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Work/Jobs Talk about the business side of things. Advice, questions, inspiration, and moral support

How Much?

View Poll Results: How much do you charge for restorations?
$10-20/hr 10 8.55%
$20-30/hr 26 22.22%
more 34 29.06%
I charge by the job (how much, and how do you estimate?) 47 40.17%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 12-09-2002, 12:22 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Roger - thanks for the detailed info! I like how you give the customer a loupe (if a scan is not possible). That really does make a difference in the customer's perception of the work that's ahead for the restorer!

Jeanie
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2002, 12:58 PM
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jrolinc jrolinc is offline
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My thoughts

Hi all

Just had to jump in here when I saw some of the replies...

I've worked in the computer industry for many years. A while back, my wife and I started our own business doing computer classes and myself doing a bit of consulting and repair/upgrade PC work for small companies and individuals.

We also had a tough time with pricing there as well. Too high and you would "scare off" the individuals or small businesses, to low and you get the other end...why are they so cheap?

I think that what many folks don't realize is how much went into our own learning, personal developement, aches & pains to get to the level we are at and at the service level we are able to provide. Once we kept that though in mind, pricing (higher) wasn't as tough.

I (and my wife) worked extremely hard to learn and get to where we are, if it was that easy, why don't you ___________ (fix your own computer, repair/retouch your own photo, fill in your own specialty).
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2002, 11:31 PM
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My two cents worth...

...and that's all it's worth, really! Whenever I go out I have samples in my jacket pocket. Invariably people ask what I do. (I walk around with a beret and a scarf on). At that moment I draw the sample envelope out, (they're 4 x 6's), and I say..."when people give me something like this" (this being the damaged version), I say...."I usually give them back something like this." (the restored version). What I do is simply remain quiet and wait, well, I smile too. My philospohy is just like everyone has an old coin in a dresser drawer, so also do they have an old photo which could use restoration. Now my approach at that time is when they ask me for a price or "how much" I say..."well let me take a look at the photo because they're all unique and I'll be able to give you an idea." OK, I've received the photo now and I say..."let me see what I can do and we'll take another look." We're now at the point where I have retuned the photo to them, they like what they see, I remain quiet so that they can say what they feel about it, and they ask me what do they owe me. I simply say..."just $x and smile. Now mind you, if I did a $100 job I might not do it this way but most photos I do are under $50 so it's not too much trouble really. No one up to now has refused me. Am I just lucky? No, just too dumb to do business the "right way!"
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  #24  
Old 01-10-2003, 08:21 PM
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I think it's time to give this thread a little life. Maybe some of you have more to offer in the year that this thread has been around.

I am going to hang out my shingle this month. I will take the by-the-job approach using some of the guidelines provided by DJ and Vikki. I am going to be brick-and-mortor at first. When and if I get enough time available I will consider a web site. I guess you could say my job is interferring with my business plans. I have to do something because the IRS expects me to be trying to earn some income, especially since I had a lot of startup cost in 2002.

Anyway this thread has been a lot of help to me. Maybe some more info will find it's way here soon.
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2003, 09:35 PM
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Mabye I am dumb or lucky?

After 20 years of accumulated sales experiences maybe I am just too dumb to know how to do business the right way. However, I wonder what I'm doing right when I receive actual money for doing business this way. On my webpage, humble and unsophisticated as it may be, I have a marketing piece of several thumbs and some contact information. Not what you'd call award winning in any sense. So far I have garnered two jobs from that and made $110. This piece was made last month and I use it in person to get work, not from the webpage. I also have two photo shops displaying my samples, recruited 4 part-time salespeople, basically just cool types who think I do nice work, and who I'll split my fees with for bringing the business. I have also been asked to teach a restoration class in NYC where I've been offered an "honorarium." Actually I'd do it for free. There is a common expresssion bandied about these days, that of "thinking outside of the box." Everyone I have ever spoken to tells me that they make "0" with their webpage and have widely varying opnions of "how to" make money with this, no one agreeing with me. I also have applied to over 20 restoration services on the web who all tell me that their business is slow and they don't need anyone right now. Oh well, this is what makes the world go around. In sales and business there is one simple measuring stick for success....money. Opinions are worth just that, including mine.
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  #26  
Old 01-12-2003, 10:27 PM
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Noticed tonight that Olan Mills is offering restoration on their web site. The one flat rate for all restorations, $59.00. This includes restoration, colorization, and manipulation and one print. They also claim that they use proprietary software. Anyone seen their work?
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  #27  
Old 01-13-2003, 05:25 AM
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Saw their webpage

They have several samples right there. Seems as good as anyone elses's work to me. I'll tell you one thing tho, pretty soon the competition and general "off-shoring" of work in America will drive these prices down also to the ground floor level. I received one inquiry from a man from India who was seeking information from me for that purpose. Also, "freelance" sites operate globally so it's probably going on more than we know already. If you knew that you could get work in for $59 flat but also received double or triple the orders what would you do? Volume was always an option in business. You can't make a living on just a few "units" and "repeat" customers may not exist in this work. How many photos does the average person have available for restoration? "Actions" do alot for us now and will increase in the future. I don't mean to sound so "Doomsday" but too much work has already been washed away by technology and exportation.
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  #28  
Old 01-13-2003, 05:52 AM
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I just noticed something else

They're in alot of K-Marts and Toys-R-Us locations too. Wouldn't that be sweet to have?
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  #29  
Old 01-13-2003, 02:27 PM
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I guess I'm lucky that I have a good job as my main source of income. I'm hoping to build the business up as a parachute in case this good job decides to leave me. I'm not getting any younger and the older I get the less marketable I become in my field.
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  #30  
Old 01-13-2003, 07:02 PM
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I'm in that club too...

...the one of being older, but I'm not in the "job" club right now. I learned software to get more work and that was ok for several years but has dried up for the time being. I just try to pick up what I can as a supplement to a "zero" income. Sad commentary at 53 years of age huh? Just this evening the guy who does my prints asked me to do a faded shot and barter for prints in return. I'm spending close to $50 a month for those now so the barter works for me. It's one baby step at a time tho with these "accounts."
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