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your best rate ...... your very best rate
Thread poster: EdithK

EdithK  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 21:29
Member
Gaelic to German
+ ...
Mar 9, 2014

Hi everyone

When looking at the job posts, I oftentimes find these two expressions. What do you think of them? I personally feel upon reading these two expressions that I have no interest whatsoever in sending a quote. Are these outsourcers just interested in the cheapest quote? Or are they possibly also interested in quality and/or experience?

I am interested to hear your opions.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 14:29
German to English
+ ...
It's n/a Mar 9, 2014

Often "best rates" queries are fishing for low rates, which means they are probably not good customers. It also shows a misperception, with an assumption that we want to compete based on low price. I simply tell them my rate. When I go to my accountant or dentist, they give me their rate. The local grocery store, otoh, may have a special price for bananas to lure us into the store against their competitors, and then we buy other things. Translators don't sell bananas.

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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 22:29
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Two Rates Story Mar 9, 2014

I do not have two separate rates for such customers. I have only one rate in USD. Actually, I have one rate in USD and another one in Turkish lira but that is about it. When they ask about my rate, I give them either one or the other, depending upon the language they use. My rate is not negotiable. If they do not like my rate, they have 100 % freedom to choose someone else.

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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
I dislike it totally Mar 9, 2014

Hi Edith,

Me too, I hate these expressions in job postings. I always wonder – very best rate? How many rates should one have, at least 5 or 10 to be able to choose from within a wide range of rates and offer the best one, like in a store? Without stating anything, the outsources could take it for granted that a translator will send his best possible rate for a particular job, it is plain logic. Of course I will send the lowest rate (which is acceptable for myself), because if I send a quote it means that I am interested in a particular job. But usually I end up acting the same as you – I don’t even bother to send the quote, because I feel that it is superfluous for the outsourcers to use these expressions in a job posting, it denotes a certain level of unprofessionalism and I honestly dislike these formulations.

Best regards to all of you,

Agnes


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Think of it from the PM's perspective Mar 9, 2014

Here's some Hotel Booking advice:

'When you're moments away from booking, use the killer sentence: (A) "What is your best rate?" Pause for the answer. Then repeat: (B) "Is that your very best rate?" Pause again. Then try one variation: (C) "Are there any special packages that offer an even better deal?" By then you'll have the knowledge that you've given it your best shot.'

A really professional PM should post the initial request using formula (A). Then reply to any offers with a personal email using formula (B). If there are still responses, they should then use formula (C) to generate their final shortlist of truly desperate translators.

Unfortunately, time pressure means that most PM's can only use one step in the above for routine translation work, so they should probably start at (B). But the additional sentence "Rates are very critical on this project" should help to weed out the greedy or delusional.

===========================
Please check the dictionary definitions of "sarcasm" and "irony" before replying.

[Edited at 2014-03-09 09:18 GMT]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:29
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Your rate is your statement Mar 9, 2014

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

Translators don't sell bananas.


Very true indeed!

We offer to share our knowledge of two languages plus additional professional knowledge of say mechanics, politics or legal problems - knowledge that we have acquired over years or even decades.

Why should that knowledge be subject to price haggling?

In the perennial discussions over ProZ.com being some sort of bargain bazaar I have always contended that this reputation is partly caused by many freelancers being afraid of stating a reasonable claim for payment of their not so easily acquired knowledge.

Always remember that a "high rate" also means "I am this good" (that's why I claim this rate).

Mats

[Edited at 2014-03-09 15:29 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two points here Mar 9, 2014

DLyons wrote:

Here's some Hotel Booking advice:

'When you're moments away from booking, use the killer sentence: (A) "What is your best rate?" Pause for the answer. Then repeat: (B) "Is that your very best rate?" Pause again. Then try one variation: (C) "Are there any special packages that offer an even better deal?" By then you'll have the knowledge that you've given it your best shot.'


Transposing translation to the hospitality industry, compare:

a) Yes, sir. That is our best rate. We only have luxury rooms with seafront balconies, fully air-conditioned, 24/7 room service, WiFi, large screen cable TV, etc. etc.

b) If you really want our best rate, we do have one decommissioned dungeon-like storeroom with a cot. No windows, just a 1x1 ft hole in the wall flush to the ceiling inside, and to the ground outside. If you want to look through it, we can lend you a ladder, and you'll be able to watch our dumpsters. For a toilet, you may use the staff locker room, only 100 feet away on the next floor upstairs.

