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Topic: Charging too much or too little?
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 4, 2003 08:56PM)
Hi everyone,

I've done about 10 kids shows in the past 6 months or so, and I've been charging $50 for a thirty minute show. I also did one for $75 because it was in another town. Most of these shows were for kids of teachers that work in my school system (I'm an eighth grade teacher), but I've got a few shows in a bigger city near my town now.

To get to the point, should I charge more or stay the same? I don't want to start undercutting other magicians or anything like that. I've had nothing but compliments at my shows and a few people have mentioned that they usually pay a lot more for the entertainment, but at the same time, I don't want to overcharge and lose potential customers.

Anyway, advice is welcome!!!

Have a great day,
Chad :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Mar 4, 2003 09:25PM)
That is even less than what I charge here in New Zealand. If you can offer a service as good as the professional entertainers then you should charge about the same ball park as they do. Because you have a day job, honestly, you won't be able to do that. You can't answer the phone during the day if you are teaching. It will be difficult to promptly call people back, etc. I do about 6-7 parties every weekend and keeping it all professional is almost a full time job. I tend to think an appropriate fee might be about 75-80% of what the pros are charging.

Whatever you charge, some will think it is too high & some too low. Anyway, if you are charging much less than the pros you can really push for tips with no shame as well.

Oh, one thing I learned a long time ago: If people are willing to pay $75 in the next town, you can be sure they will pay $75 in your home town too.
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 4, 2003 09:56PM)
Thanks for the advice, Andy. It's good to have other people's perspectives. Now that I've got some experience, I agree that most people probably would be willing to pay more. And like you said, some people will always complain either way.

Thanks again,
Chad
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Mar 4, 2003 11:12PM)
This is an area that always gets a lot of discussion. I have sent material to people only to have them hire somebody for substantially more money. He in turn, called me and had me do the job, because he wasn't really a magician. Go figure. Anyway, in my neck of the woods...$125 for 30 minutes is average...$200 and up for 45 minutes to an hour.

Steven
Message: Posted by: Turk (Mar 4, 2003 11:50PM)
Chad C.

I know that it might be in bad taste to do a show for free that a professional magician could (or might) take; however, that is not what you are doing. Even though you are not magishing full-time, you are still a professional. I would charge what the traffic will bear.

What is the rationale for only charging 75%-80% of what a full-time magician would charge? When you are out there on the stage performing, you are giving it 100%, your all (and performing full-time). You should get the going rate.

My dad always said (about braggarts): "If you have to tell someone how good you are, chances are, they would not have found out for themselves". On the flip side, if you don't charge what you are worth, no one will know how good you are.

In fact, just the opposite can be true: If you charge only $50.00 and the going rate for all the other magicians in your area is $100.00-125.00, you might be "pricing yourself out of the market" because the customer might believe that you are only 1/2 as good as the other magicians in your area!!!!

IMHO, don't be afraid to charge what you are worth.

Turk
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Mar 5, 2003 03:36AM)
I agree with Turk here. I wouldn't charge 75 -80% compared to full timers. You're doing exactly the same job. It sounds to me like you're not confident enough to charge the same as full timers.

The first couple times you charge a new price you might feel a bit uneasy, but when you start giving the new price to your customers over the phone, etc., and they say yes, you'll soon become more confident in asking for x amount of money.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 5, 2003 03:41AM)
As Billy said, it's a matter of confidence. You're doing the same job and people like what you do, so charge accordingly.
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Mar 5, 2003 04:53AM)
If you can do exactly the same job as a professional full timer, then yes, you can charge the same fee. I agree. My assumption was that Chad is just starting out and not able to offer a fully professional service. Letís face it, if you have a day job you can't even answer the phone during the day. How professional is that?

Think about how many quotes don't result in a party booking if you charge top price in your market. Regardless of the quality of Chad's show, if he is working during the day and gets home to a dozen messages on his voice mail where people have all left their work numbers, I am sure he wonít feel like adopting a price strategy that gives a low closing ratio on his sales calls. He will want the majority of his quotes to result in a booking. That way he won't have to worry about spending every evening on the phone playing telephone tag. Chad, that is why I suggested a price a notch below the full time professionals. It will take a chunk of stress out of what you are doing.

