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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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  #51  
Old 04-25-2003, 05:05 AM
kstein's Avatar
kstein kstein is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Alleghany County, Virginia
Posts: 13
$100 for 10 would not be too low for me. If that's how long it takes, then that's how much I charge. If customer 2 comes in and says, Customer 1 got 10 restores for $100 just explain that some are minor and restored very quickly and some are more difficult and therefore take longer and cost more. It's that simple. I also have brochures and business cards in my booth. The Brochures and signage explain this, the Business Card just tells them how to contact me.

My customers are quite satisfied even though many of you are not charging by the hour. I still cannot look at a photo and tell for sure how long it will take. I do try and give an estimate and write it on my iinvoice. If I run into a special problem and use the time I gave the client, I'll call them up and ask them what they want me to do.

I am a beginner in business so may be doing it all wrong. But plumbers and lawyers and car repairmen all charge me labor by the hour. That's where I got the idea.

I don't mind paying people by the hour, it seems fair one should be compensated for their labor.
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  #52  
Old 04-25-2003, 05:29 AM
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kstein kstein is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Alleghany County, Virginia
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I may add,
I do not have a web site

I do not do mail order

I cater to my community only and this is a very cheap place to live.

To get your hourly fee if you do that you need to add up your overhead and expenses such as rent, utilities, supplies paper ink, services, taxes & accounting, legal, brainstorm and make a list and get some quotes so you have a real idea..... add in what you think you're worth when the bills are paid and divide by how many hours you want to work. If you manage to stay busy, you'll pay the bills and there will be some leftover. If this is all you do and depend on it as your only source of income, you need to make sure you have some sort of retirement account and liability insurance factored in. God forbid you lose or damage a picture and get sued.

This is not my only source of income, but if it was, I could have a very humble existence doing this alone as my rent is $32.00 a month and the shop pays all of the utilities etc.... My husband provides my health ins.

I do purchase all of my own equipment with my income and buy my own 401k for old age.

It's a lot to think about and every one of us lives in a different area with different needs.
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  #53  
Old 04-25-2003, 10:41 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Grand Junction CO USA
Posts: 683
Some thoughts in no particular order:

Someone wrote about scanning, if more than 1, then the cost per each gets cheaper. WHY? takes about the same time for each (at least for me). Printing, where you can just send the image to the printer and tell it 5 instead of 1 maybe one could make sense of this, but my equipment does not do scans in that manner. When my daughter had twins, the doctor did not give her a break in the price because there where two in there

Some one wrote, this is not my only source of income. So why is that a reason not to make your business something that you could make a decent living at? This goes along with another comment I see that goes something like, I am just begning, do not really know what I am doing so I charge a very low price. So I suppose when you learn what you are doing you are going to raise your prices and tell your customers the reason you did raise them is because you now know what you are doing? So the work you did for them before is really not any good because you didn't know how to do it? Sounds like a real good way to install confidence in your customers

To me one of the more important things to do when starting up a business is to project a very professional manner. Of couse you know what you are doing! Your prices should reflect your percived skill level. If you have doubts about how to do something, come here and spill your doubts, ask your question, but never to the customer.

I think you should set your prices at a level that covers your expenses, provides you with a living wage, and if you have enough volume, could provide you with enough $ to be your only source of income. To do less is not only cheating yourself, but is not good for the industry as a whole.

Anyway, like I said, just some random thoughts to chew on.

Mike
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  #54  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:27 AM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Posts: 212
Good points Mike! Even if someone intends their business to be nothing more than a sideline, there is no reason to assume that it should be anything less than "professional" in the approach to it.

When a business cannot match the workmanship of the local competition, it goes down the hard way and it's always the customer that loses regardless of the price that is paid for the work.

The learning curve will never end but you can be selective in the product lines you offer and limit it to what you can do (or outservice to people who are qualified).

Making a good living is a measure of success, so why would anyone want to assume failure at the start?

Jim Conway
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  #55  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:36 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 620
Hi Mike, I am the scanning quantity culprit

Even when pricing by the hour I view what we are doing for the customer as a service, not as a strict charge for how long each step takes - as we get faster we make more per hour, when we stumble and fuss we make less per hour. Our individual scan price is high enough to allow for a discount for quantity - it is really based on our perception of what the customer will percieve of the value of our work structuring it the way we do - and when a customer brings us a quantity of work where we want to be able to say thank you - this way the customer feels there is some consideration for quantity.

