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Prices for customer and agencies
Thread poster: juanpablosans

juanpablosans  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:14
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 3, 2012

Hello,

I would like to know how much your difference is regarding your charge to customers and agencies. Let's suppose that your customer rate is 0.12 so let's say that the agency's one should be 50% of that rate. Am I right?

Thanks


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:14
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
50%??? Apr 3, 2012

My rates are per-project and my discount for agencies is between 10 and 20%...

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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:14
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
No Apr 3, 2012

juanpablosans wrote:
Let's suppose that your customer rate is 0.12 so let's say that the agency's one should be 50% of that rate. Am I right?


Sorry I do disagree with your idea. The rate depends on the service you deliver. If you "just" translate the same text for an end customer or an agency, why should you ask for different rates. The higher rate for end customers is normally based on a different service e. g. proofreading/editing by a 2nd pair of eyes etc.

If you don't offer the end client the same added service a good agency offers, your higher rate for end customers is not justified.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
English to Russian
+ ...
No difference for me Apr 3, 2012

All my clients are clients, be they private individuals or agencies. They order translation. I issue invoices. It takes the same amount of effort, so I charge them equally.

[Edited at 2012-04-03 19:45 GMT]


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
Russian to English
+ ...
* Apr 3, 2012

juanpablosans wrote:

Hello,

I would like to know how much your difference is regarding your charge to customers and agencies. Let's suppose that your customer rate is 0.12 so let's say that the agency's one should be 50% of that rate. Am I right?

Thanks


I don't make any price difference for agencies or direct customers.

Why?


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Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
Very true, but... Apr 3, 2012

Sergei Tumanov wrote:

All my clients are clients, be they private individuals or agencies. They order translation. I issue invoices. It takes the same amount of effort, so I charge them equally.

[Edited at 2012-04-03 17:08 GMT]


I couldn't agree more Sergei, but in my experience not quite attainable. I can charge end-clients around € 0.15 per word (excluding editing), but my highest possible rate to agencies is currently € 0.12 per word (excluding editing), with the exception of rush weekend jobs for which I was able to charge $ 0.20 per target word (EN-DU). It's the agency's profit margin that accounts for the difference.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No difference Apr 3, 2012

No difference at all in my case. I basically charge the same to anyone for the same kind of work. I never understood this difference agency/not agency in the rates.

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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
I wholeheartedly disagree Apr 3, 2012

with all those that charge the same to agencies and end customers.

If you were a manufacturer, would you sell your products at the same price to your direct customers and to your dealers? This would be a very imprudent strategy. The dealers (=agencies in our case) do a lot of work for you - they would run away from you in no time

Or, said in other words, wouldn't you expect the same price (or nearly) if you referred to a translation agency and to a freelance translator? I surely would, if I could expect the same service.

Of course, the work for you is the same, whether you do it for a direct customer or an agency. But then you have to consider e. g. the marketing, that has surely a cost. And the payment risk, which is entirely yours... And so on.

In my experience, (serious!) agencies charge to their customer between 130 and 140% of the translator's rate. The difference is for the service they provide to the translator (marketing and so on) and the payment risk.

N.B. I don't run an agency.


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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:14
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Intermediation costs Apr 3, 2012

Christel Zipfel wrote:

with all those that charge the same to agencies and end customers.

If you were a manufacturer, would you sell your products at the same price to your direct customers and to your dealers? This would be a very imprudent strategy. The dealers (=agencies in our case) do a lot of work for you - they would run away from you in no time

Or, said in other words, wouldn't you expect the same price (or nearly) if you referred to a translation agency and to a freelance translator? I surely would, if I could expect the same service.

Of course, the work for you is the same, whether you do it for a direct customer or an agency. But then you have to consider e. g. the marketing, that has surely a cost. And the payment risk, which is entirely yours... And so on.

In my experience, (serious!) agencies charge to their customer between 130 and 140% of the translator's rate. The difference is for the service they provide to the translator (marketing and so on) and the payment risk.

N.B. I don't run an agency.


I agree, Christel.

When I deal with agencies, I charge them the maximum value the quality of my work warrants (whatever that is) AND the market can bear. When I deal with direct clients, I try to split with the client the savings on the intermediation costs avoided by dealing directly with the professional rather than through an intermediary.

