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Poll: Do you lower your normal rate in order to have a better chance of being selected for a certain job?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:25
SITE STAFF
Sep 27, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you lower your normal rate in order to have a better chance of being selected for a certain job?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marjon Pijl. View the poll results »



 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never Sep 27, 2013

This is our price, take it or leave it

Cheapskate agencies can take a running jump


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, never Sep 27, 2013

And, how on earth, could I possibly know what other people's or companies' bidding price is in a "certain job?" icon_confused.gif

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
If only I knew... Sep 27, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

And, how on earth, could I possibly know what other people's or companies' bidding price is in a "certain job?" icon_confused.gif


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 06:25
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, at times Sep 27, 2013

At times when demand appears to be weak on the market, I will offer more competitive prices in an effort to get some work, whereas, when I am snowed under, I do not make discounts. This is a basic rule for doing business.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hardly ever Sep 27, 2013

My rates are already low to average and I very rarely "bid" or otherwise compete for work. Clients usually approach me, not vice versa.
If I do reduce my rates, it's usually because my client is pleading poverty, or in appreciation for deadline flexibility, interesting subject matter, etc.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:25
Member (2008)
English to Italian
NO Sep 27, 2013

NO. And if everybody keeps a standard rate without discounts, maybe someone could even realize that translation is a VALUABLE JOB, and the expression "translation market" does not mean trying to get the best translators at the same price of those without experience thanks to a continuous bargaining.

 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, never Sep 27, 2013

I actually equate attempts to push down my price with attempted robbery.

I react accordingly too. I know this because once I was in a café and the person at the next table attempted to take my bag from my side. I was aghast, so much so that I had difficulty speaking. I get the same reaction if someone ask me to lower my rate, I just can't help it, it's a knee-jerk reaction.

So, no I don't lower my rates under any circumstances.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
In principle, no Sep 27, 2013

I have diferent rates for different markets and types of job, so it depends what you mean by my 'normal' rate.

I also have an asolute minimum that I never go below.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:25
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other - I do, however not for a better chance to be selected Sep 27, 2013

I try to offer my clients transparency and flexibility. While I charge them at my prices for everything I do, I try my best to save them money by avoiding any unnecessary expense.

The most typical case is when they have a video, and request both a transcription and a translation. I challenge them to convince me that the transcript is necessary, as translation for dubbing or subtitling is best done from the video itself, directly. This usually cuts the price to half.

Sometimes they want me to translate a file on a specific DTP app. I question them whether they'll be editing that translated DTP file often. As I don't offer service in all DTP apps, I'd have to outsource that part. On the other hand, if they can distill it into a PDF, as I won't be creating a new pub, merely adjusting the layout for post-translation text swell, shrink, or misalignment, I can offer them much lower DTP rates.

Financial costs on top of translation are a good field for cutting costs. PayPal deducts 10% of what I receive through them, and I prefer to divert that amount to my clients' benefit, if they are willing to use another payment method. Interest rates in Brazil are high (9%/mo.), so if they are anyplace where these rates are lower, I can give them discounts at the expense of greedy Brazilian banks.

There are many ways for translation clients to save money, I've listed 10 of them here, and none of these involves squashing rates.

So, back to the OP, technically I never lower my rates, however I strive to lower my clients' cost, which is all that should matter to them, if they are aiming at sustainable profit.


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:25
German to English
No Sep 27, 2013

I hardly ever bid for jobs these days; my customers come to me and they are, by definition, happy with the rate I charge.

Steve K.


 

Khanda
Poland
Local time: 05:25
Polish to English
+ ...
à rebours Sep 27, 2013

When I don't want a certain job (note: this usually applies to interpreting jobs and I'm contacted directly by new clients), I usually give the asker much higher price than I'd normally charge before referring them to one of my professional colleagues, so that the next person who the client talks to has a better starting position in negotiations. My routine is: "I need to warn you that I'm rather spoilt in terms of rates, my rate is (insert an exaggerated sum) and I charge only full days, all costs included, non-negotiable. (Wait until the client stops gasping for air) However, I do understand that you might have some budget limits, so there's this very talented interpreter I could fully recommend, who has a more flexible pricing policy..."

In this way the client pays someone decent money for good service - and is happy about the deal s/he made (as they should be anyway).

But I never lower my prices. Been there and I know I feel bad about it afterwards, especially that clients who pay the least usually are the most fussy ones and have the most far-fetched demands which tend to be revealed in the middle of a project.


[Edited at 2013-09-27 11:41 GMT]


 

Simon Chiassai  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:25
English to French
+ ...
depends Sep 27, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

I have diferent rates for different markets and types of job, so it depends what you mean by my 'normal' rate.

I also have an asolute minimum that I never go below.


Similarly, I have different rates for different clients and types of jobs. I have one client who often has interesting jobs but demands lower rates than my usual rate.
On the other hand, I won't lower my rate to outbid other linguists. I'm not desperate enough yeticon_biggrin.gif

So rather than lowering my rate, I'd say I adapt it to the situation.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hardly ever Sep 27, 2013

My rates (one for each type of service) is...my rate. Take it or leave.

If a job is very large, with a comfortable deadline and coming from one of my best clients, then I might consider giving a discount. Once.

Arriving job offers with an extremely low rate are filed in File 13. Which other service providers in any given business would even consider lowering their rates? So why should LSPs?


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
A basic rule of doing business? Sep 27, 2013

Tim Drayton wrote:

At times when demand appears to be weak on the market, I will offer more competitive prices in an effort to get some work, whereas, when I am snowed under, I do not make discounts. This is a basic rule for doing business.


Where? Not in America it isn't.

Offering discounted rates means you are willing to work the same amount of hours/days for less money. Good, stable clients (agencies or direct/private clients) don't care about lower rates in general. They care about delivering work on time, as promised and in the format requested, whether it's a Word file or a piece of toilet paper.


 
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