Translator rates vs. Agency rates
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:40
Member (2008)
French to English
Jan 15, 2010

One statistical tool available on this site is the chart of rates translators have reported that they charge.

What I would like to know is how does that compare to what agencies are charging for selling our work? How much margin do they allow (or get) for such things as editing and revision, marketing and sales costs, overhead, reserve for bad debts (the ones that do make provision for bad debts, rather than not paying their translator), their own profit margin, etc. Does anyone know if this information is available anywhere?


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:40
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
ask for a quote option Jan 15, 2010

Many translation agencies offer an online automatic quote so you can look around. My guess is that most agencies pass to freelancers 30-60% of what they get from the client.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Search the forums... Jan 15, 2010

John Fossey wrote:
What I would like to know is how does that compare to what agencies are charging for selling our work?


Previous discussions include:
http://www.proz.com/forum/being_independent/7725-agency_makes_35_profit.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/42865-what_is_the_standard_profit_margin_of_an_agency_on_a_project_outsourced_to_a_freelancer.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/81469-purpose_of_an_agency.html

Stanislaw Czech wrote:
My guess is that most agencies pass to freelancers 30-60% of what they get from the client.


I would be greatly surprised if an agency can survive on anything less than 100%. Unless business is brisk, clients are easy to find, and local taxes are low.


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jaymin
Canada
Local time: 00:40
Member (2009)
German to Korean
+ ...
interesting topic... Jan 15, 2010

Is it true that agencies are turning to find freelancers to reduce their cost?

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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:40
Member (2008)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Margin vs. markup Jan 15, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Stanislaw Czech wrote:
My guess is that most agencies pass to freelancers 30-60% of what they get from the client.


I would be greatly surprised if an agency can survive on anything less than 100%. Unless business is brisk, clients are easy to find, and local taxes are low.


Aren't we talking two different measures here - margin vs. markup?

What agencies pass on to their service providers is related to their margin. In other words, an agency that passes 60% of their sale price to their translator is running at a gross profit margin of 40%. They can't pass on, or keep, 100%.

Whereas, an agency that adds 100% of the freelancer's charge to arrive at their sale price (in other words, a 100% markup) is operating at a gross profit margin of 50% - they are passing on 50% of what they get from the client.

[Edited at 2010-01-15 14:37 GMT]


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Translator rates vs. Agency rates

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