To show your rates, or not to show your rates, that is the question

In these days I have started planning my professional website and therefore I looked at a few colleagues’ websites for inspiration. Most translators’ websites have a similar structure, which includes pages such as Home, About me, Specialisms and Contact. However, some people put their rates on the web, whereas some have a specific page to request a quote.

I have therefore tried to analyse pros and cons of showing your rates to the world, you’re more than welcome to add any points I missed!

Pros of showing your rates:

– Clients know straight away what your rates are and therefore you might be hired faster as you skip the tell-me-your-rates step;

– It is a very transparent approach.

 Cons of showing your rates:

– It is much easier for others to make a competitors’ analysis because everything is there;

– It might be more difficult to increase them or tailor them to each client/agency;

– You have to consider all the different aspects of a project and put appropriate charges (urgency, any DTP work required, translation/revision, voice-over, etc.)

– Also, which currency should you use? If you are based in the Eurozone, but you work mainly with US-based clients, you can only use one currency, unless you want to check the exchange rate every hour…

On the whole, I think I would feel more comfortable not to show my rates, although I believe it might be handy to have a *.pdf document with your rates you can send to a prospective client if they ask for it.

And you? Do you show your rates on your website/profile as a translator or do you prefer to provide them depending on the project?

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About Chiara Vecchi

A blogging translator working from English and German into Italian. You are more than welcome to visit my blog https://squirreltranslations.wordpress.com!
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17 Responses to To show your rates, or not to show your rates, that is the question

  1. Lauren says:

    Great article Chiara!

  2. Congratulazioni Chiara, c’è un articolo molto interessante.

  3. I used to show them, but prospective clients still asked. Given, as you say, that it’s useful to be able to be very flexible in one’s response, I decided to remove them.
    I really haven’t noticed any difference in the number or type of queries.
    Your mileage may vary 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing this Charlie! To me the fact that there was no change after you removed your rates is a good sign: prospective clients were looking for quality, not just for a price.

      • I think, to be fair, my traffic may not be heavy enough to be statistically significant 🙂
        Furthermore, as recent evidence with giving proposed delivery dates on quotes has shown, sometimes people just do not see what is right in front of them, possibly because they are not expecting to see it anyway…. which might be another factor in the “against” column.
        Interesting discussion, thanks for starting it.

      • Thanks to you for sharing your experience and for adding a point!

  4. I always wondered if I should publish my rates on my website too, because I think transparency is important to me and is valued by clients… However, we don’t apply the same rates if we work with agencies, regular clients, friends or charities, big or small business…
    I think that preparing a PDF document compiling our rates is a great idea! A document that we can send together with our T&Cs, for example.

    • Hi Louise! Thanks for your comment. I believe that the list you provided (agencies, regular clients, etc.) is an excellent example of how different rates can be. And we’re not even taking into account language pairs, topic, and so on!

  5. Vadim says:

    Showing a single rate is completely unproductive. Published rate is a kind of obligation, it deprives you of much needed maneuver space. Our work is usually highly differentiated: there are turnkey jobs for direct clients (they give you inx, and you return print-ready PDF), and prepared CAT-files from agencies, there are “click that button” user manuals, and customer-facing marketing copy, which require different “per word” effort and thus are priced differently. There are also taglines, which are priced per hour, etc. Showing range is better, but you’ll still have to explain “why on the high side”. I say: Don’t show them.

  6. Pingback: To show your rates, or not to show your rates, that is the question | LinguaGreca | Scoop.it

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  8. Adam says:

    Show your rates if you like commoditizing you business relationships and don’t want to engage with your customer. There is little or no real world advantage I can think of to show your rates on a web site unless you like losing business or having fickle customers who only care about low price. It’s a conversation stopper, not a starter if you perform services.

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