Re: overpriced myself??
Posted by Kenzi on October 30, 2002 at 15:37:12:
just the number itself may scare people off. That is not to say
that your henna work is not worth it. She is asking for a lot of
henna and may not realize how much work and time is involved.
She may think the price is okay but when she told her fiance and
his family, they may have freaked out knowing they could get it
cheaper within their community.
Here in NYC I might charge $250-300 for that much work and I
would still be more expensive than someone from within the
community. There are some people who see the value of henna
a certain way and it would be hard to convince them, even with a
free 15-20 design. and there are some people to whom you say
$400 and they don't flinch, plus they give you a $100 tip. Who
I try to make it clear to the client that there are many ways at
looking at the price of their henna. They may want henna up to
their armpits in an ideal world but can't afford the price I have to
charge so then we talk about alternatives, we discuss what they
have in their budget for henna and decide what can be done for
that amount. We also discuss the possibility of charging by the
design or by the hour, and I let the client decide which would
work best for them. I usually end up working by the hour and a
bridal party including the bride and some guests runs about 3-5
hours, so my total for such a party is $180-300.
I had one client who wanted me to do bridal henna and was
shocked that I wouldn't do the whole thing for $100 (she had
heard somewhere that I had a special bridal package for $100).
At that point there was nothing I could do, there was no room for
negotiation in that as she wouldn't agree to pay more than $100.
What did she do? Probably found someone within her
community to do it. And there is no way of telling if the other artist
was better than me, or worse, was a better value or not. And the
client seemed more interested in the price than the quality so I
don't think the possibility that I might be better and that's why my
prices were higher ever entered into her calculation. I just let go
of that one.
I had an indian client who hired me for a bridal party and when
she paid me at the end she mumbled something like "i would
never hire an indian artist" and when i asked her why she
mumbled something under her breath that I didn't catch and
wouldn't repeat it. Who knows what she said and why she was
willing to pay a white girl more money (and a white girl at the
beginning of her henna career!)
You may have to kiss this client goodbye for now, but it's a good
lesson. You could lower your prices a little in order to get more
clients, but I wouldn't lower them that much because you do
beautiful work and should be paid accordingly. If there is a gig
you particularly want because it gives you access to a new
clientele, it might then be worth giving a little discount.
Just my humble opinion.
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