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Vick
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Quote:
On 2012-11-27 03:49, Kevinr wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-11-27 01:01, Vick wrote:
Did anyone factor in the law of supply and demand?


Kevinr .. can I call you crazy ;-)
We are (for the most part) all own corporations and can/should/will charge what the market will bear or what we decide our fees will be on any given day for any given client. How can another business person suggest what we charge or that we should all charge every client the same fee for a similar show? It's not unethical, the odd few shows in late January are much different than the Holiday performances in December.

Am I unethical because I extend a substantial discount to 2 charities I am involved with and smaller discounts to other charities I feel are worthwhile, while other fund raisers I teach (and help with promotion) how to be able to afford my full fee? It's a similar show


Do I pay more to live in the neighborhood I am in? Yes,
Shouldn't all neighborhoods with similar homes be priced the same?
By your logic all houses regardless of where they are as long as the are similar in features should cost the same.


We all have the morals we can afford ;-)



The Definition Of Price Discrimination:

"The practice of one company charging different consumers different prices for the same good is called price discrimination."

This practice is the same thing fought for with the Jim Crow law (if you don't know the Jim Crow law look it up)

Vick, I hope you feel the same way when the plumber comes to you house and feels you out then rips you off when he charges you $800 to install a garbage disposal but only charges your neighbor $400 for the same exact garbage disposal. That's exactly what magicians are doing when they take two calls from two equally distant parties (not talking about travel fees) requiring near identical services (similar shows) but charging one way more than the other because they either feel like they can "get away with it" or choose to charge double because there schedule is almost full and wanna try and get more.


Of course you don't address the housing analogy I gave as it doesn't fit your argument, let's take that a step further, John and Joe do the same or very similar shows, are about the same skill level. Does John have to change the same price as Joe?

Is it reverse "price discrimination" when I give a discount to certain charities? If you care to reply (and I think we should let this die as it is going no where and no one will change another person's mind or perspective) please address this and the housing analogy


Nothing like Jim Crow, no separate but equal sort of thing. We (at least some of us) are business people. You can not expect to impose your ideas and structures on another business.

Trying to imply what someone should charge is a bit out of line, it's our businesses and we are free to do as we feel and it's not a rip off.

Makes me wonder (for 6 seconds) why you are so worked up about the subject, have you had a bad experience?


Admittedly my rates are fairly standard across the board for the type of show dependent upon travel. There are seasonal differences, sort of like booking a resort in season or out of season. I vacation in late January (best for my schedule and to escape the cold) because I vacation in the off season I receive discounted rates.

My fees are higher in October and December (have to maximize income opportunities while they are available). There is greater demand both for my services and the types of shows may be different during October and December. It's not "price discrimination", it's good business.

Are there effects and routines that are seasonal and only in the October and December shows? Of course, I don't usually do a Dracula book test or ghostly effects in May and I don't often make it snow or do as many "The Amazing Prediction" effects for corporate dinners in July.

The market(s) I work in can vary greatly.

It's not about price when clients book (me), it's about value (and entertainment). The value of the services and experience they receive.

I hope it doesn't hurt much if you fall off the high horse ;-)

p.s. Is there an extra charge for the plumber to "feel me out" ;-)

Be well and get back to bookings, do yours your way and don't worry about someone else works (you can't change them and will only frustrate yourself)
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Vick
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To address same zip code and show with similar easy in and easy out, audience and time, the fee to the client is usually the same unless as already pointed out there are different circumstances


But we should maximize our earnings at every opportunity ... by offering a great product and outstanding service.

Show business = 10% show + 90% business
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BenCummings
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I am going a bit off topic here - but I've definitely found that most performers UNDER PRICE themselves, usually due to a scarcity mentality, eg. "I must get this gig, or I might starve." I've found that often clients can *smell* desperation and it comes through. Price is a short cut to decision making. When we're standing in an electronics store, staring at cell phones, there are the cheap ones, the middle of the road ones, and the expensive ones (iPhones). Often, people will grab the slightly more expensive items as a "short cut" to decision making, assuming it "must" be better.

