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Question to sellers of translations gigs or just any seller


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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.

Any advice/opinions?

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Guest norrsken_marc

@silviatx I also have a translation Gig, and comparing it to my other Gig, this one is indeed more time-consuming. Just like you, I know that I am not making minimum wage on this Gig, but the idea is to get enough of those little Gigs to justify the time I spend translating everything. Freelancing is not a 9-to-5 job, as everyone knows, so all real-world references are also thrown out the window when talking about wages. I don’t make minimum wage for those Gigs, although it is possible to get some of it back with bigger orders, since I do charge extra for bigger orders.

To answer your question about why potential buyers always ask you for quotes on their bigger orders is that they shop around, just like anyone shopping around for the store with the best price. My view on this is that, sooner or later, that store will be me. All those window shoppers (who only look around and don’t buy) could very well be future customers, so patience is your best reward. If you know you are a good translator, and don’t fall in the trap of simply giving your services away, then you’ll get that one order that will make the waiting seem like a good idea. Best of luck.

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People ask me that too - “What’s your best price for delivering x amount of transcription.” I honestly just say to them that the quoted price is my best rate.

I too often have people come to me after someone has cancelled at the last minute or they have received a poor quality transcription. That’s just life, there isn’t really any quality control (other than ratings) here, and that’s ok with me as it gives everybody a go. Fiverr is a cool place that gives people opportunities that they otherwise would not have.

Transcribing is also very time consuming and there are many variables that increase it’s difficulty.

To me, I do what I do and if people aren’t happy with the price or whatever that is cool, they can go elsewhere and get one done more cheaply, and may have different results. They are also welcome to attempt transcribing it themselves and see how easy it is 😉

People have also been occasionally expecting words that others are saying to all be edited up nicely into proper grammar and whatever, but when I say that it is extra they aren’t too keen. Again, whatever I’m all good and have plenty of work coming through due to delivering a consistent quality, accurate product.

Just have fun I guess and understand what humans are like I guess 🙂

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Hey, guys =) Hi, Silvia! I stopped by because I’m about to offer translation gigs too (English / Brazilian Portuguese). As a designer, I have this same feeling… I understand what you’re saying. As soon I became Level 2 seller and raised my prices about 20 bucks, orders disappeared! I had to bring it down again to keep sales going.

I also LOVE Fiverr, because the amount of clients I get every week. However, this bad habit Fiverr created amongst clients is ridiculous…

Hence, what I try to do is explain upfront in my gigs descriptions, in nice words, things like "Because this type of work is more elaborated, please, understand it consumes more of my time"

We sell time here. Not work.

So it’s all about the $ the client is willing to invest so we can stop doing whatever we are doing. One thing I’ve learned is to NEVER fear clients. In order to do that, I can’t ever depend on fiverr. It is a hobby.

If the gig (client) sounds like BS - and some are, you can recognize the awful ones - I don’t even sweat to avoid it. I already canceled 5 orders that were going nowhere AND I stopped offering a gig that was a headache, attracting all sorts of “wrong clients” (TeeSpring t-shirt designs) - yes, I said it! LOL

Here’s why: the type of people who order that have no clue about design. They don’t know what they are asking for. And, to make it worst, they come from Facebook communities full of “I teach you to be rich quick!” seminar guys.

Stay away from the wrong audience. We gotta know our public. Maybe being more specific on the needs you cover.

Have you tried to segment your gigs?


  • “I will translate app descriptions”
  • “I will translate twitter postings”
  • "I will translate blog posts, up to 100 words"

    Specify by category. Fiverr is a numbers game. You gotta do micro sales.

    Anyways… 4am, time to sleep =) cheers from Brazil, everybody!
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So my latest order was a proofreading service of an ebook. 27,000 words. My biggest job that I have ever done on here and I made the client a good deal too. The problem… it was a translated document. Translated by someone from English into German who obviously had not done a very good job. This is what I meant when I said that I hate correcting other peoples mistakes. I wish I could have translated that, made more money AND done a better job than whoever translated this document. Instead I proofread the flawed translations and corrected almost every sentence. I worked 2 FULL days on this job and am finally done but really have a headache now. 2 days for 90 dollars seems pretty ridiculous to me, but my client did get an excellent piece of work from me.

And I really thought this would be an easy job because the client had promised me in advance that it was NOT a machine translation and it wasn’t. But some humans can do a lousy job too translating things. 😛


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  • 1 year later...

Recently a guys asked for a custom offer (most buyers do actually) because he had a bad experience with a seller who used Google translate and his clients on the other hand weren’t satisfied. He asked me if I could give him a special price as he already invested money in that Google Translate gig.
So I replied to him that he actually asked me to pay out of my own pocket for the mistake somebody else did. I sent him a custom offer and never heard of him, but I expected this.

Anyway, I get these e-mails as well, but since I raised my prices I only receive messages from well educated buyers who are going for quality and are looking for a responsible person.

Don’t be upset because there are so many frauds on Fiverr. Just do your quality work and ignore the tire kickers.

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Do Fiverr the way you want, and accept the consequences. I have a proofreading gig that rarely gets orders because I’m doing 500 words for $5, others do 1,500, 2,000, etc. Of course, I’m doing more than proofreading, I’m also editing, so most of my clients are happy.

"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. "

Does it take you an hour to translate 300 words? Then maybe you’re working too slow, or maybe you should do something else.

Fiverr is about YOU, figuring out what you like to do, what works for you, etc. Make your buyers happy and then you’ll be able to make more money doing less work. Of course, I believe in delivering value for the money. $5 for 1 headline is outrageous in my opinion, which is why I offer 5 for $5. However, when I got started I was selling 10 for $5.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all

As a newbie I think it is hard to make the right price setting.
I am constantly working under minimum wage, but it is a deliberate choice: on one hand I need to built a relationship with my buyers, on the other hand it is a learning process.

Once I have learnt the hang of it, I think I wil raise my prices…

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@silviatx I can totally relate to your problem. I am also good in translation (Hindi to English and vice versa). I had a gig for this service earlier. I even got orders for that gig from a very nice buyer. I tried my best but I could only translate 500 words in an hour. It was the worst I could make from my gigs. I earn $20 per hour from my other gigs, so I explained it decently to the buyer and gave half of that translation work for free. I paused my gig after that. I understood while I was fast in translation but I was bad in typing in Devanagari script used for Hindi. It just took me 15 minutes to translate those 500 words but 45 minutes to type that document. I think that you should figure out what works best for you and concentrate on that.

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  • 4 weeks later...


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