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Poll: Do you usually quote for jobs asking for your 'Best rates'?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:18
SITE STAFF
Jan 15, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you usually quote for jobs asking for your 'Best rates'?".

This poll was originally submitted by James A. Walsh. View the poll results »



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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:18
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
I don't usually bid for jobs Jan 15, 2011

Because, in my experience, jobs posted on bidding sites tend to attract low prices.

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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:18
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Absolutely no but... Jan 15, 2011

Sometimes yes

IMHO ''best rates'' means lowest rate. I don't quote any ''best rate'' jobs. But, but somtimes yes. I quote so: - ''Hello, i am ready to handle this job for 0,84 EUR/per source word

Anadolu'dan selamlar
Saludos desde Anatolia

[Edited at 2011-01-15 09:35 GMT]


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
The words 'best rates' tell me everything I need to know Jan 15, 2011

The words 'best rates' tell me that this client is not for me. In fact, I have put these words in my email filter so that I am not distracted from real work by these frivolous requests.

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:18
Member
German to English
+ ...
I don't see the issue ... Jan 15, 2011

Personally, I don't see the issue with the wording. I wouldn't treat such enquiries any differently to those asking for my 'normal rates'. It's just a fairly formulaic turn of phrase, I see no insult!

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I tell them the truth Jan 15, 2011

My best rate is definitely my standard rate.

So what would be my worse rates?

A few examples...

Longer payment term - I am into a professional translation. However I'll always be an amateur in financial services, as I lack both the capital and the skills to offer them like a bank would. So my interest rate is outrageously higher than professional moneylenders', if the client wants to 'borrow' money from me beyond my standard payment term.

Special book rates - I've handled several projects all the way from writer to printer, and even beyond that, hence I know what it takes to get a book commercially published. The up-front investment is high: advance on guaranteed royalties, translation, DTP, cover artwork, photoliths, paper, printing, binding, sales, and 'logistics' to make it short. It will take a while before the first book gets sold, and ROI crawls its way back. The most likely spot to cut costs is in translation, which must be good, in order not to jeopardize the whole project. I can lower my translation rate by up to 40%, but... it will get a lower priority from me. I'll work on the book on otherwise 'idle' hours, e.g. while my current #1 project is being proofread, while the computer is rendering subtitled video, etc. This tends to delay the ROI further, so it eventually may cost more to the client.

Urgency - My peak production is three times my average. If the client needs the job done faster than I would do it normally, there is a 50% surcharge on weekdays, or a 100% surcharge on weekends. I took these figures from the Brazilian law on certified/sworn translations; I didn't invent them. This includes a 'disruption fee', as I'll have to accomodate other projects under way.

Hence my best rate is my standard rate. All other rates have some 'penalty' associated.

Again, I tell'em the truth. If they are willing to pay half of my rate or less, I advise them to use free online automatic translation. If it sticks, they can pocket the money they'd otherwise waste on an amateur. If it doesn't, they'll have more of it left in the budget to hire me to redo the job comme il faut.

If I lowered my rate just because someone asked, my initial estimate would have been a rip-off, aka dishonest. My personal ethics code doesn't allow it.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:18
German to English
+ ...
Other Jan 15, 2011

I never bid for jobs via ProZ, for a number of reasons. If a get an inquiry for a job from elsewhere (regular customer or new) I quote the price that I reckon the client will be willing to pay (some clients have a larger budget than others), but never below a certain minimum price. Occasionally I quote a very high price simply because I would rather not take the job on.

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:18
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Jan 15, 2011

I have no "lowest", "average" and "highest" rates, I have only one rate. And when I get such an enquiry, I may answer favourably quoting my rate or decline, depending on the customer's background and probably on my mood.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jan 15, 2011

If taking on new clients, especially if they are agencies, I expect them to tell me how much they are prepared to pay for the job. Then I can decide whether to apply for/accept it or not. I am not fond of being obliged to haggle and compete with colleagues to get work as though we were in some kind of flea market, and usually avoid this type of client.
I neve cease to be amazed at the stringent conditions and absurdly brief delivery terms demanded and the low rates offered on a daily basis on translation sites, and the number of responses they get.

I find it difficult to remain calm and explain here just exactly how annoyed the implications of these type of quotes make me, without descending into a rant.
Basically: I consider myself an honest person; I set what I consider an honest rate accordingly for my services. However, I feel that a "best rate" request implicity assumes that I have one or several rates, and will stoop and squirm to try to get as much filthy lucre from unsuspecting clients as possible (=money-grubbing).
The fact that my rates are not set in stone means that I am more inclined to give clients a rebate, discount (for example, for larger volumes of text or comfortable deadlines) or free service once they have accepted my fair and reasonable basic fee. Not that I am willing to drop them like Madonna's knickers every time some fly-by-night penny-pincher turns up.

However, I also tend to avoid agencies who call jobs "projects" and have glossy, expensive-looking websites, so maybe I'm just too bloody-minded [Note to moderators: Brit. informal: = deliberately obstructive and unhelpful] and the wrong person to ask about this.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wish I could Jan 15, 2011

John Rawlins wrote:
The words 'best rates' tell me that this client is not for me. In fact, I have put these words in my email filter so that I am not distracted from real work by these frivolous requests.


I wish I could be as calm and collected about it as John. However, I can't help wanting to berate them into the bargain!


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:18
English to French
+ ...
I give my top rates Jan 15, 2011

I usually quote giving my top rates and talking about quality of work and prompt payment to help me maintain my good rates.

I usually don't hear from them afterwards I don't know why?


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Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:18
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
... Jan 15, 2011

I reply with my rate (best rate to me). I know I will not get the job anyway because they are looking for cheap labour, but it is just for them to know to right price. If that matters at all to them...

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Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 04:18
Member (2008)
Greek to English
Other Jan 15, 2011

The phrase "best rate(s)" in itself has no influence on whether I decide to quote for a job or what that quote will be. I see it as having no more significance than "Best regards" at the end of an e-mail.

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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:18
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
"Best rates" Jan 15, 2011

can suggest a client who is driven more by profit than by quality, and who is therefore likely to bring lesser rewards both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:18
English to Russian
+ ...
What is best, really? Jan 15, 2011

I don't bid on such jobs, but when asked directly for my best rates, I usually respond with my standard rate and a Zen parable:

As Banzan was walking through a marketplace, he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.
"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."
At these words Banzan was enlightened.


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