I am not saying always be the most expensive; but from my experience most entertainers grossly underprice themselves and by the way, this messes the rest of us up who are trying to earn professional wages in this business Smile For what it's worth -

Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

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I forgot to mention: This is an excellent book on the topic of pricing your services and ties in nicely with this threads discussions:

http://amzn.to/QH3FjJ

- Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
David Marcus
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Partially quoting...
Quote:
On 2012-11-16 17:20, Smarty Pants World wrote:
- when I met Marvin for lunch, he was actually completely exhausted and looked like crap - because he was so busy all summer working gigs, all day, every day.

My point was that he could be working less gigs for more money and still be earning the same income without killing himself. If he wasn't busy, yes, then I'd suggest cutting your rate.

First, thank you Mr. Pants for posting the article.

I, being now “semi-retired,” limit my self to about 100 shows per year. Making the absolute most money I can get per show is not the most important thing for me, but I want to be above the median for various reasons: 1. I do want to make good money. And 2. There is a correlation between how much you charge and how well you’re treated. Although there is a point where the treatment starts to swing negatively above a certain price level.

Most of us would probably agree when a person gets to the point where he looks and feels like crap because he’s over working himself, something needs to change. If he needs to maintain that level of income, raising prices, lowering expenses, and/or developing ways of additional income are all possibilities. Without knowing his market area, we can’t know what is best for him to do. But if his health suffers, or if his happiness suffers, he could very well be headed for a crash.

In the words of those great philosophers, Iommi, Butler, Osbourne, and Ward:
“Well people look and people stare.
Well I don’t think that I even care.
You work your life away and what do they give?
You’re only killing yourself to live;
Killing yourself to live.

Just take a look around you what do you see?
Pain, suffering and misery.
It’s not the way that the world was meant;
It’s a pity you don’t understand,
Killing yourself to live.”

I realize none of you know me since I’m new here. I wrote a brief (?) bio/intro here.

Dave
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
David Marcus
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Partially quoting
Quote:
On 2012-11-05 22:24, Bridgewater wrote:
I am also a disciple of "The more you work, the more you work." If I'm available, and the client meets my fee, I'm there. When I become so busy that I am turning away as much as I book, then it's time to raise prices. I suspect the guys who say "I won't get off the couch for less than $xxx" spend a lot of time on the couch.

Four sound principles there, Bridgewater. I too believe that first one is absolutely true. The “meet my fee and I’ll be there if I’m available” and “raising prices when the schedule is full” are, of course, personal choices. And for the most part I agree with you. The only difference I have there is I don’t really want to do more than 100 shows per year right now. That again is a personal choice; not applicable to everyone.

I bought some marketing materials from a fellow in Texas (I won’t mention his name because I’m not attacking him.) who, when he increases his prices, puts in his letter to clients something like: “Because my schedule is now 110% full I am forced to raise my fees this year.” I don’t really understand why he feels the need to say that. And I don’t agree with the premise or with announcing it in that way. How can you fill your stein 110%? And why does having a full schedule “force” you to raise prices? I don’t think potential customers will take a positive reaction to way that’s said. As I said above, it’s a personal choice I agree with but I don’t agree with that particular way of announcing it.

As to the “I don’t get off the couch” philosophy: I was doing guitar-troubadour gigs some 12 years ago and a friend who just happens to be a magician said, “I don’t crank my car for less than (I think it was) $400. He hung around the bar until I was done and helped carry stuff out with me. As I finished loading he asked me for a lift home. His car battery had died due to lack of running the car for a cold winter month. I love the guy like a brother but at the time I was charging $200 for a 3-hour bar gig and working three days a week. I haven’t done bars for almost 10 years now and have absolutely no interest in doing them again. Sadly, the guys I know still doing that are getting $150 to $200 to this day. And some are doing 4-hour shows for that.
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David Marcus
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Quote:
On 2012-11-16 23:37, Kevinr wrote:
Call me crazy but I think its totally unethical to charge two people different prices for "almost" the exact same show or the same thing.

Contractors and car salesman are constantly caught by hidden cameras by the news media for this very practice.

Have set prices that are clear and in writing that treat everyone equal.

Regardless of who they are, where they live or how much they make.

Quote:
On 2012-11-21 10:54, Living Illusions wrote:

Kevinr, I agree in principle with your statement. But there are factors that come into play.

