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Thread poster: Hipyan Nopri
Types of Discount

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:44
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Feb 5, 2007

Dear Fellow Translators,

As far as I know, there are several types of discount that can be offered by a freelance translator to a translation agency:
a. First job discount
b. Old client discount
c. Volume discount

As for myself, I never give a first job discount because it cannot be guaranteed that there will be next jobs after the first one.

In addition, I never also give an old client discount because the same client very rarely offers next jobs.

Finally, I never give a volume discount too for the fact that a big job will prevent me from taking on other possible jobs from both old or new clients.

This is my personal experience. Now, I am curious about my fellow freelance translators' experience in connection with this matter.

Many thanks in advance for sharing your experience.

Best Regards

Hipyan Nopri

[Edited at 2007-02-05 13:01]

[Edited at 2007-02-05 13:03]


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Carolin Haase  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:44
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
even more discounts are possible! ;-) Feb 5, 2007

Hi Hipyan,

you already mentioned a couple of discounts, and I can add some more:

4. Trados discounts (for 100% matches, Fuzzy Matches and so on)

5. discounts of a certian percentage, if amount due is being paid, say, within a week after date of invoice

I've never given first job discounts or large job discounts either, for the same reasons you already mentioned. But I have an "old" client who gets a discount for jobs in a particular area that i already know very well...


All the best,

Caro


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
No discounts Feb 5, 2007

No discounts, not for Trados or any other reason. A price is a price and a word is a word.

[Edited at 2007-02-05 15:44]


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Els Spin  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:44
Member
Dutch to English
+ ...
Volume discounts please! Feb 5, 2007

Hi Hipyan,

As an agency I naturally have a different view. For competitive reasons, I do offer my clients several discounts, but mainly out of my own pocket. Translators may charge me normal rates. [I must be mad!]

However, I do expect translators to offer me a volume discount for major CAT jobs of 25,000 words or more. The more words, the more useful your CAT tool.

Besides, it is a simple choice: either I give a discount but you don't and I have to make the client a ridiculous offer that is bound to be rejected; or you give a discount, I give a discount, together we beat the competitors and the job is ours.

Client satisfaction does the rest: for most of my major jobs I was recommended by a colleague (of a colleague...). In which case I am sure to give you first choice if any new job is in the same field of specialisation. So I am a client that WILL offer you next jobs.
And I wasn't even aware that that made me special!

Kind regards!
Els






[Edited at 2007-02-05 14:22]


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:44
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
No discounts if I can get away with it Feb 5, 2007

If I get a project which I would not get without offering a discount (what it really means - reducing my price a bit) and I do not have other work at that time, and the project would not eat up all my time, and the discount is not significant, and ultimately if I want to take that project - then and only then I would offer some discount. However I never offer any discounts of my free will.

Ines


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
We and ours? Feb 5, 2007


Els Spin wrote:

However, I do expect translators to offer me a volume discount for major CAT jobs of 25,000 words or more. The more words, the more useful your CAT tool.

Besides, it is a simple choice: either I give a discount but you don't and I have to make the client a ridiculous offer that is bound to be rejected; or you give a discount, I give a discount, together we beat the competitors and the job is ours.


A CAT-tool is a tool to increase a translator's productivity and income, not a tool to give discounts. If a clients rejects the offer, that's a pity, but there are many other clients out there. Not all are aware of CATs.
The more I train Dragon Dictate the more useful it gets.
Why don't you ask a discount for the use of voice-recognition?
"We" and "ours"??? I don't need an agency to pick up the phone for me and call companies directly.


[Edited at 2007-02-05 15:56]


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Els Spin  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:44
Member
Dutch to English
+ ...
Misinterpretation? Feb 5, 2007

Sorry,

but I think you have completely misunderstood my meaning, as regards CAT jobs discounts. So be it.
And yes, I am talking about 'we', because my agency has a completely different setup from 'commercial' agencies. Which is highly appreciated by all.

Kind regards,
Els


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:44
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
No discounts Feb 5, 2007

I only give away 100% matches free to well-established, valuable clients (the ones that don't beg for lower rates and are respectful of me and my work). No Trados discounts otherwise.

Also, no old client discounts, no volume discounts (that, to me, is a no-no, for the reason mentioned by Hipyan) and definitely no first job discount (How can a client accept to pay more than the last time around? S/he will want the opposite of that!).

Fast payment discounts simply don't seem to work in our industry. The clients who pay before the account is overdue always pay the day before it becomes overdue, or something similar.

Note to Williamson: Trust me, my friend, the day when people will offer rebates based on the use of dictation software will come, and the same will happen with OCR. People have been offering such low rates lately that they can't go lower anymore, so the next logical step is discounts that you can afford to offer because you have tools that help you to save time on your projects. Why wait for clients to skin you alive when you can skin yourself for them?


