Entering rates in your profile: greater flexibility?
Thread poster: Amy Williams

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:56
Italian to English
+ ...
Aug 14, 2005

Would it be possible when entering rates in your profile to have the option of going back and forward between pages? Once you have completed a page there is no going back (for several months!) and it would be nice to have that extra flexibility, especially as the (complicated) system starts to multiply your entries by 2.5 and goodness knows what.

Also, a list of the entries you have made with an option to confirm or reject and start over would be much appreciated.

Cheers!


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Sylvain Leray  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:56
Member (2003)
German to French
agree Aug 14, 2005

Hi,

I agree that the system for entering rates is far too complicated. I think it should stand on the To-Do-List for simplification and improvement, indeed.

Sylvain


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted Aug 14, 2005

The original idea was to try to prevent translators from cutting their prices to get advertised jobs. By fixing a rate, or range within 2.5, you are not notified of jobs below your minimum.

But I agree it is too inflexible and restrictive. It is based purely on translation, whereas in real life there are all sorts of varieties of work. For example, as well as translating from my 2 main languages, I am sometimes asked to translate from US English to UK English (harder than it seems, but nevertheless easier than between most languages). There are all sorts of permutations of proofreading and reviewing, of summarising, abstracting, etc that will not fit within a simple 2.5 translation range. As a result, I just bypass my (hidden) ProZ rates, and quote a specific (variable) per job.

In short, ProZ, for noble reasons, are trying to prevent downward pressure on rates but in a way that I think is neatly summed up by the idiomatic phrase in my title.


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
I regret ever entering my rates Aug 14, 2005

After entering my rates, I found this feature so complicated and inflexible that I finally gave up and simply hid my rates from the public. I am afraid to do anything else to the rates I entered. I wish there was a way to just turn this feature off from my profile.

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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
English to German
+ ...
Agree Aug 14, 2005

Fuad Yahya wrote:

After entering my rates, I found this feature so complicated and inflexible that I finally gave up and simply hid my rates from the public. I am afraid to do anything else to the rates I entered. I wish there was a way to just turn this feature off from my profile.


Same over here. I wish I could completely remove them from my profile.

Sonja

[Edited at 2005-08-14 19:40]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
English to German
+ ...
Submit a Support Request Aug 14, 2005

Sonja, Fuad - your rates aren't visible in your profile...?

If you still want to remove them (although I wonder why, given that they're invisible), just submit a Support Request.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Why would we have to go through that? Aug 14, 2005

Why can't we just remove them ourselves, or modify them at will?

The rates are not visible, but they are still operative with respect to screening job notifications and job bidding (although I am not sure how that is supposed to work).


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
English to German
+ ...
Check the FAQ, please Aug 14, 2005

Fuad,
May I ask you to check the FAQ? My answers below are quotes from there.

Why can't we just remove them ourselves, or modify them at will?

The rates are not visible, but they are still operative with respect to screening job notifications and job bidding (although I am not sure how that is supposed to work).

3. What is the relationship between profile rates and bidding rates?

When entering an offer to complete a posted job, the rate offered must be within the range shown in the profile. Therefore, it is not possible to bid on jobs that are posted with a rate outside of your range (lower than your minimum or higher than your maximum).

11. Help! the system is not letting me offer to do a job at the rate I want.

You are not allowed to bid outside of the rates range you define in your profile page. If you choose not to define a range of rates, you are subject to the range defined by others in your language pairs.

Everyone is free to set their rates at any level they choose--but no one can have an unlimited range. In other words, you can not have your cake and eat it too. The rates system was devised in order to stem the decline in rates. Since it is working, we believe this is a case where personal sacrifice (ie. a contrained range) results in overall benefit. We believe such mechanisms are a necessary component at ProZ.com, and in any community.


You can extend the principle of "not having your cake and eat it" to the restriction on changing rates - if you were free to change your rates, this would neutralise the system completely.

Hope this helps clarify a few things.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
English to German
+ ...
Not the point Aug 15, 2005

Ralf, that's not the point. I don't want to be bound by any rate, neither rates that I have entered into Proz.com databases nor any community rates, when quoting for a job offer.

I believe that this is a serious flaw in the system, but, as you explained it, it is rather a feature than a bug.

When I first entered the rates I wasn't full aware of the consequences. Once I realized that I made them invisible only to find they are still applicable when quoting for a job.

Sonja

P.S. Regarding the support request: do you know that I can remove my whole profile from Proz.com by simply clicking on a link? But when it comes to something as simply as removing rates, I have to file a support request? Come one, you can't be serious!

[Edited at 2005-08-15 11:24]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 08:56
SITE FOUNDER
Exactly how wide of a range do your rates cover? Aug 15, 2005

The posts here, from excellent members, have me wondering. Please help me to understand your needs with regard to our rates system.

Do you charge 3 times as much, or more, on one job as you do the next? If so, exactly how much of a range -- a numeric multiplier, please -- do you cover, from minimum rate to maximum? Five times? Ten times? More?

To be clear, I am not interested in discussing rates considerations, as I know there are many. I just want to know your range, if you don't mind sharing it. Please leave non-profits and other pro-bono-type work out of consideration (as we leave them out of the rates system.)


