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  1. #1
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    How To Tell When Your Rates Are Too Low

    I'm glad I'm not freelancing anymore, but here's a link I got from LifeHacker. Hope it's helpful.

    http://freelanceswitch.com/money/how...s-are-too-low/

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Yes- the #1 sign you're not charging enough - your clients accept your rate without question or hesitation. The only exception to this rule is when your client happens to be super-rich and doesn't need to worry about money for ANYTHING (I have exactly ONE of these...and they're not high-volume customers).

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    As with commercial photography, you have to do create bids where you're working regularly while not afraid of losing any jobs due to estimates being too high. I know in a small town, ASMP rates won't fly. Also when you try to bill for items like mileage and meals in a small town, they'll balk. Your rate comes down to your reputation, your portfolio and the economy. I avoided clients that nickeled and dimed because they're not worth the trouble. Also, they'll also recommend other cheap clients. The worst thing is to be known as the "cheap" photographer. Estimating is an art. If you're lucky, you'll have a rep or a business person doing that for you.

  4. #4
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    This is one reason why I seldom do commercial jobs. I don't have the patience or the business skills to manage the whole pricing/negotiating thing. And it's why I have a day job, to keep me in the toys to which I have become desirous of.

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    You're smart

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    This is one reason why I seldom do commercial jobs. I don't have the patience or the business skills to manage the whole pricing/negotiating thing. And it's why I have a day job, to keep me in the toys to which I have become desirous of.
    I learned that the hard way. That's why I have a day job now. I wrecked a hobby, got burned out and didn't pick up a camera for years. I'm doing for the love of it now. It's so much better

  6. #6
    wiltw's Avatar
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    When...

    Price < (material costs + overhead + (hourly rate * time))

    and/or when...

    Hourly rate < survival wages

    ;-)

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Don't forget when calculating materials costs and overhead all those nice little extras like your computer, printer, paper, ink, postcards, postage, electricity, water, and so on... things that so many digitographers seem to forget when setting their prices: "ooh, it costs me nothing per shot, so I'll charge twenty-five bucks for the shoot, and give them a CD with 2,000 images to choose from, all of which have been post-processed!".

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Don't forget when calculating materials costs and overhead all those nice little extras like your computer, printer, paper, ink, postcards, postage, electricity, water, and so on... things that so many digitographers seem to forget when setting their prices: "ooh, it costs me nothing per shot, so I'll charge twenty-five bucks for the shoot, and give them a CD with 2,000 images to choose from, all of which have been post-processed!".
    Photographers are their own worst enemies when it comes to business.

  9. #9

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    i have clients that don't try to negotiate my bid ...
    it isn't because my rates are too low, or not in line with
    what others in my field are charging, it is because
    they are educated to what things cost ...

    not "balking" or trying to lower a price isn't always a bad thing.

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    There are a lot of factors involved in pricing. The term used is COST OF SALE, meaning what did it cost you to say produce that 8x10 (for example). Obviously overhead, cost of equipment, staff, personal time, phones, advertising etc all have to be taken into account along with the amount it cost to actually shoot and produce that print.

    The PPA (Professional Photographers of America) has determined that it cost $51 to produce an 8x10. That figure is applicable in home or downtown studios.

    But what your costs are is only part of the equation, because the low cost will place you right down there with the bottom feeders fighting for the price conscious shopper. There are people that don't want the lowest price car on the market. There are people that buy Lincolns, Mercedes, BMWs etc. There area people that wouldn't be caught dead in low price anything whether its clothes or cars or houses. Rolex sells 800,000 watches a year. They range from about $7000 to $100,000 depending on precious metals and if diamonds are involved. You can get more accurate time with a Seiko or Casio for less than $100. Why do you think people would spend that kind of money.

    There is a cachet attached to being the highest price in your market. Firstly there is the perception of since its the most expensive it must be the best. Next there is less competition, and lastly many of the people there don't really care at all what it costs, they just want it.

    So determining what to charge is not as simple as what are my costs.



    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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