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Poll: Do you provide a discount for early payment?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 22:04
Nov 21, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you provide a discount for early payment?".

This poll was originally submitted by Özden Arıkan

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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:04
English to French
+ ...
What do you consider an early payment? Nov 21, 2006

Getting paid before starting to work?
Because an "early payment" before 30 days after submitting the job is still a credit given to the client in my opinion.
So I would say no, because I have never been paid before starting to work on an assignment (I know it happens at least partially for books for instance).


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Under certain circumstances Nov 21, 2006

I.e., interpretation, with a one-shot client who wants to pay spot cash. (I just see it as practical.)


Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
I assume that . . . Nov 21, 2006

. . . early payment here is willingness of the client to pay either up-front or well before delivery. However, in my practice this is applicable to local and national clients only. For international clients, there is no discount altogether because payment is made within 30 days of invoicing.


Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
English to Turkish
+ ...
Early payment, not advance payment Nov 22, 2006

By early payment, I mean payment made sooner than the due date, as sooner as to make a difference, that is. I know this cannot be strictly defined, but I wouldn't consider early a payment made on the 29th day (payment time being 30 days).

The reason for this poll: payment delays have not yet turned into a major headache for me, but I don't like minor headaches, eithericon_biggrin.gif I remember a colleague mentioning in the forums about their similar experience. So, I'm just considering whether to provide such a discount as an incentive. I invoice with a one-month payment time, and 2 weeks for mini amounts. So, the plan I have in mind is if a client pays in 1 week, they will get a discount of 10% for the next job. And, perhaps the same will apply for mini amounts in case of instant (=same or next day) payment. (These mini amounts can be forgotten and this is getting more frequent.) However, I will not apply this to old clients for whom I still translate for at my former (and, lower) rates.

So, any experience and/or thoughts from fellow translators? Is this a good idea, or would I be putting myself in unnecessary risk, so better to forget about this, or is it basically a good idea but should be improved?

[Edited at 2006-11-22 00:33]


Brandis (X)
Local time: 07:04
English to German
+ ...
I chose I think N/A Nov 22, 2006

I do give some discount, but it can probably not be categorized as early payment discount. I have learned to apply this principle depending upon my load to rush jobs, ex - a job comes in and offers USD XXX, turn around almost same day or atleast within 36 hours, I immediately quote USDXXXX,- or 30% extra time at USD XXX. Invoice clearances are not specially discounted on this regard, while clearly mentioned that a nominal interest will be charged on 90 days for all late payments. This in a way is not discounting on the value but I win more time or better price on rush jobs. Special cases. It goes something like this

A) regular acceptable price, but fast turn around = regular price + 30% extra time + nominal interest on 90 days
B) Fast turnaround, somewhat better price = 30% more time , while holding the same price + nominal interest. I think I am more clear now. The discount is the quality of work delivered while compromising the above factors.
Best Brandis

[Edited at 2006-11-22 05:19]


Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Basically a good idea Nov 22, 2006

In other fields of business, I believe it is a very common occurrence to write at the foot of the invoice something like "2% early payment discount for payment within 10 days". You can either make it 7 days or 10 days. You also then write both prices on the invoice, to make it easy for the client to know how much is to be paid. You could for example write: "Until 01.12.2006 € xxxx" in a separate line underneath the normal total price line.

I have been thinking of doing this myself, but have not yet implemented it. As far as I know, it is good practice to do so. Thanks for reminding me.

Obviously, it also needs to be made clear somewhere that it is the date of receipt in your bank account that counts. For that reason, it is best to make it 10 days, meaning that the client has about 7 days to make the transfer.


P.S. It is normally 2%, not 10%! 10% is a bit too generous, also off the next translation. Make it 5% off the next one if you must.

[Edited at 2006-11-22 04:27]


Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
I do it for one client Nov 22, 2006

One client of mine had suggested this (1% off for payment within 15 days), so I apply it to all his invoices (the way Astrid describes it) and it works well.
He usually pays within the discount term, which makes both of us happy.

1% may not seem that much, and it looks a bit ridiculous on invoices for small amounts. But it adds up to a resonable sum if the same applies to other translators working for that agency. So it makes a big difference for them, while not affecting my income that much.

I would consider offering the same terms to other clients with a payment delay history. But as Astrid says I would remain within the 1-2% limit, definitely not as high as 10%!



Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:04
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Payment on time Nov 22, 2006

Sending money before the payment deadline is the definition of paying on time. That is, of course, what all clients are supposed to do.

It seems odd to reward people for doing what they should do in the first place.


Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
On one hand... Nov 22, 2006

I would say that this is a good idea, especially if you give a discount for the next translation (this would make the client prefer to give you future jobs to save money). But on the other hand we (the translators) offer a service the client needs and why shouldn't he pay the full amount then, even if he pays earlier? The client doesn't pay more, if we deliver earlier.
But still it might be a considerable practice for regular clients, but better not give a 10% discount...


Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Italian to English
+ ...
My sentiments exactly Nov 22, 2006

Steven Capsuto wrote:

It seems odd to reward people for doing what they should do in the first place.

Why, has anyone ever gotten a bonus for turning a job in early?icon_wink.gif


Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Why do you turn in jobs early? Nov 22, 2006

I think offering a discount for early payment is a good idea. If a client has a 30 days payment term, and they pay after 15 days, I want to recognise the fact by granting them a discount. It could be a psychological thing with me; I just like to see the payment on my bank account as soon as possible.

As to turning jobs in early, I almost never do that. And I still pride myself on keeping deadlines (which I do keep), and I have yet to lose a client because of returning jobs when they are expected to arriveicon_smile.gif.



Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:04
English to Greek
+ ...
Well exactly! Nov 22, 2006

Why, has anyone ever gotten a bonus for turning a job in early?icon_wink.gif
Catherine [/quote]

The idea sounds presposterous to me! I would say "thank you" very nicely and that would be that.


Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Right on Catherine! Nov 22, 2006

cbolton wrote:

Why, has anyone ever gotten a bonus for turning a job in early?icon_wink.gif

You make an excellent point here. When translators finish a job early or with a ridiculous turnaround time (usually at standard rates and with no consideration for what IMO should be considered rush work) what sort of compensation do we receive? Certainly not monetary and I'd venture to say rarely even a simple thank you or verbal recognition of a job well done.

Why should we then, have to "reward" clients for what is simply a part of the contract we entered into with them in the first place?


Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:04
French to English
+ ...
"psychological" discount Nov 22, 2006

Who's to dictate on which rate you apply the discount? You could just apply your normal rate and call that the 'discount' rate, and then quote a higher rate for payment outside the time limit. That way if they don't pay on time, you get a bonus, and you get your normal rate in any case.

I haven't tried this, by the way - I don't have many late payment problems, aside from one client for whom I no longer work.

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