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This job is restricted to [blue ribbon] ProZ.com members.
Thread poster: Sorana_M.

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 01:18
English to Romanian
Jul 17

What makes potential clients choose this when they post a job ad?

I mean, what does the [blue ribbon] tell them in terms of the_right_person_for_this_particular_job?

What is there behind the [blue ribbon] that convinces them to advertise jobs in that restrictive manner?

(mind you, those potential clients may well ask for your "best rate").


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Post not necessary for thread

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Just a wild guess Jul 18

Perhaps they believe that paying members are good translators because they generate enough income to pay the membership fee, especially if they've been members for many years. I really wouldn't know what motivates them to restrict jobs, not being a client myself.

Yes, there are a few (not all, of course) who ask for your "best rate" - which is a criteria to not even read on, let alone quote on the job.

As the title implies, I'm just guessing, and not saying at all that non-members might be "bad" translators.

Let's see if our colleagues have other ideas (or guesses).


Oleksandr Ivanov
Angus Stewart
Angie Garbarino
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Simply another way to reduce the number of replies Jul 18

Sorana_M. wrote:
What makes potential clients choose [the option to select only paying ProZ.com members] when they post a job advert? I mean, what does the [fact that the person is a paying ProZ.com member] tell them in terms of the right person for this particular job?


Although there may be some clients who believe that a translator who is willing to pay for ProZ.com membership is more likely to be a professional translator, it may simply be a way to reduce the number of replies.


Teresa Borges
Thayenga
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Kevin Fulton
writeaway
Oleksandr Ivanov
Philippe Etienne
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
ONE at the expense of the OTHER: censure vs sunk costs Jul 18

On one hand, even a radiobox with a few (pre-selected) options may speed up a process, giving a false feeling of freedom, limited by the designer's considerations and the environment.

On the other hand, (higher) barriers to entry sift out sure incompetent, requiring more efforts to get a better place, grounded on sunk costs-related effects (not exactly 'economic loss').

So, they choose something, because (1) it was in the menu, (2) they can, and (3) it squares to the policy, why?

[Edited at 2018-07-18 20:04 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
French to English
Advantages, express and implied Jul 18

There are probably a number of express incentives and other implied advantages.

ProZ staff will be able to inform us with regard to express advantages. I don't think there's much point imagining what they might be. If they exist, then someone will be able to let us know, unless they prefer not to.

Implied advantages may be as already suggested and will be as wide-ranging as the imagination of the poster. In the mind of someone unfamiliar with the fact the translation market might suppose that a "member" is a more serious and experienced professional. Translation is unregulated in most countries across the world; some countries have a certification system for official/court translators and interpreters, but not all. Some countries have translators' associations with various levels of membership and access to which is determined by experience and qualifications. Many countries also have formal translation qualifications available.

The value attached by potential clients to qualifications and memberships will vary, but for many, unfamiliar with the market and with what actually makes a good translator, it is understandable that they might seek to rely upon such factors as membership. I think it is probably less about considering whether a professional can afford to pay for membership than it is about supposing that professionals who take themselves seriously will adhere to certain structures and organisations. There is a lot of subconsicous inference involved.

[Edited at 2018-07-18 11:43 GMT]


Mirko Mainardi
Emma Page
 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 01:18
English to Romanian
TOPIC STARTER
But then... Jul 18

Samuel Murray wrote:

Although there may be some clients who believe that a translator who is willing to pay for ProZ.com membership is more likely to be a professional translator, it may simply be a way to reduce the number of replies.


Alright, but then, why add "non-members may quote after X or XX hours"? And "please contact the outsourcer by mail"? If your intention is to reduce the number of replies? For the sake of political correctness or what? Just to apparently avoid discrimination?

[Edited at 2018-07-18 13:38 GMT]


Elke Fehling
 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:18
English to French
+ ...
Well... Jul 18

There may be as many reasons to post a "restricted job" as there are for a moderator or staff member to judging a post "not necessary for thread" (!) and seeing this as a legitimate reason to delete it.

You have to remember that Proz is a business, not a "public service". It sells a product promising some advantages, and these are part of such advantages:

Outsourcers that post jobs see quotes from members first.
Members can submit quotes to member-only jobs. Over half of all job postings are restricted to ProZ.com members for at least twelve hours.

https://www.proz.com/professional-membership#pricing?proz_upgrade_offer_btn

So, as a non-(paying)-member, even if the job weren't restricted, it seems that your quote would only be released after that/those of members. In English>(native) Romanian (top 3 pairs), there's 137 members (vs. 5154 non-members) and in French>(native) Romanian (top 3 pairs), 43 members (vs. 1574 non-members)... Check how many members (in average) sent a quote on a job of interest and estimate your chances of getting a P.O. (don't forget your Kudoz ranking). Is it worth the advantages (and disadvantages) of a paid membership?


writeaway
Joe Ly Sien
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Mirko Mainardi
 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 01:18
English to Romanian
TOPIC STARTER
How much vs. how many Jul 19

Germaine wrote:

Check how many members (in average) sent a quote on a job of interest and estimate your chances of getting a P.O. (don't forget your Kudoz ranking).


