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Discount rates depending on the size of the project
Thread poster: Arlete Moraes

Arlete Moraes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mar 2, 2007

Hi all,

Should we charge different rates depending on the size of the project?
An agency is asking how much I charge for the following:
- under 1,000 words, rate per thousand words of source text
- 1,000 - 10,000 words, rate per thousand words of source text
- more than 10,000 words, rate per thousand words of source text

Thank you for your help.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:40
English to Dutch
+ ...
Up to you Mar 2, 2007

That's up to you. Large volume discounts are common in all fields of economy, so you could join the crowd. Or you could do not, it's a free economy.
An agency has the right to try, but you have the right not to give in. How badly do you want this agency?


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
Flemish to English
+ ...
Simple Mar 2, 2007

No discounts for any reason whatsoever.
Thank them for their interest and look for another customer.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Only if asked Mar 2, 2007

I apply the following (roughly):
< 350 - minimum rate
351 - 10,000 - standard rate
>10,000 - standard rate minus a percentage (varies from 10 to 25%)

I also use Trados and for full matches, I charge around 30% of my standard rate.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You may be sorry Mar 2, 2007

Here's a previous discussion: http://www.proz.com/post/156664#156664

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Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:40
Danish to English
+ ...
Minus 25%??? Mar 2, 2007

Marijke wrote:

I apply the following (roughly):
< 350 - minimum rate
351 - 10,000 - standard rate
>10,000 - standard rate minus a percentage (varies from 10 to 25%)

I also use Trados and for full matches, I charge around 30% of my standard rate.




But why on earth would you want to work for 25% less???

Tina


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Marion Lurf  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
English to German
+ ...
Same here... Mar 2, 2007

Hi Arlete,

I was also asked this question a few weeks ago (and have the sneaking suspicion that we're talking about the same agency here). I politely declined with a brief explanation that it is not my policy to give discounts for volume - and at the moment they are sending me more work than ever...

However, in the end it is obviously up to every translator himself/herself whether or not he/she wants to accept this "offer".

Marion


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:40
Turkish to English
+ ...
Economies of scale do not apply to translation Mar 2, 2007

In terms of economic theory, it is logical to apply discounts to bulk orders in sectors where economies of scale apply. I do not think that there are economies of scale in translation: if it takes me one day to translate 2000 words, then it will take me ten days to translate 20000. On the other hand, if I was going through a lean spell and somebody offered me a large job on condition that I make a discount then I would probably accept. As other people have said, it is really a personal decision. We are all individual agents in a free market and it is up to us to decide on our pricing policy.

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FJPN  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not give in unless you are desperate Mar 2, 2007

More often than not, at least here in Spain, particularly in Catalonia, agencies try to get discount rates promissing large volumes but after you agree to a rate, they never send you the volume of work your rate was based on.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
French to English
+ ...
Pros and cons Mar 2, 2007

As Tim says, if you're going through a lean spell, then there may be situations in which you might consider accepting a tiny discount. I did accept a tiny reduction of 3% on one 30,000 word job last summer - mainly because they are good clients, who do send me lots of work and because they were happy to wait until after I returned from a fortnight away, thus giving me a secure income for 3 weeks after my holiday. I could probably have held out for my usual rate, but I think a little gesture doesn't always go amiss. They haven't asked me to do the same again and we've reverted to my standard rates since then. However, bear in mind that by tying yourself up for a long time with a lower rate, you may also risk alienating regular clients paying higher rates. Swings and roundabouts really....

However, I think there can be economies of scale in some translations, especially if you use CAT software, or you're doing a very repetitive and straightforward job and there can be times when it might be appropriate to discount IF you're really keen to secure the contract. It depends how much in demand you are!

[Edited at 2007-03-02 12:12]


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Gert Hirschfeld  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:40
English to German
+ ...
Less - or maybe more! Mar 2, 2007

Well, as has been said already, it depends on how busy you are. If you have hardly any time to process the huge project, you should charge MORE and not LESS, because this client is given priority over your other clients

An economy of scale I can see in a situation where you are not so busy and have to find new clients all the time, often for small projects. Here it can be an advantage for you not having to waste time on marketing and looking around and meeting new clients. The big project could do more for you than involuntary days off. Here you might be happy to offer a discount for the big chunk of work. 5% should be enough, I'd say.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
English to Polish
No discounts Mar 2, 2007

Why shall I charge less if I have more work? Because I might not have any work from other client if I refuse? Well, I'd take that risk, because I could have as much work for my regular price as well.

Besides I find longer texts harder - it's all about proofreading process

Once someone (sorry, don't remember now who it was) asked, if volume discouts would finally reach a point, where translation would be for free, and - if bigger - maybe a traslator should pay a client

Anni


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Discounts - a tricky proposition Mar 2, 2007

While you work on the large project at a reduced rate, you are unable to attend to the next customer who would pay your regular rate. About the only advantage you would have is if the job has a high rate of repetitions. And that depends on the field you work in.

In another translators portal someone wrote an article saying that actually large jobs are bad for business.

I would only do it in very lean times. Do not fall for the ploy that they shall provide you with large streams of work if you reduce your rate.

I have been at this for quite a while and this has perhaps panned out only once or twice. The one customer I am still working for and yes, they have large files and are very prompt payers. You know who you are and I appreciate your continued business.

So my two cents, be very careful with this.

Lucinda


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Why you may offer a discount Mar 2, 2007

Tina Colquhoun wrote:


Marijke wrote:

I apply the following (roughly):
< 350 - minimum rate
351 - 10,000 - standard rate
>10,000 - standard rate minus a percentage (varies from 10 to 25%)

I also use Trados and for full matches, I charge around 30% of my standard rate.




But why on earth would you want to work for 25% less???

Tina


I believe in being realistic. Some of the material I translate is so easy that I can translate 9000 words in an 8 hour day (no joke). The customer is also aware of this. I do not give discounts as a rule but only if pressed and I want to do the job. I am currently raising my rates and not offering any discounts at all except for full Trados matches because I am refusing more than 10,000 words a week (again no joke).

It all depends on the material you translate. I am basically a technical translator (therefore, no literary, marketing or legal documents).


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Turn the question around Mar 2, 2007

Will they pay you extra for very small orders? That is, will they agree to paying a minimum fee? You will need to know the answer to that one first.

Astrid


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