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Should You Specify Your Rate Range on Your TM-Town Profile?

Should You Specify Your Rate Range on Your TM-Town Profile?

On your TM-Town profile, you have the option to set a rate range (both a per word range and also a per hour range). This field is optional, and when a translator does choose to show their rate range, we accompany it with the following text:

* The listed rates are a general range for this translator. Every project is different and many factors affect translation rates including the complexity of your source text, file format, deadline, etc. Please contact this translator with the details of your translation job for a more specific rate quote. Rates on TM-Town are always listed as USD for consistency. A translator may have a different preferred currency.

Recently we received a great question by email from a translator. This translator asked:

"Is it good policy to set the rate or not to set the rate on my profile to attract clients? I mean, would hiding or not setting the rates attract more clients?"

After writing a response to the translator, I thought my answer might be worth sharing with the broader community.


Some reasons you may want to set your rate range on your TM-Town profile.

  • It can make things more efficient (i.e. you won't have to spend time going back and forth with a client who ultimately does not have a budget to meet your rates).
  • Depending on your rate range it may signal to the visitor a sense of quality. Whether it is true or not, often times pricing can signal quality in the buyer's mind.


Some reasons you may not want to set your rate range on your TM-Town profile.

  • Depending on the rate range you set, it may reduce the number of enquiries you receive. (This could be either a pro or a con, depending on your viewpoint.)
  • It might limit your negotiating power (i.e. if a job comes and after looking at the materials you think it needs a price of {x}, but that is above the rate range you have listed, the client might use that fact in their negotiations with you).

The data

As for the data (at the time of writing this article), on TM-Town 11% of translators specify a rate range. Out of all job messages sent through TM-Town, 28% went to translators who had a rate range specified.

How can we interpret this data? Well, if job messages were evenly dispersed across our community, we would expect only 11% to go to translators who have a rate range specified (as that is the make-up of the translators on TM-Town); however, this was not the case. Instead, 28% went to those who had a rate range specified. Given this, I think we can conclude that showing a rate range doesn't hurt your chances of receiving a job message. Whether it helps or not is up for debate (as correlation does not imply causation). It may be other factors (outside of having a rate range specified) that account for those translators getting messaged.

In the end, it is up to you if you would like to specify a rate range or not. Hopefully, the above data can help aid you in that decision. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below on specifying your rate range and what factors influenced your decision.

kevin dias at tm-town

About the Author

Kevin Dias
TM-Town Developer
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Comments (5)

linguistceviri Sertaç Binbaşıoğlu
Posted almost 6 years ago.

My point of view is that translation is a market if we regard as business and such kind of platforms like TM-Town, proZ etc. are marketplaces for freelance translators and translation agencies. And given the business environment, the price is the most important component. A customer makes the coices when purchasing goods and services and seraches for price and quality, then balance between these factors and finallly decides which to buy. Therefore showing the rates is essential. One must set the rate according to market ratios and display on the profile. My two cents.

nona_stanciu Nona Stanciu
Posted almost 6 years ago.

I disagree showing prices. Translation (I mean human translation!) is not like buying a car! It's true price is important but we have first to agree on what we are talking about. Considering translation as a mere consumer item it is not what I mean. This is a very wide argument as it touches also the way our clients have been somehow 'educated' and their perception on translation, good human translation! If you want to have the best, in any field, you have to start with considering what you need and which is your own price level. Both sides: translator and client. Showing price is more as squeezing rather than getting more clients. Price is a private agreement and it depends on many factors. So, for me is not all about price! Also, who of us is also a PROZ member have probably noticed that PROZ has not included this feature among the many, it should be a good reason... Last point: since there are different points of view I'll leave this at the choice of each TM member: show or not the prices. Hope being of help!

tatiana_nikitina Tatiana Nikitina
Posted almost 6 years ago.

I am judging from my experience, and I prefer seeing prices in advance in any shop. It is easier for me than to ask "how much is it?" I guess, for many people absence of price means "very expensive, only persons who do not need to count money can afford it".

User Avatar peter
United States
Posted about 1 year ago.

Based on my previous experience, I prefer to check pricing in advance at any store. It's simpler for me than asking, "How much is it?" I suppose that for many people, the lack of a price indicates "extremely costly, only people who don't need to count money can buy it." slope game

nona_stanciu Nona Stanciu
Posted about 1 year ago.

Welcome Peter to this topic discussion!
It might be, but I'm still convinced that pricing for translations is not the same of pricing any other purchasable item. Translation is a service and before giving a price it is necessary to see the text. Personally I consider it at the same level of any other service (i.e. lawyer, business consultant, etc.). None of them will tell you a price without knowing anything about and I would doubt if they give me a price before they understand/know what one my need. I have always worked this way and I do not share your point of view at all: "the lack of a price indicates "extremely costly, only people who don't need to count money can buy it." This is not the point. It is about how much value you give to your work as a professional and try to stay as much as possible near to it. But, nevertheless, I understand there might be different opinions on that and this is the beauty of the human beings!

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