always the result of some goundwork, which I normally charge a minimum. Brandis

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:45
SITE FOUNDER
49% vs. 4% Dec 2, 2005

According to this poll, 49% of responders are raising rates, versus 4% who are decreasing them.

When someone says that rates are falling, ask them if *their* rates are falling.


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:45
Spanish to English
Raising rates or raising hell? Dec 2, 2005

Henry wrote:

According to this poll, 49% of responders are raising rates, versus 4% who are decreasing them.

When someone says that rates are falling, ask them if *their* rates are falling.


Freelance translators by nature are dependent on clients and agencies, language specialty, source language, target language etc. My pair (Spanish>English), for example, appears to be the most common in the world. Therefore, it tends to be a buyers market. The more you specialise and the more experience you have tends to attract higher rates (I was going to say, as normal, but I wouldn't be very scientific to suggest what "normal" or "average" was in my pair of languages. Although I often see as low as 3 US cents(2.5 Euro centimos)being offered. This can seem fine to someone living in a low economy area, but would, for example, Scandinavian (who have the highest cost of living in Europe (and maybe the world) accept even a basic 10 US cents per word.
Sorry, Henry, you already know rates are a hobby horse of mine. By the way I earn xxxxx euros per year as a translator.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:45
SITE FOUNDER
I agree, David Dec 3, 2005

David Brown wrote:
My pair (Spanish>English), for example, appears to be the most common in the world. Therefore, it tends to be a buyers market.


That's not the whole truth. It is about supply and demand--there are many translators because there are many buyers.

It appears to be that for commodity services, we have a buyer's market. For specialized or high quality services, we do not.

The more you specialise and the more experience you have tends to attract higher rates


Then we agree!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:45
SITE FOUNDER
I agree, David Dec 3, 2005

David Brown wrote:
My pair (Spanish>English), for example, appears to be the most common in the world. Therefore, it tends to be a buyers market.


That's not the whole truth. It is about supply and demand--there are many translators because there are many buyers.

It appears to be that for commodity services, we have a buyer's market. For specialized or high quality services, we do not.

I believe this poll supports my view. If you want to suggest a new poll, please do!

The more you specialise and the more experience you have tends to attract higher rates


Then we agree.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:45
English to German
+ ...
I am investing Dec 6, 2005

Yes, I am increasing my rates. Except for my favorite, absolutely terrific regular clients.

Since I am providing DTP as well, I am permanently investing in new software, upgrades, IT classes (to be able to handle web sites professionally), faster machines, faster internet access, second monitors for both, PC and Macintosh to speed up work. I am investing time at the library if I have to deal with a tricky patent, e.g. Making myself faster and more proficient should not be an expensive hobby alone.


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Christine Laigo  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
English to French
Increase/decrease rates Dec 7, 2005

I try to increase my rates as far as new clients are concerned. This made me miss some clients this year, especially in the US (where the EUR/USD exchange rates didn't help either). But some other clients (worldwide) don't discuss at all.

I did also raise my rates for some of my usual clients where I had started a bit low, and I think doing so every one or 2 years is sound (the price of living increases all the time). On the other hand I do give discounts for big projects, as I consider I then spend less time investing in "commercial activities" like finding new clients, answering offers, etc.

I also agree with the translator who says that particularly difficult jobs, or involving much DTP, or requiring a specific software should be charged more.

And I think Henry's advice "ask them if they lower their rates" is very sound.

Regards,

Christine


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