I care more about what rate they quoted than about how many of them quoted on a particular job.

I somehow imagined paying members would not be interested in "your best rate" or "your very best rate". I have been told that this usually means your lowest rate. And I have also been told that a rate as low as 0.03 EUR/sw for the En to Ro pair is too high.


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:18
English to French
+ ...
In real life... Jul 20

Sorana_M. wrote:
I care more about what rate they quoted than about how many of them quoted on a particular job.
I somehow imagined paying members would not be interested in "your best rate" or "your very best rate".


The “your-(very)-best-rate” motto now is such a standard that even a direct client served it to me last year. Why not? He has the whole world to choose from! The loaf of bread that I pay $3.59 here is sold for $0.35 somewhere else. There, a translator will be more than happy to do the job for half my price. So, why pay more, especially when there’s no need for “fine-tuning” and you have a (Proz) way to pay less? It's all a matter of business ethics.

In the same way, Blue Board LWA scores say no more about rates than being a paying member says about expertise. On the other hand (and I may be wrong but…), I suppose that if an interesting job attracts as little as 5 to 7 “entries”, chances are you'll work for a cheap (although 5-stars) agency, while another, regularly attracting 35 to 40 “entries”, might be a better deal. Does it mean great or even “standard” rates? No.




[Edited at 2018-07-20 22:41 GMT]


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:18
English to French
+ ...
Les rapaces... Jul 20

Sorana_M. wrote:
I have been told that this usually means your lowest rate. And I have also been told that a rate as low as 0.03 EUR/sw for the En to Ro pair is too high.


Your “best rate” is the rate you are willing to work for considering 1. your credentials and experience; 2. the job; 3. time to delivery. Normally (well… IMO), it should be more than what you pay to your babysitter or get from working at McDonald’s, no matter what some birds of prey try to sell as “too high”.

“Community rates” in the EN>RO pair go from €0.06/wd to €0.09/wd. Source: https://search.proz.com/employers/rates?source_lang=eng&target_lang=ron&disc_spec_id=&currency=eur&submit=Submit

Now, for the EN>FR pair, Community rates go from US$0.09 to US$0.12. Nevertheless, as a paying member, I was emailed (unsolicited) offers almost every day and rates went from US$0,03 (!) to US$0,05 (the most popular number!). Once in a while, I would be offered US$0,06 or US$0.07. I turned down all. But I didn’t have any hard choice to make…

Conclusion? Don't trust the "tight/special/high volume/entry/one-time/competitive/low business budget" sales pitch, don't take anything for granted; check and compare. Explore both your market and the marketing tools available to you. Explore the forums. Join a translators group in your city. There's valuable info all around to help you make sound decisions about the development of your customer base.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
To reduce the number of replies per time unit Jul 21

Sorana_M. wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
It may simply be a way to reduce the number of replies.

Why add "non-members may quote after X or XX hours"?


As someone who have had to post jobs myself, I can tell you that shortly after the job is posted, the job poster is inundated (read: overwhelmed) with replies. If there is some way to reduce the number of replies, and reduce it to replies that are more likely relevant to the request, then that is great, from a client's perspective.

So perhaps clients who set this option want to give themselves the option of getting replies from a larger number of translators without having to receive all replies over a short period of time. Some clients need to find a translator within minutes or hours, whereas others have several days before they need to select a translator.

Personally I would have liked to see an option whereby the number of translators that qualify for the job is divided by 24, and then job post is first sent to the top 1/24 translators, and then an hour later to the next 1/24 translators, etc, so that the client gets replies spread over a longer period. In such a system, it should also be possible for the client to tell ProZ.com to either stop or pause the next batch of notifications (e.g. if the job is filled, or possibly filled).

And "please contact the outsourcer by mail"? If your intention is to reduce the number of replies?


I don't understand the point you're trying to make. Neither of contacting via ProZ.com's message system or via e-mail would have a great effect on the number of replies.


[Edited at 2018-07-21 09:57 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:18
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
A question for the OP Jul 21

Sorana_M. wrote:

What makes potential clients choose this when they post a job ad?

I mean, what does the [blue ribbon] tell them in terms of the_right_person_for_this_particular_job?

What is there behind the [blue ribbon] that convinces them to advertise jobs in that restrictive manner?

(mind you, those potential clients may well ask for your "best rate").


What is the logical relationship between restricting a job to paying members and asking for the best rate?


[Edited at 2018-07-21 11:32 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:18
Member
English to Italian
Cost of living vs. rates Jul 21

Germaine wrote:

Sorana_M. wrote:
I care more about what rate they quoted than about how many of them quoted on a particular job.
I somehow imagined paying members would not be interested in "your best rate" or "your very best rate".


The “your-(very)-best-rate” motto now is such a standard that even a direct client served it to me last year. Why not? He has the whole world to choose from! The loaf of bread that I pay $3.59 here is sold for $0.35 somewhere else. There, a translator will be more than happy to do the job for half my price. So, why pay more, especially when there’s no need for “fine-tuning” and you have a (Proz) way to pay less? It's all a matter of business ethics.


