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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 07 Mar 2012 (Wednesday) 21:17
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Clients who want to lowball

Senior Member
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Location: State of Confusion
Mar 08, 2012 10:55 as a reply to  @ post 14047665 |  #16

If you cave this time. Next time he will say " last time was only 50 how come it's a hundred this time"
So the way I see it, you can take the $50 . "cause fifty bucks is better than nothing. and don't deal with him again

Or you can meet in the middle and charge $75 and don't deal with him again.

Or you can stick to your guns and ask for the $100, and don't deal with him again.

You can say "oop's,I accidentally deleted them" ( my favorite ) and he won't want to deal with you again.

Promises of future business are worth absolutely nothing.

Or you could charge him 100 this time with the promise of 50% off on the next job. which of course you will mark up 300% then he will end up paying 150% on it:D
The possibilities are endless.
Have fun with it, life is too short to deal with idiots (unless you can take advantage of them)

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162 posts
Joined May 2010
Location: South Florida
Mar 09, 2012 10:51 as a reply to  @ post 14049738 |  #17

hate getting those people that ask for "a deal". No. too much time and effort (time,editing and more time) goes into what you do, there are no deals (unless its family or whatever you feel entitles them to a deal) but joe blow off the street, no sorry.
Just went thru this with a client we eventually decided to work with on Sunday LONG STORY, but originally, he wanted a "deal", and then he returned our contract with things "amended" to his liking and ... NO.


4,490 posts
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Joined Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Mar 09, 2012 11:27 |  #18

Never, ever lower your prices. Period. Youe CODB is youe guide, I usually tell my clients both new and old that I would rather lose their business then lower my rates to meet some arbritary level.

If you have to sweeten the pot do it by adding services, not lowering prices. I told prospective client just the other day that if lower my prices to the level he wanted (for a multi-million $ biz) I would be out of business in a very short time. When anyone starts the poor mouth routine (it's common as air these days) I ask them if they wanted their boss to increase their workload and force them to take a paycut, the conversation gets quiet quickly. I turn away bad business all the time. I know somebody shoots it, for low or no cash. And If I find out who it is I berate them publically the very first time.

As I have said over and over, do not leave cash on the table. If you have already shot the images quote him a price and stick to it. If you have yet to do the gig then remind him that the venue they rent costs thousands of dollars per minute to rent. And they want their cash too.

I also have used an even meaner trick to turn the poor mouths back on their heals. When ever I get "we don;t have much budget" routine, I tell them that I am sorry that their company is doing so poor financially, and that maybe if things turn around in the future we can do business. "I would be happy to spread the word that your company cannot pays its contractors at this time."

Three things I NEVER do for new clients,

1. Give discounts to get gigs, it NEVER pays off.
2. Never grant credit unless you can get a signed contract with a specific payment date.
3. Never shoot on spec, get 50% up front and 50 on delivery.

4 things I have written into every contract,

1. Every contract includes rights information
2. Every contract must be signed by the VP of Finance prior to any work
3. Every contract has a shoot date, kiil fee, and delivery date and payment date.
4. Every contract gives a discount for payment under 14 calendar days after the delivery of images. (Increase your overall rate by 4% and shave off the 4% for early payment) I do this because many companies require their AP department to pay discounted invoices first, and granting a 30 net payment is really 60-90 days. This is only for good customers.

Now one thing I do for nearly every client, create a 11x14 print matted and framed to be delivered when the images are ready. That gets craploads of business. It's a business/advertising expense. And I usually get a VP calling on the phone for his copy, at a great rate of course (cost +1000% will work nicely).

Les Baldwin (external link)

Box ­ Brownie
Cream of the Crop
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Mar 09, 2012 13:48 |  #19

I have not read every repsonse but for the record a customer is only a customer when they pay the bill! Now I do not mean any bill but the one in matters not how much business you have done with them in the past especially as you say what a headache he has FWIW IMO in any business a promise of future business is not worth the paper it is written on.

Best of luck & stick to your guns !

