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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The client trying to knock you down on price. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Red Shadow
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I occasionally get callers wanting to hire me, but they try to haggle with me and get me to reduce my fees. The usually come associated with the term 'but were a charity', or 'My child's ill' or something to try and guilt you into lowering your fee.

Even worst, is that they all seem to want you for Christmas parties, which is our main time of the year and there is no way I am offering a lower price at that time, when I know a fully paid gig is usually the call away.

But the question is - do any of you lower your fees if they try to haggle you? and if so by how much? £5, $10, half price? - Does it help the sale and was the gig worth it?

I also get normal birthday party mums trying to lower me, but again I say no. The price I quote is the price I charge. I never budge on a matter of principle. You can't negotiate in a shop or for any other service, why should I let them negotiate with me?

I just got a phone-call from a Charity about 25 miles away, that wanted me for their Christmas party of 75 children on Tuesday December 22nd. I quoted my normal Jan-Nov price, which was already heavily reduced by £30. But still they wanted me to lower it by another £15. I said no and they didn't call back. I did offer one other alternative at the last minute though - that I could do the show at half-price if they allowed me to video the performance. They said no and went back to trying to lower my price yet again.
I'm not worried about losing the client (they still might call back), but what would you have done?

Steve
RJE
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Pricing is a personal thing. You can alter it for whatever reason you decide.

If you didn't wish to lower your prices for this particular client, then I'd say don't. If you decide to lower your price for the next client that calls, then do. Your choice entirely.

If you're in a business though where there is a potential for your clients to communicate with each other, then beware of fluxuations and how you choose price altering.
derrick
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I dug holes for
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If I feel the charity or organization is legit with their request I will usually offer to do a reduced rate show in January or February when my shows traditionally slow down to a trickle. I feel it is unsound financially to reduce my rates between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. As with every rule, they are made to be broken. Every year for the past 6 years I have donated my time and performed at a huge event for approximately 500 to 600 underprivilaged children. The Peabody Hotel, one of the best in my area, opens up their ballroom and serves the children a traditonal turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Local charities donate enough gifts for for every child to get one from Santa. I help MC the event and perform a Chritmas magic show.

Sometimes it isn't about the money and you have to use your best judgement about when that time is. I've been burned a few times but not very often and never more than once.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Lately I have been doing more 30 or 40 minute shows. They are priced below my 1 hour rate.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
scaevola
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If people want me to do a show but can't pay full price and I still want to do the show I will find something else they can do for me in lieu of full payment. I have a client who can't afford the full price so they will be taking photos and video of me and gathering comments for my website.
Ed_Millis
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Quote:
I just got a phone-call from a Charity about 25 miles away, that wanted me for their Christmas party of 75 children on Tuesday December 22nd. I quoted my normal Jan-Nov price, which was already heavily reduced by £30.


Maybe keep your price the same, but offer to discount the 15 pounds - this would leave you 15 ahead of what you would have gotten at your full stated price. Just a thought, with no understanding of your area and pricing.

Ed
drosenbe0813
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I got a phone call from a charity, that was having a fund raising event in a 'hall' with a DJ. They wanted me to donate my show. I said that I would love to do the show as long as the DJ and the hall was donating their time and venue. The woman said that she would check and get back to me....I'm still waiting...
Leslie Melville
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Patrick Page once told me that having quoted a price to a potential client, he felt it was difficult to suddenly agree a reduction, so in order to save face, he would say, "Alright, I'll knock such & such off my normal fee - and leave out the Ventriloquism".

Pat of course never did ventriloquism!

If I am asked to lower my price for a charity, I usually tell them that while I insist on my full fee, I am prepared to offer them a donation! They then have to trust me to do that and rely on me to be generous!

Leslie
Stories....?....That's telling!
Majestic12
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Quote:
On 2009-11-30 15:39, drosenbe0813 wrote:
I got a phone call from a charity, that was having a fund raising event in a 'hall' with a DJ. They wanted me to donate my show. I said that I would love to do the show as long as the DJ and the hall was donating their time and venue. The woman said that she would check and get back to me....I'm still waiting...


Great post. This happens all to often. Why should just the magician donate his/her time for the event?
TonyB2009
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I am getting a lot of people trying to negotiate with me on price. Last summer three schools asked me to perform for close to a third of my usual feel. I told them to get stuffed. A company rang and told me I was a hundred dearer than the guy they used last summer. I pointed out to them that they had not got back to him for this year. They booked me and were happy.

But the last few months I have had to bite the bullet and allow some haggling. I never reduce on a prime day (ie, the weekends leading to Christmas, or weekends in May). However when someone asks me for a discount I suggest that they move their booking to mid-week, and they will get a nice reduction (E20 to E30 at the moment). This has worked brilliantly. I am getting more midweek bookings than ever, and in general getting my full fee at weekends.
Potty the Pirate
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Geez, you only donate your time to those organisations that YOU contact! Entertainers always get something for their trouble, even if it's only a bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne, or another item to list on their resume's.
My philosophy is simple: if I need this client's cash, I will get as much of it as I can. If this client is taking the ****, then I'll politely refuse the gig, and wait for a slightly plumper pussy to make that call.
I want to work hard, and deliver a great show. And I expect to make a good living by doing that.
Potty
keeblem
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Essex, UK
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Quote:
On 2009-11-30 12:07, ku7uk3 wrote:
I did offer one other alternative at the last minute though - that I could do the show at half-price if they allowed me to video the performance. They said no


This really suprised me. I thought they would have jumped at that offer.

