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Selling TM - price?
Thread poster: Alexandra Bühler

Alexandra Bühler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
English to German
+ ...
Sep 27, 2010

Dear colleagues,
Do you have any idea what I can charge in case of selling a TM to a customer?
You can also send me a private message if you don't want to post your answer in this forum.
Thanks a lot,
Alexandra


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Insufficient information Sep 27, 2010

In my opinion, for a better judgement we would need information like the following:
- How big is the memory
- What language pair
- What specialty (is it a very specific thing, a more general thing...)
- How much research did you invest in creating the memory
- How confident are you about the quality of the contents (i.e. it is exclusively your work, or does it contain alignments from materials you did not do yourself?)

I think there are other considerations here:-
- Who is the owner of the texts stored in your TM? Did you create this TM in the course of your work for one or several customers other than the customer who wants to buy the memory? Or is the whole contents of the memory from work for the customer who wants to buy the memory now?

- Are you 100% sure that the owners of the texts contained in the TM will be happy if they find out that you sold this to a third person? Did you ask them for permission to do so? In selling your TM, are you violating any copyright rights or other rights or infringing your obligation of confidentiality?

[Edited at 2010-09-27 20:19 GMT]


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Alexandra Bühler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Additional infos Sep 27, 2010

Language pair: EN-DE
Units: 30000
Technical
Exclusively my work, I created it for the customer's translations (it's the customer who wants to buy this TM)


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
An idea Sep 27, 2010

I see! Hm... It is a very difficult question indeed. Since the customer could easily align your translations anyway, you might want to charge an amount that would make it more reasonable to buy the memory from you.

Assuming that the memory could contain (just a very quick estimate) some 300,000 words, and that careful alignment of that amount of words can take some 7-8 days of work, I'd say it might be wise to charge them the equivalent of some 70-80 hours at your usual rate.

There is another factor to consider. How come does the customer want the memory now in your opinion? Have they stopped/do they plan to stop using your services?


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Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:36
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
just a matter of alignment Sep 27, 2010

Alexandra Bühler wrote:

Language pair: EN-DE
Units: 30000
Technical
Exclusively my work, I created it for the customer's translations (it's the customer who wants to buy this TM)


So the customer has the source (their own texts) and the target texts (your translation for them). All the customer needs is alignment and some time to make it right. That said, I guess a fair price would be the charge for the time needed to align those 30000 units. Just take a couple of documents and note the time it took you to align them. Thus you can make a rough assessment of how much your TM is worth for this particular customer. This way, you'll justify your charge and there will be no hard feelings between you (:

You can also tell them they can technically create this TM themselves.

[Edited at 2010-09-27 21:02 GMT]


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:36
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
it's simple Sep 27, 2010

Alexandra Bühler wrote:

Dear colleagues,
Do you have any idea what I can charge in case of selling a TM to a customer?
You can also send me a private message if you don't want to post your answer in this forum.
Thanks a lot,
Alexandra


Your per word rate * number of source words in TM = price.

You could give a 10% bulk discount though.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not acceptable Sep 28, 2010

Alexander Onishko wrote:
Your per word rate * number of source words in TM = price.
You could give a 10% bulk discount though.

I'm sorry, but this is something the customer will never accept. Paying twice for the same thing? Then they'll align it, and they will have their memory whithout Alexandra receiving a penny.


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Alexandra Bühler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Alignment not possible Sep 28, 2010

Customer can't do alignment because I worked with converted Framemaker files (they send Framemaker, I convert into rtf and send Framemaker back), by the way, I don't think they have the means to do alignments...

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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:36
English to Polish
+ ...
LOL Sep 28, 2010

Alexander Onishko wrote:

Your per word rate * number of source words in TM = price.

You could give a 10% bulk discount though.


Talk about bad advice! Even if she did have the leverage (and the client couldn't align) to demand this, what kind of message would that send to the client?

Alexandra Bühler wrote:

Customer can't do alignment because I worked with converted Framemaker files (they send Framemaker, I convert into rtf and send Framemaker back), by the way, I don't think they have the means to do alignments...


If there is anyone that can do it, they can do it. Depending on how much you quote, they can hire someone (a translator, for instance) to align the texts.

Assume they can. From an economic standpoint, if they don't buy it, you get zero and they have to pay for alignment. Thus, under this assumption, the price should be somewhere between zero and the cost of having it aligned (by you or anybody else), which should also include the hassle necessary to arrange everything as opposed to simply buying the TM.

Note that there is probably no active market for this database, hence it's not like you have options. If they say "no,", your only other option is EUR 0.00. I don't mean to be negative or anything — this might just be the simple reality. Whatever you get for the database, it's your value added. Whatever they pay below the cost of having it aligned, it's their value added.

[Edited at 2010-09-28 07:55 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't be so sure! Sep 28, 2010

Alexandra Bühler wrote:
Customer can't do alignment because I worked with converted Framemaker files (they send Framemaker, I convert into rtf and send Framemaker back), by the way, I don't think they have the means to do alignments...

