Should I be suspicious of an agency that wants to take a commission of 15% from my payment?
Thread poster: izy

izy  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:54
English to German
+ ...
Jul 24, 2003

Hi all,

I'm about to get started with my own translating business as a freelancer, and I just got a job offer from an agency, which sounds really good, so I told them I would like to take on the job. Now they told me that they take 15% commission of what I receive for the job. Is that normal or do I have to be suspicious. As I said I'm only starting so any hints, tips and help are appreciated very much.

Thank you all a lot

Izy


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
If it sounds too good to be true... Jul 24, 2003

...it probably is.

Normally, agencies charge the end client more, and that's where their cut comes from. Not from the translator.

In this case, I'd suggest "when in doubt, abstain".


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:54
English to German
+ ...
No agency, I think. Jul 24, 2003

izy wrote:

Now they told me that they take 15% commission of what I receive for the job. Is that normal or do I have to be suspicious. As I said I'm only starting so any hints, tips and help are appreciated very much.



I think, you have not been contacted by an agency, but rather by someone who is making money by charging freelancers such as you for job offers. An agency would never charge any commission for a job. Their profit is made by charging the client more than their expenses for translators, proofreaders, editors etc. are.

I think you should be suspicious of them. Either they are an agency or they are not. If they are not they should clearly say so.

Regards,

Sonja


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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:54
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Ask for a written PO Jul 24, 2003

Definitely sounds strange... I would look at the source text, compose an accurate job quotation, and confirm acceptance of this quote with a written purchase order.

If any one of these steps falls through, I would not take the job, since the risk factor is simply too high. Just my opinion.

Good luck!

Todd


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
English to French
You are Jul 24, 2003

izy wrote:

Hi all,

I'm about to get started with my own translating business as a freelancer, and I just got a job offer from an agency, which sounds really good, so I told them I would like to take on the job. Now they told me that they take 15% commission of what I receive for the job. Is that normal or do I have to be suspicious. As I said I'm only starting so any hints, tips and help are appreciated very much.

Thank you all a lot

Izy

If you ask the question, you ARE already suspicious.

As others in the thread have mentionned, usually, agencies don't tell you how much is their margin. They do take it, but they won't put it that way. There is "what they charge" and "what they offer you".

The real questions are:
1. Is the final rate offered enough? (after removing the 15%)
2. Do you trust them to pay you? Try to look for info about them, good or bad.

If the price is still decent, and they don't have bad reputation, I wouldn't be very picky to start with. After all, when you start, you don't have that much work to choose from, and non-payment are rather rare in our line of work.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Agree with it, but take 15% more and payment in advance Jul 24, 2003

Otherwise you will probably be fooled.

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chinoiseau  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:54
Member
Chinese to French
+ ...
It can be good Jul 25, 2003

I have experience in that matter.
I use to get job from a company specialized in Asian languages. They find clients and dispatch the jobs among their collaborators.
When a client is interested say, for a translation from Chinese into French, I contact the client myself in the name of that company and deal directly with him, quoting the standard price they advertise on their web site ( or a customized price, depending on the nature of the document). When the job is done, the client pay me and I forward 15% commission to them.
If they let you directly receive the payment and their prices suit you, do it.


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izy  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:54
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all very much,.. Jul 25, 2003

all your answers helped a lot to cinvince me not to be too suspicious and I think I will take a bit more than my normal rates, and also tell the client to contact me directly for possible future jobs.
I now got an idea about the text to translate and I'm even more interested, so I think I take it as a first job experience, even with a little risk!

Thank you all again and have a sunny weekend!

Izy


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:24
English to Tamil
+ ...
How was the first experience? Oct 30, 2003

Was the risk taken by you worth it?
Regards,
N.Raghavan
izy wrote:

all your answers helped a lot to cinvince me not to be too suspicious and I think I will take a bit more than my normal rates, and also tell the client to contact me directly for possible future jobs.
I now got an idea about the text to translate and I'm even more interested, so I think I take it as a first job experience, even with a little risk!

Thank you all again and have a sunny weekend!

Izy


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Should I be suspicious of an agency that wants to take a commission of 15% from my payment?

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