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Am I getting fewer sales because of this thing? Problem with PDF files

Hello people, I’m having a problem with the translations that some customers send me and I would like to know your opinions:

I’ve been working as a translator on this platform for about two years and had a normal sales number. But, due to the fact that many costumers sent me files to be translated in PDF format and they wanted the translation to be done inside the document (respecting the font format, images, logos, etc), sometimes I had a lot of problems to edit the files, because even though I had the ideal software for that, at the end of the edition there were some bugs (for example, some pages were blurred), or the font format was changed by itself.

Then (and as I’ve seen other translators doing the same, for similar reasons), I had to update the descriptions of my gigs and in each of them explain that complicated formats (such as PDFs, image files like JPG, PNG, etc and posts for blogs and websites) can be translated into new Microsoft Word files only, respecting the color, page layout, font size, images, etc than in the original files.

And consequently, I see that I received a smaller amount of translations compared to the times I translated PDF files inside them.

I decided to take this step because although there are programs to edit PDF files, they do not always do it correctly and are very expensive.

It is worth mentioning that while there are many customers who send the original files in Microsoft Word formats that are easily edited, there are many others who work with PDF.

Do you think that this change I have made in my gigs may be negatively affecting my sales?

I thought that one possible reason why my sales were dropped, despite the fact that I am doing Digital Marketing correctly and I am getting clicks and visits to my profile, is that many potential customers are uncomfortable with the idea of translating PDF files into new Microsoft Word documents, for the reason that the formatting of letters and images is not exactly the same as in the original file, even though the translation is well done. But, I am not sure about this. Maybe I am wrong and the reason is different.

Also, I work with other software besides Microsoft Word (such as PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, Google Drive, WordPad, etc), but most customers use Microsoft Word and PDF files. Rarely have I received text in formats other than those.

If there are other translators, writers (or whoever has the knowledge in these matters), I would like to read their opinions about it.

Note: I am doing social media marketing correctly on the topics I work on at Fiverr, I update my profile, I don´t have any negative review and I have a short response time (1 hour). Maybe one reason could be the Coronavirus, but I don’t think it’s that.

Thank you very much for the answers.


Honestly, when you have 9 gigs without any ratings, I think maybe pause one of those and make another gig that’s specifically for translating PDFs. You can and should charge a higher amount, since the work is more complected and more problematic. You’d have to be very strict with the stipulations, and make sure the clients know there could be issues going in. Under promise, over deliver.

You already know there’s a demand for PDF translation. You can do it. Why not capitalize?

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It’s a good idea, but from my point of view, it’s not convenient that I charge more for what you’re telling me because buyers tend to leave faster and look for someone who charges them cheaper. I thought about doing that thing you tell me, but it would be more unfavorable for me.

Maybe, I could do that when I have more reviews and I’m on another level.

I would say that preserving design of a document is not a translator’s job in the first place, so you are 100% entitled to the extra pay if you do this.
Whether you’re paying for software that allows you to edit pdfs comfortably, outsource this part of the job to a designer or just spend a bunch of extra time doing this, you deserve to get compensated. There are people charging $5 for identifying a font alone and they get sales, while you do that and a lot more in the scope of your translation gig for free.

There always will be someone with lower prices than yours and trying to compete with them by keeping your prices low is really not the best route you can take. You’ll never be able to beat someone from less fortunate parts of the world, if they are happy to work for $1 per hour. Quality and reputation is your best bet, and judging from your profile you already have that going for you.
Sure, there might be a drop in sales while you are building a new client base, but it is temporary. And if it’s not (which is unlikely) you can always get back to your old ways.

There are so many newcomers who are begging for low-competition in-demand niches, and you’ve found one. (I ran a search for ‘PDF translation’ and got 46 results. When I used the ‘seller details - Spanish’ filter, that number drops to 6.)

As @alyonagrapie said, you won’t know the demand for “Maintain-font pdf translation” unless you explore the option.

How long have you had those 9 gigs with no reviews? Can you really say they’re worth keeping if no one’s ordered them?

If you don’t feel like charging more for the service, put ‘font-maintenance’ in a higher gig package and/or make it a gig extra. You’ll still be able to provide the basic service, and making the font separate you’ll be able to track exactly now much demand there is. The clients won’t ‘leave faster’ if it’s separate and completely optional. If they don’t want it, they won’t order it.

I’ll repeat: You know there’s demand. You know how to provide. Why not offer the service?

Tags: pdf, translation, font, Spanish, Spanish-English

I agree with your views that I should charge more for extra work and that it is not my role as a translator.

The thing is that I applied this strategy for a few months and it didn’t work out well, because there are many customers who expect you to do a lot of work, charge them a low price and if you charge them the right price, they leave. I have approximately 100 completed orders (but not all buyers leave me reviews) and almost every time I haven’t made a discount and told them the real price, they leave.

Maybe I should get more positive reviews and do more Digital Marketing.

But you are right in what you said and it would be the right thing for me to do, but looking at the behavior of the customers, I should think about it before doing it.

And while what @alyonagrapie mentioned about the competition is true, there are many buyers who are looking not so much for the quality of the work (although this will always be important), but for a low price.


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It’s a funny video, thanks for sending it.

Sadly, there are many buyers who don’t want to pay the right price for what they order.

But I believe that at Fiverr, as the seller gets more positive feedback and moves up to the next level, they are freer to adjust prices as they wish, fairly.

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Fair enough.

:grin: I’ve collected a whole (short) playlist of "motivation to say ‘no’ " for when I need a reminder.

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