Discounts for high translation volume
Thread poster: Katharina Leipp
Katharina Leipp  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:04
English to German
+ ...
Feb 9, 2011

Hi y´all!

Do you offer discounts due to high volumes or sliding-scale prices?

Currently I received several orders with a volume of 10.000 words per order. Now, the same customer sent me an enquiry for 20.000 words. So far nobody asked, but I was wondering whether a discount might be expected for such a high volume.

Any experiences?

Thanks

Kathy


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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:04
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Never offer until you're asked Feb 9, 2011

If this is a returning client, he/she knows your rates.
There could be discounts for repetitions, but large volume per se, in my opinion, shouldn't constitute any ground for lowering your rates.

(Most my large projects are far bigger than 20000 words - generally from 40000 to 60000)


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 15:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Discounts? Feb 9, 2011

Katharina Leipp wrote:
Do you offer discounts due to high volumes?


Good heavens no!

Katharina Leipp wrote:
... or sliding-scale prices?


Only if the client goes half-way and accepts a sliding scale of quality

Katharina Leipp wrote:
... the same customer sent me an enquiry for 20.000 words ... I was wondering whether a discount might be expected for such a high volume.


20 thousand words? That's barely a week's work - it certainly doesn't qualify as 'high volume'.

MediaMatrix


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Katharina Leipp  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:04
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 9, 2011

Thanks, Hege, that´s what I needed confirmed.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't offer volume discounts Feb 9, 2011

Volume discounts make sense in manufacturing: large production runs cost the factory less money per item, and they pass the savings along.

Translating 30,000 source words takes me just over two weeks regardless of whether it's for one client or six, so there's no savings to pass along and no incentive for me to give discounts.

Customers who say "I'm willing to send you huge volumes of work if you'll translate cheap" are essentially saying "I'm willing to underpay you for a really long time." Gee, how appealing!

[Edited at 2011-02-09 20:56 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:04
French to English
+ ...
Depends... Feb 9, 2011

A large volume brings two competing factors into play: a potential increase in productivity due to similarity/familiarity with material vs potentially extra work to check for consistency. It rather depends on the project which factor rules overall. So I wouldn't say no a priori, but I wouldn't necessarily say yes either.

Another thing to consider is if you're eatablishing a "default" rate for a particular client, then sometimes they will send you a shorter/more complicated text that isn't so worthwhile. A more productive text at the same rate balances things out and a good client will accept this, I think. Certainly if you're working directly with the client that produced the document, they'll have some sympathy with the issues involved in handling large files...


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Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:04
Member (2008)
English to French
No rebates... Feb 10, 2011

And even a surcharge if the deadline is tight because it might mean that I'm alienating other clients - any project booking more than 3000-words/day for more than 4 days straight I would charge as rush because I would have to turn down other projects. Conversely 30,000words in 2 weeks (10 working days) is perfectly fine as it allows me to accept other rush projects as they come along (since I often do urgent/last minute projects for my clients).

The point based on "familiarity" and "similarity" is moot is you mostly translate in your specialized fields - I have glossaries that span several clients because they exploit in the same field (ex. Finance, Insurance, Clinical Studies, etc.). I love the function in Wordfast Pro that allows more than one glossary - this way, one for the client-specific terms and one for the more general field-specific terms.

And as others said, 20000 words is not that large; it's between a couple of days and a couple of weeks of work, depending on your translating speed - not exactly job security


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:04
French to German
+ ...
Wow, Steven :) Feb 10, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Customers who say "I'm willing to send you huge volumes of work if you'll translate cheap" are essentially saying "I'm willing to underpay you for a really long time." Gee, how appealing!


How about creating an 'automatic translation tool' for corporatese / agencynese?

[Edited at 2011-02-10 08:25 GMT]


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 21:04
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
I never offer volume discounts Feb 10, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Volume discounts make sense in manufacturing: large production runs cost the factory less money per item, and they pass the savings along.

Translating 30,000 source words takes me just over two weeks regardless of whether it's for one client or six, so there's no savings to pass along and no incentive for me to give discounts.

Customers who say "I'm willing to send you huge volumes of work if you'll translate cheap" are essentially saying "I'm willing to underpay you for a really long time." Gee, how appealing!


Absolutely! Exactly my point. I never offer volume discounts.

Nikita Kobrin


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:04
Finnish to English
I do Feb 10, 2011

I do offer discounts to customers for big jobs because of the security I feel having work for the immediate future.

The obvious drawback is that when you are working on such assignmets you are constantly having to turn down other offers of work.

Perhaps I should alter my ways (actually, it is a policy only: I have never actually done it)


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't give a discount if you are not asked!! Feb 10, 2011

Why would you offer a discount if you are not asked?? I don't get it.

And if you are asked, a maximum discount of 5% should be fine. After all, think that each of the words will require the same effort, be it a job with 500 words or 50,000 words. 5% should be enough a benefit for your customer, in my opinion.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:04
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Discounts on repetitions in high volumes are reasonable Feb 10, 2011

But first, define "high volume". The way I see it, for instance, my comfortable volume a month is 60,000. If I do more than that I begin to see my weekends disappearing, which in regular work terms would be called "overtime"... so it doesn't really make sense to charge less for what people would normally be paying more for. But all this is reckoning without a CAT tool.

If "high volume" meant a regular 30,000 every month, I'd be willing to negotiate terms. But a one-off deal, or a block on my other clients for more than one month would put me at a disadvantage.

FWIW, here's an old post of mine on the topic: http://www.proz.com/topic/22931

[Edited at 2011-02-10 11:13 GMT]


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 18:04
Japanese to English
Job security Feb 10, 2011

Spencer Allman wrote:

I do offer discounts to customers for big jobs because of the security I feel having work for the immediate future.

The obvious drawback is that when you are working on such assignments you are constantly having to turn down other offers of work.

Meaning you're trading long-term job security for short-term security? If anything you should charge more for the big job as an inconvenience fee. I mean, every client you turn down is a client that will have to go elsewhere and that might like it elsewhere and be lost to you for good.


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:04
Finnish to English
In reply to Mr Binder Feb 10, 2011

It is stated in my CV. I charge rates that may be above the average so it is meant as a softener. No one ever seems to take me up on it, though.

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