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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » What's the going rate? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alex Rapattoni
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Seattle, Wa
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I am just starting out as a balloon man and I was wondering what the going rate for private functions was. I was also wondering if, when doing work in restaurants, does the restaurant pay you or do the people receiving the balloons pay you, and how much then? Any help would be amazing.

Thanks
Alex
Weird is part of the job.
Wes Holly
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Baltimore, MD
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You'd get better info if you made friends with the entertainers in your area. As far as restaurants ... some pay & some don't & some are in between. I prefer to get a good payment from the restaurant so the guests don't have to tip/pay.


wes holly
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Kevinr
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Florida is Mark Byrne area... He actually has his prices on his website. http://www.balloonguy.net
Bad to the Balloon
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Quote:
On 2010-09-04 00:11, Kevinr wrote:
Florida is Mark Byrne area... He actually has his prices on his website. http://www.balloonguy.net


That isn't quite the going rate that is my rate....

I do charge more than most balloon artists and clowns. I fact when everyone else was dropping their rateI left mine the same.

I also have 25 years of twist experience and 35 years of magic.

Instead of what is the going rate why not decide what will make you happy?

Balloon artist in FLorida work from paying to work (really opportunity to be tipped), FREE with tips, pay with tips, and pay only.

I really don't know anyone that charges as much as I do. if you do I like to check them out!!
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Kevinr
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Mark is correct. I know guys working just for tips....

Others charing $125 for the first hours and $50 for each quarter hour after that...


Still others charging more like $165 for the first hour and $125 for each our after..
Countage
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Charlotte
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In Charlotte NC I charge $150 for an hour and half minimum and $50 for each addtional half hour. I make sure the contact at the event knows it is there responsibility to cut of the balloon line. I always get extra money from each gig from an endless balloon line. I do warn them before the gig so they are not surprised with an extra bill.
Bad to the Balloon
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Why do entertainers charge so little for second and third hours??

My formula for charging is this:

$XXXX how much I want to leave home to work a full day out of town. Add to that travel and per diem.

Divide it by 8 hours that is my multiple hour rate.

Round up to the next hundred and that is my one hour rate, divide in half for a half hour rate.

My price difference for a one hour and 2 hours is only $12 per hour discount When asked why by clients I tell them I don't have to drive anywhere. Reasonable cost difference.

How do you justify a $25 - $100 discount to your clients?

General statement not picking on anyone in particular.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
preston eakins
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battle creek, michigan
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100 an hour is a fair rate for my area and I ask for it flat however you get some functions that have a budget they come right out most of the time and say we will pay XX amount for x hours it is up to you if you feel it is worth it to you
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Is is customary for those working a restaurant to get the same rate as working a fair or corporate gig?


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Bad to the Balloon
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Quote:
On 2010-09-21 12:48, Harris wrote:
Is is customary for those working a restaurant to get the same rate as working a fair or corporate gig?


Harris


If you can get a restaurant to put out that kind of money your a better man than I!!!

Since a restaurant is usually a weekly engagement most magi I know charge about 1/4 of their normal fee. Or half as much for twice the time...
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Jay Ward
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Research how much restaurants pay other types of entertainment: karaoke, trivia, poker, bands. That might give you a figure of what restaurants are willing to pay. Bands get paid the most, but then they divide it up among their members. For Georgia, in my experience, $100-$200 per night is the right price. Keep in mind, you will make tips as well. That's 5000-10,000 a year the restaurant pays you. That is a valuable client, and the FREE ADVERTISING is great. I book so many shows from my restaurants.
I use to be a DJ and have hosted trivia, karaoke, and poker, so I know that DJ Trivia gets $150 a night, Karaoke will be around $200-$250 as will poker, and bands get usually $450-1300 + alcohol a night depending on their popularity.
Also, most corporate-owned restaurants' GMs aren't allowed to hire entertainment due to the recession crunch. It's much easier to get into a restaurant where you can actually deal with the owner.
Give them a FREE night to show them what you can do. Most will jump at the freebie. If you don't get the gig, you'll still have tip money in your pocket, and maybe a future gig or two as well.
MT
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You really do need to charge what you think you're worth and stick to it.
Jay Ward
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There are many entertainers that charge $1000-1500 for corporate events that still do $300 birthday parties. To paraphrase Mark, if you can get go for it. If a restaurant wanted me for a weekend performance, they would have to pay my full rate. My restaurants are on Tuesday and Wednesday nights which are nights I would not be working if it weren't for the restaurants.
You can also factor in the cost of an entree at the restaurant. If the entrees are $40, they can afford your full rate more than likely. But if you are in the "Kids Eat Free" atmosphere, they probably cannot justify the expense.
Don't forget to give the restaurant owners a nice discount when you perform at their kids birthday. If you can get the owner's children in every week to get a balloon, that's good job security.
JesterMan
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Quote:
On 2010-09-21 12:48, Harris wrote:
Is is customary for those working a restaurant to get the same rate as working a fair or corporate gig?


