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  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Only skim read this, but at the end of the day, if you built the code to be reusable, then it probably took you a bit longer to code than it would have done just to put something specific for that one use together - So I'd be telling the client something along the lines of:
    Yes, whilst I am re-using some of the code, I spent extra time initially making it so that it could be re-used, you weren't charged for this extra time, on the basis that I would recover the cost of this time, from future work. So you gain in quicker turnaround times for future projects, and I recover the cost of the extra initial time.
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  2. #27
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    Interesting discussion.

    For some of my longer term clients I do discount slightly but up to a miximum of 10% - it doesn't matter who they are. You will always get the clients who want more and more on their projects but aren't willing to pay for it. There has been a great diversity of opinions so far in this thread, some I agree with and some that I dont.

    My personal opinion is that you give hime a small discount and reitterate what Karl has suggested as this makes sense to me and hopefully should to your client.

    If he still digs his heels in and demands more discount ask him to go and find someone who will do it for the discounted price and see if he comes back to you with anyone - I bet he doesn't and if he does it sounds like he is a client you could probably afford to lose anyway.

    Try not to be browbeaten just because he is a paying client of a few months, there are plenty more out there
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  3. #28
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    If this was a "good" client then an X% discount may be worth the sacrifice however since you say that this is a 'not so good' client then you may want to stick to the price and let the client know that it all ready is a discount rate.

    What if you were to create a 'template' that would be reused mostly 'as is' with only a few cosmetic changes. Then negotiate with your client that you would provide this for him at a discount rate as long as he purchased X amount of sites based on the original 'template'? This way you can limit the amount of work you do as well as provide the service for your client.

  4. #29
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    The licensing idea is a good idea, however raises some concerns. The code was paid for by the client to be developed. So making him pay for a license (or anyone in that matter), that he paid to get developed is a bit weird. If the code was built on your own time then whatever charge him for it.

    So I think that yes, give a discount for re-using his code, however I imagine he is just trying to get it as cheap as possible for this. Give him a discount that you are comfortable with, yet make it so its still worth your time to do.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    You could say to him...I'm going to be honest with you because you're a valuable customer, but I've been offered a very substantial amount of money for exclusive rights to the code (notwithstanding prior usage). I don't want to sell it if I can keep making it work for both you and I, but unless you pay me a fair market rate for its usage, I'm going to have to sell. So, unless you can pay somewhere in the region of xx% of what I'm charging you now, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to do similar work for you in the future.

    Clearly this client is making a good amount of money from what you're doing for him, and I imagine to have someone else start from scratch would be considerably more expensive than what you currently offer him, so put a situation to him whereby his business dictates he must take the offer.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    Very nice sentiment, but his lifestyle has little to do with the value of the code. Like almost all other software, the repurposing of the code has less value than the original development. Perhaps you can beat the forces of a marketplace, but why try? Be competitive, and grow that way. I think that the 'stick to your guns' mentality doesn't really change the value of anything, and the market will prevail.
    Labelling lifestyle choices as sentimental is a conditioned reflex based on the assumption that individuals have little control over their lives.

    Since the process, at its core, has EVERYTHING to do with lifestyle, professionals need to be assertive, in a reasonable and ethical manner, to insure that clients do not exceed parameters that should be established by both parties at the outset of a project. Setting this type of precedent in the early stages of a potential project will quuickly weed out the slave-drivers.

    If the marketplace had its way I can assure you slave labor would be much more common than it already is. So in this sense the market is not quite prevailing. The Marketplace God is far from perfect- a fact yet to be realized by those conditioned to believe this.

    The marketplace is filled with fools and most of them on the receiving end of the buck, due to poor business practices which alienate them from the ability to be prosperous which by extension weakens the marketplace as a whole.

    No amount of mental conditioning by the machine of greed should ever cause an individual to be so removed from the realities of making a living that they are comfortable extinguishing their rights or others to be prosperous.

