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MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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The circumstances are that I live in a small town of 4,500 population and am about 35 miles away from a city of about 60,000. It obviously costs me more in travel expenses [my own motor vehicle running costs - everything: gas, repairs, vehicle registration, insurance etc] [I'm not thinking about pricing the time spent travelling to and from the venue at this stage] to go the 3/4 hour drive to that city and then return, so it seems that I should charge more for the Show for that trip over to the city. That means my shows will be cheaper for people who live close to my town. It seems fair that the further I have to travel, the more I should charge for travel to the event.

I think many magicians don't have such expensive vehicle running costs because they live in a big city already.
So, I guess most magicians average out vehicle running costs across all their local clients and have just one cost per type of show.
When it comes to distant shows, [how far is distant??] I think most magicians certainly would charge for the extra time and cost to get to that venue and back.

Any ideas on pricing in such circumstances will be appreciated.
The presentation makes the magic.
Dannydoyle
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First of all your time is worth money. IF you have to tie up an hour and a half in only travel time, that is time you can not spend doing shows and making money. That time also needs to be compensated for.

Of course you have to make back your expences and it is cheaper for you to do a show next door than it is to do one 50 kilomiters away.

First of all be serious about getting a vehicle that makes good mileage.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Skip Way
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Danny's on target, as usual. Lost time is lost income.

I live in a capital city with a population of 300,000, in a county of 900,000 and I'm 35 minutes from another city with a population of 250,000. I've priced my appearances to a level that I'm comfortable with including travel time anywhere within my home county. Everyone within my county pays the same fee regardless of being down the street or 45 minutes out to the far edge of the county.

Outside of my county, I charge $25 per round trip hour or any portion of an hour as a travel fee. I set this fee based on the MapQuest travel estimates. For shows that require an overnight stay, I add an extra flat rate of $200 per day to cover meals, hotel and my time. I do not quote any of this as an "added" fee - I simply state my fee in whole for their particular appearance. It has never been an issue.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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dearwiseone
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Regardless of what you charge, just make sure you charge something! Skip and Danny are right, your time should be worth money. If you don't charge plenty for your time, your clients will think it's worth nothing.

Some magicians charge the IRS allotment for mileage (around $.48/mile, I believe) some charge by the hour. I personally have a map with circles drawn on it. I've divided my corner of the U.S. into sections and figured what I want to charge. I've also got it listed by zip code. So, when someone in Seattle calls, for example, I get their zip code, and give them a quote with the travel already built into it.

If a show is on a weekend, and is outside my normal travel radius, I have to charge much, much more in travel because the delay of traveling to and from the show keeps me from being able to do the maximum number of shows in the time I have.

Bottom Line: Charge for your time, and make sure it's worth it. Take into account gas, time, wear and tear on the car, food, lodging, inconvenience, risk to you, insurance, missed opportunities for other shows, etc. If you accounted for all of that, you'd probably have to charge $100/hour or much more. Travel fees can just help you recoup some of that, if not all of it!

Best Wishes!
Kevin
MagiCol
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Thanks for advice so far. I'm listening!
Kevin, your idea of a zoned map sounds great. I did initially work to and idea like that, but then figured that charging by more precise distance was better. But that takes time to figure out exact distance, whereas a zoned map has the distances figured out already as blocks of travel.
The presentation makes the magic.
Mindpro
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I've always felt it's not whether you charge extra for travel, but how you charge extra for travel that is important. Perception is everything and to some customers it will be off-putting or maybe even a deal breaker if you quote a price and then say, "plus an additional travel charge of..." and then have to justify it to them. Some people at that point would rather keep searching for an entertainer closer to their area without the "additional expense". Remember to many customers we as entertainers are interchangeable and "all the same", so it's easier (and cheaper) to find someone locally. (now I don't bring this up to get into a derailed discussion about establishing your value or the benefits to hiring you over others, but rather to exercise my point).

I have found it to always be better to simply include the additional charges directly in my price and quote. This way it doesn't appear they are being charged "extra" just because they live in a certain area, and only you know the difference, while still getting the expenses you feel justified.

This is really quite easy to do if you simply ask first thing in your contact or conversation with them when you're asking about the date of the event, to also ask where the event will be taking place, and just know and quote your price accordingly.

Don't over-complicate things and don't create a potential negative in the buyer's mind, and all works out well.
Bapu
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MagiCol, don't forget that it is not only a matter of what you get, but what you get to keep. The IRS will tax that extra bit of travel income. Decrease the amount they get to tax by keeping meticulous records of your deductible travel expenses.
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
magicofCurtis
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Mindpro said it best...


Always quote the traveling fee within the price! Smile
Scott Burton
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Yup...agreed.

If the local guy down the street is charging $3000 and the guy that must be flown in charges $3000 including flight and everything, who cares if one guy makes $1000 more in pure profit while the other has $1000 in expenses included. In the end, just quote what it takes to have you at their event and the client can decide if you are the best option for them. No sense getting into the details. Just name your price.

