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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Gas surcharge? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Wow! UPS is even starting to do that? I had not see that,. Thanks for letting us know Den. We have just raised ourt prices a bit to accomodate for the gas change. I just think calling it a gas charge to the client, can have negative connotation to them. I would rather them just get a flat fee for my rate and have that gas a part of that overall fee I come up with.

Kyle
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MagicB1S
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I don't know how it is in other states But here in New York Gas Is a Tax write Off so I don't think it is fair to charge someone for something you are going to get back in the end. If it is Necesary to charge a fuel charge then I think it should go into the price of the show and NOT seen as a fuel charge.
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Scott O.
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Midwest
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Quote:
On 2005-09-14 23:14, MagicB1S wrote:
I don't know how it is in other states But here in New York Gas Is a Tax write Off so I don't think it is fair to charge someone for something you are going to get back in the end. . .


However, let's say you pay $3 for a gallon of gas. The state is not going to refund all $3 to you. You will only get the the taxable percentage back -- a much smaller number. Plus, there is wear and tear on your vehicle.
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Decomposed
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High Desert
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I have a Nissan 4 cylinder. Bought it when gas was about $1.29. Its packed full but no camparison to those big SUVs. So far, I've held my prices steady.
Mr. Muggle
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My vehicles are SUV's so no matter what it costs a boat load of money to fill them. The shipping industry basically has a corner on the market and that's why they get away with the fuel surcharge. It wasn't a necessity, but a plan for getting more revenue (the old 'we aren't raising rates, blame the rising costs of fuel).

I don't charge a fuel surcharge, but I did raise the cost of my show's a bit to off set increasing costs in transportation and shipping on magic purchases. If you take this approach you won't add to your conversation with your next customer. Why talk fuel and transportation costs when instead you can book and get off the phone?

A small increase shouldn't effect your bookings and wont give you bad publicity when the local magician is 'charging for fuel'.
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asper
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Mr Muggle,

Why do have an SUV? Do you have shows on the top of mountains?
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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The reason for an SUV or a mini-van is quite simple. Some of us have both families and or larger shows and we simply need the space for both family as well as transporting our shows to and from events. My wife and I do festivals and outdoor events every wekeend from mid March to Mid October and the show is such that we needed a bigger vehicle. We bought a Toyota Highlander and that allows us to carry what we need without forcing it into smaller vehicles. It also allows us to expand our show should we decide to do so. If and when we start a family, the SUV will help there as well.

Now when I charge for my shows, I now charge a slightly higher rate over all for my gigs. This is indeed to cover the higher cost of gas. However, I do not call it a gas surcharge nor do I even mention gas to the client. I simply state the features of my show and the direct benefits these features will have for the client. Then I state my price for doing this. In this way, it works out much better then if I stated a price and then started telling them all the add ons I have to add to the initial cost because of various reasons.

Kyle
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chris mcbrien
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As an update to this, I would say that I have raised my fees to cover gas and lodging as needed. I'm lucky I have a gas-efficient car that I've figured out how to fit all my equipment in ( I thank God for my father's ability to pack things into a vehicle like he's playing Tetris!).
I think that while clients understand slightly raised fees because they're aware of the gas hike, the gas prices may cut into their budgets. It's a fine balance...
Chris
magic4u02
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Chris: hehehe I can totally relate to knowing how to pack a car. My father had 4 sons and we all used to fit into a N0VA with all the car and trunk packed for camping and pulling a trailor. Man now that is packing lol.

Infact up till this year, my wife and I got our entire festival and fair magic and illusion show into the back seat and trunk of our Corolla. I seriously used to tease and kid the audience by telling them that the best illusion is to see me get all of this stuff into that car. It got a laugh but man I new every inch of that car.

Any ways, back on topic here.I also have raised my price. I just think the bad approach to it is by stating and telling the client that the price is this but I am raising it to this to cover gas hike. I just find that to be a bit counterproductive.