    The work machines of China with all their rigid and scandalous dehumanizations are just one of the results of a "prevailing" marektplace so let's not get too carried away with worshipping the God of the Marketplace, shall we Sagewing (even though I do appreciate the fact that you argue your points with clarity and professionalism)?

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns
    You could say to him...I'm going to be honest with you because you're a valuable customer, but I've been offered a very substantial amount of money for exclusive rights to the code
    Except, of course, if he hasn't actually received such an offer, he is in fact being the complete opposite, ie, dishonest with the client.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceful cyborg
    It is in the interest of business to negotiate what they pay a professional as close to this subsistence level as possible.
    The problem is you are a vendor, not an employee, businesses are always trying reduce cost to fit into budgets. It happens all the time, no matter how much free work or reduced cost work you do for them, (they have not a perception of the FREE work) they want something for nothing.

    The reality is get paid less than before with this client or maybe loose them.

    Good luck
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  9. #34
    SitePoint Zealot smadeira's Avatar
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    Two thoughts...

    1. As Karl said, you probably spent more time than necessary writing the code the first time to make it re-usable. That cost needs to be recovered along the way. Microsoft doesn't charge $1 billion for the first copy of windows it sells and then $2.00 for each copy after that. They distribute their development costs over a projected number of sales uints. You should do the same.

    2. Look at your opportunity costs. If you have other higher-paying work you need to do then do it and hold firm on your price to this client. If he doesn't like it then he can go away. If you have slack /downtime that otherwise woudn't be generating revenue then you can take his job as a filler at whatever is a reasonable price. If you do this you somehow need to tell the customer that you will do it until better paying (full price) work comes along and then they will get priority.

    I don't think there is an easy answer here and definitely lots of opinions. good luck...
    Scott

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithCash
    The problem is you are a vendor, not an employee, businesses are always trying reduce cost to fit into budgets. It happens all the time, no matter how much free work or reduced cost work you do for them, (they have not a perception of the FREE work) they want something for nothing.

    The reality is get paid less than before with this client or maybe loose them.

    Good luck
    Yes, and by extension the reality would involve determining the client's long-term value which would include evaluations based on how much additional profit could be generated by undertaking or pursuing other projects.

    My gut feeling is to offer a reduction of 20% IF the client is worthwhile and your workload is light. I would state that the price has been lowered 20% due to the client's value to your company, for no other reason- not because you are repurposing code, not because your workload is lighter ONLY because you value his relationship.

    That is, if you actually do. If not, tell him to take a hike, you have other and better relationships to develop.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Enthusiast newdaynewdawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyParadise
    No, but they also don't force you to buy Word everytime you want to write a new letter or book.

    BP
    I think to a large degree the hammer whacked the nail on the head here... while I most of us that use Word or the Office Suite probably don't utilize a 10th of it's power... on the base level once you've got the Suite Microsoft doesn't come back and say okay we've added a couple a new features and we are re-marketing this to you for FULL PRICE.

    Microsoft (whether true or not) is always telling how great, new and improved the next version is. In short, they are coming back at you with new features per se.

    Back on target... so if when you say you do new sites... (without knowing the scope of your project) -if you could say you're adding value to them (not just adding the ability for your client to make more money) then charge away. If on the other hand, you're merely changing a few colors and dropping a few new pictures in and dropping the original code back in then I'd indeed drop the price myself. Again, that's a general comment as I don't wish to simplify any of the work you're doing.

    Based on some of your comments... while nice to have a steady client... you might want to hold this one a little more at arm's length--maybe.

  12. #37
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    I say it depends on how you work:
    - If you work for that client, then whatever work you did for him, you did for him. So if they ask to reuse X part for the new site, well it’s his part that you’re using, so why would he pay for it?

    - On the other hand, if he is your client, and you work for yourself, he pays for the product. So if you sell him 2 copies, well that’s 2x the price.

    Remember, if you cut your prices just because you can reuse the code, then have you ever charged someone for the endless hours used to learn how to do that code? For all the cheap/useless projects you had to do to get the experience necessary to create that code you’re now selling at half price?

