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Minimum Charges
Iniziatore argomento: Soluna

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Local time: 07:43
Membro (2004)
Da Inglese a Italiano
yes... May 17

Daniel Frisano wrote:

is this a thing?


it's a thing... I receive several and I always apply my minimum charge... would you apply it if you received several micro-jobs every month, from different clients?


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Chris S  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Da Svedese a Inglese
+ ...
Seriously? May 17

Daniel Frisano wrote:
I actually remember being surprised when hearing about minimum charges at the beginning of my career: if I buy 1 apple the grocer will charge 1 apple, right?


Seriously?

Even ignoring those hackneyed parallels with lawyers and plumbers, it totally makes sense for a translator.

The customer sends ten words. Awkward words out of context. It takes ten minutes.

The admin (emailing, billing, filing) takes five minutes.

So you get paid four times as much as normal.

What's not to like?

[Edited at 2018-05-17 13:22 GMT]


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Chris S  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Da Svedese a Inglese
+ ...
What an oxymoron May 17

Samuel Murray wrote:
Some of them want to pay half-a-minimum if the job is very, very small, and that's okay by me.


Lol. It's not a minimum then, is it?


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Daniel Frisano
Monaco
Local time: 08:43
Membro (2008)
Da Inglese a Italiano
+ ...
Still no minimum May 17

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

would you apply it if you received several micro-jobs every month, from different clients?


I'd probably treat it as a running order and invoice it quarterly or yearly to reduce overheads. Like a virtual piggy bank to be broken at the end of the year.

Once you set it going, the extra effort is negligible. I am pretty sure it wouldn't affect my monthly performance.

Do I have a case of incurable non-greediness? Is this very bad?

[Edited at 2018-05-17 13:41 GMT]


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Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
Stati Uniti
Local time: 02:43
Da Inglese a Francese
+ ...
Well said May 17

You've summed it up perfectly. Nothing to add.

Angela Rimmer wrote:

Daniel Frisano wrote:

If I translate 8 words, I charge 8 words.

If the amount at the end of the month is negligible, I tell the client that I will include it in some future invoice and we both happily forget it.

I actually remember being surprised when hearing about minimum charges at the beginning of my career: if I buy 1 apple the grocer will charge 1 apple, right?


[Edited at 2018-05-16 21:20 GMT]


If I translate 8 words, sometimes I give them to the client for free. The minimum fee is there, though, to discourage clients from sending 10 words here, 100 words there, over and over, because then the time spent on admin and research for tiny jobs means that I would make a LOSS on the work I was doing. And let's be real here: usually the really tiny jobs are the ones that involve WAY more admin and back-and-forth faff.

And I think we all know the whole "It's just 8 words" shtick. Those 8 words end up costing you way more time and energy because of lack of context and the fact that usually those types of jobs end up being company slogans or product campaign headlines and the client wants them to be PERFECT so they come back again and again with questions, additional context that they should have provided at the start of the tiny job, and requests to revise the work. At least then with a minimum fee I have a buffer of additional time I can give these types of jobs without automatically making a loss.

In my mind, the minimum fee does a few useful things: covers admin costs, provides a buffer for additional time and research if needed, discourages clients from sending a bunch of time-wasting little bits of text and likewise encourages clients to combine smaller jobs so the admin costs take up less of the overall expenses for the project.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Membro (2004)
Da Italiano a Tedesco
+ ...
Everyone charges a minimum fee May 17

Why shouldn't we translators? Agencies also do (and most charge very hefty minimum fees).

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Local time: 07:43
Membro (2004)
Da Inglese a Italiano
yes... May 18

Daniel Frisano wrote:

Do I have a case of incurable non-greediness? Is this very bad?


not only it's very bad, but also inexplicable... If asked, I would set up an open order for several small jobs every month, otherwise it's minimum fees all the way! Not many clients ask for an open order, though... so, I don't see why I should shoot myself in the foot...


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italia
Local time: 08:43
Membro
Da Inglese a Italiano
Even then... May 18

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

If asked, I would set up an open order for several small jobs every month


But even then, IMO there's quite a relevant difference between, say, a 2,500 words job and 50 50 words ones (in terms of overall time from HO to HB, without considering the administrative tasks).


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Local time: 07:43
Membro (2004)
Da Inglese a Italiano
Totally agree... May 18

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

But even then, IMO there's quite a relevant difference between, say, a 2,500 words job and 50 50 words ones (in terms of overall time from HO to HB, without considering the administrative tasks).


of course... it depends on who is asking and if I can lose the client... if it's a client I like and they usually grant me lots of minimum fees but for a particular long term job they want to set up an open order, I usually accept it... a client I work very little with, probably not. As a rule of thumb, for jobs below a certain word count, I always specify a minimum charge... most people understand and are happy to pay it...


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Stati Uniti
Local time: 02:43
Membro (2003)
Da Spagnolo a Inglese
+ ...
Agree with Angela and Mirko May 19

In the end, it is all about the context of the relationship with the client. For a regular client offering well-paying work, I am willing to either waive the minimum fee or (for very small tasks) just do it for free. But for clients who contact me once in a blue moon, or for one-off assignments, I absolutely apply a minimum fee.

The back-and-forth of emails for any assignment takes time, and so does creating and tracking an invoice. I am simply not going to do all that for an amount of no more than $10 or $15.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Local time: 07:43
Membro (2004)
Da Inglese a Italiano
I still don't get it... May 20

Robert Forstag wrote:

For a regular client offering well-paying work, I am willing to either waive the minimum fee or (for very small tasks) just do it for free.


If you have a minimum fee of, let's say, $70, why would you be happy not to apply it? I have several long-standing well-paying clients and I apply my minimum charge to all of them and they are happy to pay it... as long as the amount of the minimum fee is worth it... I'm not talking about $10... all professions have minimum fees...



[Edited at 2018-05-20 12:35 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Stati Uniti
Local time: 02:43
Membro (2003)
Da Spagnolo a Inglese
+ ...
I think we basically agree, but... May 20

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Robert Forstag wrote:

For a regular client offering well-paying work, I am willing to either waive the minimum fee or (for very small tasks) just do it for free.


If you have a minimum fee of, let's say, $70, why would you be happy not to apply it? I have several long-standing well-paying clients and I apply my minimum charge to all of them and they are happy to pay it... as long as the amount of the minimum fee is worth it... I'm not talking about $10... all professions have minimum fees...



[Edited at 2018-05-20 12:35 GMT]


...in a scenario in which, for example, a client has assigned me a series of jobs over several months for which I’ve billed, say, $3000, I really have no objection to billing a job of 200-300 words according to my per-word rate.

I simply consider this a courtesy extended to a valued and regular client.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Membro (2004)
Da Italiano a Tedesco
+ ...
The OP did not ask whether and how often we make an exception May 20

but whether as a matter of principle we apply a minimum fee.
My answer to her question is unconditionally: YES!
Then, as the saying goes, "the exception proves the rule"...
But without a rule there are no exceptions.


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