I have one idea you might want to consider if you donít want the sales and admininstration of kids parties to interfere with your day job. You could strike up relationship with one of the full time pros in your area and have them work as your agent. The full time magician will be able to sell your show to his clients for periods when he is fully booked. That way you donít have any annoying sales calls to make & you can just concentrate on performing.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 5, 2003 06:05AM)
Phone around and find out what everyone's charging in your area and charge about $5 less. Then as your workload increases and your diary fills up, you increase the price.

Personally, I've always tried to charge about a little bit more than most of the others in my area. Just enough to show I'm better and worth paying more for, but not enough to scare people off.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 5, 2003 06:55AM)
How much you charge very much depends on where you are and what you do.

For example, there's no point in pricing yourself at $500 an hour where everyone in the area is unemployed; by the same token, there's no point in charging $25 in New York City!

If you charge too little, people will think that's all you're worth; if you charge too much, people are going to feel "ripped off."

Best way to judge what's right, in my opinion?

Set a price; if you get mostly turn-downs, you're charging too much; if you get mostly acceptances, you're charging too little.

The "right" price should generate about 50 per cent acceptances and 50 per cent turn-downs (as too pricey).

Of course, other ways may, and probably do, work for other people.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 5, 2003 08:32AM)
Well put, Peter, and what you have to try not to do is get discouraged by the turn downs. We all get them. Remember, not everyone that phones can really afford a magician. I get people phone me who have a budget of only £20-£30 to spend and have never tried to book an entertainer before so they have no idea of the cost. When you first start out, the turn downs can be a bit worrying. Set your price, give it a couple months, and then adjust accordingly.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Mar 5, 2003 08:38AM)
Chad, you are already undercutting other magicians - many who probably rely on the business as their sole income. Your charges are so low they also seem to have no built in consideration of them being taxable income. Hey, now what if I went into your school teaching music at less than half the agreed salary? Sorry to be so harsh, even to the point of rudeness, but you did ask.

You are a highly paid full time education professional so what have you got to lose charging the same as everyone else for children's parties? - which of course you have every right to do either full or part-time.

Sincerely, Tony.
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Mar 5, 2003 12:31PM)
Good advice, Peter! For me, the fee has to be what *I* feel I'm worth without comparing myself to anyone else.

As for answering the phone, most people will disagree with me, but I NEVER answer the phone! I *DO* return calls that same day. I'm a very busy entertainer. Why would I be sitting next to the phone? Again, this is an unpopular view among my peers. It works for ME. I'm not necessarily suggesting you do it.

Tim
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Mar 5, 2003 01:03PM)
Hi Tim,

Being difficult to book is definitely a good marketing ploy. Particularly for higher paid performers.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Mar 5, 2003 01:43PM)
How do you know he can't return calls during the day ?
Seems to me that wouldn't be a problem. If he wanted to return calls, he could do so during breaks, recess or lunch time or just check for messages, etc.
Do what feels right for you. This is a great place to get some advice.

GlenD
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 5, 2003 01:46PM)
Hi everyone, and thanks for the advice. I plan to ask around and get an average on what the going rate is and adjust accordingly. If it works, great, and if it doesn't, I can always change it like Peter mentioned. I'll try to find that 50-50 mark that he alluded to.

I think the confidence issue was probably the main thing keeping me from charging more. But like I said, I have had nothing but positive feedback from my shows, so I don't know why I should be worried. And I have definitely worked very hard to come up with an entertaining show that people will enjoy and be satisfied with.

Thanks again for all the advice and opinions, which are helping a new magician better himself and his magic!

Chad
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 6, 2003 05:44AM)
Hi Tim,

<<the fee has to be what *I* feel I'm worth without comparing myself to anyone else>>>

When you've been around a while and are established, that's true, but when we all first started out, a lack of confidence and desperation to secure the booking often meant we undercharged. Then as we all got more and more successful we could charge what we felt we were worth. Chad is just starting out finding out what others are charging, and pricing accordingly will stop him from unwittingly upsetting other performers by undercutting them. Then, as Andy suggested, they may be more willing to pass work they can't do Chad's way. A good tip is to charge a little bit more than what you think you're worth then you will always be moved to work that little bit harder to justify your fee.