That was a great meal ~ you must have a good set of pans :p
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Cream of the Crop
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Mar 09, 2012 14:05 |  #20

"Ok, so the price is $100" - You
"Oh, you cant do it for $50?" - Him
"Now, its $125." - You
"What?!" - Him
"$150" - You

He'll fold. :D

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1,731 posts
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Joined Dec 2006
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Mar 09, 2012 18:09 |  #21

Get paid in advance for difficult clients. Why did you do the event at all when you did not confirm pay? [photography]

Senior Member
525 posts
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Joined Jan 2011
Location: PEI
Mar 09, 2012 20:22 |  #22

j-dogg wrote in post #14046805 (external link)
the whole 9 yards.

My asking price was low to begin with, 100 dollars

There is something wrong here...If you're willing to do the whole 9 yards for $'re probably willing to do it for $50 or heck, $25.

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Location: San Jose,CA
Mar 09, 2012 23:33 |  #23

jmweb wrote in post #14059297 (external link)
There is something wrong here...If you're willing to do the whole 9 yards for $'re probably willing to do it for $50 or heck, $25.

Well I think he is just starting out and trying to get on the right path. And trust me the sharks know who the newbies are. Normally I'd bite them in half for undercutting good work, but I think the client has already taught that lesson.;)

Les Baldwin (external link)

2,615 posts
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Joined Jul 2005
Mar 10, 2012 12:48 |  #24

The best thing to do is walk away... i have seen this 'client' 's advertisements on cl before.. this 'client' can always find someone who is willing to do it cheaper..


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Mar 10, 2012 16:04 |  #25

Mark1 wrote in post #14047248 (external link)
Say "Thanks but, no" and walk away. Do you really need this client? How much time have you already invented in them, only to not pay you what you want/need? Why is this a hard decision? Its one thing if you need it to pay the rent. Then just do it and be done with it. Other wise walk away.

As far as his excuses. There is not one, that you cant use back at him to maintain your price.

+1, You saved me the time to type my response. Thanks

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Joined Sep 2011
Location: Annapolis Maryland
Mar 11, 2012 20:18 |  #26

He will never bring you "good" business, just more "bad" business as he spreads your reputation of doing work for only 50 bucks, buck the temptation. Develop a firm Price List for Basic Services, and only deal from that. It is really quite helpful for clients to know what to expect, and projects a professional image of an individual who knows what he is doing.

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Cream of the Crop
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Location: NYC
Mar 11, 2012 21:23 |  #27
bannedPermanent ban

cdifoto wrote in post #14047521 (external link)
"Has bought me more business" and "Can bring me more business" aren't even remotely the same. "I'll hook you up. I know people" is the deadbeat mantra. It's only a valid statement when accompanied by prompt payment in full.

Hahahaha....that's something my sister one said to me too...:) LOL

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3,277 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Mar 11, 2012 22:13 |  #28

don't give in, he will spread to others boasting that he've got a low-priced package from you.

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Billy the kid
7,359 posts
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Location: Islamorada, FL
Mar 12, 2012 13:50 |  #29

I am not a photographer in trade, but I work in sales every day. The whole idea of "give him a deal on the small job today because you will get it back when he gives you a big job," or "he needs to get a great price because he will tell his friends," ect rarely ever works to your benefit, and is so much more likely to not work to your benefit that it will far outwiegh the few times it does.

I hear all the time in my line of work, many times to my face "you will be better off making something than nothing." I totally disagree. If you value your time, and especially if you have real costs involved, it is better to get nothing or everything than to settle for something. With products it is more obvious, (if I have 100 "widgets," to borrow the business school adage, that cost me $50 each, ask $100 for them, and sell all of them for $49 to someone because they say "something is better than nothing," I won't be in business for long) but it is just as true with service. Everyone's time is worth something to them, and there is a certain point at which you are better off staying at home in bed than going to work, because as soon as you give in to a guy like this once, and he tells those "friends" of his you can be negociated with, you might as well forget about ever making enough money to be worth your time.

It appears at one point he verbally agreed to pay the price, and right now you are holding all the cards (no pun intended), you are better off walking away with nothing or the agreed price than allowing him to drag you into poor business practices.

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Chad ­ R.
214 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Mar 12, 2012 15:22 |  #30

Raise your Prices! These problems tend to disappear after that. With that being said I would say tough. The price is the price (in as nice a way as possible.)

They say you are what you eat. Funny, I don't remember eating a sexy beast.

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Clients who want to lowball
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