Oh yeah...I can sympathize. My family is in the construction business, and they're constantly turning people down. It usually goes like this:<br><br>Contractor: "To remodel the bathroom in your 100-year-old house, it's going to cost $10,000. That's $3,000 to demo it and put in new electric and plumbing, $3,000 to sheet the walls and tile the floor and $4,000 for all of the fixtures. Our contract is 1/3 to begin, 1/3 at a certain progress point and 1/3 to finish." (Not real prices, by the way, just an example.)<br><br>Homeowner: "But Pepe the Mexican down the street says he can do it for $8,000."<br><br>Contractor: "Great! Have fun with Pepe....and don't call me when he goes back to Mexico with the first draw and can't finish!"<br><br>You're doing the right thing...when it comes to good, quality work...always charge what you're worth and not a penny less. <br><br>
People down here won't even honor landmark billing. Won't even do a small deposit on first projects! They want 30 day terms so they can run it out to 60, 90 and beyond! And then they want to throw more work at you before they've demonstrated any intent to pay for the first assignment.<br><br>I had one prospect request a 3 month direct mail program, bus shelters, and a radio campaign. The creative fees started at $20,000 plus media. (In NY, the going rate for a single direct mail package is $15K, half billed when you get briefed, and the balance billed on completion.) They choked on the fee, so I suggested starting with the bus shelters only, which dropped my fee to $9,000 and eliminated 2/3 of the media hit. Still too high, so I trimmed another $2,000 off my fee and reminded them that I'd need $3,000 up front. That was in late January, and I'm still waiting for them to sign the estimate! Sorry, no checky, no worky. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Sorry, no checky, no worky.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>That's right...and sometimes you have to bust out the whoopin' stick:<br><br>"I don't work for free...do you?"<br><br>
Yep .. I've started my own Wedding DJ business and people complain about the rates we quote. "It's too high", they claim. We charge $1200 for our services and some people nearly faint when they hear it:<br><br><blockquote>"$1200 DOLLARS?!!?!? My cousin has a friend who said he can do it for $75"</blockquote><br><br>To those people I just smile and say "Folks, have a nice wedding." <br><br>The thing is, people don't want to pay the professionals for their service. When Janet and Steve have cousin Justin's friend show up to "DJ" their wedding, they'll realize their mistake ... And I have no sympathy. People gladly pay enormous amounts of money for things as simple as veggie trays at their wedding receptions and, I'm sorry, no one is going to care if the veggies suck. The music selection and DJ / Emcee make the reception, bottom line. And damn it, I am worth waaaaaaaaaayy more than a tray of wilting broccoli!<br><br>For their $1200, here's what they get:<br><br><blockquote>*Unlimited meetings / coordinating sessions.<br>*Complete music library with everything they'll request (if we don't have it, we'll buy it).<br>*Extensive planning sessions and scripting of their reception.<br>*Pre on-site visits at the reception location.<br>*Arrival 90 minutes early on reception day.<br>*We stay as long as the party continues, no additional fees.</blockquote><br><br>Come to think of it, I'm way undercharging for my services.<br><br>****************<br>[color:red]Fat people are harder to kidnap</font color=red>
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Everything is a commodity to some people. They want to pay by the pound and screw value added.<br><br>During Feb & March, I did a series of mailers for a large party supply retailer. Had to charge less for all three than I'd normally charge for one, and of course any photography had to be royalty-free stock. One of the mailers was a birthday party promo, and I was able to find some cute kid pics for around $299. This was the original cover"<br><br><br><br>But the client, in his his infinite wisdom, wants lots of merch shown on the cover (even though the inside spread is wall-to-wall product & price), and decides to hire a cheap local photog to shoot a room full of employee's kids for $500. I warned him that he'd get what he paid for, and sure enough, the shots were crap. The kids were not cute, the room was ugly, and I had to combine parts of different shots to get one semi-usable image! And I charged him another $500 for the retouching. This is the dog's breakfast that resulted from this fiasco:<br><br><br><br>But the story doesn't end there. The photog then claims the $500 was his fee only and didn't cover usage, and demands another $2,000!!! (Remember, the stock image of the girl & yellow paper was under $300 and ready to go.)<br><br>So here's the kicker: El Cliente wants me to review the photog's contract and advise him on what to do next. Um, now I'm a lawyer? Ok, that'll be another $500 for "legal services". Oh, you don't want to pay me for that. See ya buh-bye. The following week he calls again. Forget the $1,000 wasted photo, can I get the original stock image and re-release the production file? Sure, send me an advance for the stock photo, and it's gonna be another $250 for the re-release. Golly, you don't wanna pay for that either? Tell ya what, I'm sending you a disk today with all the files, and you can get somebody else to fix the mess you made. And the stamp's on me. My treat! <br><br>
Oh yeah....clients never want to pay for talent. <br><br>It's like radio and TV spots...the first 3 rules of commercial production should be:<br><br>1.) Clients should never be in the spot. <br><br>2.) Clients should never do their own advertising. <br><br>3.) Clients should never be the talent in their ads. <br><br>It almost never works, the buy loses it's effectiveness, starts being ignored, and the money is wasted. <br><br>Then again, they always know best <br><br>
I appreciate hearing your trials and tribulations. I am with a company so I don't have the freedom to post samples and stuff, but I often think of freelance after I have a few more years under my belt. At that point, It'll be nice to know that I can look back at this thread and others around here and learn about some of the bumps and bruises encountered when doing freelance work. <br><br>I hope the move back to NYC works out well. I am in Chicago and I couldn't imagine not being in a city like this. I think I'd like NYC if something ever came up. That's one of the few places that could pry me away from here.<br><br>
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