Wedding Discounts and staying firm with prices - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 5th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: West Orange, NJ, U.S.
Posts: 163
We offer discounts as specials from time to time in order to drum up business.

But otherwise, no, we don't negotiate. In my experience, as stated by others who have responded to this question, people trying to negotiate for a deal have all sorts of other favors to ask of you as soon as you give in.

When first starting out, I had people trying to change my contract, change the due dates for payments, you name it. Granted, I was just starting out and happy for the business. But you quickly learn that running your business takes a healthy sense of boundaries. Having these boundaries - especially pricing - will help keep you sane.

Someone else stated that editing is very time consuming. It's true. If you are doing good work, don't give up getting paid what you believe it's worth. Find your price point and stick to it.

Lastly, I just recently threw in a slideshow for a couple. The soon-to-be husband was a soldier in Iraq and when I met with the bride for a consult, I learned that her fiance was cuurently in Haiti helping with the relief. I'm glad to be in a position where I can give back here and there.
Mike Hammond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 330
I used to think about offering discounts during the 'off season,' but after shooting a wedding in January where my jewels literally froze off, I said forget it.

I should charge double!
__________________
I like my oatmeal lumpy.
Blake Cavett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 72
I believe "Your Prices are Your Prices". If you've done your budget, and you know what it costs in time, money, and equipment to produce a wedding or event, then you have to be firm.

At the same time, if you're available for a particular date, and would most likely be home, working on a project that has a flexible schedule, why turn down work if the client is only asking for 5% or 10% off? For me, it's about the average profit on each job. Some jobs will generate a higher profit than others, but in the end, what's your average profit per job?
__________________
Chris Fig Productions
Wedding Videographer
Christopher Figueroa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
Basic Market Research Question

I've been reading a lot of threads on the forums here and in the Taking Care of Business section, but haven't found any information regarding the price of the wedding video in relation to the price of the wedding as a whole. Is there any ball-park percentage or range of percentages?

Naturally high end weddings would typically pay more for video than budget weddings, but as a percentage of the total cost does the percentage go up too?

I've heard of some $70K weddings, so I imagine the amount paid the video is pretty good. But suppose only $10K is budgeted for the whole wedding. What about the price then?

I've been finding out what the local hotels charge for the ball-rooms etc. I've also checked out other videographer's pricing. But what is the pricing based on? It's not just quality and it's not just work. There are other market forces involved.

Clue me in. My neck of the woods is VERY depressed economically right now.
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #20
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Roger

Where we are our National median price for a wedding is $37,500 and locally it's $25,000. Unfortunately we still seem to be way down the priority list for brides when it comes to video!! They will book the Photog at around $2K to $4K here for an average wedding and then usually decide that they cannot afford video so they get a relative to shoot it on a handycam!!

No offence to photogs but I would have thought that a relative with a fairly good DSLR would probably make less of a mess of the photos than if they attempted the video considering that they will probably shoot handheld with the on-cam mic!! At least with a good DSLR set on auto and a bundle of CF cards you can create over 1000 images and even an enthusiastic amateur will get at least 100 useable pics!!

I have no idea why video is way down in the pecking order ..maybe brides need a little education on our websites??? The sad story is that on most weddings in enconomic stressful times by the time the bride has booked the venue, flowers, photog and cake her budget is down to almost nothing so video is often discarded.

Hmmm a new thread here might be in order??? Bride Education????

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Roger,
High end weddings don't necessarily pay more for video and budget weddings don't necessarily pay less. In my time in the business I've done weddings from 10K to 300K and more and here's what I found. If they value video they will pay more. For example a few years ago I did a wedding where the total cost couldn't have been more than about 12K. They invested about 20% of the entire budget to video because it was more important to them than even still photography. AAMOF I was literally the 1st vendor hired and they did not have a prostill photog. They were an amazing couple to work with and the wedding was one of the most fun and best I had ever been at. On the other hand, a couple of years ago I did a wedding where the budget was in excess of $125000 and frankly I knew when I booked it I should have turned it down. They tried to beat me up on everything from price to delivery time. The couple were both rather snarky with me all day more like I hired you to do my bid and calling and were some of the most difficult people I have ever had to work with in my 26 years of weddings. They did not value video and it showed.
Now that's not to say that's how it is everytime these were both extreme cases. IMO the key is to sell the value of the work and yes educating the bride on the importance of video is very important.
I always said in this industry you don't need to be a world class camera op or editor but you have got to be a great business person.
Having been in the business when video was so far down the list it wasn't even on it the reason IMO that's it's of relatively little importance even today is because of us. People are so used to the cheese from the 80s and early 90s and Uncle Charlies stuff, that that's what they equate video to be. Of course then there are the ones that insist they would never watch it they would rather look at pictures. Great, can you hear the vows, watch grandma dance, see the tears roll down dads face as he gives you away?
One is not better than the other, they pics and vid should work together to tell the story.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: East Bay Cali
Posts: 563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
I may be wrong but the cheap skates are usually the people you don't want to deal with even if they pay the full amount, is that correct?
People who want a good deal at a fair price , are good business people. people who want to jerk you around , get out for as least as possible are great business people :-) People who then expect more than they paid for are excellent business people.
if you want to work for them Flip Burgers :-)