Kyle
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Steve V
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I charge more if the distance requires it but that is based on time not gas. 50 miles in the bay area is usually a long drive, our traffic is some of the worse in the US. If a show is close I'll consider charging less than my normal rate.

As for UPS etc the fuel surcharge standard with carriers right now is 10%.
Steve V
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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I agree with Steve. I have a map in my office that has areas and circles from my base home in 20 mile increments. This helps me to figure out what my day rate is for an event that will cover my driving and gas cost all in one pricing.

Kyle
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Mr. Muggle
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Quote:
On 2005-09-24 09:20, asper wrote:
Mr Muggle,

Why do have an SUV? Do you have shows on the top of mountains?


The answer has already been posted by Kyle; It hauls my family, gives me more room, and saves me from hauling a trailer. I can easily put all of my show in the back and transport it. I also enjoy the outdoors so the SUV is important for other reasons.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
magic4u02
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Exactly it tends to serve and be s solution to more problems then just the magic side of your life. For my wife and I it is a necessity we simply had to have.

Kyle
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chris mcbrien
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Hey, I think I'm Kyle's long lost brother! I come from a family of 3 boys. I bet we could compare our dad's car packing techniques! Smile
I hope I did'nt imply that I tell people my rates went up with gas prices, I don't. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
Anyway, I feel like we have the best of both worlds. My wife and I have a nice Chrysler minivan and I have a Kia rio (please don't laugh, the little hamster that turns the engine inside gets his feelings hurt easily!). Gotta love that kia, though, great mileage and thanks to my dad I can pack that car with a 3 trip show! (meaning 3 trips to the car...including my chair suspension! I credit Kyle with convincing me to buy one...one of the best buys I ever made...thanks Kyle!).
I've heard that dealers are seeing an unbelievable change, people are starting go to smaller cars because of gas...of course with the exception of the much needed "family vehicle" like many of us have and need. The dealers say the trend of course started way before Katrina, but now it's hit an upsurge. This is all from watching the news reports lately (I'm a PBS BBC news junky).
This whole thing makes me wish I had my own oil rig and mini-refinery in the back yard!
Chris
magic4u02
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Chris: Indeed it is a small world afterall (insert Disney music here). Not only do I have 3 brothers but I also have a mini-van/SUV vehicle. Not only that but my other vehicle is a small Toyota Paseo hehe. No kidden. That car is small but man does it get good gas milage. Besides it is the first car I ever bought myself so I can't get rid of it. Indeed we can share car packing experiences. man I can swear that I can pack a car better then most of them. My dad could pack a car like you would not believe. If he had to make it fit. by god he made it fit. lol

Thanks also for the kid words about the chair suspension. I am glad it has worked out great for you and you have had success with it. I simply never leave home without it. It has been a great addition to my shows and an added benefit to the clients I perform it for.

It is indeed a catch 22 of sorts. With the gas prices rising, you want to go with a smaller car, but if you have a family or a larger style show, you simply must have the SUV or mini-van. So you really do not have much choice. The best I can do is to increase my fees when I have to to cover this gas cost. So far it has worked out ok.

Kyle
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JamesinLA
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I found this topic by doing a search for "mileage." Needed to read about this topic because I just booked a birthday show and was worried because it sounded far away. SO I just made my internet map and--yep--it's 68.8 miles one way to the show. Makes me want to call them and tack on a gas surcharge but after reading this thread, my feeling is that it's too late and the way to handle it would have been before quoting a price.
Three things make me feel better about it: 1) They bought my deluxe show, and 2) I recently increased my price for that show by $30, and 3) it's the only gig that weekend so far so I need the work.
However, I am looking at an hour and 12 minutes EACH WAY.

Jim
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Donald Dunphy
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I have done birthday shows out of town. One was a 4 hour drive each way (no kidding), and I charged them at least $100 extra on top of the deluxe show fee (maybe closer to $150).

I also was tipped $50.

But travelling that far for a birthday doesn't happen too often. Always ask where before quoting a fee. There was a thread a short while ago in the Tricky Business section that discussed mileage fees: How to charge for travel?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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