[thelist] re:site price help

Greg Strange gstrange at e-tsi.com
Mon Jul 17 23:48:11 CDT 2000

on 7/17/00 9:58 PM, A. Erickson at amanda at gawow.com wrote:

> It's illegal, darling.
> It's called price-fixing. Basically, if a band of people get together, say
> plumbers or carpenter or glass-blowers or... web developers and start
> discussing how much they are going to charge, the group can be accused of
> price-fixing.

First off, before any of us begin commenting on the law in such certain
terms we had best state whether we are lawyers or not.  Talk about illegal.
I am not a lawyer.  My mother on the other hand was an administrative law
judge for the Department of Labor for nearly seven years.  The following
comments should not be construed as legal advice and should not be implied
to have come from an attorney or a legal expert.  Anyone with cases or prime
facie interests in anti-trust cases before a court should seek competent
legal advice -- not the ravings of an admitted radical on the Internet.  The
definition of price-fixing is the agreement to set a minimum price or
maximum price or both (by setting the only price) to the exclusion of others
in the same field of commerce.  so, if two wholesale bread makers (i.e., Mrs
Baird's and Wonder Bread) get together and say that they agree that they
will charge no less than 9 cents per pound and no more than 12 cents per
are in agreement to fix a price for the purposes of driving everyone else
out of business and therefrom creating a horizontal monopoly.  Your
discussion of prices is in no way (again I am not a lawyer) an entree into
price-fixing unless you could show _without doubt_ that you were discussing
the minimum prices to set and that having agreed between any number of us
caused another member of the profession to lose commerce therefrom.  You
have to show that the consumer is harmed by the discussion of prices in
disparate geopolitical regions (even within the US).  I think you would be
hard pressed to prove that someone asking how much do you charge an hour for
ASP programming or graphic design is detrimental to the consumer in

Please don't tell me that to discuss your fees is illegal.  Simply put, I
feel that that some Web professionals (please note that absence of an all
inclusive quantitative adjective) don't discuss price because they don't
want it to get out that they sit on the high end of the scale because the
very lack of knowledge of average price gives them the opportunity to charge
out the wazoo for substandard service and goods.

> Go buy the Graphics
> Artist's Guild Handbook and read it cover-to-cover. Really. It's a good book
> and covers the issue of what to charge as well as a million other tidbits
> related to freelancing and ethics.

I would also add to this good recommendation the recent article on evolt.org
concerning the survey that wa done by Aquent.com on average price/salary for
different positons/jobs.

Not trying to flame,
Greg Strange

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