The ProZ Translation Bargain Basement?
Thread poster: Dave Greatrix

Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:02
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nov 5, 2002

10,000 words Dutch>English Urgent.

Saturday morning delivery.

0.04 Euro cents per word.

Payment 45 days after invoice.



Aaaaaargh!



Can we not unite against these bloodsuckers and parasites???????????



I bet they are charging their client the recognised industry rate - unless of course they are outsourcing, in which case they should never have taken the job on in the first place.



I wouldn\'t touch such a job with a barge pole - my views on \"if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys\" have already been aired in these forums.



My point is this - could you buy a Skoda at a Rolls Royce dealership??



ProZ should try to maintain a degree of prestige.



Can we at ProZ not adopt the same policy as Aquarius, where bids lower than 0.07 Euro cents are not possible?



I do not believe ProZ should turn into some sort of translation \"bargain basement\".



It serves nobody, only the scavangers who make quick bucks at the expense of the members who are prepared to work for such farcical rates and under such conditions.



Rest assured, the end client does not benefit, as they will be charged the industry rates - you can take that as written.





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:02
English to German
+ ...
Who sets rates? Nov 5, 2002

David, as you are probably well aware, this issue has been discussed many times.



I can see why some would try to get a job done at that price - what I fail to see is why anyone would be *forced* to accept it?



The second point where your line of argument fails me is how ProZ would be in a position to arbitrarily set a minimum rate. Why 7 cents? Why not 5 or 12? 7 cents across all language pairs, for any kind of translation? Sorry, but a \"minimum rate policy\" such as the one suggested simply does not reflect reality. Imposing any sort of level will not improve the market, but simply drive it off ProZ.



Let me add a little anecdote that happened to me recently. I went to a meeting of local translators - all certified, all organised (BDÜ). One of the things we discussed was why translators always assume a position of weakness when negotiating prices (with the usual aspects covered...). A few minutes later, one of the colleagues present handed me her \"business card\" - a typewriter-style, photocopied snip of paper. Tell me about marketing oneself...



IMO it\'s a lack (sometimes complete absence) of basic marketing and negotiation skills that we need to address, rather than trying to impose any arbitrary minimum levels.



To avoid any misunderstanding: I wouldn\'t work for 7 cents, but I don\'t object to people accepting work at that rate.



Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Very well said Ralf! Nov 5, 2002

Good morning,



Ralf, you took the words out of my mouth. I totally agree with you on every single point you have brought up.



I also find that when people start their own business or offer their services as freelancers, they really need to educate themselves on marketing their services... but a lot of them simply think that being *good* at what they do will automatically make them good at marketing themselves. To me, this is a totally different ball game.



The only way to make it in *Sales* (i.e. selling your freelance services or any other product), is not to discount the price on the goods until it is not profitable for you...



The good salesman will sell the client on what they will get from the service/product.



Don\'t sell them on a price, sell them on your qualities, your worth, your skills, your experience, your professionalism, and *persuade* the customer that you are worth every single penny of that higher price!!!



It\'s the basic rule of running a successful business.



Some are just in the market to buy a price instead of buying a translation service (that happens everywhere) - you do not need those types of clients as they will never be satisfied anyway.



I find that the best way is simply to politely apply for the job, give them YOUR higher price and *sell* them on what all they will get by hiring your services at this higher fee.



This will give them some food for thoughts... they can take it or leave it.



I believe that if we keep planting the *right* seeds out there in *client-world*, that over time, it will be like a brain-washing effect (!) - they will start to believe what they hear... if you hear it enough times, you start believing it too.



We have to educate the outside world, little by little. You do not have to sell us on it, we know it already - but we need to sell this to the outsiders.



Just some thoughts I wanted to share this morning



Have a great day guys!

Nathalie





[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-05 12:45 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pieter_H  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:02
Norwegian to Dutch
+ ...
Outsourcers, Blue Board and fake ratings. Nov 16, 2002

Outsourcers, Blue Board and fake ratings.



I can understand Dave’s frustration about outsourcers who believe that they are working in a seller’s market. I’m more annoyed about the way of how some of them (try to) bypass what is considered decent.



After an absence of about 8 months I recently again reported back for “active duty” on ProZ.com.

First of all I registered that quite a few Forum threads contained discussions concerning de degrading rates and conditions offered by outsourcers.



It did not take long time to have my own first-hand experience:



Last week I put in a bid on a job published by a Spanish/French outsourcer in the Scandinavian language group. I quoted my rates. Not more than one hour later I received a nice e-mail from Proz.com: Congratulations! … etc. etc. … Happy translating! The job was mine, I thought…(.

Also happy, because by stating my rates in my bid, I reckoned that they more or less had accepted them, although I allowed some margin for bargaining, because it was a rather big job.



Next I did a translation test, passed the test and received an e-mail from the outsourcer that I was chosen for the job. The contract attached. However, the conditions that were tried to be imposed appeared to be “murderous”. And the (fixed) price was way off compared to the rate I had quoted.

I returned the e-mail requesting a revision of the rate and, because I had not worked with them before and the outsourcer was not on the Blue Board, I also asked for a reference.



The next e-mail I received from the outsourcer stated that the project would be closed with other translators, but they would “keep my details for future assignments”, just to illustrate their silly and naive way of thinking. Of course, I will not give them one more thought.



I found the matter annoying enough to report to Henry as “Site misbehaviour”, but I suspect that my experience is not unique.

I put the outsourcers name on the Blue Board, but that did not result in any credible feedback.



Yesterday a job popped up in the English-Dutch pair ( http://www.proz.com/job?id=28751 )

The rate was set to EURO 0.04/sw. And, since I live in a country where the cost of living is 60-65% percent higher than the EU-average, I do not even bother to respond. The job has now been closed, but last time I checked, there had been an incredible 4 bids! I would say ‘happy translating’ to the one who accepted the job.