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:56
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
rates Aug 15, 2005

Eek...Seem to have kicked up a bit of a storm - sorry!

All I was asking for was the ability to go backwards and forwards through pages when you enter your rates, and for a confirm/start over option.

I don't see why anyone should need to change their rates more than once every few months, but if you mess up there's (currently) no way of going back.


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 15:56
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
It is dificult to enter the rates Aug 15, 2005

the process itself is too complex, IMHO, and if you enter and save a mistype, you cannot change it for a long time- after which you already have forgotten about it. Also, to enter rates for all language pairs, if you're an agency, is very time consuming job. My proposal would be to have a possibility to enter either per language prices as it already can be done (practical for those, who work in a few language pairs), or a general rate. My range would be 4 times (explanation: say, lowest for RU-LV pair and highest for LV-IS pair).
That would make my price range from EUR X to EUR 4X, with average EUR 2X and practically all possible discounts and coefficients also fit within this range.


Uldis


Henry wrote:
Do you charge 3 times as much, or more, on one job as you do the next? If so, exactly how much of a range -- a numeric multiplier, please -- do you cover, from minimum rate to maximum? Five times? Ten times? More?


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:56
German to English
+ ...
Exactly how wide of a range do your rates cover? Aug 15, 2005

Mainly in response to Henry's post and elaborating a little on Uldis':

My rates differ according to a number of factors, in particular:

- Difficulty of the text (usually a function of the customer concerned and the type of text)
- Language
- File format
- Direct client vs. translation company
- Volume

These factors can easily result in variation by a factor of 2 in my case.

"Language" offers relatively little scope for variation in my case because I normally charge by the target line (of 55 characters). Those charging by the source word, probably the most common mechanism, may have quite wide variations in prices according to the relative numbers of words in equivalent texts in different languages.

My three languages are also considered to be fairly similar in difficulty. Rightly or wrongly, it's quite common for suppliers to charge different rates for different languages according to their (subjective) relative difficulty as perceived by either suppliers or buyers.

Relative demand between languages may also be a factor. The small differences between the prices I charge for different languages are geared towards ensuring that I get at least some work in all three of them, rather than towards maximizing revenue. Some suppliers may offer two languages with widely divergent supply/demand ratios.

Translators may also have several other factors influencing price, such as urgency and repetitiveness. If all the possible factors are taken into account, I can easily envisage a factor of four between the highest and lowest rates.

Volkswagen publishes a price list for its cars, so one might ask why translators shouldn't publish a price list for their translations. The problem is twofold. Firstly, a realistic price list taking all factors into account would be as comprehensive as Volkswagen's (too complex to be accommodated by the ProZ prices function). Secondly, the price difference between any two of Volkswagen's models is easier for the customer to grasp, apart from the fact that Volkswagen would just LOVE you to drop by your local dealer and ask for an explanation. The reasoning behind price differences for translation may be equally objective, but is not necessarily immediately apparent, and there is a risk of customers' taking the lower end of a scale as the basis for negotiations, or of being deterred by the upper end of the scale from entering into them.

This is not an explanation of why a min/max factor of 2 (in my case) or 4 or 5 (in someone else's) is feasible. It's an explanation of why I don't publish my rates at all (which is also the best way of hiding them, before anyone asks ).

Marc


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
French to German
+ ...
Hiding just *part* of the rates? Aug 15, 2005

I'd wish for a function to just show the "target" rates, but not the "minimal" rates.

As far as I understand, the rates system of PROZ was invented to relieve rates pressure. But making everyone show their absolutely lowest offer does the exact opposite: it builds up on the pressure, massively.

It means that the last stand of the seller is known before negotiations have even started, but the last stand of the buyer is not.

The seller's position in negotiation is always inherently more difficult than the buyer's position, and disclosing the seller's lowest rate gives the seller an additional handicap on top of that.

Guess what a client that knows the lowest price is going to base his/her offers on: the lowest rate or the target rate?

P.

[Edited at 2005-08-15 23:03]


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
English to German
+ ...
.. Aug 15, 2005

Well, since I am one of those members who turned this thread into a completely different direction, I want to give my two cents to the whole rate issue.

First of all, when I entered my rates into my profile I had a very vague idea of the actual benefits of this service. It was not until I had to quote for a very specific job that I realized what these rates were really made for.

I know that there have been numerous discussions on low rate jobs, and I am aware that Proz.com has to take measures to meet its members requirements, and that is plainly not to receive any job offers that are below a certain minimum rate.

On the other side, I don't really see why on earth I should be bound to these rates, or even worse, the community rates, when I quote for a job. Every job is somewhat different to the one before. Sometimes it's the file format or the deadline that require me to change my "standard rates". I once lowered my rate because the job offered was interesting enough for me to make a financial sacrifice in order "to get my foot into that door". (That happens very rarely, though.)

In short: displaying rates in profiles is acceptable as long as everyone can turn them on and off whenever they like to. Receiving job offers based on these rates is also fine with me. I just don't want to be bound to any of these rate when quoting for a job, and definitely not to community rates.

Sonja


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