Fee on ProZ quote
Thread poster: Jocelin M

Jocelin M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:20
English to French
+ ...
Jun 26

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I made a quote for a job opportunity on ProZ and I've noticed that, now, you can't submit a quote without paying? Since when has this been established and, more importantly, how can this be accepted?
I thought that this website at least wasn't going this way, that it was a place that treats professional with respect. My main activity is subtitling translation and it's globally badly paid already. Why should we pay a fee just for a chance to find work on top of that?
Just curious to see what others think about this.


Somnath Dey
Rachel Fell
WALID Alsaqqa
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
circa 2005 Jun 26

Feel the free* Love--and rejoice being especial, even more privileged)

Just diversify both your income and places where job is caught.
Cheers


Jorge Payan
José Henrique Lamensdorf
 

TargamaT team  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 05:20
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Money matters Jun 27

How can you make a site and maintain it without money?

 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Only members (i.e. those who pay to use the site) are allowed to bid Jun 27

This is now the site policy. If you want to bid on jobs posted on Proz, then the only solution is to pay, i.e. become a member of the site. Most jobs are now restricted to paying members. Those who don't pay for being present on Proz are now referred to as 'non-members'.
It's as simple as that.


WALID Alsaqqa
 

Jocelin M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes but Jun 27

TargamaT team wrote:

How can you make a site and maintain it without money?


Well, they were doing it pretty well until now, hence my surprise. And I doubt they were missing money since most clients choose to restrict their offers to members only (which is also a bit stupid).

writeaway wrote:

This is now the site policy. If you want to bid on jobs posted on Proz, then the only solution is to pay, i.e. become a member of the site. Most jobs are now restricted to paying members. Those who don't pay for being present on Proz are now referred to as 'non-members'.
It's as simple as that.


Simple, yes, the question is why. ProZ was doing a fine job to let clients and professionals meet until now, why did it have to become "pay us or get lost" all of a sudden? That's what I don't get.


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Proz is a business. As such, its policy has changed. Jun 27

Jocelin M wrote:


writeaway wrote:

This is now the site policy. If you want to bid on jobs posted on Proz, then the only solution is to pay, i.e. become a member of the site. Most jobs are now restricted to paying members. Those who don't pay for being present on Proz are now referred to as 'non-members'.
It's as simple as that.


Simple, yes, the question is why. ProZ was doing a fine job to let clients and professionals meet until now, why did it have to become "pay us or get lost" all of a sudden? That's what I don't get.


Proz has evolved. It's no longer a 'community of translators' but an online business that provides and charges for a number of services. One can't really criticize this. Businesses grow, evolve and shift their policies and emphasis. Lots of us initially paid because we wanted to contribue to keeping Proz afloat. Proz has now advanced way ahead of those days, leaving a lot of former payers in its wake.
Partial (i.e. reduced-price) memberships, use of browniz to buy Blueboard access, etc. were all removed without prior warning in one fell swoop.
It's up to you (us) to decide if what Proz now offers is worth paying for.


Mirko Mainardi
mareug
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Rachel Fell
Thayenga
Cetacea
Daniela Zambrini
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Jocelin Jun 27

Jocelin M wrote:
It's been a while since I made a quote for a job opportunity on ProZ and I've noticed that, now, you can't submit a quote without paying? Since when has this been established and, more importantly, how can this be accepted?


Not all job posts require translators to submit bids via the ProZ.com quoting system. As far as I know (but please correct me if I'm wrong), the new rule that only paying members may bid on jobs only applies to jobs that require the use of ProZ.com's internal quoting system. Non-paying members can still apply for jobs where the jobs poster requested applications by e-mail or by web portal.

You can't use BrowniZ points to pay for bidding since 2010, and you can't use cash to pay for bidding since 2017. Bidding using ProZ.com's quoting system is now a so-called "members-only" feature. This is because ProZ.com is now using a different payment processing system that makes accepting spot payments from non-paying members no longer feasible.

I thought that this ... was a place that treats professionals with respect.


ProZ.com offers free services and paid services. Bidding used to be a free service, then it became a cheap service, and now it has become an expensive service. Other services are still free. This has nothing to do with respect.

Why should we pay a fee just for a chance to find work...


We (people from our generation) have become so used to getting things for free that we sometimes forget that it is perfectly normal for marketing our services to cost money.


[Edited at 2018-06-27 10:00 GMT]


Daniela Zambrini
Raluca Georgiana Zbranca
Jorge Payan
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Actually, this is a job poster's choice Jun 27

The job poster may restrict OR NOT a job to members, they can do it for a limited period of time OR NOT, they may request bids via the Proz system, Proz internal e-mail, their direct e-mail, an online questionnaire (SurveyMonkey. Google Docs, etc.), or their web site's "work with us" page.

Visually, the client may stand "inside" Proz and be contacted by members only. After a certain time, non-members may buy a ticket for $1 and step in there to contact the client. Alternatively, the client may stand on the sidewalk outside, in plain sight.

