You get what you pay for. We all know that, but sometimes the deal seems too good to be true. So, you take a chance. This goes for just about everything in life. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. The advertising world isn’t immune to these fly by nights and cheap deals. Even the best of clients sometimes fall for this. Someone says they can shoot your video or design your logo for half the price of an agency. They like to say that they have no overhead and no agency fees. What this really translates to is no insurance, don’t pay taxes and have no staff.
Over the years while working as a full-time commercial photographer I have had plenty of clients tell me that my fees were too high, and that if I didn’t lower my fees they would have to use someone else. I never once caved for this. Instead I would wish them the best. I did this because I knew they would not be happy elsewhere, at least not for long. And I knew they would be back. Best not to make a big deal out of it, since I knew we were going to be doing business together again.
I remember a client who said that my $200 an hour fee was ridiculous, even though they had been paying me this amount for years. As it turned out a new photographer approached them and said that he only charged $50 an hour. The choice was easy. My client dumped me and went with the cheaper guy. After all, he was only one fourth the cost. Then one day he failed to show up because he was needed at his “real job.” Another time he took too long to deliver his photos, saying that if the client wanted same day service, they would have to pay more for that. How much more? Well, as it turned out it was more than my $200 an hour fee.
My point is simple. You really do get what you pay for. I once had a guy tell me that he and his buddy could install a whole house air conditioner for less than half the estimate I got for just the cooling unit alone from a reparable dealer. I eventually found that they installed a used unit, and even at that it was the wrong size and improperly installed. I ended up paying the dealer the full price anyway, and also had to eat the cost I paid the cheaper guys.
At Wheelhouse we understand that our clients have budgets that they have to adhere to. We know what it costs to provide every client with the best service we can. Already factored into our costs are things like wages, rent, insurance, equipment and all the many things that go into maintaining a first-rate shop. Sometimes clients get miffed at the amount services cost. They go off in a huff and try to find someone cheaper. And sometimes it works out for them. Eventually though, they come back. They come back because they realize that we offer top notch service at a fair cost. Wheelhouse is the first agency I have been involved with that honestly and up front lets the client know exactly what everything costs. We find that an informed customer is a happy customer.