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Attention Outsourcers: "best" rate
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:18
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jun 26, 2015

For an outsourcer to ask potential translators to give their "best" rate is like hanging out a big, red flag inscribed: WE ARE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, LOOKING FOR CHEAPEST TRANSLATORS; QUALITY IS NOT AN ISSUE.
I usually hit the delete button immediately.
On occasion I reply by giving a very high rate, commenting that my "best" rate is given for my best work.

I imagine this post is a waste of time, but if just one outsourcer learns something from it, maybe it will have been worth the minute it took me to write it.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Has been discussed Jun 26, 2015

Susan Welsh wrote:
For an outsourcer to ask potential translators to give their "best" rate is like hanging out a big, red flag inscribed: WE ARE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, LOOKING FOR CHEAPEST TRANSLATORS; QUALITY IS NOT AN ISSUE.


This knee-jerk reaction only occurs in translators who believe that when a client offers a low rate, the client actually wants lower quality. To me, "best rate" simply means "the rate you would have hoped to arrived at if we had been negotiating". It saves time if a client asks for a best rate.


 

Harishankar Shahi
India
Member (2014)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Its cheap rate Jun 26, 2015

Susan Welsh wrote:

For an outsourcer to ask potential translators to give their "best" rate is like hanging out a big, red flag inscribed: WE ARE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, LOOKING FOR CHEAPEST TRANSLATORS; QUALITY IS NOT AN ISSUE.


Best rate is always stand for cheapest rate, and they don't want to reveal from their side. Some outsourcer used to say that project is very big, Many Many Heavy Word Count.... So what for your word count, say clearly you are looking for cheapest translator(s).

It is regular way working in all over the world now.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Afraid to show their hands Jun 26, 2015

Harishankar Shahi wrote:
Best rate is always stand for cheapest rate, and they don't want to reveal from their side.


They're afraid that if they propose a rate first, it would be higher than the one that you'd have been willing to accept (-:


 

Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Does anybody quote a lower rate if asked for "best rate"? Jun 26, 2015

I really don't understand what all the fuzz and indignation about the "best rate" is. It's just a phrase and a perfectly acceptable way of asking for a quote. It's common practice in all kinds of sectors.

I'd be interested to know if there are any translators out there who would indeed quote a different rate depending on whether they are asked for their "best rate" or simply for their rate.


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:18
German to Swedish
+ ...
No Jun 26, 2015

Remind me to save money by asking a cab driver or a plumber for his "best rate".

Also, from now on I'll tip the waiter before the meal is served.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
On the contrary Jun 26, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:
This knee-jerk reaction only occurs in translators who believe that when a client offers a low rate, the client actually wants lower quality. To me, "best rate" simply means "the rate you would have hoped to arrived at if we had been negotiating". It saves time if a client asks for a best rate.

Hi Samuelicon_smile.gif. I don't think they do want lower quality; just to pay a low rate for good quality. And why do they assume we'd always be prepared to reduce our "rate" (which is the only word that's needed - no qualification)? Negotiating involves both sides shifting their position somewhat. They haven't negotiated at all, so why should we give our post-negotiation rate? Anyway, I've quoted for a few jobs asking for my best rate and have been told it's too high and asked if I could work for less. So when is best low enough? Only when it's really, really low, it seems.

I think it's a good idea to raise the subject specifically in this way. For us it's just another ranticon_wink.gif and nobody wants to read them. But outsourcers might well read the first two or three posts. As said, if only one half-decent one gets the message then it's worthwhile. After all, many outsourcers are writing in a non-native language and may not have understood the connotations. For that matter, the same could be said of translators.


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:18
English to German
+ ...
Just the other week Jun 26, 2015

I was asked for a quote. I was told to give them my best rate to be competitive.

Usually best rate equals cheapest rate.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Is it that strange? Jun 26, 2015

What should they say then? Give me your absolute highest price, or else you don't get the job?

If you go shopping for a new computer for example, you also look for the best deal, so in essence we do exactly the same.

I see it more as a style figure, and at the end you can always refuse.

[Edited at 2015-06-26 13:40 GMT]


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:18
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
comparisons Jun 26, 2015

If you go to a doctor or a lawyer, do you ask for his or her "best" price?
A computer is a commodity; a person isn't.