...and I don't believe they are inherently unethical in and of themselves.


I agree with you Living Illusions and offer this example:

About five years ago, I did a show at a very small-town library. The parking lot was a half-block away and to get to the library, which was on the third floor of the fire station, I had to climb 88 stair-steps. Yes, I counted and remember.

I’m not in terrible condition for age 54 but I’m not in the best condition either. I couldn’t use my cart and had to carry six trips up that stairway. I suppose I could have left some things behind (backdrop, sound system) but I wanted to give them the show they were expecting. I learned that day to ask a few more questions when making the booking, and hire a niece or nephew to help “lug and tote” when necessary. Things like that should be added to the fee and there’s no ethical problem in doing that. I can see a situation where, if I had done another library in the same system in the next town over and each was charged a different fee, I might have some `splainin’ to do. But I would hope the clients would understand.

Sadly, that library is now closed. The rooms are locked up and the books and other resources are just sitting there.
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
KC Cameron
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I am selling a luxury, not a necessity. I do not have a monopoly. I will charge what I please when I please and if they don't like it, they don't have to hire me. I don't twist their arm. I am worth what the market will bear, and I can jolly well charge what I want to charge. As for the plumber charging one household double, they hired him, if they don't like his charges they are free not to hire him again. It is called the free market.

Stock prices go up and down at a moments notice, why not complain about the ethics of that?
iwillfoolu
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Quote:
On 2012-11-29 19:12, Vick wrote:
Of course you don't address the housing analogy I gave as it doesn't fit your argument, let's take that a step further, John and Joe do the same or very similar shows, are about the same skill level. Does John have to change the same price as Joe?

Is it reverse "price discrimination" when I give a discount to certain charities? If you care to reply (and I think we should let this die as it is going no where and no one will change another person's mind or perspective) please address this and the housing analogy


Nothing like Jim Crow, no separate but equal sort of thing. We (at least some of us) are business people. You can not expect to impose your ideas and structures on another business.

Trying to imply what someone should charge is a bit out of line, it's our businesses and we are free to do as we feel and it's not a rip off.

Makes me wonder (for 6 seconds) why you are so worked up about the subject, have you had a bad experience?


Admittedly my rates are fairly standard across the board for the type of show dependent upon travel. There are seasonal differences, sort of like booking a resort in season or out of season. I vacation in late January (best for my schedule and to escape the cold) because I vacation in the off season I receive discounted rates.

My fees are higher in October and December (have to maximize income opportunities while they are available). There is greater demand both for my services and the types of shows may be different during October and December. It's not "price discrimination", it's good business.

Are there effects and routines that are seasonal and only in the October and December shows? Of course, I don't usually do a Dracula book test or ghostly effects in May and I don't often make it snow or do as many "The Amazing Prediction" effects for corporate dinners in July.

The market(s) I work in can vary greatly.

It's not about price when clients book (me), it's about value (and entertainment). The value of the services and experience they receive.

I hope it doesn't hurt much if you fall off the high horse ;-)

p.s. Is there an extra charge for the plumber to "feel me out" ;-)

Be well and get back to bookings, do yours your way and don't worry about someone else works (you can't change them and will only frustrate yourself)


Vick, I think you totally misunderstood my post and we're mostly on the same page. I am certainly not suggesting how anyone should price his show. Charge what you want and what the market will bear. I was more getting at how a magician who charges different prices for different parts of town (travel fees notwithstanding) would feel if it happened to them.

I have never had a bad experience with this.

I completely understand letting demand dictate pricing (busy vs off season), but would never charge two different people on opposite sides of the tracks different prices for the same time of year, unless there were different circumstances.

I can answer the housing analogy easily since my father is a RE broker: By it's definition, no two pieces of real estate are the same, even in a development.

Likewise, the theoretical Joe and John might do the exact same tricks, with the exact same patter, but they will never deliver the same show. They hire me...or you...or John (who is this guy, he seems to work a lot:) ) based on each person's individual merits.

As far as charging charities less, I would consider the price difference a donation.

My intention is not to tell someone how to price, but to point out that price discrimination is illegal.

Joey D
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New York Magicians
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