Poll: When would you apply a volume-related discount to your rates?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:01
SITE STAFF
Sep 28, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When would you apply a volume-related discount to your rates?".

This poll was originally submitted by Gerardo Comino

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:01
English to German
+ ...
Good clients Sep 28, 2005

I would grant discounts if a really good client asked me to, or when I clearly see that I can gain more by lowering my rate, e.g. prospective long-term collaboration, etc.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:01
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Big clients = key clients Sep 28, 2005

Hi,
Not sure if 'big clients' mean the same for everybody.

In my case, I do have reduced rates for several "key clients" which include:
- an agency which is sending quite regular small jobs and pays within *day or two* after receiving my invoice. I invoice them once a month and I consider one of the key clients because no matter what, I have the money the next day.

- a non-profit org which these days needs translation only occasionally, but several years ago they used to be my major client. In fact, when working with them I gained a lot of knowledge and experience which generate my income today. As I feel they helped me learning in the past, I do occasional jobs for them for a reduced rate.

As an anecdote: probably the lowest rate I ever accepted was ...for interpreting during a presidential visit. The rate was absolutely funny, even for a young interpreter, but I accepted it without much hesitation knowing that it would be an extremely interesting experience. Indeed it was. Plus, I've received an official 'thank you' note from the US President which turned for me into generally higher rates and more jobs. So in the end reducing the rate generated profit for me. But this doesn't happen frequently.

Cheers,
Magda


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 28, 2005

It wouldn't be worth it for me to give a discount for volume, either in terms of a large project, or a client with constant work, because it would mean being locked into doing more at a lower rate. Where it would be worth it is a project with a highly flexible deadline that I can do in bits at odd moments, and which I would like very much to do (e.g. a book in an area of interest). Then I am occupying time that wouldn't be otherwise used for translation; in other words, putting in productive time with "no overhead."

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:01
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Shoot yourself in the foot, no thanks Sep 28, 2005

GoodWords wrote:

It wouldn't be worth it for me to give a discount for volume, either in terms of a large project, or a client with constant work, because it would mean being locked into doing more at a lower rate. Where it would be worth it is a project with a highly flexible deadline that I can do in bits at odd moments, and which I would like very much to do (e.g. a book in an area of interest).


Anything that obliges me to produce more than my guaranteed turnover (3,000/24 hrs) is subject to surcharge, not discount. And I apply that very sparingly (to choice clients, as Magda says) due to the extra concentration the volume requires. I.e., it's my reputation at stake.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 07:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
combination of factors Sep 28, 2005

The last time I gave a volume discount (a slightly lower per-word rate) was for a very large project, lasting about 4-5 months, with about 20-30% repetition, for a key client. The combination of factors (especially the repetition) made it worthwhile in this case. Otherwise, I don't make it a practice to give volume discounts.

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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:01
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
No discount based on volume Sep 28, 2005

Volume discounts make a lot of sense when you sell "boxes" produced by others. If you sell chairs or pencils and somebody brings a huge order you can offer a discount because the big order may help you buy cheaper, and because it better absorbs your fixed costs.

Now imagine you're a normally busy tranlator that can deliver so many words a month. A huge order means tying you for a long time to one job and the cost of opportunity of having to reject other interesting alternatives.

In this scenario I see no reason to discount based on volume.

Regards,
Enrique


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samnunns
Local time: 13:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
That's generally how ‚h see it, too Sep 28, 2005

Now imagine you're a normally busy tranlator that can deliver so many words a month. A huge order means tying you for a long time to one job and the cost of opportunity of having to reject other interesting alternatives.

In this scenario I see no reason to discount based on volume.


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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
No discounts for volume for me --- unless.... Sep 29, 2005

Hi folks.

All translators would like to be considered professionals. However, what I do in translation is piecework: the more I produce, the more I earn.

That being said, why would I cut my rate that eats into MY profit?

I can only foresee two situations that would entice me to cut my rate for a job:

1) The deadline is so generous that I can use the volume job to fill up what would otherwise be dead times for me.
Used to work for the FBIS (US government translation) at half my usual rate. The jobs were interesting and the deadlines were very comfortable.

2) There is a fair amount of repetition in the text that allows for cutting and pasting.
Have also been in this situation. In effect, it was not a discount at all because it allowed me to increase my productivity -- larger volume translated in the same amount of time -- than would have been the case otherwise.

In the end analysis, if I can increase my productivity by some means or if I can use the job as filler because of the long deadline, I will negotiate the fee.

Otherwise, sorry, but my rate is my rate.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Discount for volume only when.... Oct 1, 2005

The customer gives me a fairly large project (50,000+) and I see that, using a TM tool, I can save significant time because of the repetitions.

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Pablo Grosschmid  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
volume surcharge yes Jan 8, 2006

Goodwords and Parrot have said what had to be said.

After weighing all factors, a surcharge for large projects or for a continuing commitment may be appropriate, never a discount.


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