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  1. Imbécile en chef
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    How to know if you charge too much?


    As a freelance web designer / programmer, I sometimes wonder how I am doing... It may seem stupid at first view, but I suppose there are a lot of people out there who feel the same. I mean, I know I can accomplish the tasks my clients are paying me to do, but it is sometimes difficult to compare the quality of my work with other's.

    It is especially a problem when comes the time to make a quote. Sometimes, the client sees my prices he says to me that he could get the job done somewhere else for half the price. It may in some occasions be true, but I have to answer to go to that place because I know the time it takes me to make the website, and I could not do it for half my price. What am I doing wrong then? What do other people do to be able to do it half the price? Do they work twice as fast? Or with half my wage?

    A website that was done for x$ two years ago might be done for much less right now. The kind of job we do changes so fast that it is difficult to keep track of what is done by the competition. When you lose that contact you can be out of the game pretty soon. What do you do guys to know? For my part, I began doing this right after school (studied graphic design... and now I do PHP only, my associates do the graphic stuff) I worked in an established business, it was back in 1999 and things have evloved since then. So I have no real accurate idea of what I'm doing wrong or right.

    Most of the time I feel pretty good about my capacities : I developped a CMS to suit my needs and it allows me to build a complete website pretty fast with lots of features. Sometimes though I look at other people's websites and wonder if I'm at their level. Maybe, maybe not (but I hope that I am!!) If not, maybe I have to charge less for what I am doing.

    Maybe the problem of knowing the value of a website comes from the fact that all clients are very different. Sometimes, a client thinks that 2000$ is too much for a website, some other feels that 20000$ is not enough for the same thing. What to do then??

    I also wonder if from country to country, the average prices change a lot for the same thing. Is a website more expensive in Europe than in North America?

    If you'd like to share some thoughts on this it would help, as I have a tough time evaluating the business.
    ***********
    Mart
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    Greetings,

    Finally something I know something about, I'm just a newbie when it comes to web design, but when it comes to sales I have been selling since I entered the workforce.

    I don't see your problem being a matter of charging too much. The best price you can give is the one that makes both parties happy - and sometimes that is not too easy. You must consider that sometimes the customer can be happy with a price and you not so happy - do you think that your work would reflect that? Of course it will.

    You must always qualify your customer's needs and realize that sometimes if they are price shopping only - you are not able to provide them with what they need (ie the lowest price). Anytime you are selling a product or service - it is not unlikely you will only close 10-20 percent of the deals. With that being said - always qualify your customer and don't spend too much time working on the same guy (who is price shopping) when you can work on a guy that will see the benefit in the work you do. Read a negotiating book by Herb Cohen - he's the master at that.

    So to conclude - decide what makes each situation a win situation for you - and in the end you will be happier for it. Forget about price - if they buy on price alone - they'll get what they get.

    I hope that helps.
    I need help, but I think I'm beyond help.
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    Agree. If potential client is price shopping and you are not able to do it for that low price, you had be better off let him go and spend your energy on finding another contract. That is how I work - I have had clients come to me stating that, the guy who charged half of what I was offering, ran away or didnt do the job they expected, etc... and then you know you didnt make a ridiculous large offer.

    The prices are highly competitive. A lot freelancers from Eastern world steal projects at low prices. At times the clients are happy but mostly I have seen clients in US not happy with the job done overseas. If you have a portfolio - you can use that to back your work and quote. Clients will come if you prove somehow that $1000 is worth spending rather then giving $500 to an amateur or spend overseas.

    I have had clients tell me that a 10 pg website can be done for $200 and I leave them right away. And I have seen ****ty job done on $200 websites. And the way to make them realize is go to their competiton and do a website for $500 and show them the results And when time comes for a change of site, they WILL come to you. These are just my $.02 - no gaurantees it will work for you. But you can try.
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  7. Imbécile en chef
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your replies. I did'nt answer sooner I was out of town.

    I think that I will stick to that : evaluate what it takes me to do the job, regardless of what other people charge. You are right by saying that sometimes the guy who charges half the prices also does half the job!!

    I guess my post was written in a moment of 'man... am I good at what I do?' that we probably all have (if we are concerned by the quality of what we do!) I don't consider myself a guru (I have a life...) and I sometimes feel that I could be more efficient. I never studied informatics, I don't have all the methods and techniques used in the industry, and I work alone, so I have to evaluate my work based on what I see here on the net. It is sometimes very difficult!
    ***********
    Mart

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