One question, Tim. I'm not knocking your method of not answering the phone--you're obviously happy with it and it works for you. When I'm out doing shows my phone is diverted to my mobile. Then when I come out of a show, I can return the missed calls. But often when I return their call I find that they've booked someone else. After all, I'm only one person they are trying out of the phone book. If you never answer the phone, how often does this happen to you?
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Mar 6, 2003 07:08AM)
Hi Emazdad,

I work in a similar manner to Tim in as much as I do not bother too much if I miss a call. (I do answer when I am at home unless the call is labelled witheld.) My experience has shown no loss of bookings to speak of. Most of my calls are from people who want [i]me[/i], not a magician or entertainer. As well as my answer phone, I have call minder and BT has just introduced a new service whereby it keeps the numbers of people that rang and left no message. So far all of the numbers have either rang back or rang again later and then left a message.

One of my main tactics when talking to enquirers on the phone is when asked how much I charge, I ask the usual questions but also reframe the context so that it becomes difficult for them to get me. For example, I might say, "Oh, March. Boy, that's really busy for me. I do not know if I can fit you in anywhere. What day in March is the party?"
I then get them wanting me to fit me in and price becomes less of an issue.

phillip
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 6, 2003 10:41AM)
A lot of good points made here.
Clive has one that I should have mentioned about turndowns:
Don't take it personally!
Remember, as Robert Duvall said to Ave Vigoda in The Godfather (just before he sent Abe on "his last ride"): "It's just business; it's nothing personal."
And Tim, I like the idea of not answering the phone; I do that (albeit for a different reason) and , like you, always get back to the caller that day. It seems to work for me, but I guess I never thought about it before!
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Mar 6, 2003 11:50AM)
I really enjoy this type of discussion!

Clive, I had a mentor in my early days that taught me two very important lessons:

1) Create a unique service (show) that would be difficult to duplicate and

2) don't hang around with other magicians until I establish myself in a market I'm comfortable with.

I am from a rather large family with lots of nieces and nephews, so it was easy for me to understand what makes kids tick. The first kid/family show I created was SO different than my competitor's (according to my mentor) I was told I would have no problem marketing it.

When I was ready to get into my market, my mentor asked ME what I should charge. As it turns out, I was higher than my competitors, again according to what my mentor told me. Just a totally lucky guess on my part. I lost quite a few gigs because of the price, and lowered it several times to establish myself, but then quickly got back to where I wanted to be.

As for answering the phone, Phillip says it perfectly. I want people to book Tim Zager, NOT a magician. By making it difficult to get ME, it's easier to close a deal. In the last few months I have heard stories about my clients bragging how expensive I am and how they can't believe they got me for their party.

So, like Phillip said, I'm not too bothered by losing a deal once in a while...and it IS rare.

I should start a topic explaining how I positioned myself in the market. Many of my methods are rather "strange" to many, but they certainly have put me in a good position in my market. I think much of my success is due to the fact I *DID* stay away from magicians early on so I would not be influenced.

Please don't interpret my comments as bragging. These are things that have worked for me...your results may vary!

Tim
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Mar 6, 2003 12:05PM)
Tim,

Everyone has their way of doing things. It is true, if you want the work you have to ACT like you don't need it. If you act hungry then the client will not think of you as a professional.

Ken
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Mar 6, 2003 03:19PM)
I see from your replies, Chad, that you are not deliberately pitching low, but feeling your way. I wish you every success and happiness in entertaining children.

Tony. :)
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 6, 2003 08:47PM)
Thanks, Tony. It's awesome to be able to get so much advice and encouragement from everyone. The more I learn, the more I realize I've got a lot to learn--but the experience has been a blast and I'm looking forward to continually growing as a performer.

