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Rates and CAT tool discounts
Thread poster: Baran Keki

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:45
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Apr 20

I know this topic has been discussed here many times before, but having gone through the previous forum topics regarding rates and CAT tool grids I couldn't find a satisfactory answer to my question:
When you bid for a job or are approached by an agency do you give your rate based on a previously calculated CAT tool grid (fuzzy matches, repetitions etc.) even before the agency/client asks for a certain CAT tool grid that they, unbeknownst to you, apply?
Are CAT tool discounts a part and parcel of a freelance translator's rate that should be factored into when determining one's rate or are they something to be considered only when asked by the client?
I have been asked to provide my 'best' rate by a number of agencies and, having done so, asked to 'accept' their CAT tool grids (for instance 50% discount for 75% to 94% matches).
What is the most sensible strategy? Should I give them an inflated psw rate to preempt any potential CAT tool grid (or should I say 'trick')?


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 01:45
Member (2016)
English to German
Obviously everything has to be included in the calculation Apr 20

Everything is a matter of negotiation. When you state a word rate and the agency counters with a certain discount grid, you can negotiate the grid, but you can also negotiate the word rate again, and also every other condition, until you reach an agreement that both sides can live with, or until one side realizes that no agreement is possible.

Of course, agencies use the term "best rate" as a code for "we only want to pay peanuts and don't care for quality". So the agency will probably try every trick in the book to push rates lower and discounts higher. You can only try to stand your ground, or walk away.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:45
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Best rate Apr 20

Asking for the "best rate" and for a discount usually means that the agency might be willing to pay you perhaps 0.02 - 0.05 in any currency. Of course they intend to pay only via PayPal, putting all fees on the translator. Consequently, you would have to include all these costs/deductions in your rate - which is usually too high for the inquiring agency.

Forgive my sarcasm, but how about if the translator asked the agency to pay its share of the CAT tool costs and/or the license extension?

IMO one should never offer a discount a forehand, and negotiate diligently and thoroughly when the customer asks for one.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
NO correlation, the biz is YOURS Apr 20

Unfortunately, most translators are poor businessmen who even don't know how to say "No!"

It depends on the very translator and the pricing policy, not the tools.
If it's all my job (responsibility), then no unreasonable discounts and unfounded complaints!
Of course, it's not about generous 'specialists' discounting some $4000 worth job for mere $400.

When did you ask your baker, butcher, hairdresser/barber, or a dentist about the price, wondering about the tools--weird or just funny?


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:45
Spanish to French
+ ...
Do you ask... Apr 20

your dentist, your plumber or the taxi driver for his/her best rates?icon_wink.gif

 

Vesa Korhonen  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:45
English to Finnish
+ ...
Their best rate... Apr 20

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

your dentist, your plumber or the taxi driver for his/her best rates?icon_wink.gif


Plumber, always.
Taxi driver, in the near future, yes.
But dentist, unfortunately no way.

icon_smile.gif


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:45
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Forget about the 'best rate' Apr 20

Thank you for your answers. I think my mention of 'best rate' has been somewhat misleading or, rather, I failed to convey my thoughts clearly. I am not in the habit of wasting my time on agencies asking for the 'best rate'.
What I actually meant is this: when you are bidding for a job on Proz or elsewhere, you're kind of expected to provide a 'competitive' rate to gain advantage over others (or undercut their bids), and therefore you provide your 'best rate' without them asking you to do so (I apologize that I seem to have said the exact opposite of this in the previous thread, just disregard the 'best rate' bit there). But even after giving a fairly reasonable per word rate (under 10 cents) and, in some cases after stating that "I do not offer any CAT tool discounts for this rate", some agencies ask you to confirm their CAT tool grids.
When I am asked to provide my rate for translation, I give a certain figure and it does not include any CAT tool discounts (the thought of discount never even occurs to me to be honest).
This is the question I am asking you: When a client asks your usual per word rate, do you give them a rate that is already based on a certain CAT tool grid? Does it include any CAT tool related discount? Or do you increase your rate when they ask you accept or negotiate their CAT tool grid?
Mr. Stegemann says that he negotiates his word rate again, and that is what I am inclined to do. As a matter of fact, I was just asked my per word rate by a European agency this very morning and I gave them a very reasonable rate stating that "I do not offer CAT tool discounts", but they, after making me sign and scan their NDA and other forms, asked me to confirm their CAT tool discounts, and before posting this topic I sent them an email saying that I am fine with their grid but my rate now has to increase to xx. I haven't heard from them and I don't expect to hear from them any time soon. I just ended up wasting a few pages and 10 minutes of my time signing and scanning those pages.
Thanks


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:45
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hmm Apr 20

Baran Keki wrote:

As a matter of fact, I was just asked my per word rate by a European agency this very morning and I gave them a very reasonable rate stating that "I do not offer CAT tool discounts", but they, after making me sign and scan their NDA and other forms, asked me to confirm their CAT tool discounts, and before posting this topic I sent them an email saying that I am fine with their grid but my rate now has to increase to xx. I haven't heard from them and I don't expect to hear from them any time soon. I just ended up wasting a few pages and 10 minutes of my time signing and scanning those pages.
Thanks


Well, they tried to be sneaky, even after you have made it clear that you will not grant any CAT tool related discounts.

