Friday, May 8, 2009

Rates and 3rd World Countries

I have just seen an email placed on an overseas forum that is going to create a lot of replies and chat on that particular forum.

We have countries in Asia, like China, India, Philippines where new VAs are emerging, they are charging very low prices for their services because of their countries low conversion rates compared to other countries like UK, USA, Australia within the world. It is not their fault they are charging what the going rates are within their country. Where their rates are reasonable to others within their countries, they are not when they start advertising their services worldwide.

The Vas within these countries are not very good using the English language, their skills in punctuation, grammar, spelling are not good. Sometimes they are not as computer literate as the rest of us as their own countries are behind with technology. But nevertheless, VA companies are growing in the Asian countries.

South Africa is looked at as being a 3rd world country, but sometimes I wonder! We are up with the world in technology, sometimes far ahead, with cell phone technology, computers, wireless, ADSL and optic underseas cabling, satelite etc we are up with the best of them. But we are still classed as a 3rd world country and often clients from Australia, UK and USA class us in the same arena as the Asian countries’ with regards to VA and Transcription services.

A quote from Gaynor ‘I think it's a mindset that I would like to change all over the world - stop charging so low and start focussing on quality or get out of the field’. That is her feeling and she is completely right. As she says ‘if we produce quality work we should charge accordingly’.

One thing I do is before quoting to any overseas client. I first check out the rates that are charged for the task in that country the client is from, I then charge our equivalent of that rate. I do a quick currency conversion (Exchange Rates) using the free currency converters and charge the same rate as of the country the work is coming from. We cannot charge a client from the UK, R20.00 per page for typing which say is our country medium price range for this task. It about £1.50p, the client is bound to use your services, it’s cheap, its buttons. Surely we are worth more than that. I am.

Live rates at 2009.05.08 10:35:38 UTC
20.00 ZAR
1.57832 GBP
South Africa Rand

United Kingdom Pounds
1 ZAR = 0.0789159 GBP

1 GBP = 12.6717 ZAR

We look at the UK rate which is around £5.00 per page, we then convert it to Rand value: R64 and that is our price we charge the client. Therefore charging them the rate they would be charged in their own country.

Lay your charge out to the client, in your quote:
£5.00 per page equals R63.

It is fantastic to get overseas clients on your client base but make sure your prices/rates are right and that you do earn and make your money, rather than work at a loss.

All comments on these article would be appreciated be they negative or positive.

Written by Alison Fourie of AMF Typing Services cc

1 comment:

  1. Ironically, I found that it's more lucrative for writers to write for the domestic market than it is for the international market ( at least, at this stage) because writers in this country are valued.

    A lot of the international clients who want writing services ( and advertise online on places such as Craigslist and elance ) offer so little money it's not worth it for me.
    firstly, they think that because I am in South Africa, a third world country, it means that I can take lower pay.

    What they don't know is that most local publications better. Many pay a minimum of R2.00 per word, without even negotiations taking place. That means you have a baseline of R21 000 for a 1000-word article. Then I see ads for articles for $3 per article, $5 dollars, $10 dollars and even $25 dollars, and I think, "I can't afford to work for these clients!"

    That sais, keep in mind that I'm talking about the low-end type of client, not the big clients who know that you get whhat you pay for and are willing to invest in quality writers in their own countries and internationally. Now those kind of clients I wouldn't mind:-)