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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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  #41  
Old 02-07-2003, 11:06 AM
June Curtice June Curtice is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
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And be certain that your tax preparer doesn't forget to include the form for Self Employment Tax. This is your Social Security contribution and is mandatory in the US. I wasn't aware of this when I first started my business in 1990 and had to ante up two years in arrears.

June
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  #42  
Old 02-07-2003, 12:07 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Grand Junction CO USA
Posts: 683
Let me relate a short story about tax's that happened to me. When I first started my studio I didn't make much profit, my wife had a full time job, and I had another part time job. The idea of hiring someone to do my taxes looked like an unnecessary expense! After a few years things are going along pretty well, and so at the end of the year I am doing my taxes and find I owe about $6K . So I put all the paperwork away for a month, dragged it all back out, did it all over and now owed better than $7K!
So made an appointment with a tax preparer that was recommended by a friend, and when she got done they owed me about $4K Then she says who did your taxes last year? We ended up filing amended returns for as far back as we could go and I ended up with something like a $10K refund. At the time she charged me about $100.00. One of the better deals I ever made.
The point to all of this is that there are some things that most of us are just not that good at. The trick is to be able to recognize what it is that you can really do well, and what it is that you need to farm out. Tax's and some of that kind of paperwork is really complex and if you are not careful can come back to really bite you. Be cautious!

Mike
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  #43  
Old 04-21-2003, 01:49 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Passaic, NJ
Posts: 149
Re: How Much?

Hi Everyone!

I just discovered Retouchpro yesterday and am just amazed! This is such a wonderful resource!!

I am just starting up my own photo restoration, retouching & photo art business.
Any advice on what to charge when a client has 20-30 pictures that are in varying condition from needing only minor attention to major restoration? Would a total package price be the best approach? If so, how to decide on a fair price without scaring him away from the whole deal because it's too much?

How do you factor in things like Costco's online Kodak photo services (www.costco.com) where you can crop, adjust the brightness, eliminate red eye and add a sepia tone on your own for free and then order your prints for under $3.00 for a Kodak 8x10 glossy? Just to see how good their service is, I downloaded a picture and experimented. They offer no scanning service and you must download a digital picture directly to their site. But once there, their tools may be enough if someone has a basically good picture that needs only very simple cropping, a sepia tone and/or red eye elimination.

Is there any kind of ethical obligation to inform clients of such deals for minor restorations??

Hope to hear some responses very soon

Thank you,
Diane
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  #44  
Old 04-21-2003, 03:19 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Location: Grand Junction CO USA
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Diane
Welcome aboard!
As for your question on what to charge: The varying conditions of a clients prints can be a real problem. So what I have done is to figure out about how much time any given repair will take. Then I figured out how much $/hour I would like to make. Then I memorised all that. So when a customer comes in, I make a list of each orginal, and give them a $ amount for each orginal that includes not only the repairs but the prints that they want. Some say go for it, others may break it up in segments as the total is too big for one purchase or whatever. When they call on the phone and ask about prices I tell them that after I see the orginal I will give them a bid on the job. This seems to work pretty good for us.
The Costco thing in not a factor in my business. I do not worry about it or tell my customers about it. Does the Ford dealer tell the customer about what the Chevy dealer offers? Never happened to me. Ethics is not a factor here.
Good luck
Mike
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  #45  
Old 04-23-2003, 08:56 AM
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kstein kstein is offline
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Location: Alleghany County, Virginia
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I live in an area with a very depressed economy. With the uncertainty of our future, I charge by the hour. I actually have a kitchen timer I use for the restore only. I do not charge for scanning nor printing, nor do I charge when their is a learning opportunity. I may spend 6 hours learning something and then start over with the timer to see how long it really takes. I call that a knowledge deposit. It doesn't go in the bank, but it really helps me grow in my craft. I give them one print with the restore and sell additional prints accordingly. The more they buy, the less it costs. I also offer a CD or DVD, but I imagine many people take these to the Wal-Mart Machine and make their own copies. I've heard rumors of people talking about my services in front of the Wal-mart photo machine. Hmmm! Maybe I should display one of my cards there.

