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Why aren't my quotes accepted?
Thread poster: Elena Pavan

Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:06
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
Aug 12, 2005

Hello everybody!
I am a member of Proz.com since june 05 only, and I'm trying to discover everything. I have quoted or answered to many jobs and I still didn't get any (I know, it's still too early, I have to be patient!!!), even when I had a good experience in the field. As for prices, I checked and my prices correspond to the average.
Just to precise: I am not saying "I'm a good translator, better than anyone else, with good prices and I MUST get the job". Only it would be interesting to know why our quote has not been accepted. Am I too expensive? Do I lack experience? I think it would be interesting to know our place on the market and to have an idea what and if we are wrong somewhere. I realize it must be impossible when you receive about 50 quotas, but why not restricting it to Platinum members?
I would like to know your opinion.
Thank you very much

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-08-12 15:33]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
same here Aug 12, 2005

Hi, Elena,
I have been a member since February 2005 and still haven`t gotten any new client trough Proz, either. I believe you have to give people time to know you, be active in forum, in Kudoz, update your profile, include samples, and so on. I hope this will work with me in the near future. Try it out. Time to time.
Good luck (to you and to me too, of course).


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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
fill in your profile Aug 12, 2005

Hi, Elena.

I'd advise you to complete your profile, as there's absolutely nothing there.
I'd also remove the pair Italian>French, if you're native Italian and not truly bilingual (e.g. speaking French since your childhood, but this is my opinion).
If Italian>French refers to interpreting, well... just state it clearly.

Good luck
Paola


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Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:06
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not exactly what I meant Aug 12, 2005

I thank you all for the advice you are giving me and I will surely make changes to my profile.
Actually, the original title of the forum has been changed by Proz.com and the forum is taking another direction.
The original titlewas "What about an explanation".
Actually, I don't specifically want to know why MY quotes are not accepted, but, wouldn't you think it might be useful or at least interesting to know why our (in general!!!!) quotes are rejected or not accepted?


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:06
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Think of it from the outsourcer's point of view Aug 12, 2005

I agree with PaolaD - fill in your profile. Bear in mind also that many outsourcers do not advertise jobs on ProZ - but they do look around at people's profiles, track record, contributions etc. I am fairly new to the translation business. I have got quite a lot of work through ProZ, but most of it from people searching for particular combinations of skills, and not from quoting for jobs.

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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 07:06
English to German
+ ...
Welcome to the market Aug 12, 2005

Elena Pavan wrote:

Am I too expensive? Do I lack experience?


Dear Elena, a member of this community for many years I received less than 20 direct jobs during this time. However, once I got a translation, the agencies contacted me again and again.

Just for fun I quoted a big job at EUR 0.03/word. I got a reply that my quote was way out and 50% above the lowest bidder.

So, I don't know your rates, but most probably you are not too expensive. I can't judge whether you lack experience, but the customer can't either (I know a truly bi-lingual translator with no 'experience' who will subdue most professionals, because he grew up with German/American parents, working as lawyers from their home - and he nolens-volens learned everything as a kid).

It will take time an Proz.com isn't the only forum for translators.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2005-08-12 16:54]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 03:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
why our quotes are rejected or not accepted Aug 12, 2005

Hi Elena

I think that the answer is simple: look around you, what do you see? translators, translators and translators...

So, when quoting or bidding we need to show that we are the most appropriate for the job.
Even if the outsourcer receives only five quotes, only one is going to get the job. The things that can help for that are being a good seller of your services and all the rest: profile, background, KudoZ, being known... also CAT tools.
I think that this is a general explanation that doesn't focus on you personnally but it also shows that the advice given is right.

Claudia (95% of my jobs got via Proz.com, 5% of them quoting, 95% via people met in KudoZ and forums).


Elena Pavan wrote:
Actually, the original title of the forum has been changed by Proz.com and the forum is taking another direction.
The original titlewas "What about an explanation".
Actually, I don't specifically want to know why MY quotes are not accepted, but, wouldn't you think it might be useful or at least interesting to know why our (in general!!!!) quotes are rejected or not accepted?


[Edited at 2005-08-12 23:39]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
puzzling indeed! Aug 12, 2005

Elena Pavan wrote:


Actually, I don't specifically want to know why MY quotes are not accepted, but, wouldn't you think it might be useful or at least interesting to know why our (in general!!!!) quotes are rejected or not accepted?


Hi Elena

My last 2 years have been very successful ones as a translator, business is absolutely booming, I keep turning down work cos I always seem to have 10 or more days' work booked in....I work for 2 local agencies regularly (and only becuase they pay above the average, so it's a good deal for me, as I like the quick turnaround/short texts they give me), I have private regular clients in Spain, plus private, not so regular but well-payting clients from abroad ... and I rarely get work through ProZ...

Lately I haven't applied much, but times when I applied and felt I was a good candidate, I still didn't usually get the work....in fact, overall, I have got very little work through ProZ...only the odd direct contact for rates that aren't acceptable. The most promising aspect has been to have been offered work by colleagues I have met through ProZ...so I am just as puzzled as you:-)

Once I and a colleague applied for exactly the same job, both of use with practically identical experience - but me with more qualifications, definitely. We quoted the same rate and deadline and she got the job...inexplicable really...it may simply have come down to a 'nicer' impression created in the email:-)

Who's to know the whys and wherefores?!


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
English to Chinese
+ ...
Hi Claudia, Aug 12, 2005

A bit puzzled with the calculation below:


Claudia Iglesias wrote:
Claudia (95% of my jobs got via Proz.com, 5% of them quoting, 90% via people met in KudoZ and forums).


