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How would you respond to low rates ?
Thread poster: Rahi Moosavi

Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:48
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
Feb 4, 2004

I have received an offer from a Proz platinum member as follows ( I've deleted the names and lanugauge combinations )

Now we can employ you as paid translator and proofreader as below rates:
Translation ;English??? 0.01$ per source word Proofreading in above pairs 0.003$ per source word Edition in above pairs 0.006$ per source word Our prices are same for all translators in this pair.
If are interested ,please contact me.

How would you respond to this ?

Is there anyone working for such rates or is it only me that finds it so out of standard ?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
English to German
+ ...
Not at all... Feb 4, 2004

Hi Rahi,
Now we can employ you as paid translator and proofreader as below rates:
Translation ;English??? 0.01$ per source word Proofreading in above pairs 0.003$ per source word Edition in above pairs 0.006$ per source word Our prices are same for all translators in this pair.
If are interested ,please contact me.

Nice try...

How would you respond to this ?

Any response is a waste of time - one click, and it's history...

Is there anyone working for such rates or is it only me that finds it so out of standard ?

Probably, but that doesn't mean one has to...

Best regards, Ralf


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 20:48
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
I wouldn't respond Feb 4, 2004

Plain and simple, I wouldn't respond.

I usually don't air my views anymore on low rates (and what have you), but let's face it: such offers are ridiculous.

Simply forget about it and go for a walk, or do something else...


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Politely Feb 4, 2004

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

How would you respond to this ?


if I responded at all, with a price list and conditions.

True, it wouldn't be worth responding to, but in the interest of client education it could be worth a shot if it wasn't going to take up too much time.


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xxxAlex Zelkind
English to Russian
+ ...
That's the nature of capitalism Feb 4, 2004

You have to lower your price, otherwise you'll be out of competition. Your fellow "brother-translator" will offer himself for less. Do it first, don't trust him.
Everyone accepts those jobs, but not everyone will admit it.


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:48
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I did better ! Feb 4, 2004

Thank to you all.

I did better and made them an offer.

I'll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !


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Rainer Pawellek  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:48
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Responding to this wouldn't be worth my time Feb 4, 2004

Let alone arguing with "colleagues" like this.

BTW, this offer even outperforms a recent job posting (translation of a book, 525 pages for 0,66 US-$ per word) in terms of impertinence - or at least unawareness of the situation in the translation marketplace.

I wonder when the first outsourcer will come up with a negative rate...


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Maybe ask whether it's a typo Feb 4, 2004

Tayfun Torunoglu wrote:
I suspect that client has no education on decimal numbers:)

I would ask whether it's a typo because you can simply cut one 0 off (each) to get the usual rates.

[Edited at 2004-02-04 12:22]


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Kpy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:48
French to English
+ ...
Ridiculous rates Feb 4, 2004

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

I'll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !



Even your offer is far too low ..............
It'll be interesting to see if they snap up your offer!!


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:48
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes Feb 4, 2004

Yes, I did it on purpose to see their response.

Kpy wrote:

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

I\'ll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !



Even your offer is far too low ..............
It\'ll be interesting to see if they snap up your offer!!


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
50% higher? Feb 4, 2004

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

Thank to you all.

I did better and made them an offer.

I'll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !


So you ARE willing to translate for 1 1/2 US$ cents a word? For Europeans that's a bit more than 1 €uro cent per word. That is still an insultingly low rate here. Unfortunately, your response will certainly not discourage these people from offering such outrageous rates.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
That's taking a short view Feb 4, 2004

Alex Zelkind wrote:
You have to lower your price, otherwise you'll be out of competition. Your fellow "brother-translator" will offer himself for less. Do it first, don't trust him.


Sorry, Alex, but I can't accept that. An even bigger problem than low rates is client insolvency. I'd ask myself what kind of a client can live on the margins obtained by eternally competing in a downward spiral and seriously calculate whether he'll be around to pay the bill by the time I send it.

I presume that we're all in a position to think common-sensically, even if some of us may draw a distincion between local and international clients. But I don't see the point in inviting more intermediation than is necessary by opening myself up price-wise to agents whose only function may well be hunting job offers and doling them out dirt-cheap so as to live off the margin -- this could be a critical factor in collection as well as in terms of time lost (if, for instance, the job were urgent and it had to be zapped thrice around the globe to get to the end-user). In this sense, pricing also plays the part of a defensive mechanism. And I certainly wouldn't encourage colleagues to put their defenses down.


Everyone accepts those jobs, but not everyone will admit it.


I don't think you would. At any rate, you'd be conditioned. In this particular case, granted that you can do 500 words/hour at the extraordinary output of 4,000 words/day (there's still a physical limit to the number of keystrokes per unit time that we are capable of, and this figure will mean working more than 8 hours a day), you live in the US where the minimum wage in most states would enable you to earn more doing less. So you'd draw the line somewhere yourself.

[Edited at 2004-02-04 14:57]


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:48
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Other way round Feb 4, 2004

No ! It's the other way round. I wanted them to translate for me and proposed that I could give them a 50,000 word job for 0.015 USD per word.



writeaway wrote:

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

Thank to you all.

I did better and made them an offer.

I'll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !


So you ARE willing to translate for 1 1/2 US$ cents a word? For Europeans that's a bit more than 1 €uro cent per word. That is still an insultingly low rate here. Unfortunately, your response will certainly not discourage these people from offering such outrageous rates.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
no wonder there was no reply! Feb 4, 2004

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

No ! It's the other way round. I wanted them to translate for me and proposed that I could give them a 50,000 word job for 0.015 USD per word.



writeaway wrote:

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

Thank to you all.

I did better and made them an offer.

I'll be giving them 50,000 words per month with 50% higher rate than their own...

They have not replied yet !


So you ARE willing to translate for 1 1/2 US$ cents a word? For Europeans that's a bit more than 1 €uro cent per word. That is still an insultingly low rate here. Unfortunately, your response will certainly not discourage these people from offering such outrageous rates.




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Ruben Berrozpe  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
Very good one - plus bottom line Feb 4, 2004

Not subtle, but worth seeing their faces when they receive your offer...


The point here is, there is work for everybody out there; you just need to get out, be professional and responsive, build some reputation and visibility, as well as a firm commitment to say "no" to degrading rates. IMO, it works, and I know of many people besides me who agree with this and can provide their personal experience as an example.

The opposite is just not sustainable, therefore it does NOT work in the mid-long term. It also hurts our business as a whole.

So we should be careful about accepting certain offers, even if they arrive at one of those typically "quiet times".

Rb


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