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Low rates from outsourcer with good BlueBoard reputation
Thread poster: Bas Oostdijk

Bas Oostdijk  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Feb 19, 2014

So recently I sent a quote for a big project using my usual rates of EUR 0.05/word. I got an email from the client saying they wanted a small test translation. So far so good. Then I went on and read what they offered for the whole project. The effective rate they offered was USD 0.0053/word. I asked for higher rates and apparently the best they could do was USD 0.0066/word, around 10% of my usual rate. I declined the project (a shame, since it seemed interesting), but I couldn't help but wonder: is this normal!? Did this ever happen to you? This really surprised me, especially coming from a client with a good reputation on the Blueboard...

 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:58
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
No correlation Feb 19, 2014

If bottom feeders have no problem getting people to translate for peanuts, they should have no problem getting good BB grades from the same people. All they have to do is pay on time.

What alarms me is your own low rate.


 

Bas Oostdijk  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Fair enough Feb 19, 2014

To be fair it was a rate per character, not per word. Also I just started on this website so I thought it might be better for business to charge a rate that (while not the best I ever got) still pays the bills. What would you consider a better rate?

I guess you're right that good reviews don't mean good rates, but the reviews actually said they had fair rates! I was just wondering if rates such as these are normal? Working for such rates seems almost like slave labour to me...


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Low Feb 19, 2014

The rate they offered is extremely low, as is your own. Be aware you have to pay income tax etc.

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:58
English to German
+ ...
Check this out Feb 19, 2014

Bas Oostdijk wrote:

So recently I sent a quote for a big project using my usual rates of EUR 0.05/word. ...


http://search.proz.com/employers/rates - IMO - and many people will back me up here, these rates - even the average rates - are at the low end of the spectrum for professionals.

Your rate is already extremely low which isn't helping our industry.
As far as the job offer is concerned that you quoted - I rather not write here what I am thinking.

But what does that really tell you = that these people get 5 star ratings here?! You draw your own conclusions.

B


[Edited at 2014-02-19 20:23 GMT]


 

Bas Oostdijk  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proposed rate Feb 19, 2014

I am aware of the taxes I need to pay, don't worry! Seeing as this is not my full-time job at the moment I was willing to work against a lower rate to gather some clients. Seeing as I didn't receive a reply to a large part of my quotes I figured my rates were normal. What rates would you propose? Double? More? I obviously don't want to hurt my own or other people's career by not charging enough!

 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:58
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
I second that Feb 19, 2014

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

If bottom feeders have no problem getting people to translate for peanuts, they should have no problem getting good BB grades from the same people. All they have to do is pay on time.

What alarms me is your own low rate.


You might also want to take a look at this recent thread:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/264349-the_answer_to_how_much_an_agency_charges.html

and this:
http://search.proz.com/employers/rates

Here, at Proz, the standard Japanese to Dutch rate is €0.13/wd, just to give you an idea..

[Edited at 2014-02-19 20:30 GMT]


 

Bas Oostdijk  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 19, 2014

Thanks Bernhard! I saw those rates before when I set up my profile but I was afraid I wouldn't get many assignments using those rates since I don't have a lot of credentials on this website yet. I will definitely reconsider my rates now since I wasn't aware it might be hurting someone.

Edit: Btw, thanks for the quick and honest replies. I appreciate it!



[Edited at 2014-02-19 20:35 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:58
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I got jobs from your country Feb 19, 2014

Bas Oostdijk wrote:

To be fair it was a rate per character, not per word. Also I just started on this website so I thought it might be better for business to charge a rate that (while not the best I ever got) still pays the bills. What would you consider a better rate?

I guess you're right that good reviews don't mean good rates, but the reviews actually said they had fair rates! I was just wondering if rates such as these are normal? Working for such rates seems almost like slave labour to me...


for 3 times your rate!


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 11:58
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
If it's them... Feb 19, 2014

If you're talking about the 1.5 million character JP>EN job that was posted a couple of days ago, you might find it interesting to Google the outsourcer and check their reputation. Let's just say not all of those 5s on the BlueBoard may be genuine and that they're known for their terribly low rates. I didn't bother quoting for the job after doing a little digging around.

[Edited at 2014-02-19 21:55 GMT]


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Serbian to English
+ ...
To be fair it was a rate per character, not per word. Feb 20, 2014

before talking about being fair or unfair, how about about being accurate or making meaningful comparisons?

"apparently the best they could do was USD 0.0066/word" then later you say "it's To be fair it was a rate per character"

Even as a rate per character it's not much, but obviously when compared with rates per word it's going to look far much lower than it is.


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:58
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Are you taking us for a bunch of idiots? Feb 20, 2014

Dear Bas,

What is the aim of this posting? Are you trying to find the optimal rate to underbid your peers in your language pairs? I can tell you right now there are no limits. Only a few days ago I was invited to cooperate with an agency that charges less to their customers than I do. I'm sure they'll love your bottom rates, though. Thank you for publishing them here.

You tell us that you don't want to hurt our careers, and you have seen what your peers charge, because you're a paying member. Still you open with your "usual rates of EUR 0.05/word". As a man of science, how stupid do you think you look in my eyes?

Cheers,
Gerard

Edited: changed pears to peers.

[Edited at 2014-02-20 09:37 GMT]


 

Bas Oostdijk  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Right... Feb 20, 2014

Dear Gerard,

I obviously didn't come here to underbid my "pears". As much as I didn't come here to underbid my 'apples'. I have, however, seen translating as a side-job until now and am considering a serious career in it. Therefore I came to the forums for genuine advice instead of snide comments about my posts or rates. I obviously aggravated you, for which I am sorry. However, as a man of science, I'd prefer remaining professional even in case I disagree with something someone else does or says.

Cheers,
Bas


[Edited at 2014-02-20 02:04 GMT]


 

felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:58
German to Slovenian
+ ...
Not every good BB outsourcer Feb 20, 2014

is actually good but one needs to research other sources too.
I would just like to warn you about gathering clients with your current rate. You will surely get them but raising rates afterwards is not easy (if not impossible). You will be able to raise the rates you set at the beginning of a business relationship by max. 1 cent and even for that the client/agency will need a good reason. Think about it.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Bas Feb 20, 2014

Bas Oostdijk wrote:
I just started on this website so I thought it might be better for business to charge a rate that (while not the best I ever got) still pays the bills.


This is a common mistake made by new-comers, and you can't be blamed for making this mistake. You should not charge much less than full-time, experienced, highly trained translators, even if you're a part-time, relatively inexperienced beginner. If you charge much lower rates, your colleagues will experience your actions as undercutting (even if your intentions are good).


 
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