We’ve naturally come to consider the issue of pricing; more specifically, whether prices should be published.
There are two viewpoints:
- People like to see prices because they can make quick comparisons, or quickly calculate whether a service is within their budget.
- Freelancers prefer to price projects individually to ensure the price represents the time needed to do a good job.
There’s undoubtedly a difference between offering a price for writing content and, say, a price for a pair of shoes. But at the same time, I can understand why people quickly back away from any website which doesn’t clearly advertise how much things cost.
We’re very used to seeing prices: we make some of our buying decisions on price alone, and websites exist solely to compare prices. Insurance companies used to get almost all of their business through brokers: now they compete via automated price comparison sites, even though the cheapest product in a comparison table may actually be inferior.
The pattern of fees on freelancing websites is something of a game-changer too. The prices on those sites are often (not always) lower than a freelancer with experience would charge. The clients often (not always) go for the cheapest price. This distortion of value can set an unhelpful precedent.
- Do you think writers and designers should have a public price list or keep their prices to themselves?
- If you see prices that are too high – or too low – do you find it off-putting?