Poll: Do you charge a minimum fee?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:19
SITE STAFF
Apr 22, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge a minimum fee?".

This poll was originally submitted by Argyro Alykatora. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends on the client! Apr 22, 2011

In case of regular clients I don't charge it.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
English to German
+ ...
It depends. Apr 22, 2011

I don't charge a minimum fee if a clients wants to add a line to their website or any other ongoing project, but any small and unrelated bit of text out of context requires a minimum fee.

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Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not for regular clients Apr 22, 2011

But for new customers, unreliable clients etc, I think it is advisable.

It is also v frustrating to have to chase up tiny amounts - you tend to think that the amount of time you spend doing so is not compensated by the amount, and might even contemplate writing it off beccause it's such a small amount. But if you have imposed a minimum fee, at least it makes that chase a little more worthwhile! And remember, even small amounts mount up... ("look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves")


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on client Apr 22, 2011

Regulars, who give me lots of work over the years, are proactive, listen, and pay on time, may even be rewarded with the odd freeby.

For others, depending on which side of the bed I've rolled out of and how I perceive the client's attitude, I might apply a minimum charge equivalent to my basic hourly rate, which is more or less equivalent to 500 words.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
Member (2006)
German to English
You took the words out of my mouth Apr 22, 2011

neilmac wrote:

Regulars, who give me lots of work over the years, are proactive, listen, and pay on time, may even be rewarded with the odd freeby.

For others, depending on which side of the bed I've rolled out of and how I perceive the client's attitude, I might apply a minimum charge equivalent to my basic hourly rate, which is more or less equivalent to 500 words.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
A few words for nothing, repeated a few times - too much Apr 22, 2011

A long time ago, an agency not known to me asked me to do a few words for them free. They did the same again a few months later. When they asked it for the third time in a year, during which time they had never sent me any actual paid work, I demanded a minimum charge. They reacted with indignation - but they did pay it.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
Member (2004)
English to Italian
My clients expect it... Apr 22, 2011

it's a standard procedure in many professions and, as professionals, we should apply it. Of course, I give the occasional freeby too...

A side remark: to those who do not apply a minimum fee, do you think that your client (in case of an agency, obviously) doesn't apply it to their end client? I doubt it very much.


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
for certificates Apr 22, 2011

I translate some diplomas. They are often short, but rather convoluted, as the languages (Latin>Engish) do not follow the same organizational structure. I charge a minimum fee, as a per word fee isn't worth my while.

OTOH, I have done freebies for regular clients who pay on time.
Freebies come after THE CLIENTS have proved themselves to ME.
Likewise, I do very short translations for my regular clients and bill per word/line.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It all depends Apr 22, 2011

Michael Harris wrote:

neilmac wrote:

Regulars, who give me lots of work over the years, are proactive, listen, and pay on time, may even be rewarded with the odd freeby.

For others, depending on which side of the bed I've rolled out of and how I perceive the client's attitude, I might apply a minimum charge equivalent to my basic hourly rate, which is more or less equivalent to 500 words.


I agree with both Michael and Neil.

If a regular client, who provides me with good, continues work and pays on time, needs me to take a quick look at something or translate a line or two, Freebee is the word of the hour.

I've done a freebee once for a prospective client. It was just editing one sentence - a matter of perhaps half a minute. And also for another client - who's yet to pay me because the due date hasn't rolled in yet - which was only a 3-word translation. It would require more time to send said client an invoice for... peanuts. It#s not worth my time, and also this client is beginning to become a regular.


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 09:19
German to English
One hour Apr 22, 2011

I charge a minimum fee equivalent to one hour of my time. I never used to, but then I ended up spending time invoicing, tracking and following up on tiny little amounts, and it just wasn't worth my time. Now something might only take me half an hour to do, but I get paid for my admin time too. If it ends up taking me more than an hour, the customer effectively gets a discount, and I don't feel too short-changed.

(Obviously there are exceptions. If a good customer sends me a one-paragraph memo or an out-of-office reply to look over, I don't charge them for that 5 minutes!)


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 11:19
50 Euro Apr 22, 2011

for the first order. But I am very generous with regular clients, especially those I like. They don't need to pay for a few words, or even a few lines.

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:19
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes Apr 23, 2011

I charge a minimum rate, and sometimes with new clients I will start with that rate and raise it later. For editing jobs I will charge a flat rate for smaller projects in localization.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I *always* charge a minimum fee Apr 23, 2011

Even with my regular clients. In addition to the tracking and billing time, I have to gear up to the subject matter and put other work aside. Which is the point: if I'm losing time from other work or miss out on a job that come in, then by gum, I want to be paid decently to make up for all that.

I have given freebies, but then that's a different story.


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