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Tatiana Neamţu
Romania
Local time: 09:44
English to Romanian
+ ...
You've got a point Feb 5, 2007


Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Note to Williamson: Trust me, my friend, the day when people will offer rebates based on the use of dictation software will come, and the same will happen with OCR. People have been offering such low rates lately that they can't go lower anymore, so the next logical step is discounts that you can afford to offer because you have tools that help you to save time on your projects. Why wait for clients to skin you alive when you can skin yourself for them?


Unfortunately, you're perfectly right. And even worse, soon we'll compete who offers the lowest rate to get a job. How tragic is that!


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:44
English to French
+ ...
The same for me Feb 5, 2007


Burrell wrote:

If I get a project which I would not get without offering a discount (what it really means - reducing my price a bit) and I do not have other work at that time, and the project would not eat up all my time, and the discount is not significant, and ultimately if I want to take that project - then and only then I would offer some discount. However I never offer any discounts of my free will.

Ines


"Never say never", but as little as possible.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:44
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Never say never Feb 6, 2007

True that!

But I find you'd have to be stuck in a bad situation for that to happen, and I find that most people who do offer those discounts are desperate. I am only saying this because most of the time, people who have issues with rates are also people who keep saying that there is not enough work for all of us - which, in my opinion, is completely untrue. When people eventually come to the realization that a lack of work is not caused by the state of the market but rather by the fact that they either are mediocre translators or don't have a sense of business, maybe they will stop being desperate, and they will take matters in their hands, either by changing their business practices, by making efforts to become better translators or by looking for a day job.

There is enough work for all translators in the strict sense of the word. However, in the broad sense of the word, of course there isn't enough work, and I think the "bottom layer" of the market should look for other sources of work than translation. There are also too many pretty girls for the number of model jobs available, and there are too many graphic artists available for the number of graphic artist jobs available. If you don't have what it takes, you should quit translating and look for a job that better suits you.

On a side note, most if not all people who cannot succeed in translation (those who complain that there are not enough contracts on the market) are in it for the oh so amazing lifestyle and the incredible money - which only goes to show they have no idea of the industry, because I find that the lifestyle is really not so glamourous and the money to be made can only be made through hard work, just like in any honest job. Many wannabe translators think that they will be spoonfed lucrative contracts and all they have to do is sit on their bums. They have no idea how far away from the truth they are!

[Edited at 2007-02-06 05:32]


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:44
French to English
+ ...
Negotiations Feb 6, 2007

People -- when clients/prospects start exacting or expecting discounts (on whatever basis), you have 3 choices:

1) refuse (you loose, maybe they do too)
2) accept (they win, you win and loose)
3) negotiate > the only path to a win-win outcome where all parties feel they have been treated fairly and ended up with a decent deal.

We are service providers, not vendors of widgets. Unfortunately, our services are counted in words rather than by a lump sum fee we determine being appropriate for project X.

But as service providers, we do have real elements with which to engage in a productive negotiation and to demonstrate our professionalism.

The outcome of such an exercise can mean either having granted a discount in exchange for something that is more important to us (longer deadline, cited as translator, earlier payment etc.. - only you can know what is important to you).

Conversely, what can you propose as a "plus" that compensates said client/prospect for not getting a discount? Proofing the source text free (there is always a lurking type-o or two)? Delaying the payment deadline an extra week? There are oodles of options out there.

Cheers,

Patricia


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Els Spin  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:44
Member
Dutch to English
+ ...
Very true! Feb 7, 2007

Both Viktoria and Patricia said some really true words here. Indeed, there is plenty of work to go around.
Indeed, some people have no business sense.

But I chose to follow my heart. Which indeed means I have to have a day job.

That doesn't mean that my translating comes second, though. I am just not prepared to do other work than that which I had my heart set on. So I accept that I won't make a lot of money out of it.

Firstly, because mine is a small niche. Secondly, because it happens to be in the semi-non-profit sector. Even with discounts, offers are often rejected for budget reasons. Thirdly, because my own translating and any work I outsource is and must be well-paid. Even if it includes a volume discount. Which I never ask for, but is spontaneously offered, by the way (contrary to all opinions above). I have never asked any translator to lower his or her rates. In fact, I base my offer to the client on those rates.

So, all in all, I don't make a lot of money as a translator/outsourcer. But I can live with that. Because I can afford to.

If my clients were companies with enough money to go around, however, it would be a completely different story. I would not even dream of offering any discounts. And I would make huge profits too.

But I don't. Simply because I follow my heart. And, again, because I can afford to. I count myself very lucky.


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