Proz is a business, not a community. If it makes some of its features available to free users, it is merely for sales promotion, a kind of 'try before you buy'.

I've seen a few self-claimed translation portals where you see a list of (possibly fake) expired job offers, however you have to pay first, to see what's inside. I never fell into that trap, but heard from those who did that the job offers inside, assuming they ever were real and not fabricated, get assigned to 'somebody else' before you can click on them.

On this count, Proz is transparent. Free users get to see exactly the same job offers as paying members, however the job poster is free to select what class of visitors will be allowed to bid for them. If a job poster offers a job in a restricted manner, and can't find an adequate provider (to whatever criteria they choose), there is nothing to prevent them from reposting it on a free-for-all basis.


On a general basis, when people ask me about translation portals, my advice is to check each one for cost/benefit, exactly as I do for every piece of hardware/software I buy. Check its specific demand for your language pair, the type of services you offer, your specialized subject areas, to envision the bang you'll get from your buck.

As an example, at the outset I was a free user on Proz for 5 years until the demand for my language pair rose and sustained a worthy level. Then I was a paying member for some 10 years. About a couple of years ago, the demand for "MUST have Trados" (and I use WordFast) became overwhelming, while the rates offered plummeted, so I re-checked my cost/benefit ratio on Proz, and stepped down to being a free user again. My own web site was already bringing me more new clients.

For the record, the runner-up translation portal also grew its demand in my language pair, however it's not sustainable yet. So the only translation portal I ever was a paying member is Proz. And yet I'm here, monitoring the demand. If its cost/benefit ever becomes worthy for me again, I'll be back in. This is why Proz lets free users see what's going on, so that they can make an educated decision. This is called transparency.


Daniela Zambrini
Eugenio Garcia-Salmones
Jorge Payan
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What business runs without investment? Jun 27

Jocelin M wrote:
Why should we pay a fee just for a chance to find work

It would be great to have all our work come to us for free, but really that's not going to happen. I doubt it ever did. Before the age of the Internet (when I wasn't a translator), didn't translators advertise in Yellow Pages, telephone or write letters to potential clients, visit trade fairs, etc. in order to find work? Those all needed to be paid for (right down to individual telephone calls and stamps).

The annual membership fee is a drop in the ocean if you have good visibility on this site. Paying it has all sorts of benefits above and beyond just being able to quote for an occasional job.


Daniela Zambrini
Vera Schoen
Jorge Payan
Teresa Borges
Dan Lucas
Michele Fauble
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:20
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
If... Jun 27

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The annual membership fee is a drop in the ocean if you have good visibility on this site.


It is worth it

1) if you really receive what is written in the details of the membership types (no amends without your knowledge/will if you choose a membership type),
2) if your profile can be seen by others the way how you see it,
3) if your profile visibility in the directory is shown the same way how you see it,
4) if you choose to show your full name, then your full name is shown in the directory and throughout the whole site,
5) and if your chosen/preferred correct contact details are shown in your profile and in the directory...

basically if you are allowed to have your own business without interfering into your business.

Then yes the membership fee is a drop in the ocean.

[Edited at 2018-06-27 11:18 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
biz op globalization Jun 27

Dear colleagues, you're talking, yet what about novice translators, who--as newcomers--need some time to get the ropes while being poor businessmen/marketers too? From the very beginning the ProZ prioritized paying members, reasonably postponing free participants. However, the commercialism states: 'All must pay!' Was/is it really worth it? Not for me, alas.

The site policy still forbids to name or compare any potential competitors, including free* portals. It was fair and I still got numerous offers both from the ProZ and other sites. I was unhappily surprised by such 'paying improvements', ran out of offers from the ProZ, and shifted to other free* sources--until I met my local direct clients. I happily forgot about the drawbacks ever after)

Indeed, when one already knows the ropes, some $120 a year seems ok, but not for starters; at least not in the countries where it's a pretty penny.
It is still fair--for some, why?


Joseph Nowell
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:20
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
- Jun 27

Technical glitch: my post was doubled. Sorry for that.

[Edited at 2018-06-27 11:07 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Correction, José Jun 27

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
After a certain time, non-members may buy a ticket for $1...


This $1 option is no longer available (if I understand correctly). If you don't have a full ProZ.com membership, you're on the sidewalk.

Proz is a business, not a community.


This is an oft-repeated statement, but it's not really true, in my opinion. A community isn't only a community if access to all of its features is free to all members of the community. Some community aspects of ProZ.com have disappeared over the years, to be sure (e.g. forum moderation), but the "communities" on the forums and on KudoZ are no less community-like just because ProZ.com have removed some of the freebies.


Sheila Wilson
Christophe Delaunay
 

Jocelin M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I read all your response Jun 27

and I understand the principle of a business, but that's the issue here. I've always seen ProZ like a community, not a business (except the "pay a membership to see this job offer" part). It's a bit... sad to see the community part being replaced by fees. It makes me think of places like Malt or Humaniance, and they're not websites I would recommend. Of course, ProZ is still better than that, but that change makes it slowly going that way.

 


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