Thanks again,
Chad
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 6, 2003 09:22PM)
[b]Pricing![/b]

Pricing is a Marketing Tool. Silly Billy markets to the rich and famous and does free shows in areas where these people are and at $100 a ticket events. Ken Scott Markets North of Atlanta, where the rich and famous are not inclined to live. Yes, more well-to-do people, so he can command the fee he asks.

As far as Hungry? This is a perception, difficult to book, hard to get, all can be perceived. At one of my seminars, I charged $99 and marketed heavily and got no takers. I changed the course name filling a perceived need of the buyer, and uniquely presented it at $600 and got over a thousand clients over the years. Pricing is relative. John Kapland gets $2,000 a show and does only 100 family illusion type shows a year, but makes the buyer triple this as a fund raiser.

Pricing is related to what you offer, and to whom, and it includes the worth to them. If you charge $200 and have a show that sucks, you will be out of business quickly. So skill and a great show matters. There are other factors which determine this also, starting out, experience, target market, number of shows, etc.

Tim, I find nothing wrong with your logic.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 8, 2003 03:14AM)
I don't think you're boasting, just stating a fact. Like you, I know I'm good at what I do because my bookers and full diary say so. My methods work well for me, as do yours for you. Anyone new to the business can try everyone's methods and find the one that works for them. We both seem to sign off the same hymnsheet, Tim. I take great pride in the fact that my show is not the same as all the others. That's why people book me again and again.

As I've said before, most of my work is recommendatios/seen befores. The ones who have seen you before or have had friends recommend you, Tim, fit into your category of "I want Tim Zager" and they will
phone and still be waiting when you return their call, as do my repeat-recommend bookers. (I love a phone chat that starts, "I want to book you and I want to know when you're free so I can book the hall.") But you will still get the few callers that have never booked a magician/entertainer and have only the phone book to go on. These are the ones who I'm on about, who will have found and booked someone else before you phone them back. Maybe not a lot, but it's not their show that counts as much as all the others you would get out of it as new people see Tim Zager in action for the first time. Like mine, your shows obviously generate more bookings.

What tells a booker I'm a good busy entertainer to book for their parties is when they phone me 6-8 weeks before a party to book and find the date/time they want is gone and we have to go through the diary to find a date that's free so they can book me.
Next year they phone up a lot earlier, sometimes even booking me for next year when I complete this years. A lot of my phone calls start, "I know it's early, but my friend recommended you and told me to book up now as you get very busy."

My birthday parties run at a fixed price, which is set just above most of the other entertainers in Plymouth, but not high enough to scare people. (There are 2 that charge more, but give a lot less and I often hear complaints, especially from someone who booked one of them for their party last week and has just seen mine.) My price increases the further I have to travel. For other jobs, I price according to size of event, how long they want me, and how big the company is that is enquiring. Really big companies will not book you if you go in at what they consider too cheap a price. Our mutual friend Gary Jones taught me that, Phillip. If a big company phones, price higher than normal.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Mar 8, 2003 04:54AM)
All nicely sussed out, young Emma's dad! Sounds a bit like I was ten years ago, working 12 days a week! Now when you get past the big 'five-o' you'll probably want to regulate your bookings a bit more. You'll find yourself taking a fortnight off over Christmas!! Or going away over Easter!!! Or even stopping doing houseparties!!!! You might also pull in your travelling range a bit more and come to the conclusion that Companies, etc., are more trouble than they are worth!!!!!

I'd just say (not wanting to preach) to anyone like Clive working full throttle, that now is the time to think of buying a second house as an investment or go in for a bigger property you can sell when the chicks leave the nest. Wish I could recommend personal pensions, but mine when I was 40 was turning over 14% per annum. Annual bonuses are now so pathetic I've said 'sod it' and taken one pension early.

