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Poll: Do you ask for a minimum charge for a very small project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:20
SITE STAFF
Sep 7, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ask for a minimum charge for a very small project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ivan Niu. View the poll results »



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 7, 2015

That's the point of a minimum charge.

I've had agencies offer me half my minimum charge before. I guess they wouldn't ask unless there were clowns out there who fall for that.

[Edited at 2015-09-07 08:18 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 7, 2015

It depends on the client and my relationship with them. I don't mind giving my best, most loyal ones the occasional freebie, as long as they don't make a habit of it.

PS: Most of my clients are direct, but I might even do the odd one for agencies too, if I like them.

[Edited at 2015-09-07 08:31 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Sep 7, 2015

I only apply my minimum charge to one-off jobs from new clients. If a client regularly wants lots of little jobs done then I switch to monthly invoicing. For older and long-term customers, however, I tend to include small jobs into the next invoice or even not to charge it at all.

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:20
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, as a rule Sep 7, 2015

with the only exception of a client asking me for a few words; that I'll do for free.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:20
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, with a few exceptions Sep 7, 2015

Just 2 days ago a client asked me to do 100 words. They are not a very regular client, but not strangers either. I cut my minimum in half ( and still came out ahead).

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Christelle P  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
exactly - monthly invoice Sep 7, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I only apply my minimum charge to one-off jobs from new clients. If a client regularly wants lots of little jobs done then I switch to monthly invoicing. For older and long-term customers, however, I tend to include small jobs into the next invoice or even not to charge it at all.


I do the same
But I can also be one of the "clowns" that Chris S. points at, if I have time or the mini-translation could lead somewhere else, I don't mind accepting less than my minimum. I do mention it to them though, to let them know that it's an exception.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Sep 7, 2015

I always charge a minimum fee. However, I've translated a few words free of charge for long-standing clients, knowing that these "few words" are rather an exception and that's more work/larger projects are always coming.

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Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:20
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes for irregular clients, no for regular ones Sep 7, 2015

If a client sends you thousands of dollars worth of orders per year and asks for a short translation, it is not particularly intelligent to insist on a minimum charge. I usually do them for free, actually.

The situation is different with a new or infrequent clients.


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Martha Schwan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Minimum charge for a small project Sep 7, 2015

I do charge a minimum fee for a small project, but for a extremely small document, I do not charge at all. Sometimes a client comes with just a sentence and I simply won't charge 1.50 or 2.00 for that.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
In principle, but it depends on the client Sep 7, 2015

One of my very good agency clients has an end client who almost always sends tiny snippets, and wants them in Trados in most EU languages, sometimes in a hurry... and they ALWAYS pay a minimum charge. Otherwise it would not be reasonable.

Others are happy with two lines in a return mail, 'today or tomorrow, when convenient', and I tend to do those for free - it would take me longer to make out an invoice than to do the job!

They don't make a habit of it, and they do come back with 'real' jobs as a rule.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the situation Sep 7, 2015

Minimum charge for non-established client or client that only assigns minimum jobs: $100.00
Minimum charge for company that sends me regular large projects: $50.00
Minimum charge for company that sends me regular large projects and pays quickly (< two weeks): $35.00
Minimum charge for small follow-up jobs to existing/past large projects: $20.00



[Edited at 2015-09-08 13:14 GMT]


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:20
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Other Sep 7, 2015

For my regular clients I usually do small translations for free (up to 60-70 words).

As for the new clients, I either apply my minimum charge, either decline the job offer if I have a feeling that I am dealing with cheapskates.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:20
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Many situations here: Sep 8, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I only apply my minimum charge to one-off jobs from new clients. If a client regularly wants lots of little jobs done then I switch to monthly invoicing. For older and long-term customers, however, I tend to include small jobs into the next invoice or even not to charge it at all.


Exactly, Teresa.

1) For a regular client who sends jobs regularly, I'll add the word count to the month total. No minimum charges.
2) For a regular client who sends jobs sporadically, I can wait for the next job or not charge at all.
3) Sometimes the client offers a minimum fee, so I'll accept it.
4) For a new client: I'll probably not submit a quote for a very small job. If it's a renouned client who found me in ProZ and submitted a very small job, I'll consider they are "testing" me, and charge a normal fee or nothing at all.
5) For a new client who found me in ProZ, and has no Blue Board record or an average below 4.6 there, most of the time I just jot the e-mail. These things are sent in series to dozens of translators. Not worth replying.

In general, I always consider it makes no sense to do sample translations of up to 300 words to unknown potential clients, and consider that normal, then charging a minimum fee from a regular client who practically needs a favor from you. It is a sound commercial practice to do that "favor" for your good clients.

[Edited at 2015-09-08 06:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-08 06:12 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:20
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another very common situation Sep 8, 2015

is the client that sends an email with a stretch in the body instead of attached. This is like "could you do me a favor". This is also a "free" or "courtesy" job that happens all the time.

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