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Fair pricing

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  #11  
Old 05-02-2002, 09:58 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Jeanie in the cases you just cited, the seller had gained your full confidence right?

Yes, definitely. If they have not gained my confidence, I would have walked out the door no matter what price they gave me.

And the second question (if they had your confidence), would it be fair to say that pricing became secondary to you?

Yes, I think that's fair to say. Certainly I think of the old adage "time is money" and when I think about the time it would take to go check out other places/prices, or even the thought of making a second trip in the future to have the restoration completed, it drives me crazy to think that I'll waste all of that time. So, the price becomes secondary (for me) when I factor in the extra time I'd have to spend on other options (and I'm very short on extra time these days!)

Mike, I think in a commodities market that your statement is correct. However, I don't think it works that way in a service market. Even if someone chooses just to get a copy of the original without restoration, if they are happy, then they will tell others about the service - and there is no better marketing than word of mouth, which is impossible to put a price tag on (IMHO).

Jeanie
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2002, 10:42 AM
Royce Royce is offline
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I'm on the opposite side of the fence on this one.

To me, while there may be some personal satisfaction to retouching, it does not make much business sense for me to do it for anything other than a fixed price. Very few customers are going to give me a job that they arent sure how much it will cost them. At the same time, I can't reasonbly give a fixed price because it always seem to take longer to retouch a job than I originally estimated. I then have to balance that with the 'sticker' shock that my customers get when I tell them how much a restoration job will cost.

For example, I might estimate that a job will take me 4 hours to do. If I quote my standard hourly rate, I usually get a look of shock on the customers face and so I will usually quote the job for 2 hours work. On the flip side, it will probably take me 8 hours to do a decent job!

I happen to be in a strip mall with a Walgreens next door to me that does 'all' retouching for $49.95. I've never used their service, but I have to believe that they can do a job that will satisfy most folks, most of the time. I've recently had luck with outsourcing my retouching jobs (for a fixed price). That solution works for me because it frees me from having to do the work as well as from having to try to stay within the estimate. It works for me and my customers so far.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2002, 11:18 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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I've always had a customer-centric view on business (not as good an idea as it sounds), but it seems to me that if you don't get the job, you're charging too much. Whether the customer is paying for your retouching skill or your marketing skill, the only reasons they'll walk away is a) they don't trust a good job will be done, or b) they don't feel the price is appropriate.

Assuming retouching competence, that leaves price as the deciding factor. Obviously different people are going to have differing levels of skill in convincing the customer that the price is fair. In my experience, no one minds paying as long as they're confident they're paying a fair price.

It is the sorry state of modern life that a bad product/service sold well is worth more than a good product/service sold poorly. And since most people aren't equally good at all things, those good at one thing (in this case retouching) often have to decide which is more important: getting the business to begin with and working on improving profitability over time, or passing up the business and maintaining their sense of self-worth.

So, which is more important to you?
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Old 05-03-2002, 12:55 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Doug ....you said "It is the sorry state of modern life that a bad product/service sold well is worth more than a good product/service sold poorly. And since most people aren't equally good at all things, those good at one thing (in this case retouching) often have to decide which is more important: getting the business to begin with and working on improving profitability over time, or passing up the business and maintaining their sense of self-worth. So, which is more important to you?"


In response - I don't know of any way that anyone can keep a business alive with a bad product unless you are doing it with outside support and never intend to make a profit. In this business in particular, the cost of reaching the market is so high (the Sunday paper here is over $46.00 an inch) that you have to be VERY GOOD at what you do in order to keep getting the client referrals because that is your best souce of business ....I emphasized good simply because clients do not generally refer mediocrity.

For an existing business - pricing and presentations are a matter of "tweaking" and making minor adjustments that tell your story better or give you some small competitive advantage to keep it profitable. In a startup business the problem is entirely different and you'll need all the promotional skills you can muster along with some financial support while you build a name for yourself and play catchup with the competition.

If (or when) you introduce any new product or service into your existing business it will STILL fall into the same classification as a startup although it's certainly a lot easier to do ...so why would getting the business and working on improving profitability have anything to do with someone losing their sense of self worth? Did I miss something here?

Jim Conway
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