I think you've got to look after yourself financially as a full time kids entertainer, as well (some may disagree). But those around you--family, friends, neighbours--probably sometimes talk behind your back about how few hours you work compared to them (they cannot see parties in their minds as a viable business!). You can also in the early days be penalized for your occupation on car insurance, mortgages, finance, etc. as these guys too don't know the first thing about what you do! It is sometimes said that 'tittle tattle,' gossip, jealousy etc. is a British disease, but you know, I've had a good number of USA customers also try quizzing me on 'how many of these do you do a week,' etc! (No doubt someone will want to take a wedge out of this as a quote and disagree!!)
:)
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Mar 8, 2003 06:47AM)
"that now is the time to think of buying a second house as an investment or go in for a bigger property you can sell when the chicks leave the nest."

Hi Ace,

Might be better to wait a year or so and see if the 25 - 33% balancing out (drop) in house prices occurs as predicted and buy then.

I am glad my pension has some time to run. Hopefully the stock markets will recover some. I am still paying into my Maxi ISA in the hope that I am buying the stocks cheap and they will go up in the long term.

Phillip :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 8, 2003 01:24PM)
I've got kids who manage to suck the money out of my wallet, even when it's safetly hidden in my pocket.

<<<All nicely sussed out, young Emma's dad! Sounds a bit like I was ten years ago, working 12 days a week! >>>>

I try to keep 1 or 2 weekdays free if possible. It's only now and again I'm working every day. At the moment I'm doing on average 8-9 parties a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, and the majority is on the weekends, so I generally get Mon/Tues/Wednesday off. But even if I am working on a weekday it's usually not until 4:00 PM so I still get to read my paper in bed and chill out with Billy and Chris most days. I know one thing for sure, I couldn't go back to working for a living.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 17, 2003 08:14AM)
[quote]
On 2003-03-05 00:12, Steven Steele wrote:
This is an area that always gets a lot of discussion. I have sent material to people only to have them hire somebody for substantially more money. He in turn, called me and had me do the job, because he wasn't really a magician. Go figure. Anyway, in my neck of the woods...$125 for 30 minutes is average...$200 and up for 45 minutes to an hour.

Steven
[/quote]

I think the question begs itself, where is your neck of the woods? In my area, that would be reasonable for a formal show (I got $150 for a show at the bird sanctuary once). But if I were to go to a private party, I'd pretty much get these reactions: :rotf: :wow:

[quote]
On 2003-03-06 11:41, Peter Marucci wrote:
A lot of good points made here.
Clive has one that I should have mentioned about turndowns:
Don't take it personally!
Remember, as Robert Duvall said to Ave Vigoda in The Godfather (just before he sent Abe on "his last ride"): "It's just business; it's nothing personal."[/quote]

...and as Billy Crystal told the mobster in "Analyze This!" "Don't kid yourself, it doesn't get more personal!" :cups:
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Mar 17, 2003 03:40PM)
Where is your neck of the woods, mandrake01?
Message: Posted by: japanjazzy (Mar 19, 2003 06:07PM)
I have been doing magic for almost 30 years and this subject keeps coming up. If you charge too little, people in your area get mad at you for undercutting them. If you charge the same, they question you as to how could you charge the same if you are not as good as they are.

I have an advantage right now since I am stationed in Okinawa and I am about the only one here. There is only one other and I have never seen or talked to him. On occasions I have had customers come to me and complain about him, but I let it be known that he and I are separate entertainers. On the reverse side, if someone is looking for entertainment and I am already booked, I will give the other person's name but let them know I do not know the quality of his show.

I charge two prices, one for on the military bases and another for the local community. As far as the phone bookings go, my wife handles most of it. The bad thing is, right now I am not home at all due to current world affairs with the military. I wish you all good luck in your areas.

Michael
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 8, 2003 10:05AM)
[quote]
On 2003-03-17 16:40, Andy Walker wrote:
Where is your neck of the woods, mandrake01?
[/quote]

