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Do you charge a minimum for very small jobs?
Thread poster: Stephanie Ezrol

Stephanie Ezrol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:50
Member (2009)
English
+ ...
Oct 12, 2009

I am wondering if there a standard practice a charging a minimum fee for very small jobs? I am new to freelance translating. In other fields with which I am familiar there are minimum fees of say 10, 15 or 25 dollars. Is there any such practice in freelance translating? Or do you bill out a very small amounts at time like $8.00 or something like that?

I understand that the field of freelance translating is a bit of a "free for all," but if anyone has any wisdom to share, I would be very appreciative.


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:50
Member (2007)
English to Italian
No charge for very (very) small jobs Oct 12, 2009

Such as little additions (up to 25-50 words) to project I've been working on. Other than that I charge a fixed fee for jobs up to 250 words.

Gianni


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:50
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
One hour Oct 12, 2009

at my hourly rate is my minimum charge for discrete translation jobs.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:50
Member
English to Turkish
Depends Oct 12, 2009

My minimum fee equals my rate for one hour, which roughly equals 300 source words. But I don't charge a minimum for small additions on an ongoing -or completed- project. I am also usually reluctant to charge a minimum for clients whom I invoice regularly, so I just add the amount on the invoice total instead.

As a rule of thumb, you can consider one hour's fee for a minimum rate.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends Oct 12, 2009

Do you mean small jobs for regular customers?

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Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
hourly rate Oct 12, 2009

I also apply my hourly rate as a minimum fee for small jobs, unless it's a very small update to a completed job or a favour for a regular client.

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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:50
French to Italian
+ ...
Same Oct 12, 2009

Definitely yes, I charge the amount of 1 page for jobs smaller than 300 words.

Of course, if a very good client asks me to translate "Merry Christmas" for his cards once a year, I do it free.

Giulia


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 14:50
English to Russian
+ ...
depends Oct 12, 2009

If it's a project in and of itself - than yes, I do.

If it is an addition or correction to another project I am working on, or if it is a "quick question" from a regular client - then I don't. As long as it's really "quick" or "small", because some such "small" jobs can be a real pain.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 16:50
Spanish
+ ...
It depends Oct 12, 2009

For a new client, yes. For regular clients, if the job is too small, I don't. If it will take me more than 10 or 15 minutes, I do.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:50
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Oct 12, 2009

I do not operate a minimum charge. I will happily charge as little as one euro if that is what the work merits. On the other hand, if somebody wants to know the meaning of a single word or a very short sentence, I usually just tell them free of charge.

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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Same here... Oct 12, 2009

Claudia Alvis wrote:

For a new client, yes. For regular clients, if the job is too small, I don't. If it will take me more than 10 or 15 minutes, I do.


I also charge when these small additions accumulate and I get the feeling that the client is "abusing the system".


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Stephanie Ezrol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:50
Member (2009)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do mean a new job not corrections Oct 12, 2009

Thanks to everyone for replying. I did mean to indicate that I was talking about a new job, not corrections to an old job.

I am also asking in terms of new clients who are looking for job bids.


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
At least one hour Oct 12, 2009

stephani wrote:

Thanks to everyone for replying. I did mean to indicate that I was talking about a new job, not corrections to an old job.

I am also asking in terms of new clients who are looking for job bids.



Even if it is a very short text, you have to spend time on your accounting/invoicing/etc. I would say that you should charge, at least, for one hour of your time.

I always charge a fixed minimum for very small jobs. From 125 € to some direct clients to as low as 25 € for some agencies.

[Edited at 2009-10-12 16:07 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:50
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
at one euro, you're paying for the pleasure Oct 12, 2009

Tim Drayton wrote:

I do not operate a minimum charge. I will happily charge as little as one euro if that is what the work merits.


But, surely, once you've prepared the invoice, sent it, chased it if necessary, paid any bank charges, ... you'll be well out of pocket.

You must at the very least break even.


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:50
Danish to English
Not necessarily Oct 12, 2009

An agency once approached me with a very little job. It was like ten minutes, so I just did it and sent it back, for free. Now I have steady, continuous, well paid work from this agency. It was the best investment I ever made.
Now, when I get small jobs, I just add them up, and invoice them once a month, at least for this agency.
Otherwise I rarely do free work for anyone. I am certain that these so called "tests" that we are often asked to do is just an underhanded way to get a large job done by a multitude of translators, for free. I have never received any work based on a "test", and would no longer even consider doing one.
I think every translator has to call this shot based on their own judgement and gut feeling.


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