Originally Posted by Shoku
If you are in business you have the same costs as everyone else, although your overhead may be less. (You pay taxes, have equipment costs, advertising costs, etc). And since that is the case, knowing their prices should help you adjust yours to a more realistic rate - a rate that may be able to undercut theirs, since your costs are lower, which can be a positive for you.
Not really. A lot of well healed shops will do a job for a new client (like the smart guy who's doing fakery over the phone) for a loss, or maybe practically free, just to establish a relationship. Talk to the salesmen/women at some shops. All jobs are not priced the same at all. Even established clients are priced differently - some hourly, some on contract.
Besides, a freelancer working from the second bedroom of an apartment has an entirely different cost structure and cash flow than a decent sized house with a diversified business, like having a small print house on the other side of the wall. And, all of this is in constant flux, since this has become a global business, with competition easily accessed on the internet. Today's prices will not be tomorrow's.