    Also, if I wanted to but an exact site that you have made for lets say XXXX$, could I get it from you for next to nothing? (Since all I want is to change the contact us email.)

    And I also say, don’t compare yourself to Microsoft… your 1 guy coding, so no mater how much you can reuse your code; it still takes time to make a site. So you will never end up selling enough sites to make up for the development cost like Microsoft.
    How much did it cost them to make 1 copy of windows? They sell each at 0.0000000001% of the cost; chances are you will never sell enough to be able to give that cut.

  13. #38
    Commander Awesome DevonWright's Avatar
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    My opinion is: do what Sagewing suggests. I completely agree with him.
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  14. #39
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Wouldn't a volume discount be a good option? You have created the application/software, so I understand that it'd be awkward to just give it out for free and it makes no sense in doing so, even if you already have created the application. If you specify it as a commercial peace of sofware, then you could give out licenses, work out a good plan for a single license, multiple licenses etc.

    If a client does not want to purchase another license, then he can't receive your product. That'd be the logical consequence I believe.

    Sorry in case this has been mentioned already. I did not read through the whole thread yet.
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  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyssen
    Except, of course, if he hasn't actually received such an offer, he is in fact being the complete opposite, ie, dishonest with the client.
    I never said he was actually going to be honest with the client...
    "The proper function of man is to live - not to exist."
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns
    You could say to him...I'm going to be honest with you because you're a valuable customer, but I've been offered a very substantial amount of money for exclusive rights to the code (notwithstanding prior usage). I don't want to sell it if I can keep making it work for both you and I, but unless you pay me a fair market rate for its usage, I'm going to have to sell. So, unless you can pay somewhere in the region of xx% of what I'm charging you now, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to do similar work for you in the future.

    Clearly this client is making a good amount of money from what you're doing for him, and I imagine to have someone else start from scratch would be considerably more expensive than what you currently offer him, so put a situation to him whereby his business dictates he must take the offer.
    Do not listen to this crap as it can get you sued. He paid you to write the code for him. Meaning once he paid you and recieved the code, it became his property and not yours. You can't make any money off of the code he paid you for, unless he pays it to you.

  17. #42
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    If he's already paid you to write x% of it and you can just drop it into other projects for him then he is entitled to a discount.

    Why should he pay you multiple times for one piece of work?

  18. #43
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    If at first you charged the full price to develop the software, then that full price was covering the effort in DEVELOPING the software.

    If you can re-use the software, then a full price would be for the convinenece of having it done alrady. You can deliver a prodict in a fraction of the time you did before, and that in itself is worth the full price.

    Don't sell yourself short of what you truly deserve. If you really want to keep this client, then go ahead and offer a discount, but make sue that the discount isn't going to hurt YOUR business.

    This is why sometimes I prefer to work for clients that have no idea what building this stuff entails.
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  19. #44
    SitePoint Member capncrunch's Avatar
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    I think to begin with you need to decide on what you think your future dealing with this client are going to be like. If you feel as though the client will be beneficial in the long term perhaps take a bit of loss and negotiate something now and reap the benefits in the future.

    On the other hand, if you think that this client is going to continue to try and low ball you on cost and simply try to get something for free then perhaps he is not the best client to keep. Decide what will be best for you in the long run.

  20. #45
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    How can it be considered a "loss" exactly? The client already paid for the work and the OP is able to cut & paste it into other projects for that client.

    If I was the client and you continued to re-charge me for the same work when you only had to do that work once I'd sue you for overbilling.

