Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Pig in a Poke
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 27, 2015

Few people would think it is a good idea to buy a pig in a poke, meaning to buy something unseen and unknown. The same would seem to be true for accepting jobs where the source material and the client's exact requirements are unseen and unknown. Yet how many do so? Proz.com's own job posting system would appear to encourage that, since job posters normally just state a general field and not much more, then expect translators to offer a price per word or whatever. Since I work with my own direct clients and not with Proz postings I have never thought much about this issue, but the fact is that I would never, ever bid on a job sight unseen.

What is your opinion on this?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
English to French
+ ...
Yup! May 27, 2015

Same here.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:20
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Job details in an initial RFQ: one needs to educate his or her clients May 27, 2015

Generally, when a (potential) client fails to indicate the job details at the very outset, I have to respond by requesting the missing information (e.g. scope of work, subject matter, file format(s)). Also, I suggest that the client provide, at least, the following details in his or her future RFQs:

Subject matter:
Word count:
File format(s):
Deadline:

The final acceptance of a job would require the sight of the document(s) to be translated or edited/proofread/reviewed.

[Edited at 2015-05-27 20:37 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:20
Chinese to English
Bids are provisional/confidentiality issues May 28, 2015

The principle sounds right, Henry, but in practice the Proz way seems to work out as well. Bids are not binding quotes, they're just the first step towards an agreement. I've had quite a lot of work off the Proz job boards, and good outsourcers are always reasonable. Sometimes I've had to back out when I realise a text is beyond my expertise; other times I've changed my bid after seeing the documents. It's an inevitable side-effect of the fact that clients don't necessarily want to post their texts in public.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:20
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Subject to seeing the document first May 28, 2015

Whenever I'm asked to quote for a potential job or apply for a job posted on Proz, I always say that my quote is subject to seeing the document first. That seems to me to be a perfectly normal business practice.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I regard the acceptance more as an indication of availability or potential willingness May 28, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:
Few people would think it is a good idea to buy a pig in a poke, meaning to buy something unseen and unknown. The same would seem to be true for accepting jobs where the source material and the client's exact requirements are unseen and unknown. Yet how many do so?


Yes, but I think it is assumed that if the documents do arrive, and they are different from what you expected, that you can cancel the job (the sooner the better). When clients describe a job, we all make certain assumptions about the work to be done, and we complete the job if the job matches what we had assumed. (This is different from starting the job and then deciding halfway through it that you simply don't want to do it anymore.)

Proz.com's own job posting system would appear to encourage that, since job posters normally just state a general field and not much more, then expect translators to offer a price per word or whatever.


I think it is assumed (by both parties) that the rate stated would be for work of that type with of an average degree of difficulty. If the translator finally receives the files, it is his responsibility to check the files to ensure that the task (or degree of complexity/difficulty) is indeed what he thought it was, before starting on the job. And remember, nothing stops you from quoting a fairer, more complex rate scheme as opposed to a single rate for all words.

Phil Hand wrote:
Bids are not binding quotes, they're just the first step towards an agreement.


I agree. ProZ.com, desperate to shed its clearing house image, changed the word "bid" to "quote", but these so-called quotes aren't actual quotes (i.e. binding agreements)... they're almost like estimates.



[Edited at 2015-05-28 08:03 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alice Cernic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:20
Member (2014)
Slovenian to Italian
+ ...
I always... May 28, 2015

ask what kind of document it is and if it is possible to see it before.
Actually it upsets me and, I must say, I prefer not to work with agencies, which are not "transparent" or, even worse, set me the price on the basis of their evaluation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Likewise! May 28, 2015

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Whenever I'm asked to quote for a potential job or apply for a job posted on Proz, I always say that my quote is subject to seeing the document first. That seems to me to be a perfectly normal business practice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Invitation to treat May 28, 2015

I'm no lawyer, but the term "invitation to treat" springs to mind (although it doesn't seem to fit 100%):

By "quoting" (an incorrect term in this sense), the seller (translator) invites the buyer to make an offer, which the seller may or may not accept. The difference to regular trade is that goods and price are interchanged in this model. Usually, the properties of the goods are fixed, and buyer and seller bargain for a price. On proz however, neither goods nor price are fixed when the invitation to treat is issued. The offer that the buyer is invited to make is the actual text to translate. The seller is then free to decide whether he is willing to do the translation for the price he stated in his invitation to treat. If he isn't, he can make a binding quote with a new price, which then the buyer is free to decline or accept. In the latter case, a binding contract will be closed by the buyer's acceptance.

