[thelist] How much for something like this?

nagrom morgan at morgankelsey.com
Thu May 2 09:18:01 CDT 2002

Subject: RE: [thelist] How much for something like this?

> > I'd disagree strongly with that, you should charge someone
> > what the job is worth, not what they'll pay. (only perhaps
> > ina  charity situation you'd lower the price) When you walk
> > into a shop to buy something, they don't hike up the price if
> > someone with nice suit comes in.
> only cos they'll get caught changing the price tags...
> seriously though, it's supply and demand - you should charge what the
> market can bear. in this case, you charge as much as you can get away
> with. simple.

I'm with Ben, though of course it's more complicated that that. There is an
excellent book on this subject:
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines

Which contains much useful advise, and also tables of what to charge for
services based on a company's annual income. While that may seem scaborous
on the surface, there's actually alot of wisdom to it, and there is a method
to finding out what you think this traffic *will* bear.

When i'm preparing a bid, there's things i try to discover:

1 - Who are they, and what do they do. This is the most important.
Are they a manufacturer?
What do they make?
Who is it for?
Is it a high quality item, or do they cut corners?
Do they show a love and passion for this product?
What kind of documentation on the product do they have?

If they make a high-quality item, you can expect that you will go through
many rounds of corrections with them, new things will be put on the table
through out the life of the project, and they will be hard to please. You
need to charge accordingly. If they make a cheap knock-off quick-buck thing,
they will want their site up ASAP, and probably never talk to you again
after one round of corrections.

2 - Who in the company will you be dealing with?
Do you have access to a big wig?
Or are you talking to an assistant all the time?
What is the communication atmosphere like in their office?
Does this company have experience with freelancers, or are they going to
learn on your time?

Here's one that happens all the time: you get to the end of the project,
everyone seems happy, yet you've never seen a big wig. You go to the
sign-off meeting, there's a big-wig sitting next to your contact (whom you
of course are very amicable with by now) Big-wig *hates* something. It *has*
to be changed, it will take you 2-3 days of hell to do it, they don't care
about who approved what, etc. Now your contact is looking at you with
puppy-dog eyes, and you have to fix this, or you won't be getting any future
work from them.

3- How much money do they make?
This is hardest to figure out, there's ways to guess. How many employees do
they have, how many offices, how many departments,etc. once, i went for an
initial discovery meeting, and behind the VP, on the wall, was a marker
board with financial numbers from their company's annual financial review
party the day before. It said things like:
total income, last year : BIG NUMBER
total income, YTD: BIG NUMBER
so, keep your eyes open. you never know what you can find out.

these things of course takes experience, there are no hard rules.
but i think the most important thing is to try to get to know the future
client as well as you can before you deliver the bid. never give a price
without meeting them first, and when you do meet them, focus as much on
trying to learn about what kind of person/company you'll be dealing with, as
you are with what the nature of the project will be.


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