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Ginny Schmidt

4 Years Ago

What Would You Charge?

I should really figure out this stuff and not go crazy on a case by case basis trying to decide how much to charge somebody.

Here's the thing: An elderly lady friend of mine is a music teacher (several of her students have gone on to Juliard). Her current crop of budding pianists are having a recital this Saturday afternoon, and she asked me last week if I could design a program to fit on a half sheet of card stock (finished size is 8/5" x 5.5"). I asked her to email me the text for it and whipped up something simple but elegant and emailed her back a PDF - which she forwarded to a Kinko's for printing. She called me today after she picked up the job and said she just loves it. I am going to see her Monday, and she wants to give me a check.

I don't know what to tell her - she is in her eighties and still working - and she did have to pay Kinko's to print the thing. I enjoyed doing it and am half tempted to say it's on the house, but money is tight lately and any little extra would help - plus if more people start asking me to do little projects like this for them, I wouldn't want everyone to think I work for free. It wasn't difficult but I did put the ingredients together.

So I thought I would toss the question out to the FAA community for advice. Is $20 too much to ask ... is $10 too little? I have no idea.

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Gunter Nezhoda

4 Years Ago

In this case and considering her age and the good cause, I would tell her to give what she can, is comfortable with or what it is worth to her. I did that a few times and always got more than expected.

Q - the collection


Heather Applegate

4 Years Ago

For this case, I'd do it for free... as you said, you just whipped it out. It wasn't an image from your portfolio. If anyone else asks for your services from it, charge them.
You can always use it in a sort of portfolio and put an ad on craigslist for your services.


Deborah Verhoeven

4 Years Ago

You could just tell her it was free, and if she gets proud and insists on paying, just tell her whatever she can afford.


Andee Design

4 Years Ago

What ever you do and you do, not want to do them for free, figure our what you want the

next time or for anyone else so you can tell her if anyone else asks you this is what I charge.


Seriously? If you give it for free, she will not be so willing to ask again. Strange but true, if she is honourable, which she sounds.

She expects you to charge as she knows yours is a business AND, if she pays you, she will feel open to ask again in the future

So, I would ask a nominal payment. Tell her it is a hefty discount from what you would normally charge, obviously.

Then ask for $15 unless she had an amount in mind


Michael Henzel

4 Years Ago

tell her it took you about an hour and that you charge $20 an hour and that the first hour is free and wait to see how long it takes her to figure it out.


Roy Erickson

4 Years Ago

I think $15 - right in the middle is not a bad figure.


Janine Riley

4 Years Ago

I think $15 is certainly more than a fair price for the lovely job you did.

& I like Michael Henzel's idea - for a dear friend of course. Maybe she'll take you out to lunch : ) - & you'll both have a lovely time.


Bradford Martin

4 Years Ago

She wants to pay you. Let her pay you. 15 sounds fair enough. $20 is not too much. And that's Florida prices, which are low.


Rich Franco

4 Years Ago


Here's the thing, if you enjoyed doing it and the potential is out there for you to do more, then I would give her the work and let her know, that you hope she appreciates the work you did and tell others, that you're available for this type of work in the future. Of course, any work in the future should be relative to the value of your design and $10 or $20 dollars is way too cheap. Besides, you may be competing with "real designers" who have a business and overhead and this pricing doesn't help that community of fellow artists. If you get an opportunity in the future to do more of this, then try and talk to other designers and keep your pricing realtive to your ability and everyone will be happy,



Mary Armstrong

4 Years Ago

Maybe since it all went so well, was easy as you said, and the first piece you have done for her, say that your charge for a small piece like hers is usually around $20-$25 and the first project is @ a discount of $5 off. So either makes it $15 or $20, whichever you choose which is still very, very reasonable in today's age. Easy to understand, people love discounts and hopefully she will, too, and give you more work or recommend you. If she wants to pay you the full billed amount, then fine. No matter what always do a billing so you have it for your records.


Roy Erickson

4 Years Ago

Have them put your name on the back as the designer - advertising. that's your price. costs nothing and is worth more. And maybe a free ticket to the recital


Tony Reddington

4 Years Ago

A few things here
1 she is a friend
2 she has students
3she has a business
4 you did work
5 elderly does not really factor into the equation

what does she charge students for the lessons? If she gives lessons for free then consider free or nominal
If she is expensive or at the normal rate for music teachers , then the going rate and add a discount for her being a friend if you want
also maybe as roy says your credit on the back .

If you do it cheap or free and someone likes it and asks her what it cost , as they want something similar, where are you then? working for free or at a low price!


Ginny Schmidt

4 Years Ago

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I have another couple days to decide what to tell her. I am not really in the business so to speak, and the idea of keeping records of financial transactions sounds like getting too official. Somebody suggested telling her my time is worth twenty dollars an hour and that sounds good to me. I did not keep track of the time I spent on it, but it shouldn't have taken much more than an hour to do, all together, so I think I will just go with the twenty. Maybe half off for her having to print it at Kinko's. Another lady up the street from me (also mid-eighties) has asked me to do a couple little things for her and she wanted to pay me; I could not ask her for money but I let her take me to dinner. Guess I'm a softie for the old ladies - i'm getting there myself soon, after all.


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