DLyons wrote:

Unfortunately, time pressure means that most PM's can only use one step in the above for routine translation work, so they should probably start at (B). But the additional sentence "Rates are very critical on this project" should help to weed out the greedy or delusional.


I fully understand the PM's predicament in terms of time constraints to place an order ASAP for the lowest possible price.

Considering the two lodging options above my 'hotel' only has the (a) option. However if time is so important for them, the same applies to me, the time value of money. My translation rate can be up to some 15~20% lower if it fails to include the purely financial costs of hefty-fee payment methods (e.g. PayPal) and my country's high interest fees applied to extended payment terms.

Professional PMs grab this offer immediately; bottom-feeders scram.

DLyons wrote:
===========================
Please check the dictionary definitions of "sarcasm" and "irony" before replying.


Great piece of advice. Thanks!


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Beautifully put! Mar 9, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:


b) If you really want our best rate, we do have one decommissioned dungeon-like storeroom with a cot. No windows, just a 1x1 ft hole in the wall flush to the ceiling inside, and to the ground outside. If you want to look through it, we can lend you a ladder, and you'll be able to watch our dumpsters. For a toilet, you may use the staff locker room, only 100 feet away on the next floor upstairs.




And I think I've even been in some of them.

There was this "5-star" place in Uruguay we to as a special treat


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:29
German to English
+ ...
My best rate is Mar 9, 2014

say... 1,20 euro per line , my very best rate is € 1,70 per line. An agency's best price is my worst price!

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I ignore it Mar 9, 2014

EdithK wrote:
What do you think of them? I personally feel upon reading these two expressions that I have no interest whatsoever in sending a quote.


I just ignore it. I just say what my rate is.

Are these outsourcers just interested in the cheapest quote? Or are they possibly also interested in quality and/or experience?


I know of no translators who can vary their quality or experience on a per job basis, but everyone can vary their price easily. The fact that the PM asks "what is your best rate" and not "what is your best quality" does not imply that they don't care about quality.


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Joy Lewis

Local time: 15:29
French to English
+ ...
Of elephants and peanuts Mar 9, 2014

I quite simply IGNORE any offers with either of those expressions; they tell me that the agency is only looking to pay peanuts and I'm not an elephant.

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:29
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Suggested reply Mar 9, 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for considering paying my best rate for your job. My normal rate is xxxx, but certain discerning customers who really appreciate my work are prepared to pay my best rate, which is 50% more than my standard rate.

Yours sincerely....


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EdithK  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 21:29
Member
Gaelic to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 9, 2014

I agree with all of you, especially with DLyons about the 5* dump in Uruguay. Just had the same experience.
On a more serious note: My rate is usually quite high but I hardly accept translations. But there are many freelancers, especially in countries cheaper than Switzerland who work for just anything.
In terms of interpreting, you really get what you are willing to pay. Listeners who hear the interpreting know whether it was good, mediocre or bad (or they think that all interpreters are bad and, next time round, go along without and try to do everything in English).
So I am wondering: How do the agencies get repeat work, when the quality is poor? How come that I am sometimes offered one and the same job by about 5 different agencies (and the job was not posted on ProZ)? I do not go down in price and then - all of a sudden - they pay.
I had a long price negotiation with an insurance company, I got irritated and told them to hire a new mother who just does a bit of interpreting between changing nappies. I thought I would never hear from them again but - bingo - they called back and paid my price.
I have heard from a colleague that she covered a deposition - alone - for EUR 500 and later on heard that the agency "sold" her for US$ 1500.
But I get your point, lads. Our best price is our highest price.
I'd love to hear more of your views.


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EdithK  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 21:29
Member
Gaelic to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jack Mar 9, 2014

Thank you for considering paying my best rate for your job. My normal rate is xxxx, but certain discerning customers who really appreciate my work are prepared to pay my best rate, which is 50% more than my standard rate.

I simply love that sentence, may I use it or and copyright?

[Edited at 2014-03-09 15:06 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
;) Mar 9, 2014

My very best rate equals my best rate plus 25 - 30%.

Even my best rate is usually 50% higher than what is being offered or what the agency has in mind. In general, I don't read on as soon as these two phrases appear, since they are IMHO an absolute no-go.


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