Like most other products and services, translation is eligible for volume discounts. I have heard people say this should not be true, but I disagree, for two reasons. First, project management and administrative costs are much lower with larger jobs. When you have ten jobs for a total of $3,000, you do project management and administrative tasks ten times; but when you have one job for $3,000, you only do those tasks once. The time savings can be returned to a client in a form of discount, so that it is a win-win situation. Second, there are economies of scale in production. After translating 30% or 50% of a project, the remaining part is so much easier, because most terms are already translated and the so-called internal fuzzy matches (matches to the text within this project) show up.
Therefore, pack as many texts into a “project” as possible, and you will likely receive a discount. Instead of sending jobs piecemeal, wait until they accumulate—especially if they are similar—and send them for a quote, expecting a discount.
Note that a project is eligible for a volume discount only if you send it all at once. If you have a large project and you break it down into batches, you might not get a discount, because your translation vendor may consider these batches as separate projects, since the “economies of scale” will be significantly reduced. And you may also find out that your vendor might not necessarily be available for each batch, because reserving capacity for a large project is one thing, but finding available people for smaller batches coming irregularly is quite another.
New client discount
I love new client discounts, because they are a totally win-win situation. Clients feel safe, being able to “test-drive” a translation service without betting the house. And for vendors, this is a great opportunity to acquire a new client who will provide a steady stream of work. For this reason, we provide generous discounts of this type. Some people are not willing to provide a discount in the form of a short translation test—I just don’t understand why not.
Due to the nature of our work, we sometimes find ourselves in a “feast or famine” situation. This makes it very beneficial for us to be able to balance workload by stretching deadlines where possible. In other words, instead of doing a project quickly in one month, we prefer to do it in two months and are happy to offer a 10% discount for that. Clients are usually quite happy about these discounts, provided the deadline extension works for them. After all, translation urgency if often exaggerated.
We also provide discounts to other translation agencies. In this type of partnership, the other agency does the marketing and communication with clients. Working with agencies can be easier than working with direct clients, as long as they make it easy for their vendors to work with them. These reasons make it attractive to work for agencies financially and make it possible to provide discounts in return.
The caveat is that agencies may impose additional requirements—often purely formal and unnecessary. This may offset the advantages of serving them, reducing the potential for discounts.
For more information about saving on translation, read the article “Powerful Source of Translation Discounts.”