They can any time save the FrameMaker files to MIF and use a tool other than Trados (for instance MemoQ) to align the files in MIF format. From that moment on, they can use that memory to translate MIF files directly instead of going the old Trados way with S-Tagger etc. etc.

They can also find someone who can align the files for them.

If they want to do it, they'll find a way! In my opinion, you want to offer them the memory at a price that makes sense to them and does not trigger the wish to save money by aligning.


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:36
German to Spanish
+ ...
Selling TM - price? Sep 28, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I see! Hm... It is a very difficult question indeed. Since the customer could easily align your translations anyway, you might want to charge an amount that would make it more reasonable to buy the memory from you.

Assuming that the memory could contain (just a very quick estimate) some 300,000 words, and that careful alignment of that amount of words can take some 7-8 days of work, I'd say it might be wise to charge them the equivalent of some 70-80 hours at your usual rate.

There is another factor to consider. How come does the customer want the memory now in your opinion? Have they stopped/do they plan to stop using your services?



Hi Tomás: I believe you do not have to think hard to know why a customer wants to buy a memory.

So, as we say in Spain: without a Paddle («de pérdidos al río» by mean of Google Translator... ). Sorry, I would have said out of the frying pan, into the fire....



[Edited at 2010-09-28 08:18 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Asked several times Sep 28, 2010

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
There is another factor to consider. How come does the customer want the memory now in your opinion? Have they stopped/do they plan to stop using your services?

Hi Tomás: I believe you do not have to think hard to know why a customer wants to buy a memory.

Actually this is a matter that has come up several times.

Not long ago a customer of mine (a quality European agency) was asked for the memories for all languages. It was the first time the agency faced such a request and they asked me about it. I said that I would give them (I mean my customer) the memory for free, and that they might want to show a cooperative spirit and give the memories to the end customer for free.

The reasoning is simple: What I sell to my agency customer is my expertise in translating their materials to the end customer's satisfaction. If the end customer feels that they cannot afford this expertise or they don't want it anymore for some other reason... what's the use of holding on to the memory?

Another major customer asked for the memories and I supplied them at no cost, but they only wanted reassurance that they had a copy in case something happened to/with me. Cooperation with them continues very happily and in full force despite the fact that they have copies of the memory.

I am very interested in knowing that the situation is in Alexandra's case.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
French to English
Listen to this man.... :-) Sep 28, 2010

For he speaketh the truth. In my opinion of the most humble kind.

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz wrote:

From an economic standpoint, if they don't buy it, you get zero and they have to pay for alignment. Thus, under this assumption, the price should be somewhere between zero and the cost of having it aligned (by you or anybody else), which should also include the hassle necessary to arrange everything as opposed to simply buying the TM.

Note that there is probably no active market for this database, hence it's not like you have options. If they say "no,", your only other option is EUR 0.00. I don't mean to be negative or anything — this might just be the simple reality. Whatever you get for the database, it's your value added. Whatever they pay below the cost of having it aligned, it's their value added.


I was going to say the same thing. The best price you can hope for (theoretically) is one penny less than the cost to them of going elsewhere to get the stuff aligned. Not overlooking, of course, the cost to them of searching, finding, negotiating, etc. as well as the bill they receive from whoever provides the service. And the lowest price you should charge is the time spent on providing the service to them (including admin, starting and reading threads on forums, etc.).

All other things being equal, and assuming this is effectively the end of your relatonship with them as a translator, I would charge a decent, professional sounding hourly rate (€50+) and make sure I don't underestimate the time spent.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 11:36
French to Dutch
+ ...
I'm just in this case Sep 28, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

The reasoning is simple: What I sell to my agency customer is my expertise in translating their materials to the end customer's satisfaction. If the end customer feels that they cannot afford this expertise or they don't want it anymore for some other reason... what's the use of holding on to the memory?


Not only I am selling the expertise in translating the customer's material, but I am also the one who is organized. I know that the customer can align (theoretically), I know that the customer can "use" the memory for the reasons he want to (for instance, having a stagiair translating the files), but if he wants my knowledge of the subject, my way to use this memory and my way to be organized, he will have to come back. It's a bit a gambling game, but it works fine.

For instance, give the same memory to an experienced translator and a beginner, and I am sure you don't get the same result. I am astonished to see that most people even don't know what is Context search (or Concordance), coherence in terminology, understanding of the subject and false friends, just to mention some issues.

Back to the subject, I would ask a symbolical price, something between 0 and the cost of having it aligned, indeed. But don't forget that alignment is very quick these days.


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:36
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
* Sep 30, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Alexander Onishko wrote:
Your per word rate * number of source words in TM = price.
You could give a 10% bulk discount though.

I'm sorry, but this is something the customer will never accept. Paying twice for the same thing? Then they'll align it, and they will have their memory whithout Alexandra receiving a penny.


Well... if it's the same job really... I mean if the TM comprises only the job you did for them and were paid in full... then you can give them 50 % discount on the prices I quoted above.

[Edited at 2010-09-30 18:33 GMT]


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