When do you ask for a prepayment ?
Thread poster: AnnieAnne

AnnieAnne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
English to French
Nov 12, 2007

Hello all !

How often and under which circumstance do you ask a client a deposit for a contract ? And how much should you ask for ?

Thanks a lot for your answers !

Anne

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-11-12 21:06]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
When... Nov 12, 2007

AnnieAnne wrote:
How often and under which circumstance do you ask a client a deposit for a contract? And how much should you ask for?


Never done it myself, but I'll suck my thumb (not at you..., I mean I'll suck it from my thumb). I'd say as soon as the work would take more than 1 week full-time, you can start asking for an advance payment to help carry you through the week.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good question Nov 12, 2007

I ask for prepayment once in a while. I rarely end up with the sale, but that is not a bad thing.

A typical case will be when I am contacted by a new customer. Upon researching their credit reliability I discover that they have a bad history. I then tell them what I know, usually with documentation, and tell them that I require advance payment. I also quote higher prices.

I often ask unknown customers for some percentage up front. It depends on the "feeling" they give me from their phone call, web site, location and other things.


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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I did it... Nov 12, 2007

I did it once, as the agency had a bad record. They just told me they wouldn't do it.

It suited me: I simply don't work for them. But you never know, they might turn up as good payers. Anyway, I prefer not to run the risk, unless it's a small job and then see what happens.

Don't know if this helps

Cristina


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:57
French to English
+ ...
yes Nov 12, 2007

1. When the client is an individual as opposed to a company (they usually accept)
2. If it is an agency that has a poor payment record (they usually refuse)
3. If it is a large project over some time, I'll ask for payment in phases (usually accepted)

Why should translators be different from other professions??

Cheers,

Patricia


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:57
French to Spanish
+ ...
Always do. Nov 12, 2007

60 % prepayment.
20 % when I almost finish + 20 % when finished / 40 % when finished, it depends.

It works good, but see my profile, though. My job is quite different.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
An alternative approach: Payment upon completion but prior to delivery Nov 12, 2007

These are the payment terms that I insist on with most of my direct clients. So far, no one has balked.

In terms of insisting on *prepayment*, I would agree with others re clients with a poor credit rating. I would also endorse what Edward said regarding the *feel* one gets from a company based on the kinds of factors he mentions.

Bob


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
The old and approved rule: 30 / 30 / 30 Nov 12, 2007

When working with a direct client I ask for 30% down before I start work. Another 30% are due as soon as the first draft, not including editing, is delivered. The client has now the opportunity to add one round of author's alterations. The final payment is due upon delivery of the edited, fine-tuned and proofread file.

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LoyalTrans
Local time: 05:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
90%? Nov 13, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

When working with a direct client I ask for 30% down before I start work. Another 30% are due as soon as the first draft, not including editing, is delivered. The client has now the opportunity to add one round of author's alterations. The final payment is due upon delivery of the edited, fine-tuned and proofread file.


And they just add up to 90%?? Just kidding..


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
He, he! Robert figured it out :-)) Nov 13, 2007

One third, second third, etc.

In fact, I am trying this for the first time with an agency right now (instead of a direct client) regarding a large job that was offered a few hours ago. This is coincidence and I will post the result tomorrow after I received feedback. I am definitely not working full-time for the next two months (and during holiday season) to be paid sometime in February.

I am curious myself. If the 3/3/3 formula doesn't work, I am going to decline.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
Shouldn't be a problem Nov 13, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

One third, second third, etc.

In fact, I am trying this for the first time with an agency right now (instead of a direct client) regarding a large job that was offered a few hours ago. This is coincidence and I will post the result tomorrow after I received feedback. I am definitely not working full-time for the next two months (and during holiday season) to be paid sometime in February.

I am curious myself. If the 3/3/3 formula doesn't work, I am going to decline.


If that exact formula doesn't work - especially the 1/3 upfront, try negotiate payment for batch deliveries, Nicole (end November, December, January, etc)

I always work that way with large legal projects, my regulars have never complained. As far as I'm concerned, I want payment for what I've done in a particular month, regardless of when the final deadline is.

Let us know how you get on.

Best of luck
Debs


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