flat fee for small jobs (under 200 words)
Thread poster: Kimberlee Thorne-Harper

Kimberlee Thorne-Harper
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 16, 2007

I have a regular client who gives me jobs continually, that I also outsource. She's asked me to quote her a flat fee for jobs that are 200 words or fewer. I'm in Argentina and my client is in the U.S. Any ideas on how to charge?

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Faruk Atabeyli  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:13
English to Turkish
+ ...
Hourly rate Mar 17, 2007

Charge 1 hour minimum, for example.

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Samuel Henderson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:13
Korean to English
+ ...
by the hour Mar 17, 2007

The standard I'm most familiar with -- and the standard I apply -- is a minimum charge of 1 hour, even for jobs that take somewhat less time than that.

If you don't have a standard hourly fee, you can calculate the cost of a typical 1-hour job and use that.


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chinesetrans
Netherlands
Local time: 09:13
English to Chinese
+ ...
charge as usual Mar 17, 2007

Better charge as usual. Not good to change just because of small job. To lower the fee is preferred by the client; however to increase the fee would bring some trouble.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:13
English to German
+ ...
Consider fixed costs Mar 17, 2007

Hi Kimberlee,
The only person who can really answer your question is yourself. Factors to take into account include:

- fixed costs, particularly the costs involved with payment (depending on whether such small jobs are invoiced and paid separately); and
- the minimum time involved in getting prepared for, and handling the job (e.g. setting customer-specific project codes, opening TMs, delivering the job, etc.).

Basically, consider all minuscule things which wouldn't matter in a larger-sized job, but might well affect the profitability of a small assignment.

HTH, Ralf


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
200 words Mar 17, 2007

I would just charge the regular fee for 200 words.

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xxxcmwilliams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:13
French to English
+ ...
minimum charge Mar 17, 2007

It is quite normal for translators to set a minimum charge for small jobs and I would think most agencies also charge their clients a minimum fee.

Ralf is right - you have to think about all the costs involved, especially as you say that you outsource. Whether it's based on an hourly minimum or however you want to work it out, I would strongly suggest that you set a minimum charge and not just apply your usual rate per word for very small jobs. It's up to you whether you want to charge it for regular clients for every job (depending on what it is, whether you have to outsource, etc) but it will then give you that flexibility and possibly save you from working for ridiculouly small amounts.

[Edited at 2007-03-17 13:03]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:13
Dutch to English
+ ...
It depends .... Mar 17, 2007

I don't outsource (digressing now, tried once with a Dutch job - with the client's knowledge as I was ill - and never again, just wasn't worth the hassle and the nervous wait through the night. I eventually received it less than an hour before my own deadline, although it had been promised the evening before on what was still a very comfortable deadline)

But from my own perspective ...

Minimum fee for one-off small jobs - equivalent to at least an hour of translating due to the administration that's also involved. For me that would be at least EUR 40.00, depending on the type of job, urgency and formatting.

However, if an agency sends me a number of jobs each month, I normally just charge the actual word/line rate (unless there is a lot of formatting involved) and add it to the specified monthly invoice I raise. For 200 words that may only amount to EUR 20 or EUR 25, but fact is it wouldn't take me an hour, it's a nice "filler" between longer jobs, I can use existing TMs from other jobs (as I only really do legal/business), there's no extra admin, as it's just added to the invoice I send out at month-end and it helps build a good working relationship anyhow (goodwill/flexibility). There's a wider picture here to consider and it all adds up.

Bottom line: ask yourself whether you're receiving commensurate value for your effort and time, all factors taken into account.

HTH - have a good weekend
Deborah


[Edited at 2007-03-17 21:12]


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Refugio
Local time: 00:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
It might depend on the type of document Mar 17, 2007

For example, some translators in the US charge a flat fee of USD$25 for a one-page letter, but USD$35 for a legal document such as a birth/marriage/death certificate or diploma, with an extra fee if notarization is required.

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Kimberlee Thorne-Harper
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your advice Mar 17, 2007

You've all given me solid advice and now I know that unless it's a larger job that I charge per-word, it should be charged as a minimum or on a per-hour basis.

Thanks everyone for replying. You've helped me out a lot!


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flat fee for small jobs (under 200 words)

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