How many of you have made this mistake?!?
Thread poster: Sylvia Smith
Sylvia Smith  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
French to English
Aug 31, 2005

Hello all,

I'm relatively new at freelancing, and today I made an error that some of you are probably familiar with...

I quoted a price before taking a good look at all the work that would be involved. Now I see I could have quoted a higher rate. Oh well, live and learn, baptism by fire I suppose.

Nice to have a community to share this with!

Kind regards,

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Hope it wasn't a big job! Sep 1, 2005

I'm sure we've all done it... Just as we're getting a teeny bit confident! I hope it wasn't a big job and a big loss.

What's important is to make sure you can keep the deadline or, if you do get a nasty surprise, that you tell the client or agency at once.

Often they are very understanding, if you are in real trouble, not just being difficult. Sometimes they can actually help solve the problem. But if clients have to rearrange their programme because of late delivery, they need notice!

Even if they can't help, they can see how hard you are trying, and perhaps avoid similar problems another time.

Happy translating!

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once Sep 1, 2005

I wonder who hasn't done this... once. Consider the money lost as tuition in a course in the University of Life.

A further tip along the same lines: besides not setting a final price, I've learned never to set a delivery deadline until I have the text in hand. Also, if confirmation of the job is in doubt, the deadline is set when I've received confirmation, or the text, whichever happens later.

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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Member (2002)
+ ...
Fixing deadlines Sep 2, 2005

Hi Sylvia,

I think most of us has done this mistake

In addition to the good tips and hints already given here, when making quote I always mention "working days", meaning Monday till Friday and nothing else. If you just mention days, clients might start counting all days, including weekend.

So if a client gives you a give job on Friday morning, processing time 4 working days, delivery is fixed for Wednesday (and not Monday).

Kind regards

Erik Hansson
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
ProZ profile

[Edited at 2005-09-02 06:53]

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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
+ ...
"It's only 2,500 words.... Nothing too technical..." Sep 2, 2005

You will often hear agencies say this as they offer you a piece of work over the phone. After being burned a few times, I NEVER agree to do a job unless I have seen it.

The quote above usually means it is actually closer to 4,000 words and it is full of highly technical terms that will take you hours to find - even using KudoZ!

Good luck in your new profession!

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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 18:44
English to Russian
If we can't negotiate we wither and die (c) Vincent Benedict, "Twins" Sep 4, 2005

Sylvia Smith wrote: I quoted a price before taking a good look at all the work that would be involved. Now I see I could have quoted a higher rate. Oh well, live and learn, baptism by fire I suppose.

I made this mistake a few times. I went to the PM and re-negotiated the rates providing solid grounds for my demands (once the TM was machine-translated, for example). A good agency will never force you beyond the limits, athough they are not charities either.

Stay well and best of luck

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