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Finder's fee
Thread poster: Lany Chabot-Laroche

Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2009)
English to French
Apr 5, 2011

I checked around and didn't see recent or clear answers, so I'm asking again.

What % is a reasonable finder's fee in this industry?

Here is more info, I've been contacted by an agency for a big translation project (around 2 million words) and the agency backed down, but gave me the ok to tell others about the offer.

I know at least 1 agency that might be interested, and I'm wondering how much would be fair to ask and what steps to take to make sure I get what I am promised, what kind of contract do I need?


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:28
German to English
+ ...
What were you promised? Apr 6, 2011

Lany wrote:
Quote: I know at least 1 agency that might be interested, and I'm wondering how much would be fair to ask and what steps to take to make sure I get what I am promised, what kind of contract do I need?
End of quote

What were you promised?


[Edited at 2011-04-06 00:30 GMT]


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2009)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Nothing Apr 6, 2011

I was promised nothing at all, I just learned that the first agency backed down, and I'm wondering how much my info is worth to the second.

By promised, I mean, how can I make sure I get the money when the contract is over and that the agency can't just say they found the client themselves.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
English to German
+ ...
Why was the project turned down by the first agency? Apr 6, 2011

Lemon?

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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2009)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Possibly Apr 6, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lemon?


Well, I didn't get the full RFP, but it's a massive job requiring a full time team of 10-15 people for a couple of months, the agency was pretty small and couldn't handle all the logistics.

Might also be a lemon, I'm not an agency and I don't have all the details right now.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 09:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
In that case ... Apr 6, 2011

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

... I don't have all the details right now.


... what you do have is worth precious little.

MediaMatrix


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
English to German
+ ...
It might not be the volume Apr 6, 2011

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lemon?


Well, I didn't get the full RFP, but it's a massive job requiring a full time team of 10-15 people for a couple of months, the agency was pretty small and couldn't handle all the logistics.

Might also be a lemon, I'm not an agency and I don't have all the details right now.


Any eager freelancer can get a team of colleagues together. There must be a catch. I would keep my name out of any contracts. Also, any further cost-cut (your "finder's fee") will be a prophecy of doom.

How come that you don't take on the project yourself - you want to make money with it, so why not invest a little bit of work?



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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2009)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Not yet Apr 6, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lemon?


Well, I didn't get the full RFP, but it's a massive job requiring a full time team of 10-15 people for a couple of months, the agency was pretty small and couldn't handle all the logistics.

Might also be a lemon, I'm not an agency and I don't have all the details right now.


Any eager freelancer can get a team of colleagues together. There must be a catch. I would keep my name out of any contracts. Also, any further cost-cut (your "finder's fee") will be a prophecy of doom.

How come that you don't take on the project yourself - you want to make money with it, so why not invest a little bit of work?



I would really like to, but I do not have 15 colleagues available full time for several months as well as project managers, DTP professionnals, Web editors and whatnot. I can deal with that for small scale, but not for something of that magnitude, at least not yet


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
English to German
+ ...
Which brings us to the conclusion Apr 6, 2011

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lemon?


Well, I didn't get the full RFP, but it's a massive job requiring a full time team of 10-15 people for a couple of months, the agency was pretty small and couldn't handle all the logistics.

Might also be a lemon, I'm not an agency and I don't have all the details right now.


Any eager freelancer can get a team of colleagues together. There must be a catch. I would keep my name out of any contracts. Also, any further cost-cut (your "finder's fee") will be a prophecy of doom.

How come that you don't take on the project yourself - you want to make money with it, so why not invest a little bit of work?



I would really like to, but I do not have 15 colleagues available full time for several months as well as project managers, DTP professionnals, Web editors and whatnot. I can deal with that for small scale, but not for something of that magnitude, at least not yet




No work, no pay.
"Finder's fees" are paid to honest people who return lost items to their righteous owners.
Then there are the "translation brokers". A particular mutant species who apparently consider themselves God's gift to translatorship by "guaranteeing payment". Which is kind of funny because after all the middlemen took their cuts, you might as well steal your kid's allowance to easily pay the translator at $ 0.001 / word.
I hope you don't consider this your next career move.




Ooops, typo. Edited.

[Edited at 2011-04-06 01:25 GMT]


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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2009)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Stealing money from kids, really? Isn't that a little strong? Apr 6, 2011

So, your advice is that I should let that client find its agency alone, let that agency find its clients alone and just mind my own business?

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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 10:28
French to English
+ ...
Managing projects is a job Apr 6, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Any eager freelancer can get a team of colleagues together. There must be a catch. I would keep my name out of any contracts. Also, any further cost-cut (your "finder's fee") will be a prophecy of doom.

How come that you don't take on the project yourself - you want to make money with it, so why not invest a little bit of work?



I certainly don't think that most people can get 15 people together anytime they wish to. Furthermore, managing projects takes up a lot of time, considerable work, it requires experience, and puts your name on the line.

Nicole: so why not invest a little bit of work?

It sounds like a big understatement in this case.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not sure about this industry Apr 6, 2011

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:
What % is a reasonable finder's fee in this industry?


It really depends on so many factors (size of the job, etc), but for a job of 2 million words, why not ask for 1%? Anyway, since there is no public selling price, you'd still have to rely on the agency's own honesty's to calculate the 1%. A reasonable calculation would be to base that percentage on the amount of money that the end-client pays the agency, but an agency might do anything to save a bit of money, e.g. calculate the finder's fee on the nett instead of the gross.

Some time ago I had to turn down a fairly large project because I could not accept it (for some reason), but I would have been able to accept it if I had gotten the job via another agency, so I suggested to the end-client that he contacts one of my agency clients, and then I told that agency what I had done, and the agency gave me the job (they were not obliged to do so, though, if they thought that they had a better or cheaper translator elsewhere in their list). Sure, they took their cut, but I was not able to take on the work otherwise.

So instead of asking a finder's fee, how about asking that you be one of the translators, at your usual rate?



[Edited at 2011-04-06 07:53 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
English to German
+ ...
Definitely an understatement. Apr 6, 2011

veratek wrote:

I certainly don't think that most people can get 15 people together anytime they wish to. Furthermore, managing projects takes up a lot of time, considerable work, it requires experience, and puts your name on the line.

Nicole: so why not invest a little bit of work?

It sounds like a big understatement in this case.



This is a highly demanding full time job.


We really need some kind of a tongue-in-cheek smiley for our forum.


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:28
German to English
gather offers Apr 6, 2011

Hello Lany,
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable proposition to me. If another translator were to offer me this service (near-acquistion of a major customer), I would certainly be willing to pay for it.

I don't think that you will get any suggestions here, because I think that free-lancers and smaller agencies (such as the one that gave you the go-ahead here) generally do not think in these terms, and big agencies don't post in forums like this.

The only thing that I can think of is to find some suitable providers, explain the situation to them without making an offer of your own, ask for offers (money + conditions), and then accept an offer (or offers, depending on the conditions) or continue to negotiate regarding the best offers.

At the same time, I think that a lot of providers will react in the same way as Nicole, but maybe not, and in some cases it may only be a negotiating device.

"No work, no pay," seems misleading. "No value, no pay," seems more accurate: There can be a big difference. (Although it's irrelevant here: the "finding" described here will end up leading to plenty of work and expenses.)

Sincerely,
Michael


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