Posts Tagged ‘underpricing’

To all cheap caricaturists:

While discussing fees with colleagues recently we found ourselves divided into two camps; those who knew their value as artists and entertainers and those who didn’t care and were grateful not to be jobless! Unfortunately the latter camp are driving our prices down as they battle to get paid less and less!!  One northern caricaturist publicly boasted (to paraphrase) “I charge low fees because I’d rather be working every night than charge silly fees and be sat at home!”  Great business plan brainiac! So what is the net result of your pricing structure? You work more frequently because you win jobs from other artists by undercutting them, you do not create more work by under-pricing, no-one ever said “Wow I found a cheap caricaturist (he’s shit but cheap) so lets put on an extra party every night just to hire him!” No! There are a finite number of gigs available in any area on any date, no matter what you charge. You simply now have to work three times as hard to earn what you should be earning in one night, while other full time artists go hungry, unable to drop their prices lower than you. Well done – great ethic.

Know your value and stop undervaluing your colleagues by association and if you are grateful not to be stacking shelves, then maybe its because that’s closer to your true vocation, but I trained all my life to do the creative job at which I excel and will not be comparing my talent to that of a shelf stacker or fairground busker anytime soon!

Do some basic research, find out what your competitors are charging and value your skill by comparison, then endeavour to raise your prices and standards, instead of lowering theirs to meet yours. If you still find yourself at the lower end of the price scale, then maybe its down to the quality of your work and you should consider retraining?….

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Just had a colleague tell me of a tale of woe. He was contacted by a Bride’s sister who needed a last minute stand in for her sister’s wedding. After offering a price he was told;

Her sister had been ‘let down’ by another caricaturist who’d claimed he’d double-booked himself but that the agreed fee was £200 for two hours. The caricaturist had let her know last night, with a week or so to go, and the bride was understandably ‘very upset about it’. I suggested that the caricaturist had probably had a better offer and she agreed that that’s what SHE thought had happened! I ended the conversation by apologizing on behalf of the profession as a whole for such abysmal behavior. I do hope I’m not going to get more of these desperate calls from upset brides and grooms in 2013!

Yet another cheap artist has left a Bride in tears, probably in favor of a higher fee. If an artist thinks they are only worth £200 and happy to work for that, then they should leave the higher paying gigs to those professional artists who are worth the fee and who won’t let our industry down!

I’m getting sick of these ‘fly-by-night’ caricaturists, who ravage our industry and work in a vacuum, without the support of other professionals and who leave a wake of disappointed clients!