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Is pricing for talent level undercutting?

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Is pricing for talent level undercutting?

Post by Party Picassos on Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:03 pm

Over the past year, I have upon occasion gotten frustrated when I saw other fp on Thumbtack charging $45 or $65 an hour for their services. I thought, "How can I compete with those rates?" I charge on average $100 ph. Been face painting for over twenty years.

Then I looked at these artists' work. It was easy to tell which had just started painting and those who had years of experience. So I thought that they should charge less. They can raise their rates as their talent and speed improve.

It's easy for many of us to say they are "undercutting" the competition, but are they? Should beginners have the same rates as those with experience or should their rates reflect their ability?

I am comfortable with my rate. For those who have restricted budgets, I am happy to give them ideas to work for them, but it doesn't always include me. I understand not being able to afford many things for my children.

The reason I brought up this topic is because my teenage son has balloon twisting with me for over three years. I charge less for him, because he is a kid. Although he does great work for someone his age; he cannot compete with an experienced adult twister.

When a client hires both a face painter and twister, I charge only $50 an hour for him. He has not booked many parties by himself, but I am getting requests for him as a solo act. I make sure that it's close to home (because my husband drives him, he's not driving age yet) and charge $60-65 ph for him.

I feel uncomfortable to charge $75 or more for him because of his age and experience. His designs are nice but not complicated. So am I "undercutting" the competition? He doesn't have his own website or business cards, his services are on mine. Don't think he's worked more than 5 solo gigs this past year.

So your opinions, please. Trying to do the right thing for my clients and the other balloon artists. I will gladly charge $100 ph for his services, when his talents warrant that fee.

Thanks!


Last edited by Party Picassos on Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : grammar)
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Party Picassos

Number of posts : 153
Age : 56
Location : Chicago, IL
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Re: Is pricing for talent level undercutting?

Post by anniel on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:42 pm

He has to pay his driver/gas, right? I think after 3 years of work, and if the balloons on your site are representative of his work, that if he can handle a line and work fast, & that he represents your company well--let him get paid. He has had side-by side training with you & may be better trained than a comparable adult in his deportment with kids, etc. I think $75 would be fair if he is under 18.
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anniel

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Re: Is pricing for talent level undercutting?

Post by jlirie on Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:35 am

i agree that prices can reflect talent without being a problem.  most other products and services come in a range of quality, with corresponding prices, and people choose them based on their ability or willingness to pay. dollar store vs saks fifth avenue - both have customers..

another difference is those who have a substantial business and will travel to locations vs hobby or occasional face painters. it's likely the business face painter will be available more consistently and able to handle many different kinds of venues, as well as offer more bling and accessories, and additional services (costume, themed parties, balloons, glitter tattoos, airbrush, accessories for sale, etc).

maybe even cookies Wink
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Re: Is pricing for talent level undercutting?

Post by Party Picassos on Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:15 am

Thanks for your advice. So raise my rates for him as a solo act to $75 per hour? I do notice that he works quicker so he is using more balloons and that is costing me more money. Just asking, because I am not sure that at his young age and experience, if his rate should be closer to those with a lot more ability.

Hoping he can go to some jams and see what his mentors can really do.
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Party Picassos

Number of posts : 153
Age : 56
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