I work 3 hours for my 'normal' 1 hour rate at the restaurant I currently have.

About the discount for the owner. . . Sometimes you will never make them happy. I gave an owner's sister-in-law 20% off on Saturday afternoon, over twice the travel time away as the restaurant was. The Sis-in-law and her husband were uninvolved in the business. He never said anything about his expectations, then let me go (by e-mail) when I didn't give her the same rate I gave him on Monday nights. Of course, he may have just used that as an excuse, noting that someone else was there the following week. . . (Feeling the blood trickle down my fingers as I bite them. . .)
JM Smile Smile

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Jay Ward
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Don't sweat it Jesterman. I used to DJ and host trivia, karaoke, and texas hold-em at restaurants as well as lots of balloon twisting. Whether it's 6 months or 10 years, eventually they all come to an end. It's just part of the deal. Don't let it get you down. You have to get over it the same way as when you hand a time-consuming elaborate balloon sculpture to a kid and they pop it in 5 seconds. Go get a new restaurant!
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2010-09-06 11:57, Bad to the Balloon wrote:
Why do entertainers charge so little for second and third hours??

They are probably being honest and charging what they are worth.
Ryan Price
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I have talked to a few balloon twisters in my area and it seems like the going rate is $75 per hour. I charge more than double that for the first hour but come closer to it for the second hour and onward.

I have a few reasons for charging lower after the first. 1) I want to be somewhat competitive in price to what others charge. 2) The first hour covers all my marketing to get the client plus all other expenses (travel, confirmations, etc)

I wish I could get away with charging my first hour rate for every hour but when people are charging less than half most people will think balloons are all the same.
Bad to the Balloon
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$75 an hour!?!?!

What was it before the recession?

Here is my gambit on 2nd and third and fourth hours...... You save about $15 for each extra hour, because I don't have to leave and drive somewhere else.

Currently I have Saturday & Sundays with regular gigs that if someone wants me they have to pay the minimum fee of 1.5 hours during my regular gigs.

This negates my "special pricing" that I put in place during the recession.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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Every time I talk to the other balloon twisters I always say they should charge more. There wasn’t as big of a hit here for the recession.

Of course there are a couple people that aren’t just balloon artists that do charge more than the $75.00 rate.

I don’t do many gigs where I only do balloons however I am looking at getting more adult corporate gigs where they will appreciate higher quality stuff.
Juliegel
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It also really tends to depend on your location and how your customers understand what you do.
I do far better work then most I have seen but because I live in a very rural area others cant see that. When they think of what to expect of a balloon twister they think of me (real small town. My price has to reflect the fact that they have nothing to compare to. I know this is true because when I state my price to locals they agree that it is a fair price for the work but if I mention my rates to someone from a larger area they are shocked! They insist that they have seen people doing half of what I do charging double my rates. You can see where the issue takes place.

I charge only 10 bucks less for additional hours then my starting rate. This often changes due to various reasons such as number of people or distance I have to travel but whatever I end up charging for the first hour I cut off 10 for the additionals.

Please don't get me wrong I do fine for myself. Balloons are really just my source of college money and for now I am doing just fine. Someday their wont be dorms and I will have to really start earning. Then I may thing of moving to a better area.


As always,
Dylan
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