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  1. #1
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Pricing Differences with local customers versus web customers

    I assume that many of you have customers that fit into one of these two categories:
    1. Local customers in your area
    2. Web based customers that met you through your website or sitepoint or similar

    I am curious to know if your pricing tends to be the same or different for these two categories.

  2. #2
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    The same. I don't care where they are - I'll quote them on a combination of the time I'm likey to invest and the perceived value of their proposed Web site.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I have barely any remote customers, but I wouldn't dare charging them differently. What if they move locally? Also, people always somehow know each other.

    HTH, Jochen
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  4. #4
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Exactly the same rates for both. I can't think of a legitimate reason for there being any difference between the two. I think it would be risky for us as we tend to ask our clients for referrals and you can bet your life it doesn't take long before they know what each other paid.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member smkbrown's Avatar
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    Same for both local and web-based.
    Shannon Brown
    Brown Web Project Management
    Bringing the art of project management
    to web design and development

  6. #6
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobyme View Post
    I think it would be risky for us as we tend to ask our clients for referrals and you can bet your life it doesn't take long before they know what each other paid.
    There's many reasons for prices to differ between clients - special deals, special circumstances, non-comparable services, general increase in fees since that particular job, etc etc. The fact that some people get a better deal at a certain point in time is just life and clients have to deal with that. If it's a major problem, they'll bring it up and you can deal with it as you see fit.

    As for charging local and web based clients different prices, I can think of a big reason - local clients will usually expect face-to-face meetings, so if you are charging fixed fees, you'll need to take that into account when working out that project cost. I also find it easier to deal with people 'remotely', it's less hassle, no need to suit up, no travelling etc. All these things cost money, so if someone wants to add a bit more to their fees when giving the 'premium' treatment I feel it's fine (within reason).

    In addition, changing your pricing to suit the market in question is just about the most common pricing strategy known to man. If your local competition charge 50 an hour, then you'll most likely also charge this rate. If someone from another country contacts you where their local charge is around 30 per hour, and you want the work, then it's really up to you if you want to drop your fees to accommodate the different standard of living that person is used to. In the end, it's all about being flexible and doing whatever you feel comfortable doing to reach your goals.

  7. #7
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Every Company has it's own way of working; everything we do is costed against a carefully worked out hourly rate which includes a figure for Sales and Marketing. Every contract has four hours consultative time included; anything more than this is charged at the standard rate regardless of whether it's face to face, instant messenger or email; as is any traveling time plus expenses. We never under any circumstances discount and would prefer to lose the work; I admit this does happen occasionally but so rarely that I don't lose any sleep over it. I am constantly amazed at the amount of companies that go "belly up" with work on the books which is worthless because they have discounted so heavily to get the work in the first place.
    There are three kinds of men:
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    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    If I was hiring a webdesigner myself I'd expect to pay a local designer more than a designer I got on the web, for some of the reasons that shadowbox outlines.

    Would it not benefit a designer to do some lower cost work for clients they get on forums like SP, during their quiet times?

    I know it's a simplistic example, but say you charge $750 to your local clients for a standard website design it could damage your local reputation and put pressure on you to keep future prices lower, if you reduced your rate to $500 when you are having a quiet month. But if your having a quiet month locally, why not get some lower paid online work, that will have the additional bonus of boosting your portfolio?
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    I bill local and remote clients the same (well, for an identical project that is). Both situations require unique project management issues that need to be addressed. Local clients require meetings and on location stuff that can eat into your time, while remote clients need a more comprehensive communication and can often require special billing solutions (international payments).

    From the client perspective I would expect remote service providers to cost less than local talent (that is the mentality). But with the low dollar value this is not always true.
    "You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around...
    Or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters."
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  10. #10
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    As for charging local and web based clients different prices, I can think of a big reason - local clients will usually expect face-to-face meetings, so if you are charging fixed fees, you'll need to take that into account when working out that project cost. I also find it easier to deal with people 'remotely', it's less hassle, no need to suit up, no travelling etc. All these things cost money, so if someone wants to add a bit more to their fees when giving the 'premium' treatment I feel it's fine (within reason).
    Yep, I am about to have my third meeting with a local client next week. Even worse, I may have to fly to a nearby city for another client (fly in the morning and return that night).


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