Rhode Island, there are other magicians here, but I'm not certain what the market bears. (In truth, I haven't worked for over eight years! I got a job that involved MAJOR (in my opinion) commuting and by the time I got home, I was too tired to practice. Then I had a three year personal disaster and 90% of my props are GONE! All I've got left is some close-up stuff that I kept with me just before the disaster happened.) Give me another year and I'll probably be doing kid's shows again... and personal parties will be at the $50-$75 range. :kermit:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 8, 2003 11:13AM)
Not sure where you are from, but $50-$75 is really very cheap for a magic show at a children's party. Maybe in your location that might be the going rate, but I still find that hard to believe. I think your underselling yourself and abilities.
Message: Posted by: mystic shriner (Aug 8, 2003 12:13PM)
$150 for a 30 Minute Show.
$200 for a 45 Minute Show.
$500 for a 30 Minute Adult Stage Performance.
This is what I charge where I live. I just moved here, and I'm lucky to know someone here who does puppet shows at kids parties and larger events and she helped me figure out what to charge (it's southern Illinois, very economically depressed). When we were back in Chicago, it was much about 50% higher. I don't charge as many as some because I don't think my show is as big as some other performers who need to pay for expensively produced shows. Most of my props fit in a roloncase and a suitcase, with the exception of my floating carpet. (I have a really cool home-made one that does'nt look like the typical market ones, so it's a little harder to figure out).
DON'T UNDERSELL YOURSELF. I work in sales for ClearChannel Radio. One thing I know about marketing is that people respect higher prices and assume that more money means more talent. Down here in Illinois $150 for 30 minutes is a lot of money, so they are more interested in my show versus the local clown ( I mean a real clown) who might charge $75 for the same amount of time for a "Magic Coloring Book" act and some balloon animals. (not to put either of these down). Have you checked out other magicians prices in your area? :subtrunk:
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Aug 8, 2003 12:53PM)
I'm 15, and started doing paid kid shows recently. I usually charge a flat rate of $75 for a show that lasts 30 minutes. I also will gladly stick around and do some closeup magic for the adults, hoping some might think "hey, Evan would be perfect for that business dinner my company is having next week."

I do charge under the pros, but I also try not to take their customers. I have been performing for friends, friends of friends, and so on. I do not advertise publically or try to get shows from people that might be more interested in hiring a professional.

Regards,

Evan
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 9, 2003 12:23AM)
Chad,

I agree with everyone because we are on the same track. Be ready with your plans for a higher income. Plan approximately how much more you will have weekly. Work on you finance to see what will help make you look more professional, (the right illusions, outfits, business letterheads, etc.) Put a portion of the money into more advertising, (business cards, flyers, ads, etc.) Put more time in for more practice. If you plan your goal the right way, you won't have to be a teacher any more. Magic wil be your crusade.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 9, 2003 03:06PM)
Mike:
Very well said my friend. I agree 100%. Have a great show and great reputation with your clients. But, put the right money into advertising and promoting yourself as well.

Figure out what your time and talents are worth and plan your price accordingly. If you have magician friends in your area, find out what the going rate is and sicuss it with them. If they are friends, they will want to talk with you so that no one is underselling anyone else. It is also a great way to make a magician network. If one of you gets a show you can't do, you forward the client on to your other friend in your network. It makes you look good, and they will often do the same for you.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 16, 2003 03:36PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-08 13:13, mystic shriner wrote:
$150 for a 30 Minute Show.
$200 for a 45 Minute Show.
$500 for a 30 Minute Adult Stage Performance.


I haven't checked out other magicians. Maybe I should. I just don't feel comfortable taking that much for a small private party. As I said, I did charge the Bird Sancuary $150 (and they seemed to be happy with the show) but I see that as a different matter.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 16, 2003 06:18PM)
Mandrake. Your price really depends on a lot of factors and no one really has the right answer for you. What you must do is determine several things:

- How much is your time worth?
- How long have you been into magic?
- What is your target audience and what do you feel thay feel comfortable paying?
- What is the going rate for similar shows in your area?
- Are you just starting out doing shows or is your name more established?

Each of these will be a factor for you in determining a price that you and your clients feel comfortable with.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 17, 2003 10:06AM)
Muchly, thanks!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 17, 2003 10:20AM)
Mandrake:
Well this certainly is a start from which to work from. It appears that you know magic and I assume you have a half way decent kids show set up and ready to book.