Nothing wrong with Bartering and negotiations. Everywhere people go someone has a price Jacked up to 200% then makes you believe when they put it to 50% (normal) it is some vast discount.
So when a customer trys to get the same thing cheaper, it is just a matter of doing business. If you want to play that GAME, then jack up your prices and close with a discount.
Myself i aint playing that game.
If someone wants to be a Great busness person, then either play games with them, OR have a firm fair reasonable price and DONT BUDGE. The person you have to lean over backwards, vs your normal customer, will just take the opertunity of you leaning over to push you too far. <-- and THAT is when it goes bad, when you screw yourself, not when they do "business".

Dont take any less than you deserve, because you will be TICKED at yourself for having done so, and that is not foreward moving. Ticked at yourself is reflected back to them, and your end product, it causes it's own downward spiral. So when you get "the Business" just remember it is business. If it is going to tick you off later, it isnt good for you OR THEM.

Everybody has thier own way, when they come to you, STICK with your way, dont get all wishy washy. If your SURE of what you have for what price you will sell it, and what they will get out of it, then apply your CONFIDENCE. That it IS your way, and that is the way it will be. Anything else will not be good for either of you.

see what i am saying? It is a customer service to have you working happily for what you deserve and doing a good job, and having a good end product. You can apply that confidence, to insure that you Can continue to provide that service, instead of being bowled over and both parties loosing out.

they aint cheapskates :-) that is just good business , and your In Business too, so on your side keep things good.

(its only sorta like that, but its another idea)
__________________
----------------sig-----------------
Re-learning everything all over again, one more time.

Last edited by Marty Welk; March 10th, 2010 at 12:30 AM.
Marty Welk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Silas

Marty couldn't have put it better!!

My attitude is much the same. If I think I deserve $XXXX for a job then I will not do it for less because I would be pretty sure if I DID accept a much lower figure, my heart wouldn't be in it as I would spend the day thinking how much I have been screwed!!

With customer's like that I usually tell them that it would be far better if they found a willing relative to shoot the wedding with a hired camera and then I take the weekend off !!

Sometimes, even if you need the work, it's good judgment to actually say no and you will thanks yourself afterwards too!!! Jobs like that often cost you far more than the discount you have given them!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #24
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
I've never had a customer asking for a discount, at least I can't remember one;
probably because my prices are a bit lower than they should be.
__________________
I love this place!
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
Thanks Don and Chris for your insights on pricing. I'm a guy that punched a time clock working for someone else for nearly forty years. I think my biggest problem is perspective. It takes a while to transition from being employed by someone else to running a business. Marketing class in college was so long ago. Before my 30 year health care career, most of my work was in retailing, with just a smidgen of direct sales.

Once I've developed a little more perspective, my decision making will improve. Right now, the economy is really slow here. More and more stores are closing etc. As for weddings, I'm a member of one of the biggest churches in town, and there are no weddings scheduled at all until October.

Well, I'm starting to get to know some caterers, musicians, and dj's in the area. Also will try to link up with the event coordinators in the major hotels, convention halls, and banquet rooms in the local area. Looks like pounding the pavement is the way to go. I hope nobody thinks I'm a lowballer if I start with low prices, but hey, people do take a larger risk with a new guy, at least from their point of view. It's like a period of grand opening specials to get things started. I have started putting a few ads on Craigs list and tweaking my web site. Also recently had my first REPEAT CUSTOMER, so that's a good sign they liked my work.
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Roger

Be patient and market well and you will be rewarded. By all means offer a special but keep your prices as close to the norm as you can otherwise people will tend to ignore you as you are "too cheap" ..they often figure that something must be wrong at those prices!!

