Rental Discount for Client?

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    • #43319
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi all,

      New to the forum, and (relatively) new to videography. Looking forward to picking up what I can!

      My question today is whether the client should or shouldn’t be expected to enjoy the equipment rental discounts the videographer has cultivated.

      I’ll try to be specific with my situation: I was offered a gig recording a presentation out of town for a regular client. The client asked if would be renting a video camera – I am between cameras at the moment and said that I would be. They asked that I provide an approximate rental fee, and that they would require the details of the rental – i.e., a copy of the rental invoice.

      My situation is that I have a contact who is willing to rent me the camera at 50% of the industry rate.

      So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn a bit more about how the industry ticks.

      1. Does the client generally speaking “enjoy” the discounts discovered by the videographer, or do they usually pay industry rates, even if the videographer has managed to rent the equipment more cheaply?

      2. If it’s the latter, how would you go about explaining this to the client? Or would you just look for a periodic rebate system from the rental contact? Is there any ethical question here?

      3. Is the answer changed in this case because the equipment in question the utter basics (camera/tripod) that I would imagine usually come included in such a gig? Would the answer be different if it was a different piece of equipment?

      4. So far, there has been no discussion with the client re: my fee, whether a single sum or hourly rate; I have worked for this client a few times and always give fair prices. Am I better off just passing on the discount, but factoring it in in some way with regard to my total fee?

      Thanks so much for reading and for any thoughts or suggestions. I don’t want to be unethical in my work, but I also want to be fair to myself.

      NJ.

    • #181721
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Niji,

      That’s a tough one. Normally I’d say you don’t give new clients major discounts up front. That’s often reserved for long-time regular paying clients. In your case, the client is paying for the rental so there’s nothing unethical about having them pay full price for the rental of the gear. Save your discounts for when you’re financing a project and the money’s coming out of your outfit’s pocket. Since you aren’t pocketing any of the money, no harm no foul. Besides, you have to keep in mind what if your friend for some reason is unable to rent you the gear at a discount? Then you’re on the hook for the overflow cost because you quoted the client a lower price. When you and this new client have built a good working relationship (and none of their checks bounce) then you can start thinking about giving discounts to keep their business.

    • #181722
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi Wolfgang,

      Thanks for the response and thoughts. In this case, the client has asked for the “details” of the “confirmation” for the camera rental (over a month in advance of the gig). Is it appropriate to provide them a quote for an industry renter (or two or three) and leave it at that? What if they ask for documentation of the booking, or of a final invoice?

      Your answer is somewhat unclear to me. You say that I’m “not pocketing any of the money” but that’s essentially what would occur if they pay an industry rental rate, and I rent the gear for 50% of that, right?

      Thanks again!

      NJ.

    • #181723
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      I’m having a hard time getting the question…

      If you are billing them for your time, plus expenses, you bill them time plus an itemized list of ACTUAL expenses. Provide copies of reciepts if needed.

      If you are billing them a Lump sum, flat rate, or anything other than “Time plus expenses” then it is none of thier business what your expenses are. Period.

      How you are getting into a huge dilemma over this, escapes me.

    • #181724
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Don,

      The dilemma is, I suppose, that I’ve billed the client in both manners through previous jobs, depending on the nature of the job. Your framing of the situation is itself helpful. Perhaps in the current case it’s just unclear which billing method is being used; with them presuming it will be time + expenses, and myself assuming lump sum. It would seem this issue needs to and will be clarified for both parties once I provide a work estimate. The gig is to travel and record a seminar.

      Thank you for your input.

      NJ.

    • #181725
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      I realize in reading my post above, I’m being abrupt, so thank you for your patience.

      I have some learning disabilities, and while it shouldn’t excuse being rude, it does sometimes explain it. Sorry for being rude.

      For me the world is often a black and white place, with very little grey. Other people often see the grey areas….

      I think getting out of this “Grey” area and making the terms “Black and white” would be the best course of action for you and the client. Good luck.

    • #181726
      AvatarGrinner Hester
      Participant

      Maybe I am misunderstanding the situation but it sounds like you just need to bill normally… your hours or days plus your expenses.

    • #181727
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “Your answer is somewhat unclear to me. You say that I’m “not pocketing
      any of the money” but that’s essentially what would occur if they pay an
      industry rental rate, and I rent the gear for 50% of that, right?”

      Niji,

      That would be ‘no’. You’re billing them normally. Like I said, save the discount for your in-house productions. Discounts are for loyal paying clients. You’re not ‘pocketing’ anything because the cost of the rental is part of the cost of production. There’s also nothing wrong with including a copy of the rental invoice (at full price with no mention of any discounts.) All you’re doing is passing the cost of production onto the client. Now if you’re trying to figure out how to pull a fast one on your client that’s on you. You’ll probably get found out and it will be a major pain. Just figure out the costs and keep clear records of where the money went.

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