IMO, their NDA should not include any discounts, but should deal with confidentiality matters only. I'm just wondering why you've signed their NDA and send it to them even though the still pending question regarding any discounts hasn't been fully negotiated. Well, other than that you stated that you don't offer them. Perhaps they thought that you do, since you agreed to their grid, though at a higher rate.

You are right, you will not hear from them again. Better for you.icon_wink.gif


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:45
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
Information asymmetry Apr 20

Hello Baran,

I generally concur with what Kay-Viktor Stegemann said. Everything is a matter of negotiation. Even grids.

I too do not appreciate to be asked for my rates, then only later receive information about a discount grid to be applied.

I think this is called information asymmetry, and I don't like collaborating with agencies in such terms.

So I tend to specify in my replies that the offered rate is for full words, without any grid discounts taken into consideration. Should there be any such grid, I reserve the right to review my rate to take into account this new information.

At any rate, some grids are really... greedy. Not reviewing your pricing in light of such a grid would be shooting yourself in the foot.

Jean


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:45
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sneaky agencies Apr 20

Thayenga wrote:

I'm just wondering why you've signed their NDA and send it to them even though the still pending question regarding any discounts hasn't been fully negotiated.



Hi Thayenga,
Actually they sent me an email last night asking me if I'd be interested in an upcoming translation project, and if so what was my rate for translation and proofreading. I said I was interested and gave them my rate (thinking that they already made the same offer to other translators on Proz and thus I gave them a reasonable rate and stated that 'no CAT tool discounts'), after that they asked me to sign their NDA to be able to discus the details further and I complied. And this morning, a different person from the same agency, sent me an email asking me to confirm my rate and sign and scan yet another document (invoicing information for non-EU residents), and it was in that document I found out that they were applying a CAT tool scheme.
This happened to me before while bidding for a job here on Proz. I was contacted by an Eastern European agency months after placing my bid (which was even more 'reasonable') telling me that I got the job (which was about 6.000 words or so) they sent me an NDA to sign and told me that they were applying the 'following Trados grid'. I said I wasn't aware they were applying a 'Trados grid' when they advertised the job. The man's answer was: "Now you know". I kindly told him to 'shove his job...'
I am kind of getting paranoid now. When an agency would ask me my rate, I'd give them the straight dope, now I think I'll have to increase my rate to compensate for potential CAT tool discounts and avoid getting into further negotiations and having other headaches.


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:45
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jean Apr 20

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

Hello Baran,

I generally concur with what Kay-Viktor Stegemann said. Everything is a matter of negotiation. Even grids.

I too do not appreciate to be asked for my rates, then only later receive information about a discount grid to be applied.

I think this is called information asymmetry, and I don't like collaborating with agencies in such terms.

So I tend to specify in my replies that the offered rate is for full words, without any grid discounts taken into consideration. Should there be any such grid, I reserve the right to review my rate to take into account this new information.

At any rate, some grids are really... greedy. Not reviewing your pricing in light of such a grid would be shooting yourself in the foot.

Jean


I get the feeling that grids are becoming more or less a standard practice by most agencies, and yet they ask your 'rate' first before giving any hint about a possible CAT tool scheme. And once you increase your rate based on this new found information they tend to give you a cold shoulder and move on to a more agreeable translator.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:45
German to Serbian
+ ...
Taxi driver? Apr 20

Vesa Korhonen wrote:

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

your dentist, your plumber or the taxi driver for his/her best rates?icon_wink.gif


Plumber, always.
Taxi driver, in the near future, yes.
But dentist, unfortunately no way.

icon_smile.gif


Don't taxi drivers have automated devices in their cars, once you are in they just press the button and the price is ticking upwards? As such, how can you ask for a discount, can you please shed some light on this? On top of that in some countries you are expected to tip the taxi driver, it's a norm.


 

Vesa Korhonen  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:45
English to Finnish
+ ...
A change in legistlation in July Apr 20

Lingua 5B wrote:

Don't taxi drivers have automated devices in their cars, once you are in they just press the button and the price is ticking upwards? As such, how can you ask for a discount, can you please shed some light on this? On top of that in some countries you are expected to tip the taxi driver, it's a norm.


In my country, for years (since mid-seventies, I guess) they've had regulated maximum prices, and nobody never charges less than that. But within three months there's going to be a change in legislation, which allows the driver (or at least the business owner) to specify the prices. And after that the end user may choose the service provider with the "best" prices. We'll see if it works better there than in our business...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Deleted Apr 21

Deleted

[Edited at 2018-04-21 07:23 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Tools Apr 21

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

your dentist, your plumber or the taxi driver for his/her best rates?icon_wink.gif


First, I ask them what tools they use. Based on their replies, reduce their rate accordingly

icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2018-04-21 15:01 GMT]


 
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