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Pricing woes!

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Aegroeg, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    I made this thread to see if anyone used to have issues similar to mine when naming or their price. Or to see if any of you newbies still do?

    I find myself getting messages requesting me to make music for anything from a small free downloadable game, to potentially mainstream facebook games. I've never been approached by a company, just indie developers.

    However, the main problem I have is almost every first message consists of: Please name your price.

    To which I'm pretty much staring at the screen for an hour before I eventually type: Whatever you want to pay is fine!! Derp.

    [​IMG]

    ( I know, right? )

    The first payment I ever got was for £200. VERY lucky for a first time transaction. Especially when you consider that I wasn't very good back then. So, the next time someone approached me for something similar, I asked for £200. I was then ignored or dropped instantly by anyone who I proposed this number to! bwhaha

    Even after I have hashed out the details of how many levels I'm writing for, and how many hours it will take, I still don't know what is cheeky to ask for and what is a downright rip off on my end.

    Thats my story. Anyone else had this issue? I'm assuming many of you know your shit and haven't been stuck in this kind of situation in a while...
     
  2. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    My brother does photography and had a similar problem trying to figure out how much to sell his photos for. My advice is to find some sites that sell this type of music and try find an average price between them. I don't have much experience in this field so sorry I can't be more specific.
    Another option if you are getting lots of these requests is to keep lowering your price per client until you find a foolproof average you can charge... Just my two cents :)
     
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  3. KELLOGGS

    KELLOGGS Supreme Member

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    I have the exact same problem. Every so often, I do Photography for events and sometimes when I know that different things will be required it's hard to make a quote and I always finding quoting a price for custom built websites.

    I feel your pain!
     
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  4. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    Thank God it happens to others, too. I see so many services being offered on this site and because most people are so established they have a set price and are confident. But for me I can sometimes find the perfect song in 30 minutes and hash up a sample that the client loves. Other times its not so simple. Hours or days can be spent on one sample. So its hard to find a middle ground. Especially since its actually really enjoyable for me.

    In 2011-12 I gave away most things for free via Youtube. I Gave away tracks and custom made Youtube partner theme music, tutorial background music, flash game music, etc. But I feel like its time to start running more like a business.
     
  5. WPRipper

    WPRipper Supreme Member

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    I have only one thing to say. If you are are GOOD dont sell urself cheap.
     
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  6. KELLOGGS

    KELLOGGS Supreme Member

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    Like RedDeezer said, if you have the quality then go for it! Take an average of the projects you've been paid for so far and add 10% to that. Then no matter how easy the project works out to be, you know that you're getting a fair deal.
     
  7. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    This stemmed from today's offer. I got an emailed titled: Price/fee Quote to produce game music. My heart sank. It basically read: I'd like to consult with you about some level ideas and hear your thoughts on a project I would like you to work on. Please respond.

    My reply:


    What kind if game are you developing? Id love to be a part of the project regardless, as game music is the reason I got into production in the first place!


    If you give me an idea of levels, length, etc, I can send you a few samples.


    As for pricing im not sure what to say at the moment, as I'm not sure what the project entails so far but im sure whatever your budgeting for would be just fine with me.


    Thanks,


    Thats pretty much the message I send out most times as I have no idea what else to say!
     
  8. KELLOGGS

    KELLOGGS Supreme Member

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    Do they usually mess you around regarding the price or are your clients quick to state their budget and stick to it?
     
  9. RedStain

    RedStain Regular Member

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    Im not sure I can help you on giving a quote because everything ive sold in IM has been pretty straight forward in that I always had competitors to look at and gauge my current pricing but I do know that if you include the last line saying that their budget would probably be fine with you, clients WILL take advantage of that and try to low ball you. I know you're trying to be nice and all but being nice and being a pushover are two completely different things and you need to be a shark in the business world to survive. Sadly many people take advantage of soft spots such as the one you seem to have by that statement. Even if you still have a price minimum that statement could be received as an opportunity to give you less for your work then what you are worth and when you give them a minimum after they have told you their budget you could potentially lose an otherwise high paying client.
     
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  10. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    Another member of this forum has said something very similar to me, and it's absolutely true.

