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Poll: Do you charge different rates for different clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:12
SITE STAFF
Jun 1, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge different rates for different clients?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:12
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! Jun 1, 2014

Though not exactly because it's a different client! I translate from English, French, Italian and Spanish into European Portuguese. I charge different rates not only for different language combinations but also for different subjects and formats. Furthermore, I do apply to some clients a different rate dependent on the delivery time (i.e. surcharge for express translation jobs, overnight and weekend surcharge). I charge the same flat hourly rate to all clients for editing/revision/proofreading whatever the language combination.


[Edited at 2014-06-01 09:10 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:12
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Of course Jun 1, 2014

I do different jobs for different clients, and naturally, I charge different rates.

If an agency offers me a good rate for an assignment, does anyone really expect me to tell them: 'Ah, but your competitors are paying me 10% less?'

No way! They all get my best service, but when I am too busy to take on all the offers that come, those who offer to pay least get turned down first.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 1, 2014

I was about to put my rates up by roughly 15% in 2008 at the start of the economic crisis. A couple of my regulars weren't too happy, so I agreed to keep the same rate as before for them in most cases, except one client, for whom I established 2 different rates for the two different text types they handle (SW strings vs "normal " text).
I'm still charging more or less the same as I have for the past 5 years or so. I don't plan to raise my rates for my current clients unless the economic situation improves notably, which despite recent assurances from the government, as far as I see it has yet to materialise.

PS. I'm also usually prepared to give discounts (often unsolicited) or better rates for clients who pay promptly, aren't always in a an unseemly rush and who appreciate my work.

[Edited at 2014-06-01 10:46 GMT]


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Georgia Morgan  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:12
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
different Jun 1, 2014

Different rates in practice because of the different currencies they pay in......reais, Euros or pounds sterling. Since the exchange rates fluctuate so does what I earn. I don't change my rates every time exchange rates change as that would be too complicated, but I do review after about a year. I have had to raise my rate in reais because the Brazilian currency has fallen in value so much. Apart from that, no.

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Frankie JB
France
English to French
+ ...
No Jun 1, 2014

No, that would be unfair treatment. I charge the same to all clients, be they living in Moldavia or in Switzerland. Rate differences are based on services not on people's name or pocket depth or country... This is my idea of ethics.

[Edited at 2014-06-01 11:53 GMT]


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It's not about where clients live... Jun 1, 2014

Frankie JB wrote:

No, that would be unfair treatment. I charge the same to all clients, be they living in Moldavia or in Switzerland. Rate differences are based on services not on people's name or pocket depth or country... This is my idea of ethics.

[Edited at 2014-06-01 11:53 GMT]


... it's about what kind of work each project / assignment involves.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Jun 1, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I do different jobs for different clients, and naturally, I charge different rates.

If an agency offers me a good rate for an assignment, does anyone really expect me to tell them: 'Ah, but your competitors are paying me 10% less?'

No way! They all get my best service, but when I am too busy to take on all the offers that come, those who offer to pay least get turned down first.


You have spoken my mind, Christine.


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Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 1, 2014

And there are 2 aspects to this.
When I started out, I had set my rates slightly lower and I raised them three times over two years. Naturally, I raised them for new clients first and only started to adjust rates for existing clients when I could afford to lose them from an economical perspective and in a rough order set by payment terms, overall working relationship and volume. So at the moment, there are still some who benefit from giving me the benefit of the doubt when I first started out.

In addition, the nature of the assignments, formats, deadlines and promptness of payment all affect rates and/or my willingness to negotiate.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:12
English to Polish
+ ...
Those who can't afford more Jun 1, 2014

Non-profits and clients from poorer countries do get more leeway with rates than first-world companies.

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 14:12
English to German
+ ...
Yes Jun 1, 2014

Most of my clients are Swiss agencies and they fix the rates that are slightly different. It is take it or leave it.
For all Swiss direct clients I charge the same rate.
For all foreign agencies I charge the same lower rate, lower than the Swiss agencies pay.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:12
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes Jun 1, 2014

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

Frankie JB wrote:

No, that would be unfair treatment. I charge the same to all clients, be they living in Moldavia or in Switzerland. Rate differences are based on services not on people's name or pocket depth or country... This is my idea of ethics.

[Edited at 2014-06-01 11:53 GMT]


... it's about what kind of work each project / assignment involves.


And not only that, payment terms, relationship.

Sometimes it is better to "earn" a little less and have the payment within a week than to earn a lot and wait 2 months....


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:12
French to English
Rate as a function of the type of text Jun 1, 2014

My first basic rule is to charge according to the level of complexity and/or specialized nature of the text. Why should an awkward"poor" client with tough technical requirements make me poorer too? I have a business to run, a family to feed, clothe and house. That is the hardline although if I decide to work with associations, NGOs and so on, then yes, lower rates would apply. The second rule does allow room for manouvre therefore. For some organisations I prefer to translate for free, if the text is not too long, or not at all.

However, the basic rule applies generally as I cannot afford to work at a loss, giving time to clients who cannot pay on time or at all. I've suffered too much at the hands of clients of that type who still expect work to the same standard. Now if they cannot pay, they can find another translator.

[Edited at 2014-06-01 16:12 GMT]


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Is it ethical Jun 1, 2014

Frankie JB wrote:

No, that would be unfair treatment. I charge the same to all clients, be they living in Moldavia or in Switzerland. Rate differences are based on services not on people's name or pocket depth or country... This is my idea of ethics.


charge to your Swiss customers what you charge in Moldova, thus contributing to ruin still more the market?

Of course, it depends on the yardstick you apply; I don't think the other way round your customers can afford the Swiss rates...

[Bearbeitet am 2014-06-01 15:27 GMT]


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 07:12
German to English
+ ...
Other Jun 1, 2014

For one thing, you might consider how much work is involved, and thus a different rate on the surface might actually be the same rate for "amount of work involved".

For example, I had a difficult customer who asked many unnecessary questions, phoned me up a lot, had complicated ways of doing things from their end which compromised working smoothly at mine. It took me 1 1/2 times as long to do the same material, and eventually I decided that I should charge more, because it was more work.

I charge the same for end clients and agencies, because I do the same work. Even for the few agencies who hire a proofreader, I still proofread and sometimes responding to the proofreader's comments can take more time, if their corrections are incorrect.

Up to now I've given agencies a lower minimum charge for small translations such as driving licenses. However, I discovered by chance that some of them are charging extra for my certification stamp, which I'm not charging them. So I'm rethinking this.

I think it is good to be fair, but also consider all the elements of what you are doing.


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