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Poll: Are you generally satisfied with the rates your clients pay?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:28
SITE STAFF
Sep 4, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you generally satisfied with the rates your clients pay?".

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:28
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes Sep 4, 2014

But it is not only the rates, it is also the payment moral, and that is pretty good at the moment

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Other Sep 4, 2014

It depends which clients. I still accept some jobs at rates that are rather low, for various reasons: agencies that helped me when I had not enough work, language pairs/subjects that I want to do...

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Elina Sellgren  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:28
Member (2013)
Finnish to English
+ ...
Somewhat Sep 4, 2014

I am in the process of trying to find new clients who are willing to pay better rates than my older clients. A couple of old clients have accepted a raised rate, many have not... but it's a slow process and it is not hopeless at all.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some yes, some no Sep 4, 2014

I have a range of 8 cents a word between my highest and my lowest-paying clients. I cherish the ones at the top. The lower rates are average for the market and I wouldn't get much work if I pushed for higher (given current trends). I don't turn them down because the work is interesting and my golden clients don't keep me busy full-time. This way, my inbox is full and the average overall is comfortable.

If the question was about the average for all the clients, then I'd answer yes.


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Rudolf Frans Maulany  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:28
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Somewhat Sep 4, 2014

Because the rates clients pay depends on the market rates sometimes I am satisfied sometimes not.

[Edited at 2014-09-04 21:27 GMT]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:28
Member
English to French
Yes Sep 4, 2014

But rather I am generally satisfied with the rates that I charge to clients. They pay me after I charge them. Feeling underpaid must be so depressing!

I don't work at rates that I find too low because I need motivation to do a proper job. Working at rates that I find inadequate would make me grumpy, bitter and upset.
And in all fairness, I don't feel it's right to charge charge one customer less than another for the exact same service (and same behaviour on their part) just because they bullied me more to lower my rates.

Philippe


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 4, 2014

Otherwise I wouldn't work for them!

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:28
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, somewhat Sep 4, 2014

On average, I am happy with the rates I charge my clients. Like Muriel I have a range of 7 cents word between my highest and my lowest-paying clients. I would like to charge more to some of them but I am already charging more than a number of my competitors…

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:28
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Somewhat Sep 4, 2014

I have my own standard rates, which I think are pretty much international standard rates for the industry - albeit not high enough in my opinion.

I VERY rarely accept any lower rates - that belongs to the past.

[Edited at 2014-09-04 11:02 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, definitely Sep 4, 2014

... because it's not the rates they pay, but the rates I charge.

Before giving the impression that I command prices in a very unusual market niche, that's not the case. My rates are commensurate with the market average, adjusted by a sensible maturity curve for the translating profession. In short, what I deliver and receive in return is worthwhile for both parties in the deal; this is a permanent goal of mine.

I am not at all satisfied with the rates some prospects offer, however that's a completely different issue, the bottom line being that these shall remain prospects forever, failing to become my clients.

I was recently involved in a multilingual project, where one colleague working in another language pair got careless... He sent his invoice to all other translators, by using the "reply to all" option on the original assignment e-mail message. I realized that his rate for the same work - though in a different language pair - was 50% higher than mine.

Should I bother? Should I raise my rates? My immediate and final answer was NO!
IMO I'm getting fair compensation for the effort it takes me to do my work, and have enough demand to keep me busy during most - when not all - of the time.

Since it ain't broke, I'm not fixing it.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
More or less Sep 4, 2014

I haven't put my rates up since 2008 and have kept them as they were due to the economic crisis. Some of my smaller Spanish clients are still struggling.
I even do the odd bit of agency work at rates 12.5 or 25% lower than my own, as long as the other conditions are OK (deadlines mainly) and I can be bothered.
I know that my rates are average to low, considering my experience and the service I provide, but am still earning "enough to get by"... although then again, if I wasn't, I'd do something about it.

BTW, (unless I feel like it) I don't give discounts for reps, fuzzy or otherwise, which I think bumps up the ante somewhat compared to someone who charges, for example, 25% more than I do, but then lets an agency or client whittle down their earnings on the basis of repetitions etc, so I reckon it all pans out in the end.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Sep 4, 2014

Like José Henrique, it's not the rates they pay, but the rates I charge. I set the rates and no one else.

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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:28
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Wrong question Sep 4, 2014

This is the wrong questions. Correct would have been "Are you satisfied with the rates you charge"?

Please remember: we set the rates, not our customers.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
An upside-down trade Sep 4, 2014

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

This is the wrong questions. Correct would have been "Are you satisfied with the rates you charge"?

Please remember: we set the rates, not our customers.


Riccardo,

The problem, as I see it, is that too many translators apparently don't know that, so they can't remember it. Their motto is "beggars can't be choosers". If this were not the case, you wouldn't see any translation clients "offering" (aka trying to impose) their rates.

Anyone not satisfied with the rates they (can) charge should either develop/improve their level of service, or seriously consider some other endeavor to make a living from.


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