Céline has an excellent post, Why I don’t like bidding systems, on the problem that translators seemed to be judged by how cheap they are. She suggests that lawyers aren’t treated in the same way (and this is true whether or not their prices are fixed – in Germany there is a fee scale, but lawyers can contract out of it). Of course, lawyers usually have a monopoly. Unlike quite a number of translators in Germany, I don’t believe translators should be “verkammert” [umlaut removed, ed.), and I think payment has to be left to the market.
Since I first read the post this morning, there have been a few comments. The first is by Christian Hansel of Babelport. I can see that those who run such websites have different interests from the translators who use them, but they seem to be successful. I can’t accept the suggestion that there is anything altruistic about them, since running such a site either brings in money through advertising or charges, or if not, it helps create a reputation and therefore goodwill, which has an economic value.
Trevor also comments.