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Poll: Do you vary your rates according to the client's country?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:56
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No May 14, 2016

The subject of a project and how much I really want it sort of "dictate" the price. Other than for this reason, my rate is my rate, and my country of residence doesn't change ( - at least not in the near future). So why should my rate change just because someone is living in a different country?

[Edited at 2016-05-14 15:27 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Definitely! May 14, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

Using the Internet has a cost. Actually, it has visible and hidden costs. Do you still believe in the fantasy that the Internet is for free?


No doubt about it! However one must compare it with the alternatives.

Apart from merely financial factors, I've been keeping my rates unchanged since 1994, in spite of the unavoidable escalation of the cost of living on this entire planet, with regional highs and lows.

How is that possible?

I have been relaying to my clients the productivity gains from IT developments.

Some devouts may immediately cheer: "Trados!!!"
No, folks, I don't have and never had Trados.

Back in 1994 I had to drive across town to my clients, to fetch papers or floppy disks, and then again to deliver the finished jobs, which I often had to print in hard copy. I used paper dictionaries and other references, which took time to query. I had no CAT tools. Paper-based originals required me to read and translate each and every word. I had to DTP complex layout translations. To translate video, I had to transfer the audio track to an open-reel recorder, and then start-stop all my way through. My computer was slow, hence the hourglass onscreen was a frequent sight. Most of all, my marketing was constrained to my home town, I had to find prospects and call them by phone or personally.

Nowadays jobs come and go instantly worldwide via Internet, seldom any printing is involved. Google and online dictionaries give me immediate answers. CAT tools speed up the translating process considerably. When I get paper-based (which I can scan) or scanned originals, OCR quickly converts them into editable text. I can recycle the layout during translation on PDF files. Video is all digital, I have the tools to do it very efficiently. My computer is faster than me, I seldom see the hourglass. My web site markets my services worldwide 24/7.

What a difference in costs!
It covers a hundred times or more what I pay for high-speed broadband access.

Mario Chavez wrote:
Apparently you aren't computing the time difference cost either.

Like I said, a product or service has a cost, a retail price and a value. If a UK resident wants a Brazilian Portuguese translation and calls you, are you charging him how much that service is valued in the UK? Well, that's your loss and your problem.


I took the trouble to determine the value of my services, and balance it. Balancing here means finding the "sweet spot" where my price will cause the demand to take up 80% of my working time. Why not 100%? Pareto's law... I need the 20% for bureaucracy, invoicing, collecting, marketing, as well as for some unexpected additional jobs.

Now this is one peculiarity of translation: the odds of finding a good, competent, and up-to-date translator outside the country where one of their languages (either source or target) is spoken is relatively small.

To illustrate, it is pretty safe to assume, for instance, that most translators in Poland have PL as their source or target language. Meanwhile it would be safe to assume that relatively few of translators in Spain have DE as a working language.

Where is any translation usually cheaper? India or China, right? The chance of finding a good EN >PT-BR translator there exists, however it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is better to look for these in Brazil, where they supposedly charge Brazilian prices.


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
German to English
+ ...
I recently purchased .... May 14, 2016

a product from the United States, on-line. There was no option that said "Since the Canadian dollar is lower, click here so that we can offer you an appropriate discount." Nor did I expect this. Like - the question surprised me.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:56
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes May 15, 2016

But only very slightly because remittances from overseas are not subject to local taxes.

 

Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree May 15, 2016

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I'm afraid not. I vary the client country to ensure as best I can, a liveable income.
If I lived in a country where the cost of living was cheaper, I could afford to earn less.
I live in France and below a certain level of income, it is not possible to meet one's needs. That applies to any country. I chose clients in countries where I can apply a rate which enables me to meet my needs. It's tough enough as it is!

[Edited at 2016-05-14 13:47 GMT]


I agree 100% with Nikki. This is the crux of the issue for me.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:56
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I must! May 15, 2016

In my country, agencies pay a rate equivalent to 30%, and direct clients pay about 60% of the regular rates paid in North-America or Europe. I usually avoid local clients, but sometimes a fill up my agenda with them, so I must offer lower rates or give up the jobs. No alternative whatsoever.

If I worked for clients in India or China, I would have to do the same, as the rates are usually at the same levels as mentioned above. But I do not.

For clients in the northern hem
... See more
In my country, agencies pay a rate equivalent to 30%, and direct clients pay about 60% of the regular rates paid in North-America or Europe. I usually avoid local clients, but sometimes a fill up my agenda with them, so I must offer lower rates or give up the jobs. No alternative whatsoever.

If I worked for clients in India or China, I would have to do the same, as the rates are usually at the same levels as mentioned above. But I do not.

For clients in the northern hemisphere, I do have a fixed price, the same for all clients.
Collapse


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:56
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Emerging but greedy May 15, 2016

[quote]José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

[quote]Diana Coada wrote:

Flawed reasoning

Mario Chavez wrote:
Does a McDonald's burger cost the same in every country? Of course not! By way of example, when a standard burger in California cost $4 in 2006, it would cost roughly $3-$4 in Córdoba, Argentina...

McD in Brazil sells Brazilian burgers.
McD in the USA sells American burgers.


BTW, although we are supposedly an emerging country, the McD burgers in Brazil are among the most expansive in the world, as well as our fuels and many other items. It does not apply for services, though. Agnecies in Brazil pay 1/3 of the regular prices in Erurope. If you have spare time (i. e. you didn't fill your agenda 100% with foreign clients), and you wish to work for a Brazilian client, you HAVE TO charge a lower rate, or you simply will not be hired.


 

Antonio Tomás Lessa do Amaral
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Different terms of payment = different prices May 16, 2016

My Italian clients say they will pay me 90 days after the end of the job's month (90 days in Italy are about 100/110 real days, often after a couple of reminders) and have me financing their business
My Brazilian direct clients pay on deliver
My other clients are between these 2
Why should I charge them the same?


[Edited at 2016-05-16 10:55 GMT]


 
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