This being said, I have had some clients who have budget challenges and wanted to know how to bring down the rate so that they can book me. At this point, I have made considerations for things such as complimentary hotel rooms being provided to me or volunteers driving me around instead of taxi or car rentals (or others things that reduce my expenses with the savings being passed onto them). Only in this circumstance do I enter into some of the details. Really, I am very conservative with my expenses and always consider what is reasonable for my clients to spend to have me.
Skip Way
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I tried the zoned map and, for me personally, it was just more trouble than necessary. For one thing, a location may be within my no-charge circle, yet it may take me over an hour to get there due to traffic conditions, access roads, time-of-day, municipal speed limits and so on. (For example, I always block off the NC State-UNC football game on my calendar so I can TOTALLY avoid Chapel Hill or the NC State arena area on this day - traffic is backed up for miles in all directions. So, I have to travel in a HUGE back road arc to bypass it all.)

I find it far simpler to call up the directions on Mapquest, check their estimated travel time, add ten minutes for each hour of travel (roundtrip) and base my travel fee on that. It's generally pretty accurate and I don't have to bother searching for a particular street on a wall map.

There's nothing wrong with the zoned map idea whatsoever - I simply prefer simpler methods.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Dannydoyle
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Right where the rubber meets the road, people want to know what it will cost. Don't justify your costs to people. (many get spooked at telling someone a high price and want to show WHY it is so high.) Your price is what it is.

Now on YOUR end you need to know what the costs involved with doing the show are. These INCLUDE but not exclusive to, travel, advertising, time spent "down" in travel, office overhead and time it takes to actually book the show. This is how a good business runs. I mean if you spend time to book one show, then you spend an hour there and an hour back, and you have costs involved in actually DOING the show this is a pretty high price right there.

Don't be afraid to be compensated for your time.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hilly
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Let's complicate this a little more. I asked 2 accountants this and got 1 yes and 1 no for answers:

If you list a mileage fee in any of your materials, and charge that fee (by the mile), does that negate taking the deduction on your income taxes? (United States)

One guy said it does because the deduction is for non-reimbursed expenses and if you charge for it you have been reimbursed. One guy said it doesn’t because your company made the charge and you used your personal vehicle (providing that’s the way you have things set up.)

A call to the IRS got me both answers, by the same person on the same call, and resulted in the suggestion that I hire an accountant/tax man. I bought some Tylenol.

Anybody else wrestle with this one?

Beano
Mindpro
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It shouldn't matter as you can write off travel expenses regardless of how it's set up. The other point is at no point should you post travel expense on your promo or web site as it negates the entire point we've made my stating to include it in your pricing. Most here are agreeing not to attract attention to this issue as it creates a negative, and you want to publicize it in print.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2010-11-17 15:54, Beano wrote:
Let's complicate this a little more.


Why? Really why do magicians insist on doing this? It helps nobody to complicate things more. Do you want to do it as an intellectual exersise? Because in life there is NO reason to complicate things on purpose.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hilly
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Sorry Mindpro and Danny, I forgot to put in there that it was about 12 years ago. I stopped doing that for the reasons you said and the tax confusion. Since then I use a zone map like Kevin mentioned. It's based on time & mileage, sort of.

I was mostly wondering if others had the same experience or concerns.

I don't show the map, nor mention it, to clients. It's for internal combustion only.

Beano
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2010-11-17 12:52, Skip Way wrote:
I tried the zoned map and, for me personally, it was just more trouble than necessary. For one thing, a location may be within my no-charge circle, yet it may take me over an hour to get there due to traffic conditions, access roads, time-of-day, municipal speed limits and so on. (For example, I always block off the NC State-UNC football game on my calendar so I can TOTALLY avoid Chapel Hill or the NC State arena area on this day - traffic is backed up for miles in all directions. So, I have to travel in a HUGE back road arc to bypass it all.)

I find it far simpler to call up the directions on Mapquest, check their estimated travel time, add ten minutes for each hour of travel (roundtrip) and base my travel fee on that. It's generally pretty accurate and I don't have to bother searching for a particular street on a wall map.

There's nothing wrong with the zoned map idea whatsoever - I simply prefer simpler methods.


Do not forget Durham and the Duke Univ market. I would love to live up there and market to the Dukies.

Decomp
Skip Way
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Washington-Duke Inn and Duke Hospital are two of my top clients, Decomp - but never ever on a game day! Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Rocketeer
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Here's an idea for shows within driving distance. Use Google Maps or other favorite map site to determine the best route to the gig. Make, say, the first 20 or 25 miles free (More or less. YMMV). (In other words no travel expenses for any client in a 20 to 25 mile radius.) Over your free radius charge $1.00 a mile (remember it's a round trip.) This sounds reasonable to me and I think it would to clients too.
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David Thiel
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I always put travel fees and show fees (and compensation for the TIME I will need to spend in travel) into the package price and tell the client it's "All In" -- except the Government Sanctioned Theft (the Canadian GST). The ONLY component I leave up to the client is whether or not they are supplying accommodations or not.

I think clients, corporate as well as personal, like simple pricing.

David
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Jerskin
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I agree.Flat fee (with travel figured in) the client doesn't need to hear your travel problems.
GrEg oTtO

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