I am offering translation services on Fiverr (English/German) and there is actually a pretty high demand for this language combination. I am fluent in both languages and I know that I have been offering excellent service. All my customers have been happy and I they have all been really great customers. Can’t complain.
However, it happens a lot that I get messages about my Gig and buyers would ask how much for this many words? My Gig clearly says how many words per Gig although I am willing to maybe translate a few hundred words extra for a big order. But obviously my offer is never good enough because after I tell them my price I never hear from them again… guessing they are getting it cheaper somewhere else.
Yes this does upset me because… a professional translator who has tons of experience and who does nothing else but translate all day long can translate up to 500 words per hour. I can’t. I may be able to translate 300 - 400 words per hour if I am doing a good job and I always try to give my best.
A translation agency charges up to .40 cents per word (depending on the difficulty of the document) so even for just a regular document they would probably charge at least .20 Cents. My Gig is technically worth 60 dollars not 5 Dollars. Yes I know it’s fiverr and everything is supposed to be cheap here. I am not saying I would want to charge 60 dollars, but I don’t think people realize that I am actually working below minimum wage here when I translate 300 words for 5 (or 4) Dollars. So how in the world do you other translator do this? How can you offer a better deal? I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not using Google translate for your buyers. That would be irresponsible. I have seen many very poor translations that buyers have sent me to proofread and that upsets me too when they expect me to correct someone else’s mistake for less money. They then want to call this a proofreading Gig which would be a 1000 words for 5 dollars, but it is not a proofreading Gig because I end up spending hours fixing the translation.
As much as I like Fiverr… and I really do… I have not figured out this part of the business. I am obviously not offering services that can be done in 5 or 10 minutes. Most of my services are very labor intensive and it frustrates me when customers don’t see that.