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

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:23
SITE STAFF
Sep 10, 2013

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

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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:23
German to English
Depends Sep 10, 2013

on who the work is for
long-standing clients, not usually, unless evening or weekend work is necessary.
irritating clients - yes!
new clients - yes, until they start providing me with lots of work, in which case we usually renegotiate.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Sep 10, 2013

Yes, I have a minimum charge of EUR 40.00 for all new customers. I don't apply a minimum charge to long-term customers (with one exception).

This question has been asked at least twice:
http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/237244-poll:_do_you_have_a_minimum_invoice_charge.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/160309-do_you_have_a_minimum_charge.html


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 08:23
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 10, 2013

Yes, I have reluctantly started to apply one, although well under €25. Frankly, I think it is unconscionable to charge for one hour's work if the job will only take me ten minutes, but on the other hand clients appear prepared to pay it. I have had to lower my rates over the past couple of years in response to downward pressure in the market, so if I can claw a little bit of this back with a minimum charge that nobody seems to baulk at, then so be it.

 

Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:23
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Sep 10, 2013

I charge ½ hour's pay for very small jobs, which I don't find at all unconscionable, given the time spent on email correspondence, file handling, invoicing, and sometimes even thinking.

I may apply a reduced minimum charge or no charge at all for very good clients if the translation is tiny and can be handled directly via email.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:23
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Sep 10, 2013

Take the small things with the larger ones. I have long term customers where some of them automatically have minimum charges that I accept, some dont. Is a bit annoying sometimes, but I do not always like to be too picky - Life, you cannot always have everything and being flexible generally always pays off in the long run

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 10, 2013

Small jobs are generally a pain in the backside in all kinds of ways so I see no reason not to apply a substantial minimum charge.

If people don't like it they can go elsewhere!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Sep 10, 2013

Not really.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other - Minimum monthly charge Sep 10, 2013

I have a minimum charge for potential one-night-stands, USD 50. After that, they'll have 30 days to use the balance credit for other jobs.

No minimum charge for frequent clients, though. My smallest invoice so far was $4, the client really wanted to have it, however I've issued 5-digit invoices to this same client too, and their average with me is one job per week over the past 7 years.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:23
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
No Sep 10, 2013

A small job may lead to a larger one later on. I don't have to buy materials in advance in my job, so it doesn't hurt to do the odd small job amongst the larger ones, especially if it results in a happy customer.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:23
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Sep 10, 2013

Until just recently I didn't have a minimum charge for smaller jobs, and definately not for
clients with monthly invoices. I strongly belief in fair prices for quality work, and not requesting payment for the walk to the coffee pot.icon_smile.gif

But then it happened that the requests sailed in to translate or review a word or two or five here and there...preferable "yesterday". I don't mind helping out as a favor, so to speak, but not when it becomes a habit in the sense of this German proverb, offer your pinky, and they'll grab your whole hand.

So for new clients and for those who frequently need a word here and there (without any larger projects), there is a minimum charge, though less than EUR 25.00


 

Ben Engel
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usually Sep 10, 2013

I have one very long-standing client who feeds me lots of work, including small bits and pieces - so for her I make an exception. I tell new clients I have a minimum of £40 (800 words equivalent) per project, but most of my projects are well over that word count anyway. In actual fact, my small projects tend to be copy-editing, and rather than charge my usual hourly rate, I tend to suggest a reasonable lump sum (which may well be less than £40)... Don't want to alienate the clients, but I don't really want to work for peanuts either - especially as I've got a severe allergy! ;-D

 

Jo Bennett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:23
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, £25 or the equivalent in EUR or USD Sep 10, 2013

As others have said, the administration involved in logging the job on our system, delivering it, invoicing it and then (sometimes) chasing the payment more than justifies this, I believe.

 

Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:23
German to English
why no charge at all? Sep 10, 2013

you have spent years training to be a translator and probably more years gathering experience but don't charge for it, whereas you probably have to pay your plumber/electrician/anyone else providing a service a minimum charge just for turning up and talking to you, and they usually have very little further education background, certainly not up to Bachelor/Master level. my service providers in terms of plumbing etc, charge 60 Euro an hour!! how many of us earn that much for scratching our heads and using a tool?

I only make exceptions for certain clients because I know I will get plenty of work from them. Otherwise, sorry, my time and my experience is not given away for nothing. Just reckon it up over a year what you may be giving away!!


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
No minimum Sep 10, 2013

I don't have a minimum charge for translation, but for interpreting it's an hour and a half of my rate.

 
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