Help: decide to raise the price.
Thread poster: Shouguang Cao

Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 10:53
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 14, 2007

decide to raise the price.

I want to convince my client that I'm working for a lower rate than normal. Could anyone do me a favor by finding some links to some articles indicating the normal rate of translation? I searched proz.com forum and didn't find anything useful.

Thanks so much.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:53
German to English
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Help: decide to raise the price. Oct 14, 2007

www.marcprior.de/english/rates.html

P.S. I agree with the comment that there is no such thing as a "normal" rate. But it can be useful to know what others are charging (or were charging, in a certain country, at a certain time).

[Edited at 2007-10-15 05:02]


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Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 10:53
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Marc Oct 14, 2007

But I can't open this link. It's probably my problem since the Chinese internet is castrated and I am in China.

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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:53
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
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Search the article knowledgebase Oct 14, 2007

I remember there were articles related to increasing one's rates.

Cheers,
Oleg


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Rita Bilancio  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:53
English to Italian
+ ...
here it is Oct 14, 2007

Dallas Cao wrote:

But I can't open this link. It's probably my problem since the Chinese internet is castrated and I am in China.


Dear Callas,
I just put hereby Mark's link with all the info. Maybe they're useful for other colleagues:

Surveys of translators' rates:

ITI (2001; free of charge):
www.iti.org.uk/pdfs/newPDF/ITI2001R&S.pdf

CIoL (1999; £10 to members, £15 to non-members):
www.iol.org.uk/membership/merchandise.asp#publications

ADÜ Nord (2005; summary free of charge, full document 45.80 euro):
www.adue-nord.de/frame.html?http://www.adue-nord.de/umfrage/auswertung.html

ATA (2001; summary free of charge, full document $60 to non-ATA members):
www.atanet.org/docs/COMPEN~2.PDF

Universitas (2004; free of charge):
www.universitas.org/download.html?FILE_ID=49

Survey of the Canadian Translation Industry (1999):
www.uottawa.ca/associations/csict/represum.pdf

South African Translator's institute (1999-2004):
www.translators.org.za/indexes/index-tariffs-english.html

That means that our rate per agency, if I am right, was 0.06eru/word in 2001. What about now, think the situation
is desperate.

[Modificato alle 2007-10-14 16:35]


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The Misha
Local time: 21:53
Russian to English
+ ...
No such thing as normal rates Oct 15, 2007

There's no such thing as normal rates. Some people work for 2 cents per word, some for 20, and some are drawing a fixed salary in-house - and they are all working. The rates also depend on your language pairs, on where you are, and who you work for. If you feel an increase is justified, just go for it - but have a Plan B if your client drops you. Good luck.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seconding what "the Misha" wrote Oct 15, 2007

The Misha wrote:
There's no such thing as normal rates. Some people work for 2 cents per word, some for 20, and some are drawing a fixed salary in-house - and they are all working. The rates also depend on your language pairs, on where you are, and who you work for. If you feel an increase is justified, just go for it - but have a Plan B if your client drops you. Good luck.


What's pertinent is not to convince your client that translators should be paid more in general, but that your work is worth more. It may be difficult to convince them if you have accepted a lower rate up to now.

Plan B is new clients who are quoted your new higher rate from the first contact, and are willing to pay it.


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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:53
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I second "Plan B" Oct 15, 2007

When I first started, I accepted clients at somewhat lower rates. As time went on I found clients who were happy to pay higher rates and found my time was being filled by higher-paid work. I ultimately went to the lower-paying client and told them I could no longer take work at my original rate, but was raising it to "X". They weren't happy about it (I compromised by phasing in the higher rate over a few months) but I didn't lose the client.

The important thing was that I made an economic decision to either raise the rate or lose the client. The option of going on at the lower rate wasn't on the table. If your client base is sufficiently broad, I think this approach can be very effective.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 04:53
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
do not be "afraid" Oct 15, 2007

I have posted a similar issue a couple of months ago when I needed to solve this dilemma - esp. with the "old good clients" for whom I wanted to raise my rates. I feared that I might lose them, or, at least, part of them. HOWEVER, when I decided to "risk", you won't believe the result. Some statistics:

1) 7 of 10 clients "swallowed the pill" without any problem and we continue working with them as it was before, just the rates are higher. Result - 100 up to 120 for same work

2) 2 of 10 clients said "well, it is too high for us", they have tried to look for cheaper solutions, and after a couple of weeks they came back to me, negotiated for a "compromise rate" (average of the old and the new rate) and asked to sort out the mess done by the "backup solution" translators. Result 100 up to 110 for same work.

3) 1 of 10 clients said either "sorry, we cannot afford to pay more as we have a very limited budget" and I still work for them on the "old rate", but planning to drop them in the future by telling the same "sorry, I cannot afford to work for that rate"...But here you shall put a line between those who really cannot pay more (I usually understand them and value them as my clients) and those who simply do not want to pay more (not because they cannot pay more). Later on started dropping the latter ones without any pain in my heart.


If you want more of a psychological comfort, do two things at the same time - start quite an "agressive" self-marketing campaign for a month or two (spend an hour or two searching for new clients every day) and when they start popping in (sooner or later) - charge your FULL new rate...As soon as you accumulate a certain "share of new clients" with new jobs, start emailing the old ones for the new rate.

For conclusion, do not make the same mistake I did - do not be "afraid" to ask for the rate you think you are worth. The psychology of the " old client" is simple - we know him for years and we are happy so far, we know what we can get and what we can expect from him, OK, let it be for our peace of mind (because we really do not know what we can expect from people we might find for replacement - good if good, if not...??). And the psychology of the new client is simple again - "he clearly stated his rates (seems he does not bother for negotiation) - ah, that means he is a serious one with many jobs, know his rate/what he is worth for and he does not care too much if we do not make a deal". Interesting is that you earn some kind of respect in the eyes of your new clients. And if someone is not up to that NEW rate (new clients), do not cry too much - be patient to get more new proposals Just do all the best not to show "I need your job SO MUCH - I will offer you discounts, whetever, just GIVE ME that job" - do just vice versa








[Edited at 2007-10-15 23:59]


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LoyalTrans
Local time: 10:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
self-marketing Oct 16, 2007

MariusV wrote:



If you want more of a psychological comfort, do two things at the same time - start quite an "agressive" self-marketing campaign for a month or two (spend an hour or two searching for new clients every day) and when they start popping in (sooner or later) - charge your FULL new rate...As soon as you accumulate a certain "share of new clients" with new jobs, start emailing the old ones for the new rate.




[Edited at 2007-10-15 23:59]



I hope I am not being too nosy. Very interested in this self-marketing thing since I am still relatively new and far from fully established here. If this is not a proprietary secret, could you share more on this?

Thanks,


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