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Poll: Are your rates for direct clients higher (as compared to agencies)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:03
SITE STAFF
Feb 20, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are your rates for direct clients higher (as compared to agencies)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 20:03
English to Dutch
+ ...
of course Feb 20, 2009

Why would you apply the same rate to agencies and direct customers?
We can charge direct customers a bit less than agencies would. In that way we remain competitive and generate more income. We make more money and the direct customer pays less than he would to an agency. A win-win situation if you ask me.

[Edited at 2009-02-20 13:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-02-20 13:10 GMT]


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Marta Brambilla  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:03
German to Italian
+ ...
agree Feb 20, 2009

I definetly agree with you Michaël !
The only thing maybe I pay sometimes somebody for a proofreading (when necessary) and so I earn a bit less but the customer has me as reference and not an agency !!!


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:03
Italian to French
+ ...
other... Feb 20, 2009

I only work for direct clients....

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Marisa Condurso de Nohara  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not always Feb 20, 2009

My job's worth the same acknowledgement either by a direct client or an agency. If dealing with an agency, I know they'll charge higher to the direct customer, so contacting me directly would prove profitable for the end client anyway. Translators' juncture in this region (especially in my country) is not an easy bone to gnaw. I am constantly striving for professional translators' job to be upgraded and well-paid. Usual clients receive, anyway, some discounts on the basis of a constant flow of work, and after more than 8 years, this has proved a good deal.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:03
English to French
+ ...
More work, better pay - obvious! Feb 20, 2009

Well, in my experience, working with direct clients is more costly, in terms of both time and money.

Direct clients are not as knowledgeable of our work as agencies. So, direct clients will give us more raw files than agencies do (direct clients don't prepare files for translation - you will not get TTX or ITD files from them). Direct clients also don't send you Excel files containing captions from images - they just send the image. All this (and more) involves more work on the part of the translator. Then, there is also the fact that if something goes wrong, you have to figure it out yourself, and the direct client will not give you the kind of support the agency will. Also, with direct clients, you often have to convert and format stuff you wouldn't have to with agencies. With direct clients, the layout often tends to be included in the job, whereas agencies mostly don't expect translators to also do layout.

All this justifies a higher rate. As mentioned earlier, even at that, most of the time, direct clients still get a better deal than they would with an agency. It's still a win-win situation. But working with direct clients is often harder work, and that justifies a higher rate.

[Edited at 2009-02-20 17:00 GMT]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 03:03
English to German
+ ...
As victoria. Feb 20, 2009

Hi! direct clients usually do not know the catches in the document, there is always some pre-processing to do before coming to the translation process and also a direct client is mostly not a recurring client, agecies are different here. But I see a range of agencies that keep giving all the pre-processing to the translators and not take that responsibility themselves. I could mention a range of instances here. That is when an agency becomes a direct client, and I discount on the volume and the nature of recurrance. . BR BR Brandis

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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Feb 20, 2009

No, I don't make any difference and I charge the same to everybody.

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Mariano M. Vitetta  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:03
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Taking advantage of the situation Feb 20, 2009

I agree completely with Viktoria: working for direct clients implies much more work.

Besides, we have to bear in mind that agencies act as intermediaries, and if we work for direct clients we are reaching another segment of the market. We should take advantage of that situation. It's not a matter of believing that our translations have an intrinsec value; this is business. And it should be obvious that if we are skipping an intermediary, we should be getting more money. Also, this attitude prevents the market from being broken.

Regards,

Mariano


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course they are... Feb 20, 2009

and they still save money!

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:03
French to Spanish
+ ...
Dunno... Feb 20, 2009

...never worked, and never will, with agencies.

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Ilona Hessner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:03
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Direct clients - a dream! Feb 20, 2009

Some years ago I had two or three direct clients - in our region. They contacted me by phone, cash payment ... My rates were the same ...
Why? - I thought I should be competitive! Good work establishing good relations. And when being accepted as permanent translator, I would have tried to increase my rate step by step, cautiously ...

But the economic crisis hits our Upper Franconian region (Germany West) hard; so direct orders ...a dream!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:03
English to German
+ ...
The rates are certainly higher for direct clients Feb 20, 2009

Why? Because I have to deliver full service, which means besides translating I have to hire a proofreader myself, double-check the work of the proofreader, transfer files back and forth between the proofreader and me, deal with the proofreader's invoice and pay him or her, usually before I am being paid. All the project management that agencies usually do for the translator.

Direct clients are entitled to translations that have been double-checked just as well.

Why would anyone possibly do all this at no extra charge?


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 03:03
English to French
+ ...
Less work? Feb 21, 2009

I do not think working for agencies implies less work, at least on the translation itself. I make it a point to deliver the same quality to agencies and direct clients.

Agencies take care of the “business” or “commercial” side of the job: find the customer, convince him to come back, see to it that he pays on time, etc., and that makes a huge difference.
What I like to do is translate, not spend my time (on the phone) trying to get customers (or find a translator) or put up a marketing strategy… Agencies take care of that for me, just as my accountant takes care of all tax and other accountancy matters. Their work deserves payment! So does, for direct customers, the time I spend on checking their payment for instance and insisting that they must pay NOW…


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
I understand the question Feb 21, 2009

... but confess to being baffled by some replies. Example->:

"... direct clients don't prepare files for translation - you will not get TTX or ITD files from them." - I have no idea what TTX and ITD are, so probably don't need to know.

I don't quite get the reply from Nicole, who appears to be providing a 2-way service (into both German and English) and employing proofreaders so I suppose she is working as an agency and not a freelancer.

I have mostly direct clients who pay me at my standard rates, which are average to good for my pair and location.
With agencies, I usually have to haggle or simply accept what they offer (always less than my own standard rates) if I really want to get the job, which isn't all that often.
My attitude is that I provide a premium service and my clients should appreciate this, considering themselves fortunate to enjoy my collaboration, whether they are direct or agencies.
I don't do discounts for "fuzzy matches/repetitions" or use Trados.
Moreover, in principal I am opposed to competing for jobs with translator colleagues and so sometimes am obliged to wait until suitable offers come my way.

[Edited at 2009-02-21 11:26 GMT]


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