If you set a price based on


If you set a price based on the notion of being cheap to get work, it rarely makes it possible to increase prices. They select you from the others based on price, and they know the price is below the rate quoted by others, so you get tagged as the ‘cheap video guy’. If you put the prices up you lose that tag, but then have to compete with the higher priced people on every level – quality, professionalism and experience. If your work is of that quality anyway, you were just too cheap and used the wrong model. It’s not quite the same, but for over ten years on ebay I’ve been selling lots of budget end microphones, and done quite nicely, but shifting a lot of boxes to make the money. I tried to move upwards and sell less, but for more, and sales dried up totally. I was stuck in the cheap end of the market. My history showed loads of cheap products and few expensive ones. In the production side of my business I have repeat clients and have not been able to up the prices in about 5 years now. One I discovered had been doing the rounds of other suppliers, and discovered that my price for a week’s hire was around 3 days of the competitors. I figured that I’d try to gently increase the price and discovered that the client then wanted more for the extra money, even though he knew I was cheap. This client uses me because he’s realised it’s a good deal. It doesn’t mean he will pay more for the same thing.

What I now do is quote everyone at the higher price, but offer them an opportunity to save money by ‘removing’ some of my service. So I will quote £X for the entire job, but will offer them £Y pounds off if they edit the video themselves, or £Z off if they source and licence their own music, or want to arrange the hire of the lighting equipment themselves etc. I offer money off for things that I know they really won’t want to do, which seems to help justify the higher package price.

Locally, to shoot a wedding (which I avoid like the plague because of the hassle) and edit it takes about 3 months, and costs well over £1500 minimum. £600 for a wedding is in my honest opinion far too cheap.

Jack’s breakdown is important – what you shoot takes 3 times as long to edit. Just logging the shots and transferring to the edit machine takes as long as the shoot, doesn’t it? A days shooting is what? at least 3 days editing? Probably more if the end product is a comprehensive one – so start to finish, a weeks work. A weeks work for a professional with expensive equipment.

How much would it cost for a painter, plumber, carpenter or electrician to work in your house? A painter just did some work for my mum – I provided the materials, he just charged for his time, a day and a half cost £350 and this was the lowest local quote. This is £230 a day. This is for a straightforward painting job. Tools supplied paintbrush and ladder. This is simplistic I know, but I would assume that an artistic and technically competent job must be valued at more than a painter? Your weeks work needs to be way above £600, or you are undervaluing what you do?

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