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Old May 1st, 2009, 12:38 AM   #1
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What to charge for burning DVDs?

Here's the breakdown:

A - I shot a one and a half hour modern-dance video on Monday night with my Canon XH G1. I was promised $100 for that alone, and need to surrender the tapes I provided. I told the college instructor that I wouldn't charge for capture time. This part is agreed upon.

B- He also gave me 3 tapes he shot of dress rehearsals as standard definition DV tape. He wanted me to capture this (about 2 hours total). I figured I'd just charge him $25 dollars for that alone. Reasonable, by far in my opinion.

Here's where it gets tricky...

C- He wants a DVD of each performance (the one I shot, and his dress rehearsals.) I had to downsample my footage (using Compressor, Best 120 minute). Not too big a deal, just loaded them into Compressor before going to bed, and hit "Submit." It took roughly an hour and a half to create the menus and tracks in DVD Studio Pro (no templates!) for the two DVDs he wants (one of the final performance I shot, and one of the rehearsals he gave me to capture.) I'll charge another $25 for the DVD authoring, again, very reasonable. So far we're at $150.

D- He wants 18 DVDs of the performance I shot, and 4 DVDs of the rehearsals. What should I charge? They're not screen printed...a Sharpie with good penmanship is what I offer, so I have no idea. I know I'm working very cheap, as it's my alma mater, but I don't want to be naive.

Suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:33 AM   #3
 
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My rates for DVD duplication vary on the customer. Preferred customers get a $5 per DVD. Everyone else is $10 per.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:39 AM   #4
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Sorry I posted in the wrong area earlier.

I appreciate the suggestions.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 02:10 PM   #5
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I've got a Disc Makers ElitePro2 robotic duplicator/printer. I charge $2.25 per disc. That's after any authoring fees. I basically put in the original DVD and a stack of blanks and hit "go".

I'm assuming you don't have an automatic duplicator and this duplication job would be more hands-on. I'd just add the time and materials into the total cost of the package. Your cost for a 25 pack of DVDs at OfficeMax would be $10, and you've already established that your time is worth ~$15 per hour. How long would it take you to burn 22 DVDs? Time * Rate + Supplies = Price.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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How long would it take you to burn 22 DVDs? Time * Rate + Supplies = Price.
To burn, and verify, it took about 3 hours to make 16 DVDs with Toast, and I had to babysit the burner. But it was hardly like my whole attention was occupied by this.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Sotar View Post
To burn, and verify, it took about 3 hours to make 16 DVDs with Toast, and I had to babysit the burner. But it was hardly like my whole attention was occupied by this.
How much attention it took is only a part of how you should price this. You have overhead costs - advertising, office, insurance, etc. - and every job you do shares some of this overhead cost. So you need to price it not only based on whether you are sitting there babysitting it, but also on the cost of just plain keeping the lights on.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:34 PM   #8
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... Your cost for a 25 pack of DVDs at OfficeMax would be $10, and you've already established that your time is worth ~$15 per hour...
I hope that anyone in a DVD duplication business is using better DVDs than you pick up at Office Max. It's hard enough to get DVD-Rs that play well without throwing cheaply made discs into the equation. I use only Tayo Yuden printable discs. High quality, no sticky labels, and almost never burn a coaster.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:25 PM   #9
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So you need to price it not only based on whether you are sitting there babysitting it, but also on the cost of just plain keeping the lights on.
It's obvious he's priced the whole project as a paying hobby gig. Pricing to include insurance, advertising, office space, etc. does not really play into this scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Neidig
I hope that anyone in a DVD duplication business is using better DVDs than you pick up at Office Max.
It's also obvious he's not in a DVD duplication business. OfficeMax DVDs are good enough for hobby work. Burn them at 4x and they'll be fine.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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How much attention it took is only a part of how you should price this.
Actually, it shoudl not at all be a part of how he prices this. If the OP has to do each DVD manually because he does not have a duplicator, it's not up to the client to pay for the extra work Likewise, if I hire a window cleaner who only has a rag and a stool I won't think it's fair to pay him three times the hours of a guy equipped with squeegees, a perch, etc.

The OP should charge the professional market rate, regardless of how much longer it takes him because he's not properly equipped.


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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #11
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him because he's not properly equipped.
At roughly $2 per DVD ( I charged separately for authoring,) I'd say I charged a lot less. But at this stage, my first gig, by the way, I'm perfectly content.

And the guy LOVED the DVD's quality. I'm very happy he's happy. I want him to recommend me to anyone he can for future gigs.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 12:30 PM   #12
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Actually, it shoudl not at all be a part of how he prices this. If the OP has to do each DVD manually because he does not have a duplicator, it's not up to the client to pay for the extra work Likewise, if I hire a window cleaner who only has a rag and a stool I won't think it's fair to pay him three times the hours of a guy equipped with squeegees, a perch, etc.

The OP should charge the professional market rate, regardless of how much longer it takes him because he's not properly equipped.


J.
Your point is well taken. But my point is that it SHOULD be a part of how he PRICES it. Now if that means he prices himself out of that market, then so be it. But he has to decide if he's willing to accept a lower rate knowing how long it will take him. Working at rates that don't support your overhead mean you will eventually be out of business.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:32 PM   #13
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I'd actually encourage him to charge more for the DVD burning. Either (a) he makes proper money on the DVD duplicating in order to properly cover his time, or (b) his clients concentrate on having him do the video production work (which is his first love) and pay accordingly.

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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #14
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David,

Whether I'm making copies of a project I produced or just duplicating a disc that someone gives me, I charge $12.00 per copy. For that, I copy the disc and print the face design on inkjet printable media. I will place the copy in a paper sleeve if it's a disc the customer supplied. If it's an additional copy of a project I produced, I'll include a DVD case and printed case insert. Most of the time, my customer is selling the additional copies and charging their customers $20 to $25 each. It's win-win. I make money and they do too.

I've never had anyone really complain that the price was too high although today I had a customer freak out (slightly) over a $144 bill for 12 copies (6 discs X 2 copies of each). The copies were intended for their own use though, not for resale. But since their products sell for between $50,000 and $650,000, I'm not giving my stuff away. Why is it that people of moderate means are willing to pay a decent price, yet rich people want everything at a huge discount?

I don't have a problem telling people that they can make the copies themselves and I even tell them where they can download copying software that is fully functional for 30 days and lets them copy any disc. I'm not big into duplication so I couldn't care less if they don't have me do it. My attitude is: This is what I charge. Pay me, go elsewhere, or do it yourself.

As for your "sharpie" labeling, you really should get a disc printer. the perceived value of your product will be much higher.


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Old May 11th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #15
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Just a small word of warning.

If you're selling anything tangible - you're most likely going to be required to track and report your sales to your local sales taxing authorities.

Talk to your tax professional. You may discover that charging only for content creation and authoring skills and expertise while transferring ONLY the rights to use the content, but retaining the physical ownership of the DVDs or other storage media upon which you distribute your work MAY have positive tax consequences.

I'm not an accountant, and this is not professional accounting nor tax advice. YMMV.
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