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My rate for you is higher -- would you (a client) accept that?
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Aug 2, 2010

G'day everyone (particularly clients or outsourcers)

This question is similar to my previous question.

If you were a client or an outsourcer who visited my web site or profile page, and you noticed that I offer lower rates to clients from other countries, would that fact alone make you less eager to make use of my services? Would you be offended by the fact that I charge clients from your country a higher rate? Would it prejudice you against my services in any way?

If you had to choose between me and another translator who offered the same rate as I do and whose suitability for the job was more or less the same as mine, and you noticed that I offer a lower rate to clients from certain other countries, would that fact alone cause you to prefer the other translator instead?

Is there a specific wording that would make lower rates to low-rate countries more acceptable for you, if the low-rate countries aren't mentioned specifically (e.g. "my lower rate for developing countries is X" or "my lower rate for third-world countries is X")?

Thanks
Samuel




[Edited at 2010-08-02 11:10 GMT]


 

Vitals  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:02
Member (2008)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
I would not Aug 2, 2010

Hi,

I would not be offended to see that you offer a better price for my country.

F.e. every country has its tax system, where work with overseas is being encouraged in some countries, whereas it is being discouraged in others. As a client I would probably look at it only from this side.

All the best,
VS


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:02
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No Aug 2, 2010

If I were an agency I'd only be interested in whether or not you are a really good translator.

If you prove to me that you're really good and also reliable and professional, and if I like you, but you are more expensive than others, I might keep you on my database and hire you occasionally for those special translating jobs that require real skill.

Price is not the criterion. It' s quality that counts. So quoting different rates for different countries may have no bearing on what the outsourcer is looking for.


 

Dragomir Kovacevic  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:02
Italian to Serbian
+ ...
let's put it upside down Aug 2, 2010

If Samuel or Dragomir turn back to their native country for a 5 months+29 days period (less than half of the year, just enough in order not to be considered as living abroad), or if Samuel or Dragomir go back to their native country and transfer the business there, where the living costs are (relativelly) lower, would those two guys accept new bids with lower tariffs, from the same, previous clients? Would they propose lower tariffs by themselves?

Salud, Dicon_smile.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Dragomir Aug 2, 2010

Dragomir Kovacevic wrote:
If Samuel or Dragomir turn back to their native country for a 5 months+29 days period ... would those two guys accept new bids with lower tariffs, from the same, previous clients?


I don't think this is relevant to my question. My question is not whether or not it would make sense to have higher rates for clients in certain countries, but whether clients in those countries would act prejudiced about it.

Try to think of the question irregardless of where the translator is situated or where his target language is spoken.



[Edited at 2010-08-02 12:32 GMT]


 

xxxNMR
France
Local time: 01:02
French to Dutch
+ ...
My rate for you is higher -- would you (a client) accept that? Aug 2, 2010

No. I wouldn't like that. Nothing cultural, but I would feel slightly cheated. How can someone ask for more (than indicated on his own website, for instance) if there are no supplementary services (like DTP, for instance) to be rendered?

 

Morten Narboe  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:02
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Maybe Aug 2, 2010

In this situation, I would probably find it odd that I'm paying more because I'm based in a high-cost country. That doesn't sound like something that should influence the price. What matters is where the service provider is located and I suppose where the end market is located. I certainly don't offer a country discount - I can't pay "high cost country" bills with "low cost country" rates. In fact, even if I re-located to a "low-income/cost" country, I'd still charge the same rates.

I would probably move on and check other suppliers if I was looking for a translator and found this rate scheme. I don't think I wouldn't be offended, though, but wouldn't want to pay more than others for the same job.

HOWEVER. This is all from my perspective of being based in a high-cost country. Let's turn the perspective around a bit. If I was already in a low-income country with a suitable language combination charging suitably low rates, would I try to charge more from buyers in high cost countries than from local buyers? Well, that's another matter altogether. But I would probably not announce it to the clients, or they might be put off!

This is of course a hypothetical situation.

And to elaborate a bit. If I'm already charging rates suitable for a high-income country, lowering my rates for specific countries must be a bad idea. It then sounds like more and more translation work will be outsourced to those agencies because they get the same quality work done for less money, meaning you'll be doing more and more work at those low rates, shooting yourself in the foot in the process. I would never want to contribute to that. If a client wants to save money by buying low-cost translations from India, they should get low-cost quality.

But again, this could change with your perspective.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@NMR Aug 2, 2010

NMR wrote:
I wouldn't like that. Nothing cultural, but I would feel slightly cheated.


Your response is perfectly logical. But let me ask you, would you feel less cheated if the wording on my web site or profile page was something like "discounts given to clients from developing countries" or "lower rates considered for clients from low-income countries"? Or would that not make a difference?


