Commission for referring a job in the US
Thread poster: sokolniki

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:01
English to Russian
+ ...
Apr 19, 2008

I have a direct client which discussed a large-scale interpretation project with me for a while. The project starts within a couple of weeks but it looks like I might not be able to take it due to family circumstances. I am thinking of referring the project to one of the local agencies I cooperate with. What kind of commission do you think I should charge from the agency: 10%, 15%..?

 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:01
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
You can always find someone yourself Apr 19, 2008

Than your commission would depend on what you agree with such a person.

Best


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
English to German
+ ...
Hm.. Apr 20, 2008

A question: The direct client asked you to take a job because they want your expertise and your know-how. You are not available. You didn't tell the client, I assume? Yet you want to outsource this job to an agency (!), which - of course - will deduct their own fees. For all this wonderful effort of yours and probably without even informing your client, meaning, that you simply established a contact, you want to cash in 15%? For what? For standing your client up and leaving them with the cheapest interpreter possible? Wonderful.

Honestly - that's not very ethical.

Charge by the hour for your time and efforts.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Finder's fees Apr 20, 2008

sokolniki wrote:
I am thinking of referring the project to one of the local agencies I cooperate with. What kind of commission do you think I should charge from the agency: 10%, 15%...?


I had always thought that a good average finder's fee is 5%, but a quick Google seems to indicate that fees of between 0.5% and 1% are in order for very large deals. In your case, I think you should consider how much money you are saving the agency by having done the hard work of negotiating the job. The agency must still make a profit. Personally I would not ask for more than 5%. Or, suggest to them 10% and then be very willig to come down with that amount to, say, 5%.


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:01
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Just don't forget your client's point of view Apr 20, 2008

If you pass this job to this agency, than the agency is almost certainly going to charge your client than you would. In this situation neither the agency nor your client to be will not consider this as a favour.
Client because he'll have to spend much more money and the agency because they will have to pay you this commission which reduces their profit.
That's why it would be much better to find a trusted colleague and either give him/her this job without any payment and hope that in the future he/she will reciprocate, or charge a small commission but trying to assure that your client will not have to pay more than he would pay you (because that's what they expect to pay right now).

It does not make sense (also businesswise) to risk good relations with both agency which frequently gives you work and a client who is likely to give you work in the future for a few bucks.

Best
Stanislaw


 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:01
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 20, 2008

I would like to thank everybody for their ideas. Having been a freelancer for quite some time, I am fully aware that for my direct client it is going to cost much more to hire an agency than a freelancer like myself. Another freelancer is going to cost about the same as myself or less although an agency would have more responsibily - that was the only reason why I was thinking of referring the job to an agency. And I am also fully aware that the agency would give this job to another freelancer like myself. One more clarification: I have never charged a commission from another translator/interpreter when I was unable to take the job and I have no plans to do so.

A special note to Nicole:

I am just curious, how do you think it is possible NOT to tell a direct client who is directly involved in the project and whom I worked with for a few years, that somebody else but not me is going to take the project? Custom-order a rubber mask with my facial features? And I am not even going to go into this "cheapest interpreter possible" phrase of yours because, honestly, I did not understand what you meant.

It is sad that you make such negative and arrogant assumptions about the people you do not know. And that little lecture on "cashing without informing" - seriously, this was totally unasked for. I would always assume that my fellow interpreters have the same ethics as I do. Your last sentence: "For standing your client up and leaving them with the cheapest interpreter possible? Wonderful." - this is what I would call not very ethical. I asked for your opinion on commission, not for your opinion on my ethics. I can easily figure it out myself.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
English to German
+ ...
That's easy. Apr 20, 2008

Sokolniki, your initial post consisted of 4 lines, remember?

To a person not familiar with the entire background, it reads: Client is charged 15%, plus 15% by the agency, plus what the actual interpreter is going to charge (not much left, right?).

The art of communication: It doesn't count what you are trying to say, what counts is what message your readers will get.

Maybe you want to think over remarks such as "arrogant" or "negative".


 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:01
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again! Apr 20, 2008

Thanks, Stanislaw. I totally agree, a trusted colleague is a better option than an agency, hopefully somebody will be available. This is exactly what I hoped to hear from my fellow interpreters.

Sorry, Nicole, but I did not write: "Client is charged 15%, plus 15% by the agency" - this is what YOU wrote.

In those 4 lines of my initial post I wrote: (quote) What kind of commission do you think I should charge from the agency: 10%, 15%..? (end of quote).

Charging something from the client has never been mentioned - you misread it.

And you are so right: it doesn't count what you are trying to say, what counts is what message your readers will get - depending on the readers' attitude and ideas.


 


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Commission for referring a job in the US

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