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Poll: what do you do if a client offers you a large project but asks for a discount on your rates?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:53
SITE STAFF
Jul 13, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "what do you do if a client offers you a large project but asks for a discount on your rates?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ma. Fernanda Blesa

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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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
I may accept discount of my choice... Jul 13, 2006

this big:


(Yes, should I accept to make a discount, it will be very small!)

Interesting poll!

Au

[Editado a las 2006-07-13 14:14]


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Angela&Claudio
Italy
Local time: 16:53
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
20% NO DISCOUNT? Jul 13, 2006

Really????

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:53
French to English
+ ...
Other Jul 13, 2006

If this is a large project with a tight deadline, I see no reason to give a discount - I'd be preventing myself from working for other, better-paying clients during that period, which is somewhat pointless. What I'd prefer to do is agree a small discount but only in return for a generous deadline, so that I can alternate other projects with the big one (this is particularly important if the big project is dull...).

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Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:53
English to French
+ ...
Other Jul 13, 2006

Big projects don't necessarily imply economy of scale. If the repetitive nature of the document really justifies a discount, then ok (but the discount should be negotiated). Otherwise, no way! Should I give a discount because a customer gives me a project on a subject I know well? This could be considered an economy of scale in the same way, but nobody will ask for a discount on a document because you worked in the field.

Furthermore, big projects mean more concentration, and more consistency issues. Trados may help but it is nothing more than a tool. The translator needs to use the tool efficiently, and that's another story.

I am lucky enough to be busy all the time (knocking on wood), so big projects can sometimes be a problem if the deadline is tight. Some customers get annoyed if you cannot take anything from them for two months. So I agree with Angela. A generous deadline may be worth a discount.


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Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
German to English
+ ...
How attractive is the project? Jul 13, 2006

I have only offered a discount twice; once because I really wanted to do the translation (it was my first book) and once because I was first assured that time was of no consequence (open deadline, so no interference with my normal workflow) and the project was very large. But I'm still negotiating on the second one, so I think even my generous discount was not enough.

In general, I think circumstances would have to dictate the possibility of giving discounts, but size of the project and deadline are important factors.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
No discounts Jul 13, 2006

AngelaMaria wrote:
Really????


Yes, really.

For some clients I even stipulate a retainer's fee, and (depending on the delivery schedule) bi-weekly or monthly payments until the completion of the project.

--
Dyran
(working on a 150,000+ word website this month)


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Great to read your comments, Miladies! Jul 13, 2006

Hopefully, lots of brand-new translators are reading this poll!

Au


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:53
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Diseconomies of scale Jul 13, 2006

The reality of the situation is, unless there is a huge amount of repeating (boring work), large projects require immense amounts of editing and quality control, not to mention energy. Why should I give a discount if I have to work harder?

Stephen Rifkind


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:53
Member
English to French
No discounts Jul 13, 2006

related to the size of the project.

I have never done so and I am even less likely to now. That said, I have never faced a challenging situation workwise.
After a while, large projects (I mean more than 1 month worth of work) just make you longing for a different subject, besides the issue of discarding offers from other customers...

But I do accept discounts related to the repetitive nature of the job (repetitions, fuzzies and 100% matches using a CAT tool). In terms of working time, I don't "lose" any money.

Also, I work only for agencies and may have another stance for end customers. But my standard rate would be much higher then...


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Jul 13, 2006

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

AngelaMaria wrote:
Really????


Yes, really.


I don't ask for a retainer, but if -- deadlines all calculated and accounted for -- it means working over my stipulated daily limits and / or at weekends, I apply 50% surcharge on the excess.

This has a twofold effect: if the job is not as urgent as they say it is, I often get a longer deadline. If it is urgent, they anticipate my needs next time and don't rush me.

On the other hand, if urgency is unavoidable, they pay the price. Note that even this cannot be abused: we only have 10 fingers each and 24 hours a day.

In short, volume's okay, but as Stephen says, we shouldn't be working more for less.


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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:53
Member
English to Spanish
No discount for volume Jul 13, 2006

This is exactly the reason:

Angela Dickson wrote:

I'd be preventing myself from working for other, better-paying clients during that period,


Working with TRADOS, I can accept discounts when the text is too repetitive. But I don't accept 0% fee for repetitions either, which I was offered once.

I see I'm not the only one


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:53
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
It depends on the client Jul 13, 2006

For one client, I have 2 rates. The lower one is a 12% discount from the higher. We agree on the rate before he sends the PO.
His stuff is interesting, his turnarounds are reasonable, and he has a sense of humor.

On the other hand, there is another (slowpaying) client that I only work for when I get an addition to my normal rates.


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Heike Kurtz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:53
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
we sell translations, not screws Jul 13, 2006

as other colleagues mentioned before, long projects that keep you busy for one single client over a longer period of time often mean more work (consistency etc...) can be boring (same subject all the time) and even harmful to your business (you may have to reject work from other clients).

Moreover, just because a text is long, there need not be any economies of scale. Clients who ask for a discount just because there is much text often think that doing translations is just like producing screws: once you have the mould done and the machine adjusted, 5000 screws are just as cheap to produce as 10000...

BUT for us translators, the 10,000th word takes just as much time as the first and the first page is as much work as the 20th. IMHO, the sheer size of a project does not justify a discount. Reasonable arguments often make that point clear to customers, too.

Of course, if there are many repetitions, discounts may be discussed.


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Heike Kurtz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:53
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
when do you apply the lower/higher rate? Jul 13, 2006

Rebecca Garber wrote:

For one client, I have 2 rates. The lower one is a 12% discount from the higher. We agree on the rate before he sends the PO.
His stuff is interesting, his turnarounds are reasonable, and he has a sense of humor.


Does the choice of rates depend on your mood of the day or do you have a certain set of rules for the application of the higher/lower rate?


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