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
THIS Jun 26, 2015

Susan Welsh wrote:

For an outsourcer to ask potential translators to give their "best" rate is like hanging out a big, red flag inscribed: WE ARE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, LOOKING FOR CHEAPEST TRANSLATORS; QUALITY IS NOT AN ISSUE.
I usually hit the delete button immediately.


And THIS

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I don't think they do want lower quality; just to pay a low rate for good quality. And why do they assume we'd always be prepared to reduce our "rate" (which is the only word that's needed - no qualification)? Negotiating involves both sides shifting their position somewhat. They haven't negotiated at all, so why should we give our post-negotiation rate? ... So when is best low enough? Only when it's really, really low, it seems.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
"Best deal" is not the same as "best price" Jun 26, 2015

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

What should they say then? Give me your absolute highest price, or else you don't get the job?


Nobody has suggested that, so this is just a debate ploy: 'make the other party look ridiculous by exaggerating'.

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
If you go shopping for a new computer for example, you also look for the best deal, so in essence we do exactly the same.


I don't know how you buy computers, but I first determine what I need and which quality level I require, then look for the best price for computers that fulfil my requirements, and from a dealer of suitable reputation. I don't simply buy the cheapest computer from the cheapest shop I can find, as I know that certain brands are not very reliable, buttons may start breaking even within a year (seen that), and customer service from the cheapest shop may well not fulfil my expectations.

When outsourcers ask for the "best" rate, the only thing they focus on is the price. If you did that with a solicitor, you'd be booted out more or less politely very quickly.

I'm happy to offer a tailored rate, but in order to offer a good, tailored rate, I need to know if anything in the job means I can do this quicker than a standard job without compromising quality. But outsourcers asking for "best" rates often give very little detail about the job. Sometimes, you just see "we need XX-YY translators for a text; please give your best rate". It's a waste of time doing anything else than hitting the delete button.

Try posting an ad "I have a building project; please offer your best building rate" and see how many replies you get from competent builders.


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Not to mention... Jun 26, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

And why do they assume we'd always be prepared to reduce our "rate" (which is the only word that's needed - no qualification)? Negotiating involves both sides shifting their position somewhat. They haven't negotiated at all, so why should we give our post-negotiation rate?


Not to mention that at this point the outsourcer hasn't provided the file(s) for review and analysis, hasn't reviewed any of the translator's sample translations or discussed the translator's previous experience in the area of specialization, and hasn't participated in any sort of negotiation as to why a lower "best" rate should be offered - at this point there has only been a "cattle call".

IMHO, based on the fact that there has been absolutely no contact at this point between the outsourcer and the potential contractor (translator), there is no indication whatsoever to infer that "best rate" is supposed to imply "for a perfunctory, superficial translation of average or lower quality" or even that "price is an important factor in our decision" - which some outsourcers do specifically state.

Instead, IMHO, the clear message given off, whether intended or not, is that to this outsourcer, price is the most important if not the only important factor, ergo, quality and potentially all other factors will take a back seat to price.


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
YES Jun 26, 2015

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

When outsourcers ask for the "best" rate, the only thing they focus on is the price. If you did that with a solicitor, you'd be booted out more or less politely very quickly.

I'm happy to offer a tailored rate, but in order to offer a good, tailored rate, I need to know if anything in the job means I can do this quicker than a standard job without compromising quality. But outsourcers asking for "best" rates often give very little detail about the job. Sometimes, you just see "we need XX-YY translators for a text; please give your best rate". It's a waste of time doing anything else than hitting the delete button.


(beat me to it)


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You don't ask each shopkeeper for their best price Jun 26, 2015

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
If you go shopping for a new computer for example, you also look for the best deal, so in essence we do exactly the same.

You don't go into each shop saying "what's your best price for that computer?", do you? You find out the price in each shop, then you make your decision, which is not necessarily on price alone. As said, there are fewer variables with a commodity, but after-sales service, warranty, customer service impression, reputation... all play their part in a computer purchase decision.

Of course agencies will be looking to make the best deal, i.e. the one that's likely to suit the end client's needs best while providing sufficient profit margin.


 
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