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Fee Differences and Question

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  #11  
Old 09-05-2005, 10:08 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RooB
Hence the question, if you could afford to charge based on personal merit alone, what would it be?
RooB, I think you're not getting a straight answer because you're not actually asking a straight question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RooB
The cost of living here, of course, is exceptionally low.
That is the key.....

I'll give you an example...A couple of months ago I did a semi-glamour retouch on some photos (mug shots, if you like) for a young american actress. I spent about an hour on each. She told me that if she had done the service in the States the cost would have been US$35 each, I charged US$15. Both of us ended up feeling a bit guilty, she thought she was taking advantage of me, and I felt like I was stealing!

Money does not have the same value everywhere. My "real" job is financial manger of one of Brazil's leading cell-phone equipment installers. Doing the math, the salary comes out at less than US$10/hour - but in Brazil that's good money. I refused a job in the States at US$20 because the end value was less.

(Yet) another example. There's a thread around here with someone wanting service done at (IIRC) US$4/photo. The US folks don't want to even go near it, I could have gone after it and there were some guys from India positively jumping up and down after the job.

The internet has really mixed things up. People in countries with a high cost of living can easily dispatch service to countries with a "low cost of living" and everybody wins - lower prices one end, and good earnings at the other!

So the answer to your question is....only you know what is right for you! Everybody else will give you a different, and personally correct answer.

BTW, my offer at US$10/hour is still open.

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  #12  
Old 09-06-2005, 02:26 AM
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Aye, I was looking for different answers, not one definitive answer-- I figured if several people said several different things, maybe the average of them all would be closer to the answer I was looking for.

But, I am inclined to agree with you though, and $10 - $12/hr US is a fair starting point.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2005, 05:49 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Consider that if a customer always looks for the lowest price, no matter where on the globe they can find it, and one can do that with images on the internet, then since you live in an economy that is some wheres in the middle of the pile, you had better find a line of work that cannot be done in some other country.

However if you can add some value to the job that cannot be transmitted over the internet, then you might be able to catch a job or two. Or become just a person who takes in the work, then out source it and pocket the differance.

Mike
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2005, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson
In my view, lacking some of the typical financial encumbrances would be an opportunity to refuse work at a pay rate below what you can be proud to accept. You need to be proud of what you do, which includes the pride that comes from earning at least the same as the other people doing the same thing that you do.

If you need to put bread on the table, do what you need to do and charge what you need to charge. But if you have that covered, do you really want to get work by being the low bidder?

Nicely put, I agree.

I guess that one could also add that people doing the work way too cheap makes it hard for those of us trying to make a living doing this to do so.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2005, 06:23 PM
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Aye, I'm trying to be considerate of everybody (but I don't think that's realistic in this business)-- Most of all, I'm thinking of the people who can't afford high fees, yet at the same time of the people who make a living doing this, but I'm afraid in the end I'm going to have to choose between the two. And myself, I'd rather work with a poorer person's picture for $10 or $12/hr than a richer person's picture for $25 or $30/hr. Even at my current, local $8.50/hr rate, when I have thought someone was having a difficult time paying for the restoration, I've deducted my own time just to give them a break. I guess you can say I'm very ethical when it comes to business and I always put the person above the money.

As someone mentioned, I do have pride, and I'm very proud of what I do and proud of the work I do-- but my pride doesn't come from how much I make, my pride extends entirely from a job well done. Every client I work with is told before I take on a project, if they don't like the result of my work they don't have to buy it, even once the work has been done. I've yet to have an unsatisfied client (which makes for great advertising).

The thing I am most proud of though-- are the expressions I create when someone sees their old family photos in a new digital light.

Heh, if I knew this thread was going to get complicated I would have asked what people thought of PhotoFlair instead and wonder if its worth investing in. :P
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2005, 08:47 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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The rich didn't get rich by paying more than other people. They'll cry poor faster than any legitimately poor person (especially via email). Selling on price is a losing gambit (unless you're Sam Walton).
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2005, 11:25 PM
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I've always sold on service, price has never been an issue-- until now.
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2005, 07:35 AM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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I don't understand what answers you were after RooB? Your original question was how much people thought it was reasonable to charge. Didn't you want an answer to that question? The thread doesn't seem complicated to me at all. Just a bunch of honest and frank answers. I feel no guilt in charging what I think my skills are worth. That doesn't make me a greedy capitalist I don't think... I have done many restorations for free as well.


It's an age old argument as well that those that undervalue their services make it harder for others to make a living. The cost of living is roughly the same in Australia as Canada, so I know that C$8.50 is not real market rate. (Though that is now very much complicated with the global market place as others have said)
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2005, 10:45 AM
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Oh, no, I don't think anyone are greedy capitalists for their answers, not at all. If someone is making a living from $25-75/hr, that's fantastic-- it's just not right for me.

It just seems most of the answers seem based on "I have to pay for this and that" or "everyone else is charging this so I will too"-- and only one person has actually said what they could charge based on personal merit, without considering anything or anyone else.

So, mostly, it was a "dodge the question" kind of thread where people said why they wouldn't charge a lower rate, but aye, I agree-- it does seem to be an old, argument and maybe it's a topic best left laid to rest.

*takes the shovel and starts digging*
*buries the thread*
*plants a flower*
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2005, 02:48 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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My condolences...
*inscribes tombstone "A short-lived but good question."*

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