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Help!!I need peoples opinions!

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Post by TinafromNY on Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:21 am

Hi Everyone!

I haven't posted in quite a while!  I see lots of new faces here!

I could use some opinions as I'm on the fence about what to do about this.

In Dec, after 2 yrs of busy face painting, I decided to raise my prices from $80 hr with a 2 hr minimum to $90 hr with a 2 hr minimum, for the new year.  This keeps me in line with some painters and maybe a bit higher (but not much) than others.  I consider myself (and so do my clients) to be a pretty good face painter.  We have some other face painters in the area but not too many (upstate NY about 70 miles from the city). As for the ones that are lower, they aren't too good (or that much lower) or they don't carry insurance etc (I didn't mean YOU Lynne, lol).  

Since I upped my price, I found I have considerably less business that last year, which was pretty busy starting March.  I figured it was the time of year so I waited to see what my bookings would be in April/May and they are still really lagging behind last year.  Now I'm considering putting it back to my original $80 hr, in case that was the reason.  But then I thought maybe it's just a slower spring.

So my question is....how is everyone else doing for March/April/May?  Especially if you are on the East coast.  Is anyone finding it slower than last year?  Do you think I should put my prices back to what they were?  Would YOU?  I have another business but don't want to cut this face painting down as it helps pay bills and also is my "extra" money.  I just can't decide what to do because I can't decide if it was the price increase that did this! Thanks for any opinions!!!  Tina

Number of posts : 993
Age : 68
Location : Hudson Valley, NY
Registration date : 2012-07-05


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Post by missmolly on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:46 am

I always have my prices for single entertainer rates ending with a 5. (For duo entertainer rates I take off the $5 so I can say that our two entertainer rates are slightly discounted. Two entertainer parties are usually less stressful for us, so we don't mind it.)

It makes it seem a little cheaper to your customer, and they're more likely to tip you vs breaking up bills into $5, so you're likely to still make $90 even if you charge $85, but it isn't such a huge increase that you're likely to loose repeat customers from it.

I wouldn't lower your rate back to $80, I'd either lower your $90 rate by $5 or increase it by $5 if I were you.

Number of posts : 74
Location : Toronto, ON
Registration date : 2014-04-20


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Post by Kal on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:04 pm

I will second the motion to drop it to$85. Your rate needs to raise because that's how you play the game. Sometimes $10 is a little steep, especially if the customer is looking at it as $20 more than last year.

Number of posts : 433
Age : 35
Location : WV
Registration date : 2014-06-29

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Post by Forest-Fairy on Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:12 pm

I'm booking up more then ever in the previous years, and booking up earlier. West Coast here.

I have 2 rates, Private Event, and Public Event.
Private = a set/limited number of guests
Public = open to the public & unknown # of guests

How i have my prices set up for private events is the first hour is more @ $125, every hour after that is $75. (So it's a $50 discount after a one our booking omg!)

But really most people just want to book one hour, and i don't leave the house for less then $100. Most parties are typically short and have 8-12 kids (which can be easily painted in 1 hr), so I find giving them the 1hr option (though at a higher rate) increases my bookings.

For public events I do $100/hr min 2 hour bookings. So the first two hours works out to be the same for both rates, but at 3hrs the private event gets a better discount, AND the option of booking only 1hr.

Number of posts : 1672
Age : 32
Location : BC. Canada
Registration date : 2014-03-13


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Post by Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:35 pm

My rates haven't changed since 2006.

I changed my "discounts" and package rates a couple of years ago to be more to my benefit though.

I used to give a substantial discount on my hourly rate for non-profit events - I dropped that completely and now offer a free hour on a paid three hour booking (I never work for free.)

And I revamped my small group/birthday package to a flat fee for 15 people or less.

In 2006 I had no competitors. Now I have 4 or 5 that advertise on Kijiji, etc. All are at least 50% LESS than my rate. However, that hasn't hurt my business at all - I have more corporate bookings than ever (including a contract with a city park to provide painters for all their events.) "Corporate Bookings" to me are any that are paid by a company or organization vs an individual.

I also do theatre, private appointments, etc. so my bookings are diversified.


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