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Poll: How do you generally respond to requests for your "best" rate?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:08
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just my rate Dec 2

"I have no "best rate", just my rate."

Josephine Cassar
Paul van Zijll
 

Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 14:08
Member (Mar 2019)
English to Danish
+ ...
I don't Dec 2

99 out of 100 times I bin such requests.

Once in a blue moon, I respond with a 'best price' that is somewhat above my standard rate, just for the fun of it.

And sometimes, I have a rant about this on Proz...


Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 14:08
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
My highest rate Dec 3

I tend to ignore these requests, but sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I give them my highest rate (which is the best for me, of course). I never hear back from them.

Muriel Vasconcellos
Teresa Borges
 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:08
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
I don't get the righteous indignation out there ... Dec 4

Hmm. I really don't understand the common attitude in the forum of insisting on one's rate, as if it were a question of principle.
Or being insulted by clients' requests for lower rates.
It's all business.
If the job is worth it, I lower my rate, and I have no qualms about doing so.
And I am not surprised that a client wants the lowest rate he can get. So do I when I look for service providers in other areas. Is there anyone who doesn't?


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Some explanations Dec 5

Justin Peterson wrote:

Hmm. I really don't understand the common attitude in the forum of insisting on one's rate, as if it were a question of principle.
Or being insulted by clients' requests for lower rates.


I won't work at rates below a certain threshold (and that doesn't mean I 'm not flexible), but I can tell you that no one asking for the "best rate" could or would want to to ever afford my rates. My rates are what you can call professional rates. If I were to "apply" for one of those "offers (=demands)" for the best rate, I would surely be rejected. So yes, it's the principle. I don't work for peanuts.

I don't get insulted anymore, at least not as much. I don't like it (see below), but looking at whose asking for it, it's mostly agencies with questionable backgrounds. My experience. And I believe a lot more people these days seem to figure that one out. Maybe eventually, everybody will understand that working for "best rates" carries a lot of risks. The more people wise up to it, the less insulted I will feel. It won't matter as much. And since I don't even deal with those people because better business is available, I don't really have to feel insulted.

Justin Peterson wrote:

It's all business.


No. It's a childish approach to trying to establish a business relationship in our industry. Especially, since it's directed to anyone who listens and is gullible, and there's no previous relationship that would even entitle middlemen who demand such rate to these incredible discounts for quality service.

What "best rate" means is this:

"Accept my demand for the cheapest possible price. I am not interested in a rate that reflects your quality service. I want it as low as you can crawl (5 Cents, 4 Cents, 3 Cents anyone?!)."

It's not worth even thinking about "applying."

Justin Peterson wrote:

If the job is worth it, I lower my rate, and I have no qualms about doing so.
And I am not surprised that a client wants the lowest rate he can get. So do I when I look for service providers in other areas. Is there anyone who doesn't?


If you believe in decent rates at all, no such job ("Gimme the best rate") is worth it. You're not going to be "successful" (= win the bid) with clients who "demand" the best rate. Believe me. There will always be someone else who offers a lower rate. Remember, they want the "best" rate. I believe it's mostly newbies who think they have to try this out for a start. Believe me, it's not a good start to a professional career. It holds a lot of risks. Some will pay you only when "they" want to, or if you bug them enough, or when they get a bad rating on the Blueboard."

When you look for service providers in other areas, you can compare rates and prices. Yes. But you don't advertise in the newspaper or online that you want your kitchen sink fixed yesterday and will only accept the "best offer" and that you will pay whenever you want. Well maybe some do. But I wouldn't be part of that either. Now, if the service provider advertises a great rate, it's a little different. It's a rate that he/she calculated to make business sense. Unless he is going bankrupt and needs to get rid of everything no matter what the price. And it makes a great difference if we talk about services versus products.

When we compare our service with other services, we should compare it with similar areas: lawyers, expert technicians, etc.
Try asking them for the best rate in an ad and wait for them to come running to you.
Unfortunately, many in our business have no clue what translation actually entails, what we actually know and have learned in order to do an excellent job. They don't know or simply ignore that the "best rate" middlemen aren't interested in a professional relationship with them. That's sad, but it hasn't killed those of us off yet who offer their services at decent rates.

Do we like the "best rate" translators or middlemen who demand such rates? No, I don't. Every translation job that goes to one of those people is a job lost to us. But all we can do is continue and try to convince people to work for fair prices. I need to because otherwise I'll kill myself working like crazy and not making enough money. Who wants that? And I am not going to just enable middlemen to make money for basically doing nothing (but find posted jobs somewhere, accept them and then find the cheapest guy/gal to actually do the work).

And it is an insult to a professional in our business when someone says "gimme the best rate." It means "I don't care what you want to offer or what rate you expect. I'll find me a yutz who is willing and stupid enough to give me as much quality as possible for a hilarious and, yes, insulting rate." It's bullying, plain and simple. If you accept, you let yourself be bullied. You didn't stick to your principles. You are not a pro, sorry (generally speaking). My 2 Cents.


[Edited at 2019-12-05 03:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-12-05 13:18 GMT]


Jocelin Meunier
 
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