We are seperating in the customers mind which parts of the process are more mechanical and which parts are a service that only we can provide the best because of our expertise (if our competition doesn't address an issue, and we do, we are seen as being more knowledgable and careful to give the best quality). By attaching optimization of the image to the scan we are adding our expertise so that it has a special value and is more difficult to compare to the competition.

Also we don't charge for quotes and consultations - the scanning surcharge actually pays for our consultation time, one consultation with multiple originals is a lot less time spent than with multiple customers with one original each.

So yes, from an hourly point of view we over charge for one scan - so that we can lower the price for quantity. Scanning is also a more mechanical process, if we want we can do all of the originals of the same same size and quality back to back to speed up our work flow.

Roger
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  #56  
Old 04-25-2003, 02:05 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Location: Grand Junction CO USA
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Jim
Thank you, sometimes my thoughts do not get to the keyboard in quite the same form! You sum up my thoughts quite well.


Roger
I hope that you do not think that I was trying to pick you out and point fingers at you. The nice thing about these boards is the ability to really toss out ideas and thoughts and let others look, comment, etc. I perhaps do not exactly agree with all you say, but that does not make me anymore righter (new word there ) or wronger (2nd new word today! ) than you or anyone else.
Its the flow of ideas between all of us that counts.
I too give free consultations and quotes, altho my camera repair shop charges a fee for a quote, which is the applied to the cost of the repair if they do it. I am not really too sure if I could get away with that.
By the way I do not think you are the only one who give discounts for quantity........
Mike
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  #57  
Old 04-25-2003, 02:32 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Mike, I didn't take it bad at all! I think I am really trying to point out that the price list is a very valuable sales and marketing tool which can be approached from many different directions. None are wrong or right, just depends on you and your market. Everyone will find what they are comfortable - only trying to get all of the choices out on the table.

Roger
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  #58  
Old 04-25-2003, 02:33 PM
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kstein kstein is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Alleghany County, Virginia
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Hey Roger,

You have a beautifule web site. It's real fancy! It looks like you do both portraits and restorations and are very very talented in your profession.

I hope I didn't step on anyone's toes. Lil' ol me ain't gonna hurt any of you big fancy boys. I was real curious 'bout what you big city folks were doin' 'cause we don't know nothin' 'bout good business around here!

Looks like you're doin' mighty fine, maybe I might stick around and git me some learnin'.

Thanks Ya'll
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  #59  
Old 04-25-2003, 06:03 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Location: Sacramento, California
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Us city folks get this way ... we need some country around to keep us real

Thanks for the compliments. You will never be stepping on my toes, I love to help, and being involved keeps my mind open and learning.

Glad to have you around, Roger

Last edited by roger_ele; 04-25-2003 at 06:09 PM.
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  #60  
Old 05-12-2003, 05:36 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Passaic, NJ
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More thoughts on fees

Roger,

In response to your invitation to check out your prices on your website, I did so and discovered that it would cost about $88 minimum for the least expensive scan+restoration+a 8x 10 print, assuming a new customer walked in with just one photo to be worked on that needed just minor retouching.

Do others out there charge this much??
Is this kind of pricing the going rate for business clients as opposed to non-business clients--i.e. people who are restoring pictures just for their personal use?

Perhaps this explains why you are getting so many clients who want just the scan and a print, with no restoration?

My feeling is that this kind of pricing is what motivates some customers to spend the money on a scanner, a cheap photo editing program and learn how to do restorations themselves. I am discovering that many customers have lots of potential pictures to fix up; some have an entire albums worth. But there is no way they are going to spend such large sums on just one photo. Many also seem to like to start out by giving just one picture to be done, so the few dollars off for volume scans is not much value.

I also worry that such high minimum prices are not good for the profession as a whole and create demand for things like the "Picture Perfect" Do it yourself photo restoration machine they just installed at my local Kinkos. For just $4.99 you can scan your photo yourself, crop it, add a sepia tone, remove any red eyes, improve the contrast a tiny bit and then print out your picture! Yes, thank G-d it's a clumsy, slow, and very cumbersome machine to use, but it may be enough for some people.

Shouldn't we all be sensitive to these issues so that we don't price ourselves out of business?

Sincerely,
Diane
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