How many translators able to translate into Canadian French live in "cheaper" countries than Canada? You often hear that argument (i.e. that there can't be a "minimum rate" also because costs of living differ so much around the world) whenever the topic of rates is brought up, but IMHO that actually is a non-argument for most pairs, where the vast majority of translators live in the country where the target language is spoken. The "your-(very)-best-rate" thing is a thing because there are countless people who accept it, and not because they face lower living costs, but because they're OK with working 10 times more than you in order to buy that very same loaf of bread (unless they google-translate the source and clean it up a bit)...

Case in point, Indian agencies taking projects from Western clients and then outsourcing them to Western translators... In that case the cost of living argument does apply to the Indian agency and its margins, but definitely not to the translators who accept those (often ridiculous) rates...


Daryo
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The theory of relativity Jul 21

Germaine wrote:

Your “best rate” is the rate you are willing to work for considering 1. your credentials and experience; 2. the job; 3. time to delivery.


The expression "your best rate" in the translation marketplace has been deturpated over time by reverse auction bidding. While it originally meant a question to the translator, on what unnecessary bells and whistles were increasing the cost but adding no value, and how much these represented in cash, nowadays it is a statement from the prospect stating that "we are certified bottom-feeders".

Considering your points...

1. The translator's credentials won't change, so his/her rates shouldn't either. Here the customer is to be blamed. Why should they require an experienced and/or certified translator to work on the instructions leaflet for a 99¢ gizmo?

2. The job. The strictly "translation" job won't change, so the per word translation rate shouldn't change. Either the translator is competent to translate the subject matter at hand, or s/he isn't. In the latter case, the translator should politely decline. However a "translation" job may encompass other "jobs", like OCR, DTP, transcription, whatever, which should be charged separately.

3. The turnaround time is definitely relevant. If they need the translator to work full time or overtime and/or exclusively on that job, this will justify a higher (viz. "worse") rate. On the other end of the scale, "no rush, whenever you can get it finished" is a good reason to offer a lower than usual rate. This job becomes a "filler", the translator can do it on his/her otherwise "idle" time between one better-paying job and another. This is how I translate books, at a rate 30% lower than my standard.

My additional points, not applicable to all cases...

4. Payment method may play a significant role in the final price the client will have to pay.
Just one example, to illustrate, considering myself in Brazil, and a client in the USA.
For a comparison, a domestic client will spend something in the USD 0~5.00 range in bank fees per transaction to pay me.
Now the client in the USA:
- will spend ~USD 5.00 (up to $3K payments) in fees if they use P2P services, like Western Union or Moneygram, and it will cost me (translator) nothing;
- will spend USD 20.00~65.00 in fees to make a wire transfer, and I'll spend ~USD 30.00 in bank fees to receive it;
- will spend nothing to pay me via PayPal, however PayPal will deduct 6.5~7.5% of the entire amount in fees, plus overtly adopt a 3.5% lower-than-market currency exchange rates = ~10% of my pay is "lost" on the way.
So my "best rate" would involve NOT using PayPal, nor wire transfers for payments under USD 700.00 (specific cut-point in my case, viz. Brazil).

5. Payment term may - or not - have a significant impact, depending on the vendor/translator location.
In most North American and Euro zone countries, the monthly interest rate is a fraction of 1%.
Assuming the translator has bills to pay with the money s/he'll receive from the translation job at hand, interest on arrears or on a loan will not be so significant there.
However in Brazil and Argentina (there are others), monthly interest rates are two-digit in percentage.
Therefore if the translator is in a high-interest country, COD payment could easily justify a 30~40% lower rate than payment 60 days after month end, which many translation agencies adopt.


The conclusion is that while the translator's (net, COD) per-word rate shouldn't change, there are other factors at play, to which the client is often oblivious, as they live on the other end of an international supply chain. It is up to the translator overseas to offer them options to avoid wasting money on things that are external to the specific translation job at hand.

So the "best rate" - if the client is any good - does not imply a request for translators to lower their translation rates, but instead to explain what could be the invisible costs within a request as stated.


Back to the OP, one reason to require blue-ribbon Proz members, at least for the first hours of bidding, is in clinging to the hope that no fly-by-nite translator would invest in a paid membership, though there is no hard evidence to prove or deny this hypothesis.

There is, however, proof that such unfounded hopes exist among translation clients. Some require a specific CAT tool for absolutely no reason. Others require one or more from a long list of different CAT tools. They believe that no fly-by-nite translator would invest in a usually expensive CAT tool license.

They are merely using whatever they can grab to avoid fly-by-niters.

Bottom-feeders love fly-by-niters, because these will take any gig at any rate, payable any time in the distant future. However if they refrained from the usual demand of blue-ribbon Proz members and/or some pricey CAT tool, it would expose them as bottom-feeders, which not even fly-by-niters are pleased to serve when they have anything more rewarding to do.

IMHO this is the show, as it should look through a concealed webcam, backstage.


 
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