[Edited at 2005-08-12 22:28]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 08:06
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
No puzzle, the same here Aug 12, 2005

We initially first time met about all our good clients via ProZ, all following contacts were already direct. However, during first 2 years on ProZ we didn't get a single job via ProZ (maybe I'm exaggerating, I have no way to check now, if there were any, nothing to boast about- maybe a page or two a year). However, now we are an Agency prospering on International market, and most thanks for that we owe to ProZ- introduction to the global standards of our industry, all know-how, CAT tools, QA procedures, etc., etc., you name that.)

But the first step is to fill up your profile as good as you can and make it look most professional- no one will contact or award a job to a half-empty profile.

The second thing is specialization- clients do not look up general translators- they look up ones confirming to their specific needs. E.g., specialize in sweets and I'm sure you'll end up with heaps of jobs- my guess is that in that segment there are no hard competition. It certainly goes for such segment as wines- there are few and between specialist translators in this highly specialised area and, AFAIK, you would not call them exactly idle or poor.

Also- your visibility in ProZ is increased by by your KudoZ points- Plats are shown first on any search, but in order of their KudoZ point earned. If you are ranked 50th, the 99.99 % chance is the job will go to some of the first 49 showing on the list.

One way to take advantage even here- show your all available contact information- phone, mobile, Skype, Instant messenger- often when we have urgent jobs, from among equal offers we choose the one that can be contacted instantly- on urgent matters you often don't have time to mail via profile and then sit for 24 hour wondering if there will be an answer at all or no.

One other thing- it's not directed at you, as you show your name, but now, when we are ourselves firmly established, we never deal with nickname profiles- our reasoning is a real professional will be proud to display his name, not to hide behind a nick).

Also- last, but not least- you have to set up also your personal website- attractive and listed in search engines (for that you have to enter as much key names in your website script as possible, invisible to visitors, but visible and gathered by Google and other crawlers- I'm not a specialist in that myself, but surely website designer will know the recipe.)

Wishing success to all,

And excuse me for such a long treatise

Uldis



[quote]Chinoise wrote:

A bit puzzled with the calculation below:


Claudia Iglesias wrote:
Claudia (95% of my jobs got via Proz.com, 5% of them quoting, 90% via people met in KudoZ and forums).


[Edited at 2005-08-12 23:42]


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
English to Chinese
+ ...
No puzzle at all... Aug 12, 2005

My error! 5%+90%=95%, which is correct!

Anyway, thanks, Uldis, for sharing your valuable experience..



Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

...Wishing success to all,

And sorry for such a long treatise

Uldis






[Edited at 2005-08-12 23:32]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 03:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Sorry Chinoise :-) Aug 12, 2005

I corrected my numbers, now we have a 100% in total

Claudia (95% of my jobs got via Proz.com, 5% of them quoting, 95% via people met in KudoZ and forums).


That was the problem, wasn't it ? Or were you wondering how it was possible?

Thanks

Claudia


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
English to Chinese
+ ...
:-))) Aug 12, 2005

Sorry , Claudia, for my being too meticulous...

I appreciate your "100%" explanation , though.



Claudia Iglesias wrote:

I corrected my numbers, now we have a 100% in total

Claudia (95% of my jobs got via Proz.com, 5% of them quoting, 95% via people met in KudoZ and forums).


That was the problem, wasn't it ? Or were you wondering how it was possible?

Thanks

Claudia


[Edited at 2005-08-12 23:52]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 08:06
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
An additional explanation about specialization Aug 13, 2005

Most of it you could hear on ProZ Oxford conference and surely no one who will attend this year's pending ProZ Conference in Krakow, Poland (wait for official announcement, suggested dates are end of this November- CAT teaching workshops, etc., etc.), will not loose anything- on the contrary- even if I'm not longer a beginner, my expenses of attending last year's Oxford conference has surely paid of since manifold.

But as to specialisation- the larger is the market in your language pairs, the more you have to specialize. We specialize in Baltic languages in general, as the market is very small, but even then, though our website doesn't mention it, there are many fields we do not work in at all- biology, physics, advertising, nuclear, accountancy, literature and others. There are also fields we are very cautious before accepting a specific jobs- medicine, Law, architecture, some very specific technologies- even with a very large translators' base in a very limited market you cannot do and deliver in satisfactory quality all that comes along.

Uldis


[Edited at 2005-08-13 01:19]


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Kimmy
Local time: 16:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Why no explanation??? Aug 13, 2005

It would still be very useful to future outsourcers if your profile was filled in!
The first thing I do when when wanting to know more about a member is to click on their profile.
If there's nothing there, it's difficult to make an educated decision on who to chose for a particular job!
If you have experience in certain fields, make sure that it's evident in your profile!

As for not receiving an explanation as to WHY you haven't been granted jobs, think of the poor outsourcer.
He may have received hundreds of bids! He can't pass his time justifying his final choice to those not as fortunate as the bid winner!

Another reason you may not get a look in is that NON platinum member bids come after all the bids received by Platinum members!

Having said that I am a non-Platinum member and have received quite a few jobs via proz bidding!
Sheer luck? possibly!
Make sure that you structure your bids well with the important factors in the title so that it grabs the outsourcer's attention!
If you put a title "Mother tongue translator" then you can be sure that your bid won't stick out!
IF, however you put "Extensive experience with User Manuals - 15 years in house exp" then you will probably have a better chance! (Depending on the job of course and your experience)

It's hard to say WHY....often it's gut feeling of the outsourcer himself!

Hang in there! One month is a short time and PROZ is a definite mine of great information, support, networking opportunities and experience gathering!

WELCOME!

Kim


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