    I often have a problem getting people to just name a budget in the first place. So many times, if my " Whatever you want to pay " proposal doesn't work, I'll just say: £200. ( Good strategy, eh? )

    Some people say "£200?!? I was thinking more along the lines of £20. I'll get back to you." ( they never do ) ... Others say " Just £200? WOW Ok! " to which I think " F*ck F*ck F*Ck I could have gotten far more.

    Maybe I've just been approached by a few too many people wanting something for nothing, and my replies are so nicey nicey, that they get it at a low price. But as I was previously so happy that anyone was taking any interest, I really didn't mind what I was giving the work away for. Recognition alone was wonderful, money was a bonus. And any money at that!

    I suppose I could say something like. £20 per game level? And then possibly a share of profits. Keep in mind some games have 30+ zones / levels so I could potentially earn £600. But is that still too low. Hmmm. Decisions decisions.

    Thank you very much for your input.
     
  11. mrsix

    mrsix Power Member

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    How much is my time worth to me?
    How much training / expertise do I have on the subject?
    Would I make a better average hourly wage working in fast food?

    I quote with those 3 questions in mind. Charging too little effects your self esteem and the quality of work. Charge what YOU think you're worth and remember not everyone will agree with you on that point.

    You don't want the cheap asses either. I immediately back out if the lead low balls like you've said "200?! no, how about 20?"
     
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  12. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    Thanks everyone, great advice and also nice to know others find this a bit difficult too.
     
  13. Repulsor

    Repulsor Power Member

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    lol. That is me when discussing prices for dev/scripts :D
     
  14. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    Not sure if I can help too much as its not my area of expertise..however I do pitch for projects daily so understand the "oh thanks...We'll be in touch"

    First of all you have to work out how much time you are willing to expend and how good will this particular gig look on your C.V....Obviously as a freelancer musician you are building a portfolio which is your shop window for future work.

    There may be some projects that would be in your interests to take on at a very low price because you know the game company has credibility, and having a credit on a game that may be an underground hit will add value to your brand.

    Sometimes it can only take a few minutes homework to work out if this company has any budget and what sort of money they have spent in the past.

    Your current reply/pitch is too open ended and ultimately insinuates that you will work for free and aww shucks if you were willing to pay that'd be good.

    Its not a good thing to come back straight away with a price or an hourly rate as that can close a door straight away. However you could keep the door open and insinuate that you are a professional that expects payment by replying that you have some contracts to fulfill at present but you always leave room for boutique/bespoke freelance work and would be interested in hearing more about the project.

    Ie: Make them pitch you.....not the other way around, I have paying work on the table but I am interested in hearing more

    Best of luck
     
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  15. Aegroeg

    Aegroeg Regular Member

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    Excellent advice! Because I want to work on everything that comes my way ( Building a port folio as you said ) I definitely give a vibe that I'll do the project for whatever peanuts are thrown my way.

    I've found that the people who pay less, always ask for more. I made a full soundtrack for a DOS style game last year. The guy is still emailing me every other week for a power up sound, or another game over theme, etc etc. He even asked if I could find him some game FX - which are widely available on line. For free! I think I have spent more hours on that project than anything else!

    Again thank you. That's some really good advice which I'll be following. If this guy replies, I'll be trying to get more information out of him regarding the project and what it involves. And see if I can get a price range from him also. " Gain the upperhand " sort of thing.
     
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  16. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hehe, that kind of people...they are everywhere
     
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  17. Sunday Lunch

    Sunday Lunch Junior Member

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    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would like to work on this project and can think of several XXXXXX (insert whatever it is you produce here) that would greatly enhance your project. I have worked with big studios to small independent publishers (or royal weddings/Vegas chapels etc) and each job requires a different level of time commitment as well as specializations that may require me to employ the use of other members of my team.

    Can you give me an idea of the budget that you have for this project and also your required turn around time so that I may come back to you with a concrete acceptance within 24 hours.

    Warm regards,

    X

    Never put out a number first because you never know what someone is willing to pay.
     
  18. sam0016

    sam0016 Registered Member

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    I used to have this problem when doing freelance programming, I just set my self a hourly price and worked out how long it would take and added a little bit of time on top so I never ended up working more hours than I planned. As long as you keep what you charge per hour reasonable it should work out ok. It can be hard thinking about how long it will take sometimes but with more experience it gets easier.