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Author Topic: How do you determine what to charge?  (Read 4353 times)

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Offline ratintrap

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How do you determine what to charge?
« on: July 08, 2009, 10:24:02 PM »
One of our salespeople wants me to do some graphic design for a side business that she has. How do you charge for freelance work that you do? Do you charge an hourly fee or what?

I always have a hard time figuring out what to charge and tend to lean toward charging too little I think. :undecided:

Offline gnubler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 10:36:59 PM »
Rat, we discussed this in great detail in DCS' thread about tutoring (kind of falls in the same area?). Like you, I charge way too low...but sometimes that's based on the relationship with the client and your own personal expenses or value of your worth/skills. Personally, if I were to do a side job for a coworker or a "friend of a friend" deal I'd probably charge $20/hour or just come up with a fee for the whole job all inclusive. Make sure you know what you're getting into.
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So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

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Offline ratintrap

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 04:15:52 AM »
Thanks gnub, I'll check out that thread. :cool:

Offline DCurry

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 07:16:24 AM »
I would charge at least 2X what your hourly rate at work is. I charge 2.5X for design because there is more to it than production work. If the work is for a company that is going to give me a 1099, then I charge 3X because of the taxes I'll have to pay on it.
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 08:42:46 AM »
I like Dan's method, covers you financially when taxes get involved and that's what ends up eating your ass. I keep it basic... What I make in OT. Most customers do not prefer an hourly rate, and would much rather have a final cost up front. I figure out what I think it will take, and multiply it by 2 adding in Murphy's Law & Chaos Theory.
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Offline ratintrap

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 09:00:33 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys. I think she would crap if I told her what the 2x my hourly rate fee would be. :shocked:

Online Joe

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 09:12:48 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys. I think she would crap if I told her what the 2x my hourly rate fee would be. :shocked:

I had a girl ask me to show her how to use a Mac in general and Quark specifically and she asked what I would charge. When I told her $50 an hour I practically had to revive her with smelling salt. She said she would pay $8 an hour. :shocked: I wonder if she found anyone yet?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 09:13:57 AM by Joe »
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Offline gnubler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 09:30:20 AM »
Joe, I've dealt with clients like that at work. At one shop we had a $15 minimum charge for design work (eg: unarchiving an old job and making changes) and the hourly rate was $45. I will never forget one woman who bitched about this every time she wanted changes made to her stupid flyers and said she "shouldn't have to pay" each time she wanted to make changes.

In the past I've told clients just how expensive the computer equipment and software is (actual $ amounts) just to shut them up and justify why we charged what we charged.
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david

Offline G_Town

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 09:57:17 AM »
Joe, I've dealt with clients like that at work. At one shop we had a $15 minimum charge for design work (eg: unarchiving an old job and making changes) and the hourly rate was $45. I will never forget one woman who bitched about this every time she wanted changes made to her stupid flyers and said she "shouldn't have to pay" each time she wanted to make changes.

In the past I've told clients just how expensive the computer equipment and software is (actual $ amounts) just to shut them up and justify why we charged what we charged.

You get your car worked on and when they hand you the bill do you get all shitty?

No most people just fork it over, why are people so tight when it comes to printing?

Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 10:12:39 AM »
It's mainly what you feel comfortable with. If it's a friend, I might do it for free, or even charge WAY below what I usually would. If it's a SalesPuke, I stick it to 'em. A new customer... that really depends on the extent of the project.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 10:44:37 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys. I think she would crap if I told her what the 2x my hourly rate fee would be. :shocked:

That's why you don't quote an hourly fee - that's why DCS's method of estimating beforehand works very well. I do that, too, although I don't double it (I do pad it a bit to allow for alts.)

If you are doing it for a friend and want to give her a break, you can always say "My normal fee for something like this is $XX, but since you are a friend I can do it for $X." That way they know they are getting a deal. Be warned, though - these are often the most frustrating clients who will make change after change after change and won't actually read the copy they give you until the 3rd revision and then they'll notice their own phone number is wrong or something like that.

I always tell clients that if they really want to keep their costs low, then have everyone who needs to approve copy proofread the copy BEFORE giving it to me. Minor changes and reworking designs are one thing, but rewriting entire paragraphs at the design stage is completely avoidable and CHARGEABLE. Of course, everyone I've ever told that to nods their head and says "Yeah, I'll be sure to do that" and then they don't.
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Offline DigitalCrapShoveler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 10:51:57 AM »
Great advice Dan. Padding for changes is essential. ESPECIALLY if they are friends. :laugh:

I know this sounds prejudice, but I follow this to the letter and it has served me well... NEVER do work for Politicians or Preachers. If I do, I charge them so much they either pay it, or balk. But, I am gonna get something out of having to deal with such clientele. The absolute worst!
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Offline ratintrap

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
Be warned, though - these are often the most frustrating clients who will make change after change after change and won't actually read the copy they give you until the 3rd revision and then they'll notice their own phone number is wrong or something like that.

I've dealt with that kind of person before. You give them a cut rate and they want the world handed to them on a platter.
 :blowup:

Offline gnubler

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2009, 11:22:35 AM »
I do not charge money to friends. It only gets weird. Work for trade, some beer, a dinner out - cool. I've also scored $50 gift cards and surprise gifts after doing work for friends...works out better than talking about money.
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david

Offline ratintrap

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Re: How do you determine what to charge?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 11:45:41 AM »
I think this could get quite involved though.

 



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