Translations are generally priced based on the number of words in the original text. If you see translation as a commodity, comparing suppliers is as easy as comparing their prices. Why are you going to pay $0.24 per word when the next guy offers the same service for $0.23 per word? Aren’t they exactly the same?
One answer to this question is “Why pay anything at all? Google offers translation for free!” If all you are worried about is price, there are plenty of automatic translators on the internet. They won´t produce a top-quality translation, but they´ll get the job done and it won´t cost you a penny.
There are two types of translation buyers and therefore two types of suppliers. Some think of translation as a commodity, whereas others have additional requirements. Those who regard translation as a commodity will look for rockbottom prices. They will not care much about who does the translation, what tools are used or how they will deal with the rest of the documentation process, as long as the service is cheap. This approach is perfectly valid when neither quality nor intelligibility is of any importance.
Those who have other needs must be somewhat more discriminating when looking for a supplier. Not everyone can deliver large volumes in a short period of time, set up large translation teams, deliver in HTML or deal with 15 languages in parallel, and still guarantee an agreed level of quality.