FICTITIOUS AND UNRELIABLE BLUE BOARD RATINGS

My point, however, is that this particular outsourcer is included on the Blue Board (http://www.proz.com/blueboard/769) and there is one “Pro” who has entered a top rating. This particular Pro has 1412 KudoZ and some 8000 BrowniZ. That should at first glance give some credibility to the rating.

But surprise: (;-o) If one tries the link for sending an e-mail to this particular “Pro”, ProZ.com informs you that there is no such Pro registered in the database. . How can that be explained?

So, the rating on Blue Board appears not only to be far from foolproof, but also highly unreliable.



In order to improve the quality of the site, PRoZ.com should impose higher standards to those who are allowed access to the site’s resources. At this moment there seems to be absolutely no requirements, other than that they have a job to offer.

One can think of many alternatives of grading their access: having them pay a fee, because that would shed off many of “cheapies”, or, perhaps let them provide at least a couple of recommendations by recognized Proz before they can join.

The translators are divided in three categories, why not a similar classification for outsourcers?



This problem flares up now and again and causes bad feeling amongst those who make ProZ.com what it is.



Why not – like in a grown up democracy set up a survey, in which all Pros can voice their opinion on how this problem should be solved.





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:02
English to German
+ ...
A few points... Nov 16, 2002

Hi Pieter,

May I add a few comments to your posting (see below). Regarding your experience when someone was trying to press you into accepting a lower rate than the one you offered, that is serious. I assume you submitted a complaint to ProZ?



Quote:


First of all I registered that quite a few Forum threads contained discussions concerning de degrading rates and conditions offered by outsourcers.





Yesterday a job popped up in the English-Dutch pair ( http://www.proz.com/job?id=28751 )

The rate was set to EURO 0.04/sw. And, since I live in a country where the cost of living is 60-65% percent higher than the EU-average, I do not even bother to respond. The job has now been closed, but last time I checked, there had been an incredible 4 bids! I would say ‘happy translating’ to the one who accepted the job.



The fact that there were four bids does not mean that they accepted the rate shown. See Henry\'s comment in this thread: www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic=6294&forum=23&12



Quote:


FICTITIOUS AND UNRELIABLE BLUE BOARD RATINGS

My point, however, is that this particular outsourcer is included on the Blue Board (http://www.proz.com/blueboard/769) and there is one “Pro” who has entered a top rating. This particular Pro has 1412 KudoZ and some 8000 BrowniZ. That should at first glance give some credibility to the rating.

But surprise: (;-o) If one tries the link for sending an e-mail to this particular “Pro”, ProZ.com informs you that there is no such Pro registered in the database. . How can that be explained?



In this instance, there\'s a straightforward explanation: the profile of the member who had entered the rating was removed by ProZ.com staff, for completely unrelated reasons.



Quote:


Why not – like in a grown up democracy set up a survey, in which all Pros can voice their opinion on how this problem should be solved.



I have no general problem with a survey, but you should bear in mind that ProZ is *not* a democracy, but a commercial site providing services to various participants.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pieter_H  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:02
Norwegian to Dutch
+ ...
Reply to Ralf Nov 17, 2002

Hi Ralf,





1) Yes, I did report this incident to Henry and he suggested putting the matter on the Forum. I put it on the Norwegian Forum since it was an UK>NO-job (http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic=6305&forum=42&7) and it was at the same time a logical response to a question by another translator, who - like Dave - questioned the tendencies in the rates offered on ProZ.com-jobs and who was asked to lower her rates to an abnormally low level.



In my case, the outsourcer could have been honest and from the outset mentioned that the budget was some EURO 10.000 for 200.000 words including proofreading. That would have saved me the bother of the test translation.



I should also mention that the same job was offered to me through inter-translations.com. They mentioned that they had a budget of USD 0.04/w, so they received a polite e-mail stating that this rate is simply not going for a Scandinavian language.



The very same day in the ProZ.com job went down the drain, in the afternoon I received an e-mail from an agency in Slovakia asking if I was interested in a large job. It appeared to be the very same job.



What is worrying is the fact that the job in question is a piece of software which is distributed globally by ‘Big Blue’ and that someone somewhere along the line apparently is making a mess of an account which could provide a lot of work to the Proz.com community. Their QAQC-routines should not allow for this kind of shopping.



Several decent agencies I work for are having a rough time, mainly because of increased competition by the sort of outsourcers we all are so disgusted about. And it\'s obvious that the main valid argument in the competition they are facing is *PRICE*.



COOP ProZ.com

I do understand that ProZ.com is a commercial site. I enjoy being there and I believe it’s a mutual interest to improve the site.



And since both price and more or less fraudulent or unscrupulous outsourcers have been a topic since I joined ProZ.com, I believe one should whatever possible to eliminate them. Grading their access to the site’s resources must be one of the most effective tools Henry has in hand. To set the criteria for this, I understand, is not easy, but at this moment there seem to be few or no effective restrictions at all. The Blue board is a step in the right direction.



BLUE BOARD

If I misinterpreted an entry on the Blue Board, my apologies, but from your answer, though, I gather that not all was “kosher” with this translator.



Finally, back to the case that triggered my anger. Based on the e-mail correspondence I reckon that I legally have had quite a good case. But experience learns that the only ones who would benefit are lawyers. So I prefer simply to forget all about it and comfort myself with the thought what COULD have happened with an outsourcer like this after 3 months of translating!



Based on this info Henry should in my opinion have valid reasons to exclude this particular outsourcer, or at least reprimand them. As the situation is at the moment no sanctions apply and this outsourcer can be back again any time playing the same trick.



Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The ProZ Translation Bargain Basement?

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search