 

Morten Narboe  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:02
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Yes Aug 2, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

NMR wrote:
I wouldn't like that. Nothing cultural, but I would feel slightly cheated.


Your response is perfectly logical. But let me ask you, would you feel less cheated if the wording on my web site or profile page was something like "discounts given to clients from developing countries" or "lower rates considered for clients from low-income countries"? Or would that not make a difference?



I realize I'm not MNR, but for me, that wording sounds a lot better. Maybe not logical, because the result is the same, but it does sound better.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Morten Aug 2, 2010

Morten Narboe wrote:
I would probably move on and check other suppliers if I was looking for a translator and found this rate scheme. I don't think I wouldn't be offended, though, but wouldn't want to pay more than others for the same job.


Would it change the way you feel if my web site or profile page offered a lower rate for certain types of clients based on non-geographic criteria, e.g. whether the client is a for-profit or a non-profit organisation?


 

xxxNMR
France
Local time: 01:02
French to Dutch
+ ...
Sounds better, but say it in a more diplomatic way please Aug 2, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

NMR wrote:
I wouldn't like that. Nothing cultural, but I would feel slightly cheated.


Your response is perfectly logical. But let me ask you, would you feel less cheated if the wording on my web site or profile page was something like "discounts given to clients from developing countries" or "lower rates considered for clients from low-income countries"? Or would that not make a difference?


Formulation is important here. Something neutral like "Discounts limited to parties located in some countries. " Just like the software we use bothicon_wink.gif But for translators, the principle seems strange to me. Are you really willing to attract more business from low-cost countries?

Besides, a discount should stay an exception to a general rule. It is something which is granted, as a favour, or for commercial reasons.

[Modifié le 2010-08-02 13:06 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
On why I'm willing to accept lower rates Aug 2, 2010

NMR wrote:
Are you really willing to attract more business from low-cost countries?


Translators in some language combinations can afford to say no to all low-paying jobs because there are enough high-paying jobs in their language combination to fill the entire month, and so accepting low-paying jobs would mean reducing their total income. I have a rarer language combination, so my work load tends to be a combination of high-paying and low-paying jobs. If I say no to all the low-paying jobs, my total income would actually be less, not more.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Staying professional Aug 2, 2010

Samuel, I don't get your point, so let's reverse it. Imagine this:
My rates are always the same, however I'll deliver you higher quality because you are in perfectionist Zurich, or I'll deliver you quicker turnaround because you are in fast-paced New York.


Or this:
I'll deliver you lower quality because you are in Sierra Leone, or slower service because you are in Papeete.


To me, neither any sense.

Nevertheless, I will adopt a higher rate if a client wants (or is known to practice, in spite of whatever is agreed) a longer payment term, wants to use a significantly more expensive payment method, or has time requirements that will cause significant disruption to my schedule.

I wouldn't base my rates on the client's geographic location. If I did, I might wind up taking jobs from my next-door neighbor via an agency located in a low-cost country. However I will lower my rates on specific jobs - regardless of client location - where deadlines are lax, i.e. the sooner, the better, but no specific due date. This allows me to use such jobs (most often books) as "fillers" between higher-paying ones.

IMHO, seen from where we - translators - stand, we are not selling translation services, but instead we are selling [u]our time spent in doing them[/i] (plus the use of any equipment/services we need for that). As all of us have the same 24 hours per day, wherever we are, it's a matter of selling as many of these hours as expensively as we can. Whatever is left unsold, since we can't save these remaining hours for another day, we can sell them cheaper and cheaper, or even give away for free, unless we have a better use for them, self-maintenance included


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@José Aug 2, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Samuel, I don't get your point, so let's reverse it.


I understand that there are many ways to look at the reverse or potential reverse situation from what I describe in my first post, but they have been discussed over and over in these forums, and everyone has their own opinion about why it does or doesn't make sense. My question in this thread is whether you as an outsourcer would act in a prejudicial way if you know that my usual rate (before negotiations) for you is higher purely because you are in a certain country.

We ... are selling our time spent in doing [translations]... Whatever is left unsold ... we can sell them cheaper and cheaper...


Exactly. Selling surplus time increases the income, even if the surplus is sold at a lower rate. And because of my particular language combination, I tend to have more surplus than translators in more popular language combinations. Such other translators can afford to deal with surplus on an if-and-when ad hoc basis, but I need to deal with my surplus on a managed basis.


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:02
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Will they ever know? Aug 2, 2010

The important question is: will the rates be published on your site? If they are, then some clients will always make the comparison and will feel, indeed, cheated - nobody wants to pay "more".

If the rate are undisclosed, I'd rather avoid the issue of differences at all and just hint at "lower countries" clients that they are getting a special treatment (because they are great, of course, not because of their location). In fact, you might write something to the effect "rates are always negotiable" and simply be much more flexible with those clients (or start from a lower ceiling).


 
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