Are our prices too low or too high? I’m confused and need your help…
We’re just putting the finishing touches on our Australian Services Buyers Guide 2012 and I’ve been popping up small teasers on Facebook to gauge how the prices will be received by our businesses.
These aren’t prices I’ve made up; they’ve been generated from the 700,000 or so quotes that were submitted on our site over the last year. The average rates for most services have jumped up by at least $5-$10 per hour/m2 since we released our last lot of pricing guides (April 2011) – I thought this was a pretty healthy rise (and above normal inflation). But they’ve received mixed reviews on our Facebook page.
Some businesses are saying the rates are below industry standard, which is fair enough – they’re the experts in their field so they should know. If someone published rates saying that writers typically get paid $20/hr, when I know the average (freelance) rates are closer to $35/hr – I would certainly speak up about it.
But, what confuses me is the lack of consistency. When I upload pics of real work that’s been completed by a business on our site and attach a price tag – whether it’s a renovation or something else – these same businesses say that the “customer got ripped off” and that they could have done the job for much less (and I normally only post case studies where I think the customer has gotten a good deal!)
Our website aims to help get customers a fair deal, but there’s no way we want to do this at the expense of our businesses. When it comes to our pricing guides, we are the messenger. We are simply reporting on the prices that have been quoted on the site. We rely on businesses to submit a fair price for the work and not undercut their peers.
The same goes on Facebook, rather than jumping at the chance to call out a business for overcharging, maybe take the time to ask questions about what was actually included in the price. As you know, these small details can make a world of difference to the overall cost.
So, I guess the moral is…if you support each other, you’ll help us form a more consistent and accurate pricing message for future customers. Are you in?