What would you do if anything? Priceing?

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #147739
    OK I am registered on a web site that in the past has served me adequately. It 
    has been one of the main staples of my harp business not the sole source and I 
    do not depend solely on harp for my living. There is now someone on this site 
    that gets every gig because she is charging $195 for a wedding when the going 
    rate for the average indoor wedding is about $250 in my area. I have not raised 
    my prices since I started gigging. 
    This harpist is a very qualified person but then so am I? This web site double 
    dips and charge both musician and clients most harpist pay the clients fee also. 
    That would reduce the average gig to about $175. I surmise her plan is to run 
    every other harpist in the greater Cincinnati area off this site so she has all 
    the business and will then raise her prices back to what is fair. When you ask 
    Google this web site is the first listed for harpist in my area. What are your 
    thoughts? How should I compete? As I do not depend on harp for a living  I  
    could give her a hell of a run for her money by practically giving my service 
    away or do I stick do my prices. I hate people who do not play fair there should 
    be enough business to go around in my area without all this nonsense. 
    Thanks,
    Sabra
    Participant
    Elizabeth L on #147740

    Put in your ad that you offer a free consultation.

    Participant
    J P on #147741

    The silver lining…be thankful she’s only doing it for $195 and not $75!

    Brides etc have always price shopped and unfortunately due to the economy they seem to be driven even more by the bottom line. The problem with hiring simply by dollar signs is the average joe usually can’t tell the difference between a so-so harpist and a great one. When customers contact me regarding my services I always am sure to list my qualifications etc and encourage them to compare my prices to other harpist with the SAME qualifications. apples to apples not apples to oranges.

    I find that if I can get the client to agree to meet me asap then I have a better chance of having them sign a contract then and there. You really have to be your best salesperson there’s no other way around it. You could give a laundry list of things as to why your price is what it is but at the end of the day sometimes when I just don’t care my response to “your fee is higher by $50” I simply reply…Good work isn’t cheap and cheap work isn’t good.

    I wouldn’t flex on your prices, stand firm because what happens when word gets around that susie trillalot will do a wedding for $150…do you really want to be know as the “blue light special” harpist? A cheap reputation is hard to shake. Keep your chin up, sell yourself and your qualities that make you stand apart and people will come around.

    JP

    Participant
    laura-smithburg-byrne on #147742

    Sabra,
    You need to look on this forum at the thread “Improper Behavior of a Harpist” regarding predatory pricing and undercutting established rates of other professional harpists.
    Although we all have to make decisions regarding rates for gigs in this economy, I believe you should stand your ground as to what you will charge for your work and hold to that line.
    If your rate is fair and other professional harpists are charging the same then refuse to refer work to them and be manipulated by their “low-ball” tactics.
    To do otherwise is insulting to every professional harpist in your community who does depend on gigs for their living!

    Participant
    Participant
    erin-wood on #147744

    Have you tried talking to her? In all of the communities I have lived in, I have made an effort to get to know other harpists and have a friendly relationship and we usually talk about pricing to be sure we don’t undercut each other. I actually just raised my rates a bit because I found out another harpist was charging a bit more and I want to keep things the same.

    Participant
    David Ice on #147745

    Sabra,

    Participant
    kirsten-osborne on #147746

    I have experienced some of this behavior in my area- and I believe I use the same website. While I found it frustrating at first, here is my justification to keep my prices higher. This harpist can only play 1, maybe 2 weddings in one day. She may book the first client that comes her way, but won’t be available for ALL of those gigs. In a city like Cincinnati there must be lots of weddings every weekend.
    My reason is that I find many people really believe they get what they pay for. If your prices are a little higher, you respond to e-mails and phone calls quickly, offer a free consultation, and exude an overall air of professionalism, your clients may be happy to pay the extra amount to have you over the other harpist. The longer I play for weddings, the more I realize that people hire harpists (and other musicians for that matter) based on their professionalism and not based on their actual talent. That means, bump up your website, provide lots of audio samples, pictures, and client reviews, and don’t worry about other harpists undercutting.
    Hope that helps!

    Member
    Ann on #147747

    As my husband likes to say, and as you might be able to say to potential clients, It’s sometimes true that you don’t get what you pay for, but it’s always true that you don’t get what you don’t pay for!

    Or you can use the comment I used with a client the other day in my non-music job: It is always my focus as a professional to save you more in money, time and grief than you pay me in fees.

    Keep your fee where it is. Let the other person get burned out from being underpaid, or as David says, let her sweep up the bargain hunters and leave the discerning clients for you.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #147748

    You might lower your fee, but add some back-end charges, like for consultations, requests, additional hours. That’s the kind of thing businesses do. Or you have to add advertising, like, you can beat our prices, but we never miss a beat.
    If you match (her) price, she will learn the cost of undercutting.

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