With this in mind, I would first try and find out the going rate for shows in your area. It is best to call a magic friend who you can trust and who you can talk to. If not, calling one up from the yellow pages, and being honest about it, is never a bad thing. In most cases it is best to let them know your calling because you do not want to unddersell anyone and that you hope you might be able to network with him/her.

With this in mind. I would take the going price and lower it a bit since you are just starting out. Then as you get established, you can raise the price based on how many shows you are getting.

Hope this is of help.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 18, 2003 05:15PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-17 11:20, magic4u02 wrote:
Mandrake:
Well this certainly is a start from which to work from. It appears that you know magic and I assume you have a half way decent kids show set up and ready to book.

I [had] a decent kids show ready to book. Had a major personal disaster about three years ago and 90% of my stuff is [gone!] Give me time, I'll get the show back up and running.


With this in mind, I would first try and find out the going rate for shows in your area. It is best to call a magic friend who you can trust and who you can talk to. If not, calling one up from the yellow pages, and being honest about it, is never a bad thing. In most cases it is best to let them know your calling because you do not want to unddersell anyone and that you hope you might be able to network with him/her.

I'll keep that in mind. Of course that's not to say I can feel good about charging in their neighborhood when they probably have a lot more experience than I do.

With this in mind. I would take the going price and lower it a bit since you are just starting out. Then as you get established, you can raise the price based on how many shows you are getting.

Hope this is of help.

It does, I still have to go by what my gut tells me is right and I just can't justify $150 for a local party.

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 18, 2003 07:10PM)
$150.00 is a going rate for a b-day party in my Philadelphia area. But, this really changes form location to location and also on what your presenting to your clients. You certainly do not have to feel that you have to charge the going rate if your just starting out. Down the price a bit and get out there doing shows, As you get more shows and become more relaxed with things, you can raise it over time.
Message: Posted by: AragorntheMagician (Aug 19, 2003 08:57AM)
I once ran into a baker who had a shop next to the Train Station on the line into NYC. He had two (2) Baskets of Muffins on his counter. One basket said, "Muffins = $1.00". The other basket said, "Muffins = $2.50". After several months of seeing people getting the muffins (and most getting the $2.50 ones) I asked him what the difference was between them. He smiled and said, "No difference, some people just like to pay more".
Here in Atlanta where we have a large cross-section of incomes I have started to quote price associated with what subdivision they live in. For someone in Conyers I will quote $100.00. If that person lives in Ansley Park I've quoted $400.00...and gotten it...for the same show....LOL.
You need to know what your competition charges and also know what makes you stand out. The usual 1st question is, "What do you charge?". Ken Scott has a great response..."The show with the White Tigers is $5000.00" and he takes it from there.
Yours,
Aragorn TM
aka: Bob Suhr :firedevil:
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 19, 2003 09:07AM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-19 09:57, AragorntheMagician wrote:
I once ran into a baker who had a shop next to the Train Station on the line into NYC. He had two (2) Baskets of Muffins on his counter. One basket said, "Muffins = $1.00". The other basket said, "Muffins = $2.50". After several months of seeing people getting the muffins (and most getting the $2.50 ones) I asked him what the difference was between them. He smiled and said, "No difference, some people just like to pay more".
Here in Atlanta where we have a large cross-section of incomes I have started to quote price associated with what subdivision they live in. For someone in Conyers I will quote $100.00. If that person lives in Ansley Park I've quoted $400.00...and gotten it...for the same show....LOL.

I remember a magician writing in a magazine about doing a children's show. He got hired at his usual rate (I think it was about $250) and found out he was to perform on a private luxury yacht for one of the wealthiest families in the country. He also found out (after asking around) that he was the lowest priced performer on the boat!
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Aug 19, 2003 04:22PM)
The first questions often, "How Much do you charge" but it's not the first thing I tell them. Before I tell them I go through my whole sales patter and the last thing I say is the cost. When they phone up enquiring about an hours magic show for a birthday party, I tell them all about my 2-hour party package, by the time I get to the price it's already sold.

