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Poll: Do you quote on jobs which are under 300 words?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 00:15
Jan 8, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you quote on jobs which are under 300 words?".

This poll was originally submitted by Cristina Heraud-van Tol

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see:


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends Jan 8, 2010

If a company needs a small translation, and the reputation is good well, it could be a way to be introduced...


Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Jan 8, 2010

I usually don't quote on jobs. If I did, I would probably not bother quoting on such jobs.

But of course I do such jobs for my existing clients, with a minimum fee.


Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:15
Russian to English
+ ...
Don't. Unless this is an old client Jan 8, 2010

IMHO, quotes for jobs under 300 words should be as for ONE HOUR OF WORK (or MIN. QUOTE that must not be lower than a certain non-negotiable amount).


Mike (de Oliveira) Brady  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
Only if it's for a repeat customer Jan 8, 2010

I have some customers who want email messages translated from time to time. When I do these, I offer to put them on account, partly as a way to ensure they remember me the next time, though often they pay immediately. This is particularly true for Brazilian clients who can easily make a transfer to my Brazilian bank account, and usually do so on receipt.

For new customers, I offer a 100-word free translation, so if they approach me directly I may offer this.


Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
German to English
+ ...
Have done Jan 8, 2010

I have done in the past, but like Sophie, I tend not to quote on jobs, anyway.
I am happy to do small jobs for regular clients.


Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Italian to English
+ ...
I assume 'quote' means 'ProZ quote' Jan 8, 2010

I assume the point of the question relates to bidding for jobs on the ProZ job system, otherwise it would be tantamount to saying 'do you refuse to do jobs of less than 300 words?', and I can't see why anyone would do that, especially for existing customers, as the small jobs are often the lighter ones rather than grizzly legal or technical tomes.

Personally I find that outsourcers who advertise jobs on the main job system are often (for some reason) those for whom cheapness is the only virtue in a translator, and I don't believe in dealing with them anyway.

[Edited at 2010-01-08 12:26 GMT]


Local time: 09:15
English to French
+ ...
Same here Jan 8, 2010

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I usually don't quote on jobs. If I did, I would probably not bother quoting on such jobs.

But of course I do such jobs for my existing clients, with a minimum fee.

I do not "quote" on jobs either, I have a "human" relation with my customers. They know the type of work I do, what I am good at and what prices are.
New clients enquire sometimes. I then I explain how I work.

Small jobs (birth certificates, for instance) from new customers are usually accepted for a minimum fee. Small jobs for regular customers just go at the regular price, "lost" among the rest of the monthly invoice.

Have a nice week-end!


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Minimum fee Jan 8, 2010

No, I do not "quote" on jobs under 300 words. An automatic $50 minimum fee is applied with a minimum turn-around time of 24 hours.

[Edited at 2010-01-08 13:16 GMT]


Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
To quote or not to quote Jan 8, 2010

I don't quote. Most offers here are with Trados reductions and "best price" meaning delivery the day before yesterday at the lowest possible price. Better look for customers the "old" way than to bid.


Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member (2009)
French to English
I do, but it doesn't take long Jan 8, 2010

I just quote my minimum fee and move on.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Why not? Jan 8, 2010

Lots of letters are about that length.
CVs, press announcements, lots of marketing items.
Menus, brochures...

I do jobs from 150 - 500 words all the time for my regular clients, and if a new client has a good Blue Board record, what is there to lose? I do check, but if I lose an hour´s work then it is better than a whole day or a week!

Small jobs are, as mentioned above, a way to introduce oneself to new clients, provided they pay a minimum.

I would earn far less without them. Besides, many small jobs are ´ongoing stories´, and new episodes arrive at regular intervals, so although each job is small, I can still benefit from knowing the client or the sort of terminology that comes up.

I voted ´it depends´ because the critical factors are not the length of the job. If I am bidding, I often have other things in the pipeline, and cannot meet a tight deadline for a big job. But I can fit in a small one and have found several good clients that way.


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Couldn't agree more with Christine Jan 8, 2010

300 words today, 30,000 tomorrow... always depending upon Blue Board or instinct, and, if the worst comes to the worst, then it was only an hour or so (the so being the bidding and billing time, plus perhaps a tiny bit for sulking).


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:15
English to French
+ ...
I do Jan 8, 2010

I do quote on 300-word jobs or less, unless of course I have a juicier prospect.

I quote my minimum fee. That small job better be very important and the client better put quality above price, because otherwise, they will be paying a hefty converted word rate.

Edit: I construe "quoting on a job" to mean quoting on any job: established client, new client, agency, direct client, ProZ job, etc. If the asker of this poll question means a ProZ job post per se by "job", then my answer is that I do not quote as my rates largely surpass the rates so generously "offered" by job posters.

[Edited at 2010-01-08 16:35 GMT]


xxxAguas de Mar
Same as Jeff Jan 8, 2010

I have a minimum rate for small jobs. I do not discriminate based on the size of the job; a small one can eventually land me a much bigger one.

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