    Charge your usual rate for modifications, charge for cut & pasting, whatever. Don't try and charge for the original work repeatedly.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Evangelist ikeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkecho
    Do not listen to this crap as it can get you sued. He paid you to write the code for him. Meaning once he paid you and recieved the code, it became his property and not yours. You can't make any money off of the code he paid you for, unless he pays it to you.
    Wrong ...
    You don't know what the terms of the contract between two of them were.
    This would only be true if the work he did was contractually "work for hire" (which as a contractor you should strive to avoid since you lose most, if not all of you intellectual property rights on this kind of job).
    If there was no contract, then the code belongs to the OP and no one else.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Evangelist ikeo's Avatar
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    I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned this but here goes ...
    Why don't you do some measurements on the couple of projects you convinced this guy to undertake with you.
    Measure how many hours it takes you to complete the project, call this y hours
    find out what this costs you

    hourly rate x y hours and see how it compares to what you are charging the guy right now

    So let's say it costs you $2000 to do the site for him and you are charging him $10,000, then you are making $8000 on each job for the client
    Pretty impressive right?

    So charging him $5000 isn't that bad after all?
    BUT now you have to try and figure out how many jobs you can expect from this guy a year ...

    If you think about it ... if you were getting work from this guy every week and you charged him $4000 .... you'd be making $2000 x 50 (or so) a year from him!
    $100,000! ... not bad right?

    But if the guy does 5 projects with you in a year, then $5000 might not be such a good deal for you.
    $7500 might be a better price point, no?

    So I guess here is where you now go to your client and say ....
    "Listen ... if you sign this contract saying you will do 50 projects with me this year, then I will price them at $4000 each" and if he goes for it then you've just locked in $100,000 for the whole year (providing you write a really good contract to cover that) ... not bad eh?

    But if he can't promise you anything like that ... tell him you can give it to him at $7500 for the first 6 and then $6000 for the next 6 etc etc

    Just my 2 cents

  23. #48
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceful cyborg
    Labelling lifestyle choices as sentimental is a conditioned reflex based on the assumption that individuals have little control over their lives.

    Since the process, at its core, has EVERYTHING to do with lifestyle, professionals need to be assertive, in a reasonable and ethical manner, to insure that clients do not exceed parameters that should be established by both parties at the outset of a project. Setting this type of precedent in the early stages of a potential project will quuickly weed out the slave-drivers.

    If the marketplace had its way I can assure you slave labor would be much more common than it already is. So in this sense the market is not quite prevailing. The Marketplace God is far from perfect- a fact yet to be realized by those conditioned to believe this.

    The marketplace is filled with fools and most of them on the receiving end of the buck, due to poor business practices which alienate them from the ability to be prosperous which by extension weakens the marketplace as a whole.

    No amount of mental conditioning by the machine of greed should ever cause an individual to be so removed from the realities of making a living that they are comfortable extinguishing their rights or others to be prosperous.

    The work machines of China with all their rigid and scandalous dehumanizations are just one of the results of a "prevailing" marektplace so let's not get too carried away with worshipping the God of the Marketplace, shall we Sagewing (even though I do appreciate the fact that you argue your points with clarity and professionalism)?

    1) Wow!
    2) Huh?

    Your response was a little poetic, philosophical, maybe esoteric for me (machine of greed?), but I still say that if you don't give you clients value (real value as determined by the market) you will eventually suffer for it.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkecho
    Do not listen to this crap as it can get you sued. He paid you to write the code for him. Meaning once he paid you and recieved the code, it became his property and not yours. You can't make any money off of the code he paid you for, unless he pays it to you.
    Thats not true at all, the client paid him for ONE version of the site, not all the code that went along with it. He went above and beyond the call of duty, and I bet 100% that he would have never known he was planning to reuse code unless he was told so.

    I would say you are best off giving a discount of 10-20% off total price, maybe even 25%. For him to find a new designer/coder would be signifcantly more epensive (10-25%) and include many risk, and have an unknown relationship. This means he cannot leave you, and you get to hold onto him making a fair amount of money.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuroraAlpha
    This means he cannot leave you, and you get to hold onto him making a fair amount of money.
    .... extortion is not the answer.

    The client paid for some work, that work belongs to the client and can be re-used in additional projects for the client.

    Anyone suggesting the OP should be re-charging for work he doesn't have to do again because he's already done it and been paid for it is doing nothing short of suggesting thievery.


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