I can't let this bother me. I've been paid $20.00 per hour to do a job. Hopefully, this is enough to offset such activity I have no control over, without being so high priced that no one in my area can afford me.
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  #46  
Old 04-24-2003, 10:50 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Location: Passaic, NJ
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Re: Fees

Dear Kstein & Mike:

Thanks very much for responding to my post! I am still a bit confused what to do in this situation. Let's say you could do a minor restoration in 30 minutes (or less) and that a certain customer has 10 such restorations. Would you then bill him approximately $10 each for the minor restorations? Wouldn't $100 for the 10 not be too low?? What if this client is from your community where others are likely to find out your arrangement and you'd like to be earning about $20 if a client has just one minor restoration?

I am just starting up and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Diane
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  #47  
Old 04-25-2003, 12:30 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 620
Hi Diane

My feeling is don't package and quote per type of damage, here is our format;

We charge for scanning which includes global corrections, the more originals to scan, the less each scan is.

We charge for art work based on the amount of damge, the kind of detail needed, and the subject matter of the damage. We have written up a chart to help keep us consistent. Subject matter means face, arm, clothing, background, etc. 2 faces with medium damage would be twice as much for art work as one face.

We charge for each print we print for the customer with quantity discounts off of the same image.

By charging this way the customer can choose what to have us do and what to not have us do and each thing that we are doing that is part of the process has value in the eyes of the customer. We can also discuss how large the customer might want to enlarge the photo, how they intend to use it (to preserve what the people looked like or perfect for framming ... ), and how much art work to do (yes, it is important to cll it "art work" and to give the option of doing less to save money when it might be appropriate).

To address your question, by charging this way you won't have the problem of the quantity feeling to low because the seperate scanning charges raises your base charge - and then lowers it appropriatly for quantity - without touching the art work charges which would be consistent with the amount of art work done no matter what the quantity was. Everyone iwll feel life they are being treated fairly.

You could also give a certificate for a free scan for each referral or a certain volume of work, without the scanning, if you did any promotions you would be cutting into your time (not that it doesn't take time to scan - but not as much time) and there will usually be art work and printing to come from the photos scanned free.

Hope this helps, Roger

Last edited by roger_ele; 04-25-2003 at 12:37 AM.
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  #48  
Old 04-25-2003, 12:43 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Location: Sacramento, California
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If you are interested our price list, some samples, and some copy and restoration FAQ's are on our web site ...

www.eleakis.com

Roger
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  #49  
Old 04-25-2003, 12:46 AM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Location: Oregon City, Oregon
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More advice wanted?

A solid approach to pricing might be to go at it as follows: First, decide what business you want to be in. For example wholesale doing business for established photographers and One Hour shops and Camera Stores or the alternative, going into retail, where you prepare a promotional plan to market your services directly to the public.

The next step would be to make up a list of the services that you intend to offer, for example retouching, restoration, scanning, traditional wet lab and/or digital printing, oil paintings, custom albums, conversions such as photo collections to DVD's etc. Try to be a little different so you can create something of a unique servicing niche for your area.

Next, remember that no one got up this morning just waiting for you to go into business - the buyers out there are all already going somewhere - so find out where and why. Get on the phone and "go shopping" and drive throughout your trade area to check what the other guy is doing and how much they are charging for the services you plan on offering.. Are you as good as they are ? Is there anything different that you can offer that will be something prospective clients would prefer or that perhaps isn't available in the trade area now?

Any "by the hour" system will not mean much when you are starting out, that's putting the cart before the horse - the price you can consistently get is all that matters and until you make up a price list of some kind, you may not even be sure what it is that you are trying to sell! Will your new price list work? That is determined by the market (willing buyers) and to find out exactly what that market is and where you can fit into is a very important part of startup planning if you want to be among the few that survive the first two years.

Jim Conway
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  #50  
Old 04-25-2003, 01:05 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Jim - ALL THUMBS UP - excellent advice!
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