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Old October 31st, 2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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Raising Prices, and Packages

There are a lot of threads on here about packages, but some of them pretty old, so I thought I would check in and see what others were offering now.

Right now we have 3 basic packages:
Ceremony
Ceremony + Reception
Full Day

We don't do an hourly rate, but just wanted to see how this compared to what others were offering?

Also, we are a bit lower than our local competition in terms of pricing, and are considering making some package changes. Just wondering a) how often you consider price increases, b) how you handle it. Obviously there are brides who have emailed or called just "inquiring" about their dates next year, but they have already seen our current prices/packages, so I would honor those who have already contacted us. But how should we handle someone if they email us later and say "I saw your website before and now your prices are higher" but they never contacted us? This is our first time considering an increase, thus the first time having to deal with this, and I'm just trying to look into the future and think these things out before they happen :-)

Thanks!
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Old October 31st, 2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

Most all successful businesses raise their prices annually, or thereabouts, to keep up with inflation and rising costs. You're not paying the same for gas as when you first started, are you? Or blank media? Or anything else? :)

On my brochures and price lists I always print "prices are effective xx/xx/20xx but are subject to change without notice." That way if someone gets a hold of an old price list, I can quickly point out that fact to them.
Nothing costs the same as it did a year ago or 2 years ago, and certainly not 5 years ago. Why should our services?

(Yes, I know I am new to wedding videography but I have another business too and have been using this practice for over 20 years.) :)
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Old October 31st, 2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

The first thing you need to do is tell everyone that has contacted you previously (and didn't book) that they have 2 weeks to book with at that lower price before your "have to" enforce the new prices.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

I always include full day coverage because its easier to edit in the end. This might change down the road, but it works for us currently.

We look at price increases yearly and don't really worry about people who have contacted us in the past. If they ask, then I was explain that our product has improved and is more polished. If it's still a problem, add something, like recording speeches at the rehearsal dinner. Makes your life easier because you have a ton of fantastic voice overs to include in the final edit. Just don't budge on pricing, add more to the services if there are issues.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

The best time to be considering changing your pricing structure is during your off season, like now. This way you are going into the bridal show season with your new prices/packages/brochures and anything else related to it. People are familiar with seeing a "20XX price schedule" or some such thing when viewing someone's price list. Also the new year perfectly coincides with your downtime. So interest in your price schedule and website is probably a bit lower now than it will be after the 1st of the year.

As far as those who have already "inquired" this gives you reason to reopen that dialogue. I would construct a carefully worded email alerting them to the "nasty inevitable price increase", but the rate they were quoted is still in effect. Toss them a couple of bonuses too (extra DVDs etc) if they book in November, but the old rate is only good if they book before January 5,2012. With the holidays coming, you really got to give them a few days after New Years, to get the holidays behind them and maybe a few dollars in the checkbook for your deposit. Chances are though, you might get one or two, at most, to pop right off the bat, the rest are now aware waiting is going to cost them more. If at some time in the future one of these that inquired already wishes for the old price, you can rest on "sorry, but we contacted you to alert you to the new pricing last year, and didn't hear back from you".

Good luck.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

Old adage, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." Just raise them now, there's no downside.

As long as you have justification for the price increase there's no harm and no foul. Classic reasons are increased cost (weak) and we're so busy (limited availabilty) we have to raise our prices (better). The latter, my favorite, is better because people want what they or others can't have or is difficult to get. I like the time pressure as well.

Even if someone says they noticed you raised your prices you can always say (after they show commitment), "We wished you had contacted us earlier but just for you I'll give you our special customer price if you promise not to tell anyone what you paid." If you market effectively, people will buy in a bubble meaning there is no apples to apples comparison and therefore you can charge whatever you want.

GL, Cheers.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

Very helpful, as always. Thanks guys. It is definitely good that our down time falls on the beginning of the new year...it is something I want to get done before the holidays start though, as that is prime time for engagements and new brides-to-be will be anxious to get planning.

Thanks for the input!
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Old October 31st, 2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

For the last 2 years I have raised my prices by $100 every 4 months, so that's $300 per year. So I am now offering my same package for $600 more than it was in 2009. Never had a bride bat an eye at the price increase. When I raise my prices I email every bride that has contacted me and not booked and tell them that prices are going up and they have 2 weeks to book at the previous price, after that, they can book at the new rate.

I prefer to raise it little by little rather than a huge jump at the beginning of the year.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:15 AM   #9
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Re: Raising Prices, and Packages

I charge a flat $1400 for the full day.

2 Cameras

Pre-Ceremony
Ceremony
Reception

And every guest is given a business card throughout the day. ;)
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