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Taking Care of Business
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 688
Where do you draw the line..

on turning last minute cheapos down, or doing the job for cheaper to keep the $$$ rolling in? I have had two calls this week for last minute jobs, one a wedding, the other a choir performance, and i gave them fair rates, very fair, with the wedding actually being lower than what I normally charge, and both still wanted it cheaper.

the wedding gal called me back, but didnt leave a message last night. she committed tuesday for the job. I have a feeling she is going to cancel. The preacher guy, said he would make some calls, but they had no budget left. WTF do these people think it takes to produce a quality video?
Scott Hayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,864
Hey Scott,

There is a line in the sand that you just have to figure out. I have run into your situation a couple of times, and the way I approach it is to display my prices on my website. When I get calls from my website, they already know the prices.

And when I get calls from people that haven't been to the site, I quote my standard prices, and then we talk about camera number etc. I don't get into the conversation of..........'well how about this price or this price.' I just don't talk about it.

There are some markets where the low bidder is king. And I have people that will under cut me. So be it. Given the amount of work and hours we put into what we do, I feel we are underpaid anyway and I won't disrespect myself, my company or my wife by going lower.

So you just have to find your 'line.'
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,815
It comes down to "any work is good", if they are paying - I'd get payment in full before shooting though... last minute types usually aren't so good at staying on top of "little details" (like paying the bill).

If you've got the opening and can make the numbers work, then go for it as a "special one time, just because I've got an opening and nothing better to do deal".

Keep in mind too that with time sensitive events, you could remind them how LUCKY they are that you happen to be available! Point out that most "last minute" bookings (airlines, hotels, etc., basically probably ALL the stuff they hopefully booked way in advance in the case of a wedding) go UP in price the closer you get to the date...

One option you might consider, if you have the shooting time open, take a small deposit to shoot the event, enough to cover your expenses and maybe something towards your regular rate... but it stays "in the can" until they can pay for the editing and delivery. Give them a timeframe in which to come up with the balance that's fair to you and them.

Worst case, try out some new techniques or gear and if the client doesn't come through on the final payment, you've lost nothing. Sometimes when the "budget" is already gone, there's enough left for this sort of arrangement, and you can come out good in the long run if the client is really serious about getting the video. If not, it's a great practice or experimentation opportunity <wink>!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,103
it's maddening I know - last week I had a guy want me to make copies of his band's performance DVD (which I actually did a 3cam live switch for last week, don't ask why). He says he wants the 5 copies, with a menu and chapter selections for each song. "hows' $20 sound?"

geez, that sure does sound great, almost like in Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when the grandmother says "Go get my purse, I'll give you a WHOLE quarter!"

if people are trying to get by cheap, then give them what they ask for. Record direct to DVD, black and white label, paper sleeve and what not - As long as your rates are fair, and competitive with others in the area, then what's the problem. If they call up the neighbor kid with the Sharp 8mm Viewcam, maybe they'll understand why your prices are what they are - and call you next time.

Overall, if you don't think it's worth your time, it's probably not.

Last edited by Nate Haustein; May 8th, 2008 at 02:40 PM. Reason: spelling
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,244
First of all, all rush jobs here have a 100% mark-up. You have to decide was constitutes a "rush" for you.

Second, you tell the client they can choose any two out of the three:

1. Fast
2. Good
3. Inexpensive

Fast and good is very expensive.

Fast and inexpensive isn't very well done--"quick and dirty."

Good and inexpensive takes time--usually in between better paying clients as time allows.

Have I left anything out?
Jay Gladwell is offline   Reply

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