At least, that's more or less how this works in my experience.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
English to German
+ ...
Reality Check May 28, 2015

Erik Freitag wrote:

I'm no lawyer, but the term "invitation to treat" springs to mind (although it doesn't seem to fit 100%):

By "quoting" (an incorrect term in this sense), the seller (translator) invites the buyer to make an offer, which the seller may or may not accept. The difference to regular trade is that goods and price are interchanged in this model. Usually, the properties of the goods are fixed, and buyer and seller bargain for a price. On proz however, neither goods nor price are fixed when the invitation to treat is issued. The offer that the buyer is invited to make is the actual text to translate. The seller is then free to decide whether he is willing to do the translation for the price he stated in his invitation to treat. If he isn't, he can make a binding quote with a new price, which then the buyer is free to decline or accept. In the latter case, a binding contract will be closed by the buyer's acceptance.

At least, that's more or less how this works in my experience.


More or less.
As far as job boards here and elsewhere and many agencies are concerned, throw in unwillingness on the buyer's side to accept anything but the most dreadful ("best") rate and troves of willing "word sellers" who couldn't care less what types of words are involved, and you get a more complete picture.

[Edited at 2015-05-28 13:20 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Whew! May 28, 2015

What most of you mention makes me feel a lot better about the system. As long as the quote is understood to not be binding and subject to seeing the work to be done, then that is OK!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pig in a poke May 28, 2015

No, I don't consider a quote to be a binding offer or commitment until I have seen the entire document.

The same thing is true if I happen to get a confirmed project from another source while waiting for a response to a quote.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Encouraging the bad boys May 29, 2015

Contrary to some of the sentiment here, I do think the proz system "appears to encourage" blind quotes, and I would never assume that job posters understand that quotes (or bids, or whatever) are non-binding (I would not assume anything when it comes to jobs posted on proz).

Then again, I think the proz system encourages a lot of what I might otherwise term "bad behavior", and I am highly suspicious of any type of job post that doesn't provide a detailed description of the text and/or a sample of the text.

IMHO, a good agency or outsourcer should KNOW (without being told) that a professional translator needs to see a text before providing a solid quote (whether binding or not, by solid I mean in line with the requirements of the project). Requests for "best rate" aside (I NEVER respond to those), I also don't respond to job posts with descriptions like "We have a legal document to be translated. 1783 words". The lack of information tells me pretty much everything I need to know.

[On the other hand, a direct client that is not in the habit of procuring translations could be excused for not knowing the ins and outs, but as far as I can tell, posts from direct clients are much rarer, at least in my language pair.]

Like others posting here, when I do see a job post I would like to quote on, I always specify that I need to review the text/files first, etc. and that the price stated is a *starting price*, with the final price dependent on factors such as precise subject matter, complexity, format, etc. There's certainly no harm in adding that extremely important bit of information, and of course it also accomplishes the ever-important CYA.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:20
Member (2014)
English to German
What about agencies? May 29, 2015

I also add in my letter that the quote is provisional and I would need to assess the document.

However, I have registered with several agencies that have a rate for me on their system and send requests for translation expecting to be paying that rate. So far there wasn't a real problem with that, but I can foresee that this rate may not work for all projects.

Do you regularly renegotiate the rate depending on the project or do agencies favour the one size fits all approach?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fabio M. Caldas  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 05:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same here! May 29, 2015

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Whenever I'm asked to quote for a potential job or apply for a job posted on Proz, I always say that my quote is subject to seeing the document first. That seems to me to be a perfectly normal business practice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Pig in a Poke

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search