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Poll: What is the per-word price difference between your highest and lowest paying customer (this year)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:46
SITE STAFF
Jul 19, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the per-word price difference between your highest and lowest paying customer (this year)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Jocelyne S. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
Other Jul 19, 2011

I can't answer the question as no currency is specified and the answers could be either euros or dollars. But I do have a substantial difference between different customers, mainly because I have one customer that pays quite a lot more than all the others.

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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
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Which currency? Jul 19, 2011

I had the same question as Mary - which currency is meant here?

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 19, 2011

Knowing that outsourcers and agencies read these polls as well as translators, I decline to answer.

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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:46
Italian to English
I agree with Mary Jul 19, 2011

Mary Worby wrote:

I can't answer the question as no currency is specified and the answers could be either euros or dollars. But I do have a substantial difference between different customers, mainly because I have one customer that pays quite a lot more than all the others.


Which currency are we talking about?


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Antonio Fajardo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:46
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are right Jul 19, 2011

John Cutler wrote:

Knowing that outsourcers and agencies read these polls as well as translators, I decline to answer.


I was gonna post exactly my highest and lowest rate this year, but I guess you are right...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
US$ .11 Jul 19, 2011

This is new. My biggest spread used to be about US$ .04. But last November I aquired a new client that pays US$ .11 higher than the lowest I charged last year, and they've been keeping me very busy.

Earlier this year I accepted a job for a rate US$.10 lower than the Good Guys pay, then had to turn down a job from the GGs the next day. I'm making sure that doesn't happen again!


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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:46
Member
French to English
+ ...
I'm not sure that it matters, but let's say EUR Jul 19, 2011

I can't remember if I specified a currency when asking this question, but I'm not sure that it really matters. For argument's sake, let's go with EUR.

I asked this question as I am often surprised when translators advertise a single per-word rate.

Personally, I do not have a single rate and there is a fair price range (at least 0.15 EUR) between my highest and lowest paying customer this year (it's been higher in the past). That said, most of my work is billed at rates somewhere in the middle of that range.

I am baffled that some people can charge the same rate across the board. I have some projects in which I can translate two or three times more per hour than on other, more complicated translations that require much more research or a particular style; plus, there's the issue of paying a proof-reader for some translations.

I was just curious to see if I was alone in having several rates with a large discrepancy between them.


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Gwenydd Jones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:46
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Pricing needs to be adapted to suit the job Jul 19, 2011

Jocelyne S wrote:

I am baffled that some people can charge the same rate across the board. I have some projects in which I can translate two or three times more per hour than on other, more complicated translations that require much more research or a particular style; plus, there's the issue of paying a proof-reader for some translations.



If a translator charges an end client the same rate as they charge an agency then they destroy the market. They will have to take on all of the hassle that the agency usually takes care of: formatting, organising projects, perhaps an in-house proofreader and not forgetting assuming the risk that the end client might not pay. These services take time and have costs over and above doing the actual translation. If a translator charges agency rates to an end customer then they are risking spending a lot of time messing around without making a profit. At the same time they set a precedent that will mean that the end customer continues to expect unrealistic rates.

[Edited at 2011-07-19 10:50 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:46
Member (2009)
English to German
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Other as well Jul 19, 2011

John Cutler wrote:

Knowing that outsourcers and agencies read these polls as well as translators, I decline to answer.


This is exactly how I feel about answering this question, John.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The difference is around 50%! Jul 19, 2011

To evade the issue of cents (which I rarely use in any form), the difference as far as I can calculate it with the currency converter is around 50%.
I was quite amazed when I worked this out.

However, the highest-paying client is a direct client who then mails and calls me and discusses... quite a lot of things before accepting a final version of the text. It is time well spent, but the rate per hour is not particularly high.

The lowest payer is an agency in the UK, whom I have worked with for a long time. I am seriously considering trying to raise my rates with them, but there are several others who only pay slightly more. When I have tried raising rates, I occasionally get dumped by the agency instead - they simply find someone cheaper!

Most of my clients are outside the Eurozone, and so am I ... so I base my rates on Danish Kroner.
This is a relatively strong currency at the moment, and the exchange rate for Sterling is quite a bit lower than when I signed agreements with most of my British clients.

The purchasing power in the UK is different again, so I tend to bank and spend the money there.

But no, I am not going to reveal any further details!




[Edited at 2011-07-19 11:40 GMT]


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:46
German to English
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@ Jocelyne Jul 19, 2011

Thanks for the clarification!

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Rates Jul 19, 2011

I set my rates, not the client, so for me there is no such thing as a highest or lowest paying customer. Rather, there are clients I may charge more or less depending on different factors.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
1-2 cents Jul 19, 2011

I usually ask for what is considered the average market rate for general freelance translation. Agency clients then usually try to haggle the price down in their favour a bit and I usually come to an agreement as long as the final rate is no more than 1 cent lower than what I originally asked.

My rate is low to average and I try to keep it more or less across the board because I offer only a basic service - translating. My conditions include not spending time agonising over undefined acronyms or abbreviations - the author or client knows what they mean so they can tell me, or find out; no awkward file formats (no scanned PDFs, or any format remotely more time consuming than word-compatible docs). Nor do I consider formatting, spacing and fonts, indentations etc as part of the translation service, rather something the client can have checked by a secretary or similar worker).

Following a recent experience, I also now inform clients that if they have a reviewer or proofer whose skills they trust, then they should feel free to go ahead and apply any changes they suggest rather than bothering me with requests to judge any such modifications to my delivered draft, as the time required is not included in my basic competitive rate.

I am well aware that many translators are charging substantially more than I do, but they are usually providing a broader service. I don't think my rates are too low and try to take into account each case on its merits, but always within my "comfort zone".


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 17:46
English to German
+ ...
Other Jul 19, 2011

In this country the per word count does not exist. We count per line of say 55 characters including spaces. There the difference is 12 percent for agencies. For direct clients in my case it varies within a span of 84 percent depending on the case and industry.

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