Do outsourcers keep track of rates quoted by freelancer applicants?
Thread poster: Anil Gidwani

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2009

When bidding for a job on ProZ, the rates quoted by any bidder are stored in the ProZ jobs database ad infinitum, and both freelancers and outsourcers can access this information at any time.

But when an application is made to an outsourcer in other ways, say through a Web form, or directly via e-mail, do outsourcers keep track of this information for each applicant, and if so, for how long?

Those of us who use Translation Office 3000 know you can use it to keep track of prices (though not historic prices) for each outsourcer, even if a bid/application has not led to an actual job. This information comes in handy in unexpected ways, for example, knowing what to quote to another agency in the same country for a translation in the same subject domain (being just one of them).

In similar vein, knowing whether an outsourcer has tracked your rates in any bids/applications can turn out to be useful in various ways (I'd rather not go into any here). I'm not talking about invoiced jobs here, where the freelancer's rates are specifically known to the client as part of their record.

Of course, a freelancer has to deal with far fewer outsourcers than vice versa, and it's much easier for a freelancer to build such a database than vice versa.

It would be interesting to know if outsourcers keep track of rates quoted by freelancer applicants.





[Edited at 2009-06-24 15:15 GMT]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No, I do not keep track Jun 24, 2009

I do not even think it is legal to keep information about people, unless they specifically ask to be added to the supplier database.

I have outsourced quite a lot of jobs in the past, but I did not keep any information about applicants' rates, not even anonymously. It has always been so variable. I never suggest a rate for the job, but leave people to bid. On average, I get the full range of offers, from 5 cents per word or even less to 15 cents per word. I generally accept an offer in the 10 to 12 cent range. I remember both the quality of work and the price of whoever did the job for me, and notice if the rate changes the next time, however I have no interest in the rates of those to whom I did not give the work.


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Well even if they don't keep track Jun 24, 2009

they are very unlikely to forget previous applications and in their business knowledge of available and reasonable rates is necessary, so you may be sure that they are perfectly aware of going rates for each language pair even though not necessarily your particular quote made two years ago

Another situation is when you send your CV - from my experience agencies tend to keep CVs for at least 6 months and are likely to check them for rates before offering a job.

At least that is what I would expect

Cheers
Stanislaw


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Radica Schenck  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:56
English to Macedonian
+ ...
some do indeed Jun 25, 2009

One agency asked me to quote on a project, which I did.

Then they said the rates I'd offered were slightly higher than the rates they had on file for my profile.

I had to explain that I'd supplied that information some 4 years earlier. : )

[Bearbeitet am 2009-06-25 23:26 GMT]


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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Keeping historical data not a trivial task Jun 26, 2009

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

I do not even think it is legal to keep information about people, unless they specifically ask to be added to the supplier database.



I'm not sure about that, Astrid. Maintaining information in a private database should be perfectly okay. Selling information maintained in a private database, such as e-mail ids of freelancers, may be illegal, of course (but then spam artists flourish nevertheless!).

However I have no interest in the rates of those to whom I did not give the work.


That's what I would have guessed is true for most outsourcers. Keeping a historical database with a history of quotes made by any given freelancer who is not awarded a job would be a monumental task in itself.


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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Precisely why keeping track of bids is important Jun 26, 2009

Radica Schenck wrote:

One agency asked me to quote on a project, which I did.

Then they said the rates I'd offered were slightly higher than the rates they had on file for my profile.

I had to explain that I'd supplied that information some 4 years earlier. : )

[Bearbeitet am 2009-06-25 23:26 GMT]


And that is one of the reasons for raising this issue!

When we start out as freelancers, many of us have little idea of what to bid, and trial-and-error drives our quoting decisions. Years down the road, we may interact with the same outsourcer, and our quotes, being market-driven by this time, would have been revised (usually upwards!). That's when our earlier indiscretions can come back to bite us!

Having said that, it is much easier for freelancers to keep track of their bids/price quotations, since we interact with a much smaller universe of outsourcers. TO3000 offers a limited set of features for doing so (the 'Quotes' feature permits historical bids to be tracked, but TO3000 cannot handle direct price quotations quite as well).


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