When it comes to birthday parties I don't charge different rates for different people in the same area, no matter how rich they are. It's the same show for the same amount of kids it doesn't feel right to charge more. But for other events I charge different prices depending on Size /type of event, working conditions etc, and whether I really want to do it.(if I'm not bothered about doing it I quote very very high, if they take it I'll do it, if they don't so what.)
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Aug 19, 2003 05:15PM)
I have my standard rates which are in line with what my local market bears.

If I do a gig that turns out like the yacht gig, I just treat it like any other show. I don't ask how much people earn before setting my price, but if I feel I am being undersold the value the show is to the client, I will do more in depth discussion before settling on a price.

Clear as mud, right? :hmmm:
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Aug 19, 2003 08:31PM)
I would warn against charging different prices for different people, but for the same venue (birthday party, holiday show, etc). They do sometimes talk and if someone finds out they paid more, they may feel you gouged them.

I remember when I got my first call for a local convention a few years back. I had no idea what to charge, so I bid with what was (then) my "standard" stage show rate of $350 for a 40 minute show. I didn't get it. Talking with the lady who was gathering bids, I found that the entertainment they hired the previous year was an acapella group that they flew in and paid $5500 for a 20 minute performance.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Cabrera (Aug 25, 2003 09:17AM)
My lowest priced show is 150.00. My average priced show is 150.))(45minutes) My highest price so far has been 420.00.
I fing that my prices increase with my experience. My first shows were only 85.00. This eventually increased to 100.0 then 125.00 and now 150. Next year I'll be 175.!
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Aug 25, 2003 11:03AM)
Charging different prices is OK ifyou have different packages. And people and really parents like packages to choose from. So make up packages that is a good, better, best, system. and let them choose.

Ken
Message: Posted by: Kool Kat (Aug 28, 2003 10:12PM)
This is a very interesting and useful discussion. I need a bit of advice about pricing of kids shows in Southern Ontario. I have been here for several weeks on a family visit, and am doing a few shows.

My husband and I have been here in previous years doing a duo show, which we priced at $250 (Canadian) for small venues such as libraries. Next year I'll be coming back, and doing libraries, preschools and birthday parties - probably as a solo.

The show is mostly puppets, ventriloquism and music, with a little bit of magic. What would be a reasonable price to charge in this area? My show has gotten very good reports from this year's clients - I think I priced it a bit low, though ($150 for libraries and preschools, and $130 for birthday parties) - I only decided on the trip at the last minute, so bookings were a rushed afterthought. My shows for this young age group are mostly 35 to 45 minutes (depending on attention span of the group).

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Cheers,
Kath Worsfold
NZ (Currently Southwestern Ontario) :sun:
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Aug 29, 2003 03:37AM)
Hi Everyone,

All good ideas suggested here. Here's another way to possibly decide what the going rate in your "neck of the woods is": Simply call the entertainers in the phone book and ask them. You may get the odd one that finds this intrusive but I bet you the majority will appreciate you not trying to undercut them. The other positive thing is you may develope some new found friendships that can send business your way or vice versa.

While 75 dollars may seem low a price it may be that in that area that's the going rate. Who knows? Another area may have 200 dollars as the going rate. Unless you take the steps to get to know others in your field you may not find the answer.

One of my business mentors showed me on paper when I first started out ...she told me I was charging too little. Charging 25 dollars more per show obviously allowed me to do less shows per month for the same income. So made sense to charge more especially if the going rate in my area allowed for that price.

I think at the time as I was first starting out I was a bit concerned as to whether I was worth it or not. I think all new magicians go through that..didn't we all?
Just takes a bit of confidence to realize ...yes your time is worth it..afterall look at all the unpaid hours we spend practising our craft.

So that's my suggestion and good luck whatever you decide to do. :nod:
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 29, 2003 04:04AM)
While 75 dollars may seem low a price it may be that in that area that's the going rate

HI,
I see what Crystal is saying but please do not fall into the trap of "Going rates" Just because everyone else is stuck at a price it does not mean that you cannot get more or that they are getting as much as they can.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Aug 29, 2003 04:21PM)
Looking at the going rate is OK if you want to put yourself in the same league as the rest.

you should aim to put it across that your better than the rest and chsrge a bit more than the others.