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  • How Much?

    I notice that most folks studiously avoid saying exactly how much they charge for a given restoration. I have no dreams of being able to supplant my current job, but it would be worthwhile to know what my skills are worth.
    117
    $10-20/hr
    8.55%
    10
    $20-30/hr
    22.22%
    26
    more
    29.06%
    34
    I charge by the job (how much, and how do you estimate?)
    40.17%
    47

  • #2
    I charge by the job. I usually look over the picture and determine what level of restoration it is. Either minor, moderate or severe and even how much manipulation is involved if that's the type of job they want anc charge according to a price range I determined in each group.
    Charging by the hour was difficult for me because some of the time consuming tasks are not necessarily the fault of the restoration job but the restorer (me) or the equipment or just doing something the hard way when there is a quicker way to do it. So to figure out the actual time spent restoring I would constantly have to be clocking and that's not how I like to work. Just my own opinion.
    DJ

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    • #3
      I'm with DJ on this. I think one needs to determine how much their time is worth. Then determine how long it should take to do the restoration (providing all goes well). Also evaluate your skills. If you are overpriced, and don't do a good job, word of mouth could kill your business.
      I never keep track of my time. I have some kind of artistic temperment that sometimes allows me to breeze through the work, and at other times, want to get out of the business. I use a basic rate, no matter how long it takes.
      Interestingly, I recently increased my prices on my website. My reasoning is, if I'm too underpriced, people are leery that there must be a catch. I think most people are willing to pay for quality work. Hopefully that's what I'm providing.

      Probably another good poll would be, "how long does/should it take to do a restoration?".

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks for the replies!

        (Vikki, your examples are outstanding)

        Comment


        • #5
          DJ, just downloaded some of your examples, they are fabulous also! Thanks for the inspiration. As I said, I have a day job at the moment, but by the time I get through my wife's closet full of genealogical photos I'll have skills I will want to market. You guys are inspiring.

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          • #6
            Glad to be of help.
            DJ

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            • #7
              I also charge by the job. I tend to spend way too much time on restorations to charge by the hour. I think I'm a little under priced with my bas prices and intend to review them in the near future. I agree with Dj it's hard to watch a clock when you're working on a restoration. I tend to spend more time than is necessary sometimes on some jobs but I'm happy to do it because with each job I learn a bit more and add to my expertise there fore if I charged by the hour I would be charging clients for time I spend experimenting or learning a new technique.

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              • #8
                Vikki said " if I'm too underpriced, people are leery that there must be a catch. I think most people are willing to pay for quality work."

                I fully agree with that. If you thought you had a serious health problem, would you go to a doctor who charged $10.00 per visit? Why would someone leave their only treasured photo of Great Aunt Martha in the hands of one whose price for their work was low? If they really have something of importance to them, they just might pick someone where the price is on the high end of the scale. Either way, I think it's a tough business to make a living. I think you need to be professional in everything you do, and set your prices to reflect that. Just my opinion. If you just want to practice, you're on the right website.

                Ed

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                • #9
                  Thanks.
                  I think you have the right idea:
                  but by the time I get through my wife's closet full of genealogical photos I'll have skills......
                  You should also have quite a large portfolio!

                  Another good thing, that everyone here does, is to keep trying to improve their skills and knowledge about the business. I think that's how you eventually become a master of your trade ( and can justify your price).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried different methods but found that charging $7.50 per 15 min. interval (excluding scanning charge) and rounding up the difference has proven satisfactory. I also give my customers a choice of how intense a restoration they want. 99% are thrilled to have the gross scratches taken out, tone/color adjusted and dont care about having every little blemish removed. On average most jobs take about 30 min. Tom

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                    • #11
                      If you are running a business (and I do) and you rely on that business to buy the four necessities of life with (and they are bread, peanut butter, jelly and toilet paper) and I do, then one has to be very carefull about how you do this.
                      We give the customer a price for the job. But that price is based on a per hour basis that the customer never sees. We (hopefully) know about how long it takes us to perform any of the tasks that are going to be used to complete the job. By just adding them all up the customer gets a rate for that job. Any consumable supplies are of course added to the price.
                      This way we do not have to really time ourselves for every job we do. (I do not like watching a clock while I work either) However if we get better, or buy faster equipment, or whatever and are able to do a task in a shorter period of time, then we adjust our time requirements.
                      I might add that I have been getting some e-mails from independent retouch people and cannot believe how cheap some people work! I know just about enough about this to know whats involved and am really turned off by the cheap prices. Remember the old saw about getting what you pay for, and you can't be getting much at some of those prices. If I think that way as a prospective customer, what do your customers think???
                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        Too bad there's no way to give this same kind of poll to people that have no knowledge of restoration to see how much they think it's worth. That would be truly valuable information.
                        Learn by teaching
                        Take responsibility for learning

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          But Doug, thats part of the fun of the job!

                          Customer one exclaims, "$25.00 just for a stinking picture!!!!".

                          Customer two calmly says "$175.00, is that all, I was ready to spend much more than that".



                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Mike
                            Sounds like you got the same customers as I do.
                            DJ

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                            • #15
                              DJ
                              Since we are about as far apart as we can get, and we both have the same type customers, does that mean the people in the middle have the best type of rich, easy going, will buy anything and be amazed that it costs so little customers?
                              Mike

                              Comment

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