Poll: Do you plan to raise your rates for 2008?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:49
SITE STAFF
Dec 21, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you plan to raise your rates for 2008?".

This poll was originally submitted by Christine Schmit

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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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:49
Member (2009)
English to French
Yes I will Dec 21, 2007

As a new translator, I went with the idea that lower rates would give me more clients. Now that I know better, I will raise them by 2 cents, which is still a little lower than the average around here, but I deem it fair for a translator with low experience. All my new clients will also get these adjusted rates.

I would like to raise them by 1 cent per year after that until I reach the average, but let's see if I can get through one year first.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:49
English to Russian
+ ...
It is not we who determine the rates Dec 21, 2007

However sad, it is not we who determine rates - it is the market. As for me, I have always been looking for well-paying (or otherwise rewarding) jobs and clients and I will continue doing that in the new year.

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Ágata Sousa  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:49
English to Portuguese
Exactly Dec 21, 2007

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

As a new translator, I went with the idea that lower rates would give me more clients. Now that I know better, I will raise them by 2 cents, which is still a little lower than the average around here, but I deem it fair for a translator with low experience. All my new clients will also get these adjusted rates.


The same for me. As we get more experience, we raise the rates


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, but more for existing clients Dec 21, 2007

I'll stick with my existing rate for new clients but will be trying to get that of my older established ones up to the same level.

It's off-topic, but I have to disagree with Alexander - maybe I'm lucky that I work in a highly-technical, highly-in-demand specialisation, but I definitely don't have to have my terms dictated to me by my clients. Obviously, there has to be a bit of give and take with my most important clients but they all accepted the last rate rise I negotiated without any fall-off in business.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
If you don't set your rates, you will always be behind the curve Dec 21, 2007

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

However sad, it is not we who determine rates - it is the market. As for me, I have always been looking for well-paying (or otherwise rewarding) jobs and clients and I will continue doing that in the new year.


I disagree, Alexander, if you let the market set your rates, you won't ever earn what you want, because the trend will always be against you.

I will raise my rates, in spite of the fact that the English to Spanish market is glutted with translators who are undercutting me, and many people now expect to pay ridiculously low wages.

Why? Because I would rather work less for more than the other way around! I have lost a few clients in the past several years because of rates, but I have found others who value my work and are willing to pay a fair rate for it. I've also had clients come back after being disappointed with what they get for a lower rate. Things do work out in the end.



[Edited at 2007-12-21 17:31]

[Edited at 2007-12-21 17:31]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 11:49
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Dec 21, 2007

We actually have an agreement in place with my prime translation source but I will have to wait until March 1. Oh well, I'm not about to work a single day in January, it's been too much over the last 3 months so 1 more month, the shortest of the year, will be ok:-).

Happy holidays and happy rates (in this particular case I don't care one bit if this is bad English:razz:) - everyone!
Irene

[Edited at 2007-12-21 19:51]


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:49
English to Russian
+ ...
to David Russi Dec 21, 2007

Pal, you misundestood me. I'm not the one who accepts flowing with the market with dignified reignation - I'm the one who fight for a better life. That is why I don't take work from agencies and look fopr direct clients. But you can't disagree with me that life is a merciless fight.

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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:49
English to French
+ ...
Yes! Dec 22, 2007

That is exactly what I have been thinking of doing, as I have too much work and haven't raised my rates for a while (for my regular and established clients).
My newest clients are paying the rates I'd like to be paid by all of them, so I either ask for a raise from the "older" ones, or find new ones.

Happy holidays to the ones who are celebrating!

Anne


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:49
English to Norwegian
+ ...
not sure.. Dec 22, 2007

I only started translating (again) in May this year.
I did my first job on proz.com for free - just to get a reference. (Small job...)
After that, I placed my rates slightly under average for my language pair, as I figured I was rather rusty.
THe jobs started pouring in, and I raised the rates gradually to a level I am comfortable with, at least for now.
I do nearly all my work for agencies, and find big agencies are usually very professional, good on support when needed, and mostly pay on time.
SOme of them rather late, but I have not had a single instance of non-payment all year.
So all in all, I am happy as it is.


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xxxSaifa
Local time: 18:49
German to French
+ ...
Other: for some clients Dec 22, 2007

Hello,

I have communicated to some clients end of november (older clients and clients for whom I did not raise my rates last year already) my new rates from 01.01.08. Everybody accepted them: I explained that the cost of life, inflation etc. obliged me to adjust my rates.

@ Alexander: Of course life is a merciless fight, but fortunately, there is not only one single transaction market (like there is not only one restauration or clothing market).
Raising rates is a way of selecting the better clients, those who look for quality first of all, from the bottom of the market.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 12:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
transaction or translation? Dec 23, 2007

Saifa wrote:

@ Alexander: Of course life is a merciless fight, but fortunately, there is not only one single transaction market...


Do you mean transaction or translation market? From context, I think you might mean translation.

Reed


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:49
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Beg to disagree Dec 23, 2007

I determine my rates.

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

However sad, it is not we who determine rates - it is the market. As for me, I have always been looking for well-paying (or otherwise rewarding) jobs and clients and I will continue doing that in the new year.


As for the market, our local one just went up by 3.6%. And although I'm not raising this year (I just did last July), I suggest you plot the progress of the Consumer Price Index since you began. That's always given me a solid basis.

What I think David was trying to say is that you have to decide to select your clients. We talk about supply and demand, but does anyone ever think of supply in terms of 24 hours a day? When you're bending over backwards under the pressure of deadlines and it doesn't seem you'll ever really get enough time to meet them all, don't you ever consider this angle?

Selected clients/selected field of expertise = more productivity and better quality, less "chaff". The move is worthwhile studying.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:49
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Don't forget the exchange rate factor Dec 23, 2007

This interesting thread is showing many important points regarding rates. And we cannot forget exchange rates and purchase power here. Especially if we work for clients far away.

Take my case: I pay for my expenses in local currency, and receive payments in EUR and USD. The cost of living has been growing here, if we consider the exchange rate in USD - or it has remained relatively stable if we consider it in USD.
So... the "need" to raise rates or not is yet another decisive factor for every translator.

And the need / obligation to fulfil duties too: if you outsource a job and promise to pay in EUR, but on the other hand your end client pays in USD, then you could have a problem... See this interesting article: http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/1474/1/Currency-Risk-Mitigation-101-for-Translators

So... when you are about to decide whether to raise your rates or not, in the "equation" you would include the following factors:
- personal needs
- productivity
- the market itself as rate-setter
- exchange rates


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xxxSaifa
Local time: 18:49
German to French
+ ...
Translation, of course Dec 25, 2007

Hello Reed,

Of course I meant "translation market". It is now too late to edit


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