Pricing...?

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Nicole
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Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2010-07-02 02:30
Pricing...?

Okay, so the whole, "call me and we'll talk about a price" line is getting old...I need a price list!  So yeah...I need some guidance, I'm just not really sure how to go about it.  I've been looking around and it seems like people are charging in the range of 70$-150$ per hour.  I'm not qualified or known enough to charge that much yet, and also, Winnipegers are notorious for being cheap.  If I start my pricing off lower, will I have a hard time raising it later once I'm more established?

I've had a few people asking about private parties, what's the best way to go about pricing for these?  Do you do hourly, or charge per design with minimum guests and amount per guest?

Bridal is another area that is quite confusing, cause I know it can take a long time, and I'm not super speedy yet, so I don't want to charge hourly, however, in my (limited) experience, I find people often talk/laugh/move a lot, which slows you down considerably.  So can I charge someone a fee every time they move?  :P

I also am okay with negotiating pricing, but I don't want to advertise that, because I know some people will just try to rip me off.  Is there a way of wording it that doesn't scream, "If you're too cheap, I'll give away my services for free!"?

As for charity events, I wouldn't mind doing those for much cheaper or even volunteer, so I was thinking of putting a price and then saying something along the lines of if you're a non-profit organization, we may be able to work out a lower rate.

Also, about individual designs for festivals and such, how do you go about pricing?  Is it about size, amount of henna, intricacy or time spent on design?  I guess probably a combination of all three.  I have the Fivers and Tenners from Henna Caravan, but other than that I'm kind of lost.  If anyone has some examples of work they've done and what they charged for it, that would be very helpful!

As for private appointments, I don't think it's worth it for me at this point, because I can't do them from my home.

Thanks in advance!

Nicole

Thanks a lot

Jen
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Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2010-04-26 06:47
Re: Pricing...?

 I know its not what you want to hear Nicole, but I don't publish pricing. Especially bridal. I need to SEE what she wants to give anything near an accurate quote. Things like "traditional" and "light" have different meanings to different people.

For parties and such my price depends on how stressful it will be to me. 200 people at the party is going to cost more per hour than 6 fun ladies and their "girls night out." My hourly for events ranges from $50-$100 where $50 is a small party and $100 is a big corporate event. Publishing your prices means that someone can BS you into thinking that there will be a guest list of 12 when its really 50 to get a better deal. Also once you publish a price, event planners won't pay you any more than your published rate even if they are charging the client 3 times more!

Blurberrybuzz
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Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
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Re: Pricing...?

Like Jen, my pricing varies.  I bill $50/hour for a private party/private appointment with 1-4 people.  After that it's $75/hour.  Corporate events are billed at a higher rate.  Bridal is billed differently as well.  Bridal pricing is based on my bridal consultation.  When people inquire, I let them know that typically brides spend $200-$300 on their henna, plus guest henna. For me, bridal henna has to be contracted.  I have imposed a fee if the bride or party is not ready when I'm hired to be there.  I hate waiting for hours with no pay.  For the night of henna, I often do guest henna for $5 a hand.  I do NOT take patterns with me, but just wing it.  I can do 12.5 hands an hour and that works out to a nice little rate.  The hands are typically a henna strip from wrist to fingertip or a mandala with fingertips.   I charge my regular rates for charity events and then make a donation to the charity.  I require a receipt with the donation amount which can be part of a negotiated rate.

for festivals, something the size of a quarter to a loony will be $5.  If it's bigger than that, pricing goes up.  One way to be sure you're in line with festival pricing is to go to festivals and see what other artists are charging.  If your work is comprable, then your pricing should be as well.  The HC books are great, because you can see the size of the design in the $5 books.  The size on the page is the size of the design.  Your other designs similar in complexity and size would be priced accordingly.  The Tenners book has hand and foot templates and it's easy to tell how large the design will be on the hand or foot.  Use that scale for your other designs and your pricing should be pretty good.  For festival work, I do more henna for less money when I get to do artist choice.  Artist choice henna starts at $15.

Most private appointments I do NOT do at my home.  I travel to the home of the client or a coffee shop and apply the henna there.  If I had to keep my four kids and all their crap and all my crap neatly contained for last minute appointments, I'd go crazy.  I do take some appointments in my home, but they're from people I all ready know who can handle the noise and toy level four kids bring in to the mix.

You might consider connecting with an experienced professional henna artist in your area to mentor you.  You might also want to do a few gigs for just tips and donations to get your feet wet and to get a feel of how you work and manage the henna and aftercare.  Also consider making it down to a meetup.  Minneapolis is just a quick 7 hour drive :)  Our next three day meetup is in May.  I'll PM you the details. At meetups,  you have the opportunity to look at everyone's festival books and see how other artists work and manage things.  It's a great time to hone skills and network too.  The food usually rocks :)

Victoria

Nicole
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Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2010-07-02 02:30
Re: Pricing...?

