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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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What to charge?

I have a client wanting me to transfer 50 VHS tapes to DVD. I'll have to run the vhs footage into Pinnacle and then burn to dvd. I'm curious what the going rate is for such a project?

Thanks again.
Lisa
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #2
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for bulk VHS to DVD transfers rate is under $10 a tape -
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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #3
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I would buy a combination vcr/dvd recorder and leave the computer out of it. Maybe buy 2. I think they're around $100 each these days? Maybe a bit more. But then you'd cut the job in half anyway, and you would have the machines for other similar projects. I think a standalone unit would make things much simpler than involving a computer.

Eric
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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #4
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Hi Eric,

I see you are in Orlando. I'm in FL myself.

Thanks for the help. I think your idea is best. If they only want them transfered then that's the best way to go. Plus end up with the machine for other projects. I've been wanting one any way so I think I'll go that route.

Thanks for the input. It will save me a ton of time and effort to say the least.
Lisa
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Old August 10th, 2007, 01:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett View Post
Hi Eric,

I see you are in Orlando. I'm in FL myself.

Thanks for the help. I think your idea is best. If they only want them transfered then that's the best way to go. Plus end up with the machine for other projects. I've been wanting one any way so I think I'll go that route.

Thanks for the input. It will save me a ton of time and effort to say the least.
Lisa
Yup, I'm in O-town. At least for now :)

I think the standalone machine makes sense unless you have to do some editing. I don't know the best prices on them, I think I've seen them at Costco, but I don't recall. I know they have standalone recorders. An all in one would be nice though because I imagine they have a single button record option, your computer's not tied up, it won't crash, etc. And 2 of them cuts the job in half which is nice. Perhaps a relative or friend needs one of those machines? Then you could buy both and borrow theirs for the next 25 hours. :)

If you were sneaky, you could buy one and return it and get a full refund.. But that's only if you're sneaky. ;)

Eric
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Old August 10th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #6
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for bulk VHS to DVD transfers rate is under $10 a tape -
How can you have a per tape charge? They could be 6 hours or 10 minutes. I would charge per hour of recorded time with an hour minimum per tape and would charge much more than 10 dollars a tape. I would not consider it a 'bulk' job, since you are doing 1 copy of each of the 50 VHS tapes. I would also get a sampling of the tapes to review condition and length.

I agree that a stand-alone piece of hardware is the way to go. But you will lose money at 10 dollars per.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 01:30 AM   #7
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$10/tape would be $500. Assuming the recorder was $100, that's $400 for 50 hours of work. I guess $8/hr isn't *too bad*.. :) That's why I think 2 machines would be helpful. Even 3 machines, which would cut it down to 16 hours for $200.. that's $12.50/hr.. I guess there's a point where it's too many hours or too many machines. Depends on the machine cost. I think the best approach is get some relatives to buy them or find a friendly neighborhood corporate megalith and return the machines when you're done. :) Pick up 5 of them and the 50 hour job is reduced to 10 hours. ;) Return them when you're done and you've just earned $50/hr for pressing record 50 times.. ;)

Again, that's only if you're sneaky..
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Old August 10th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Eric Shepherd View Post
$10/tape would be $500. Assuming the recorder was $100, that's $400 for 50 hours of work. I guess $8/hr isn't *too bad*.. :)..
You are assuming that the tapes are one hour long.
If instead they are 2 hours long, that translates into 100 hours of work.

Heck, either way you might as well just go to work for McDonalds if you are getting paid that little.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #9
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You should charge for how long it actually takes, find out how much is on each tape. Remember you're charging for your time and your equipment rental for the job. I wouldn't break it down to cost per tape. I charge by the hour. Like others here have said the tape could have 10 minutes or 2 hours on it. So charging by the hour is the best way to go in my opinion.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
You are assuming that the tapes are one hour long.
If instead they are 2 hours long, that translates into 100 hours of work.
100 hours of work for the machines, not for you - big difference. And that's why I find the charge-per-tape concept quite reasonable. Unless you are expected to quality-control the entire set of produced DVDs, your involvement is limited to a couple of minutes at the beginning and again at the end of each tape.

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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #11
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that is not so simple.
while an 1 hour tape is easy to record on a standalone DVD burner, a 3 hours tapes is less (if you want to provide some quality work).
you have to split the content across several DVD (and possibly a nice cut).this is additional work that can lead to a nigthmare of handling tapes and DVDs.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #12
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Giroud,

Exactly, this is the case in most vhs to dvd dubs, that's why I too recommend charging per hour, because there is always more to it then hitting play/record and walking away for an hour or so.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #13
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$10 (actually $9.50) per tape was for up to 2 hours and included printing titles on the DVDs, error checking, guarantee, shipping and turn around in 4 days.

The idea that you charge for how long it takes YOU is ridiculous unless you have a duplication facility. If a client wanted a package in Paris by tomorrow morning would you charge airfare, taxis and hotel?
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #14
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How is this ridiculous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ralph View Post
The idea that you charge for how long it takes YOU is ridiculous unless you have a duplication facility. If a client wanted a package in Paris by tomorrow morning would you charge airfare, taxis and hotel?
Why do you say charging your for actual time is ridiculous? The truth of the matter is, she can't do it as effectively as a duplication house, therefore it will be much more work for her and therefore a higher price. I say, charge for your actual time spent (+ equipment and DVD media as well) and if a dup house comes in lower - so be it. I have turned away NUMEROUS calls of people wanting a VHS tape dubbed to DVD with no editing, and I pass them on to Walgreens who does it for $25/tape because it isn't worth the hassle for me to do it at that price.

Sometimes we have to be honest that we can't do something as cheaply as another outfit. Just yesterday I referred a client to a TV station because they needed 20 minutes of taping a talking head backed by a greenscreen with a TelePrompTer. My half day cost (all included)? $1200. The TV stations? $250. They are already set up for that and have a crew sitting around between newscasts. The client loved my honesty and maybe I'll get them later for another kind of video.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #15
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That $10 price may be out there on the internet somewhere, but really 20 dollars for a one hour tape is a good deal. The first sponsered link from a Google search found "10 dollar VHS TO DVD" and they are charging 20 dollars!

I charge per hour of material. I agree with Mark. It is not just a matter of loading a machine and walking away. To do a good job, it will take 1.5 time real time of the recorded material.

My advice to Lisa:

Invest in a good piece of hardware, don't get the cheapest at BestBuy.
Research local rates and charge an average price, not the cheapest
Ignore internet prices
Get a sample of the tapes before you quote the job
Use a good quality blank DVD
Check out a test DVD on multiple machines before running the job
Plan on 1.5X total running time for the job
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