I've done my share of free shows in the past. I don't do them very often these days. Frankly I get a bit irritated by people who expect me to donate my time for nothing when they probably wouldn't do the same themselves. I'm becoming a bitter old man!

Mark
Red Shadow
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Surprisingly, fewer people are taking me up on that offer. I have even offered the show for free if it can be videoed, if there is a short time that I can perform the show (like Halloween) and after that, I'd have to wait another year to try and record it again.
I offer it for free in hope that it secures the booking for sure, but the clients are just saying no. Even when they say Yes, 90% of those videos are unusable for a mainstream release. There's nothing wrong with the show, its things like parents talking next to the camera or the client serving food during the show. It ruins the footage. My latest puppet and magic show has been videoed several times, but I still haven't got a decent copy I'm happy to release. I guess that's why most kids show DVDs are done in a school, but I'll never get permission to record in there.

But when they say no, they can pay my full fee. There is no negotiating after that for sure.

Steve
stijnhommes
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Quote:
On 2009-11-30 12:07, ku7uk3 wrote:
I just got a phone-call from a Charity about 25 miles away, that wanted me for their Christmas party of 75 children on Tuesday December 22nd. I quoted my normal Jan-Nov price, which was already heavily reduced by £30. But still they wanted me to lower it by another £15. I said no and they didn't call back. I did offer one other alternative at the last minute though - that I could do the show at half-price if they allowed me to video the performance. They said no and went back to trying to lower my price yet again.
I'm not worried about losing the client (they still might call back), but what would you have done?

Steve
That charity lost a good opportunity. I mean you offered half-price like they asked, you just asked for something in return that didn't even cost them money. If I ran that thing, that would've gotten you hired.
ColinDymond
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Steve, a couple of points. If you never ask for discount in shops or for services, then you are spending more than you need. I ask for discount all the time, if they say yes then I save money, if they say no then I pay the ticket price! It's amazing what you can ask for if it's not a problem if they say no.
I work a couple of days in a friends guitars shop, most prices have some flexability in them.

Why won't you get permission to film in a school? I have a local school that I perform in at least twice a year. They let me "borrow" a class of children for the Axtell video copmpition. I told them how filming worked and that I might need to do multiple takes. The headmaster made sure that all the children had signed release forms. Simple!

Back to the main question. I've done a few shows at less than quoted. I look at the job and think if am I happy to work on that day for that ammount. A good deal is when both sides are happy! I've worked for a new agent this year and have driven further for maybe less money but in a tough year, when the cheque arrives it's all good. I'm not cheap so even with a discount I'm still on a good rate.

Colin
JimbosMagic
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I only seem to get that problem with Asian enquiries. (I am not raceist) but in our area there are a lot of different cultures. I usually say in a nice way, whats your job, I have had 3 or 4 say they own shops. so I have said if I drop my fee by £30, will you bring me £30 of free groceries. they never agree to this.

I do some charity work for a lower fee but always get something else in return like can I have my walk about bear there for free but we will have a stand with all the merchandise on for sale. Last time I did that I dropped my fee by £60 and took over £2oo on merchandice. It all depends on what charity its for as well.
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
IBM Triple Award Winner. Uk Champion of Comedy Magic.
Represented the UK in the United Slapstick Awards on German TV.
European Children's Entertainer of the year 2007/8
Sam Sandler
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I think some of you are missing a point here.

when some one ask you to reduce your rate or they compare you to so and so who will do it for only $200 you sh odul then educate the client. I never bash teh other performer but I willk point out that I bring more to the table explain all the benefits they will get by booking me. many times this solves the problem however if they still insisist that they can not afford me I then offer to remove the travel fee ( obviously if its local enough I do shows all over the country)
so I still get my full fee and the 15-$25 travel fee is not that big of a loss.

the client fees they got a deal and I got paid.

aga int he point I am trying to make is educate the client. if you are full time then explain that to them as a full time performer you bring more experience then others etc.

good luck and have fun

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
jiayi
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Something I learned in sales: if the customer is haggling the price, don't just reduce your rate, offer something extra (free giveaway, stay a little longer, balloons, etc) and keep adding value to your offer. Most of the time, these are people who have a psychological need of getting a "good deal". I also think it is a really bad idea to ask to videotape the show for half price. People are paranoid these days, they don't necessarily think they are getting a good deal.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Added extra is a great thing. (Can you say value!)

Taking away mileage is something I also do.(up to a point..trips that take 1 hour or more, I do usually add a mileage/travel time fee)

Tis the season...

ho, ho, ho, ....

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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I was booked for a close up gig at a chinese resteraunt. I asked for £250 he said "how about £230 and I'll feed you". I said "done". He gave me a voucher for £40, I went there to eat this weekend and he has booked me for next chinese new year, same deal! Every one a winner!
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