For example, let’s assume that the agency charges to the end-client 20 units per word, of which the agency pays 10 units to the translator and 4 units to the editor. The remaining 6 units go to cover the agency´s expenses (salaries, rental, utilities, insurance, equipment, non-payment risks, etc.) and the agency profits, i.e., the intermediation costs. Through negotiations, I try to split with the end-client those intermediation costs saved. I do not give “discounts” to the agencies as I always try to charge as much as the market bears. Conversely, no agency would split those intermediation costs with the translator or otherwise they would be out of business in no time.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
English to Russian
+ ...
But I am a translator Apr 3, 2012

...
If you were a manufacturer, would you ...


If I were a manufacturer, I would not be a translator...

Happily I am not a manufacturer anymore (I had a shipbroking agency in the past); and I am a translator.
Respectively, I choose my way as a translator.

Comparison between translation and manufacturing worlds is simply inappropriate.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Puzzled! Apr 3, 2012

Christel Zipfel wrote:
If you were a manufacturer, would you sell your products at the same price to your direct customers and to your dealers? This would be a very imprudent strategy. The dealers (=agencies in our case) do a lot of work for you - they would run away from you in no time
...
Of course, the work for you is the same, whether you do it for a direct customer or an agency.

Exactly. The work is the same, and I charge the same. I don't mind whether the customer is a boy or a girl.

You got me totally puzzled.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
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The principle is the same Apr 3, 2012

Sergei Tumanov wrote:

If I were a manufacturer, I would not be a translator...

Happily I am not a manufacturer anymore (I had a shipbroking agency in the past); and I am a translator.
Respectively, I choose my way as a translator.

Comparison between translation and manufacturing worlds is simply inappropriate.


A manufacturer produces and sells goods, a translator produces and sells his/her services. For both apply exactly the same business considerations.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
You forgot to quote the rest of my statement Apr 3, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Christel Zipfel wrote:
If you were a manufacturer, would you sell your products at the same price to your direct customers and to your dealers? This would be a very imprudent strategy. The dealers (=agencies in our case) do a lot of work for you - they would run away from you in no time
...
Of course, the work for you is the same, whether you do it for a direct customer or an agency.

Exactly. The work is the same, and I charge the same. I don't mind whether the customer is a boy or a girl.

You got me totally puzzled.


regarding the expenses and charges of the agency.

[Bearbeitet am 2012-04-03 20:39 GMT]


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
English to Russian
+ ...
I see the difference Apr 3, 2012

To my mind there is some difference between goods and services.

And...

Agency is not a dealer for a translator-service provider.
It's a customer. Corporate customer and I treat is as such.

I could give some discount to this type of customer if I AM guaranteed volumes.
As far as I know, agencies, and especially agencies, DO NOT GUARANTEE any volumes.
Every assignment is a new project. Next project may be given to another translator at any moment.
How come I have to treat them as my dealers?

[Edited at 2012-04-03 20:35 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
So wrong Apr 3, 2012

Christel Zipfel wrote:
A manufacturer produces and sells goods, a translator produces and sells his/her services. For both apply exactly the same business considerations.

To me this is a very wrong analysis. A manufacturer is, by nature, not interested in end customers (they could be hassle to manage) and will naturally sell to distributors, importers, and dealers. Some manufacturers have a special channel for individual customers or even have their own shop at the factory, and then they sell at their cost-prices, i.e. the same price they give their distributors, importers, and dealers, maybe with a little plus to cover the extra administrative when they sell to the consumer.

The goal of a manufacturer selling to the consumer is to increase the rotation of their goods. When they want to sell more, they make some space and put half a dozen more machines in their factory and hire a dozen additional workers.

In the case of us translators, we are craftsmen/craftswomen. Our means of production are the same as any other craftsman: brain, eyes, hands, and time. They are limited commodities, and our goal is to maximize the price we get for our limited production capacity. In consequence, our goal is always to sell at the maximum selling price we can get, no matter who pays it.

Say a cabinetmaker was asked by a large furniture retailer how much discount he would give for the purchase of 200 chests, a whole year's worth of work. Let's say he sold the chests with discount of 30-40-50%. This way, he would be bound to work double as hard to make the same money, as opposed to have to make 100 chests and sell them to individual customers.

A chest takes the time it takes to make, and so does a translation. By selling his/her working time at a much lower rate to agencies, a translator would be as foolish as our cabinetmaker.


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