 Thanks for the detailed explanations ladies :)  This actually helps a lot.  I think I'll probably just post a range (50-100$/hour) just so people have an idea of what to expect when they contact me.

Victoria, since you only travel for private appointments, I'm assuming you have a minimum?  Do you also charge a travel fee?  I would like to be set up to have people here, but the application fee for the permit is 400$

I think I'm going to see if I can round up some of my friends to do bridal designs on, that way I can see how long it takes me.

Do you ever exchange services for reduced rates?, ie : if they feed you, or offer babysitting.

Blurberrybuzz
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Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
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Re: Pricing...?

I have a two hour minimum, however, that's flexible.  If I have to travel more than one hour each way, I charge a travel fee and that varies on if it's a small private appointment, a party or a corporate event.

I often exchange services for other services, products and reduced rates.  I love to barter.  One thing I always do at festivals and fairs is barter for food and entertainment.  My kids usually get some free rides each weekend, free mini donuts, popcorn, ice cream, colored hair extensions, clothing, and the very best - air conditioned bathrooms with flush toilets and running water - take that port-o-potty!

Victoria

Malynda
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Joined: 2010-05-10 13:25
Re: Pricing...?

If you are just starting out, then it is very acceptable to start with lower prices and raise them as your skill and confidence increase.

For private parties, I either charge per hour or a small booking fee (charged to the host and applied toward their own henna) and the guests pay individually.  It depends upon the nature of the party.  Time yourself on how long it takes you to do simple, medium, and large patterns so you are aware how many guests you can henna per hour and at what complexity of designs.

Be polite but firm with wigglers.  Let them know that the more they move, the slower you work, which not only takes away time from other guests but also equals more $$$ from them (or the host) when charging hourly.  On my website I have posted a flat-rate system for bridal henna as a guide (simple, medium, complex), but the final price is always settled after I know what the client wants.

For festivals, use the Henna Caravan books as a guide to pricing.... $5 designs should be that big, $10's that much bigger, etc.  $5 increments in pricing works well and mine go up to $25.  Don't put anything in your book that takes you longer than 15 minutes to do or you will have an impatient line.

Is the $400 application for a home-based business license?  Check with your city, because their concern is usually about whether your business generates enough income to tax or will cause parking/traffic issues.  If you can show them that your in-home henna business caters to single, small income generating appointments, they may waive the need to apply as a home-based business altogether, but laws are different from town to town.  Most henna artists I know simply fly under the radar, so to speak.  That said, I prefer to take appointments outside my home.  If you don't want to go their home, pick a public place like a coffee shop to meet them.  Talk with the business owner/manager first to make sure they won't mind.

Desdemonas Designs
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Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
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Re: Pricing...?

Hi Nicole,

I think pricing is one of the trickiest things about this business.  If you're starting out, you don't want to overcharge if you're still learning, yet you don't want to undercut the current professionals in your area.  You want to charge a decent rate so you'll make your money, but you don't want to charge so much that you'll scare people away.  Its a fine line!

My fees start at $85 per hour for small in home parties, and for college dorms and other educational groups, and for larger groups like Bat Mitzvahs, College Orientation nights and events where you're looking at lines of hundreds of people I start at $100 per hour.  I usually have a 2 hour minimum, especially on weekends, but I do offer a weeknight special if its a small group, and its near my house, for one hour at a reduced price to try to get more weeknight business.  Unforunately, you can't charge extra for wigglers, but you'll start to recognize what kinds of clients are more likely to have wigglers in the group and you'll learn to adjust the design options to fit.  Sometimes I'll even take away design sheets from my offering book if I'm starting to run out of time, or there are more people there than I thought, and only offer the fastest designs.

You'll have no problem raising your rates later, very seldom do you get the exact same repeat customer, and if you do, you can always agree to give them the same price as before. And, people understand that prices go up, so as long as you're not going from $50 to $100 it shouldn't be too surprising for them.  I started out at $50 per hour, and now, 11 years later am up to $85/$100, its not like you work for 3 months and BAM raise to $150, so I wouldn't sweat it.  I do have some pricing on my website, so that people get SOME idea of what they're in for, so they don't call me expecting to pay $25 for their child's Sweet 16 party.

As far as festivals, start out cheap and small, that's where you're going to get your best experience and learn speed.  The faster you work, the more money you make.

Good luck and have fun!

Deborah Brommer

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