We are heading into Winter here in a couple of months and I usually run a "Winter Special" as we don't have many weddings in June/July as it's cold and wet!!! The idea is to encourage couples getting married in Summer to book early and the booking fee helps generate an income during the slack months.

Essentially see what others are charging for the same sort of service as you are offering and stay in that ball park so you will be considered along with them.

Apart from referals I get most of my enquiries from online wedding directories so place an ad with a couple..some are free but some you have to pay but it will get your name out there!! One of the fastest ways of getting traffic to your site is to advertise with a wedding directory that has a forum for brides as well. That way you are in touch with the clients and they will be curious to look at your website!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
Thanks Chris,

There's a group in Orlando, PVCF, that I'm a member of. A lot of the guys are wedding videographers. Some of them even shoot those extravagant weddings at Disney World. I've been learning a lot from them, and even offered to do committee work for the organization.

I've only done two weddings, and enjoyed them both. But there are other types of video I want to do as well. Medical, academic, tutorials, sports, community relations etc. Fortunately I've gotten some paying gigs doing these while trying to get the wedding video part of the business off the ground.

Roger
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 49
We do negotiate some but I imagine as we become more established this could change. We started our business 2 years ago and are going into our 3rd wedding season, although I don't really count the 1st season... only did a handful of weddings, most for free just to get a demo reel together. Didn't start advertising or make a website until going into our second season.

I've heard a couple of people say "you sell how you buy" and I do ask for deals in certain situations. When looking for a new TV we found an open box item at Best Buy. I asked if they could come down any and they took off 20%. It doesn't mean I valued the product any less, I just knew because it was a demo model I had a shot at a deal and it couldn't hurt to ask.

I will say we actually stuck to our prices more last year than we have going into this wedding season simply because we were already charging too little last year. We've raised our prices and gone to an hourly rate and we feel we have a little more wiggle room now.

I also think it depends on the situation. There's a difference between the person who wants something for nothing (and would rather spend the money on, say, expensive favors) and the person who genuinely loves your work and wants to at least ask for a deal before moving on to the second videographer on their list. We have one bride whose planner only put $1,000 in the budget for video. The bride wrote us and said how much she loved our work and asked if there was any way we could work with her. We came back with a price that was over her video budget but threw in a free hour from us. She reworked her entire budget to fit us in. Yes, we're giving a bit of a deal, but do we feel taken? Not at all. I'd rather work with a bride like this than one who pays twice as much but wants the video to be as cheap as possible and is spending way more on everything else. Yes, both pay the bills, but one is much more fun than the other.
__________________
Sarah Pendergraft
www.penweddings.com
Sarah Pendergraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post

I've been finding out what the local hotels charge for the ball-rooms etc. I've also checked out other videographer's pricing. But what is the pricing based on? It's not just quality and it's not just work. There are other market forces involved.

Clue me in. My neck of the woods is VERY depressed economically right now.
I think there is no math involve. During one smoke break at a wedding, I was speaking to the Limo driver/owner. He asked me how much I charged the couple, I told him $ 1200. How much is my camera worth? I bought it for $ 2400 back then. He then told me that he bought his Limo for $ 100K, and he charges $ 700 for the day. He is not bitter but he told me life is not fair. I guess if the market is $ 700 for a 100K limo, we also tend to follow that pattern and charge according to prevailing market rate for wedding videographers.

My 2 cents.
__________________
Noel Lising
Noel Lising is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #30
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Roger

Just remember that you do need to charge out your time at a rate that will make your effort worthwhile!! There is no sense in spending 12 hours on the shoot and 40 hours on a cinematic style edit at $100 an hour for your time when no-one in the community is likely to be able to afford a $5000 wedding video.

If that's what you stand by and that's what you are worth it's senseless dropping your rate to say $20 an hour to cater for clients that only have $1000 in the kitty!!! Better to relax at home than work for peanuts.

If the market seems to be "budget brides" then you need to maintain your worth and simply do a more basic shoot and some basic editing. You do need to do some market research and see what others are charging and what brides expect or budget for in a wedding video and adjust your operation to suit the market.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:24 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network