100% prepayment
Thread poster: DZiW

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Mar 31, 2010

Hi guys)

I have already created a Russian topic, but probably you also might help)
Ok, I was surfing the Inet, read news, this and that, and found out a cool thing: a CIS translating agency with very flexible approach (not a single relevant number with absolutely 'individual' approach) demands 100% (a hundred percent) of prepayment and makes some arguments about a uniqueness, peculiarity of the good, and so on – simply speaking – about its illiquidity. Also they drive at the fact that if their professional super-workaholics condescended to accept the offer then in a case of refusal an hour, a day or even a week before the appointment they would not be able to re-schedule their time and accept other offers, thus it would be lost profits and blah-blah-blah. I searched the Inet and there're a few more such 100% confederates with 5-10 years of marketing exp.

Frankly speaking I'm a bit at a loss – whether they really care about their translators and reputation or it's something else, ala "100% advance for a pig in a poke"? If there're really people ready to pay in full in advance? Why no translators (at least those I know) don't demand 100% prepayment as a guarantee for their reputation? How acceptable and established this practice is, I wonder? I mean I personally agreed advance no more than 50% (although some clients did pay even more) yet all my clients paid all possible fines without questions even for disputable problems.

Share what you think, plz, what is this philanthropic concern really about? Probably I also should consider demanding some 101% as advance...

Cheers)


 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:28
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I have done it in the past, a number of times Apr 1, 2010

However, I can tell you that it is very stressful for the translator to actually receive 100% of the money in advance. You then owe, in advance, 100% perfection by the deadline, and, if anything goes wrong (your computer breaks down before the deadline, for example), you will feel much worse about it than if you were to be paid normally, 30 days after sending the translation, or whatever your usual terms are.

I know that computers do not break down so regularly, but it would be typical for something to go wrong just on that occasion when you have been paid in advance, therefore being paid 100% in advance causes enormous psychological stress. It was the same once when I had to talk to a very large group of people somewhere (and when I was much younger). I was sitting in a room behind the scenes, preparing for it, and, five minutes before the starting time a person from the committee who had arranged it came in - and paid me in advance, which made me feel very nervous indeed.

I therefore prefer to be paid afterwards, and after I am happy with the job that I have done.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Odd but true Apr 1, 2010

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
However, I can tell you that it is very stressful for the translator to actually receive 100% of the money in advance.


I just wanted to second that. It sounds really odd but it is true.

I work that way with private individuals who want their CVs translated and it does put another layer of obligation on you. However, I don't think there's any other possibility for a private individual where small sums are involved - I can't check their address and credit-worthiness when I'm only charging 30-50 euros.

I certainly wouldn't want to work that way for every job.


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
German to Spanish
+ ...
100% prepayment Apr 1, 2010

DZiW wrote:

Hi guys)

I have already created a Russian topic, but probably you also might help)
Ok, I was surfing the Inet, read news, this and that, and found out a cool thing: a CIS translating agency with very flexible approach (not a single relevant number with absolutely 'individual' approach) demands 100% (a hundred percent) of prepayment and makes some arguments about a uniqueness, peculiarity of the good, and so on – simply speaking – about its illiquidity. Also they drive at the fact that if their professional super-workaholics condescended to accept the offer then in a case of refusal an hour, a day or even a week before the appointment they would not be able to re-schedule their time and accept other offers, thus it would be lost profits and blah-blah-blah. I searched the Inet and there're a few more such 100% confederates with 5-10 years of marketing exp.

Frankly speaking I'm a bit at a loss – whether they really care about their translators and reputation or it's something else, ala "100% advance for a pig in a poke"? If there're really people ready to pay in full in advance? Why no translators (at least those I know) don't demand 100% prepayment as a guarantee for their reputation? How acceptable and established this practice is, I wonder? I mean I personally agreed advance no more than 50% (although some clients did pay even more) yet all my clients paid all possible fines without questions even for disputable problems.

Share what you think, plz, what is this philanthropic concern really about? Probably I also should consider demanding some 101% as advance...

Cheers)


I would not agree to such policiy, nor as client neither as services provider. What if all these promises are false?

I would ask for half the price (this is the minimal business marge I need only to stay in the market, not the benefit) and the other half once the translation job has be done. This way the managerial risk ist the same for both parts, but in any case you will have at least your costs written down.

[Editado a las 2010-04-01 09:12 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Apr 1, 2010

for your answers. It's clear: the higher risks, the higher should be guarantees etc, but the point is those agencies require 100% prepayment on continuing basis with no exclusions for known and unknown clients, at least officially. Also I'm not sure that such 'customer service' is really about their clients and translators or just a marketing trick - "Hey, we are unique! Not as others! We want 100% advance!"

Astrid, I agree that some 50% advance is ok, but *if* you like all terms and you *can* cope with it for sure then why should you feel stressed being paid 100% in advance? I think most workers (including translators & interpreters) do feel more stressed for not being sure they actually will be paid 100%)

Sheila, it's also ok with me to ask for small and/or risky jobs (a few pages) full payment in advance, but it's about 100% prepayment of *all* jobs - $100, $1000, $10'000 etc. Does it prove such agencies to be overassured or something?

Pablo, I would also doubt the one who pays 100% advance for 'something abstract' even before seeing the good. IMO he's either 'careless' or just not a sensible businessmen. Yet may be there're other options?

Ok, any business is a risk, thus it's rarely worth of 100% advance credit IMO...

[Edited at 2010-04-01 10:00 GMT]


 

Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:28
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Different cultural background, phsychology or something else? Apr 1, 2010

...it is very stressful for the translator to actually receive 100% of the money in advance...

...It was the same once when I had to talk to a very large group of people somewhere (and when I was much younger). I was sitting in a room behind the scenes, preparing for it, and, five minutes before the starting time a person from the committee who had arranged it came in - and paid me in advance, which made me feel very nervous indeed.

...

Turned the other way round, imagine a car dealer saying: However, I can tell you that it is very stressful for a car dealer to actually receive 100% of the money in advance. You then owe, in advance, 100% perfection by the deadline, and, if anything goes wrong (your supplier goes bankrupt before the delivery for example), you will feel much worse about it than if you were to be paid normally, 30 days after selling the car, or whatever your usual terms are.

Why on earth are we SO UNSURE OF OURSELVES to grudge about FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS?


 

traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 17:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with you DZiW Apr 4, 2010

[quote]DZiW wrote:

Astrid, I agree that some 50% advance is ok, but *if* you like all terms and you *can* cope with it for sure then why should you feel stressed being paid 100% in advance? I think most workers (including translators & interpreters) do feel more stressed for not being sure they actually will be paid 100%)

I completely agree with you DZIW. After experiencing non-payment, not on one occasion but on quite a few, usually on small amounts, luckily, I must declare I feel much more stressed about working at my best and the client not paying. Unexpected situations that can hinder one's workflow, are things one should always expect, and preview possible backups. Some-one else's computer, an Internet coffee-shop, a colleague that's free, an understanding client.
Even still It has not been rare, specially with Chilean maybe-clients, that ask me to quote the translation of websites, with a an infernal cobweb of files, and after spending too much of my time on that, they disappear. And I'm not THAT EXPENSIVE. When jobs turn scarce, and months go by, that really hurts one's feelings. For me, being paid in advance eliminates one factor of stress, and I can put my efforts in doing a good job in a timeline I feel confortable with, or at least, I can cope with.


 


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