Should you post prices on your web site?

There’s another lively debate going on over at the CFC LinkedIn group discussion area. The question is:

What are your thoughts about presenting ‘prices’ on your website?

Apparently, this freelancer used to have a page with prices and it was the most visited page on her site! Since she took it down, she gets lots of inquiries from people who want to know “if they can afford her.”

Should she put the pricing page back up so she doesn’t have to talk to these people in the first place? Are those conversations a waste of her time? And if you think it depends, on what does it depend?

Share your perspective here and/or join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

BTW: This will be one of the questions I’ll be asking the illustrious panel for “Perspectives on Money and Pricing” on June 22nd in Boston at the 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference. Sign up here and take advantage of the combo $100 discount: $50 early bird before Mar 30th + $50 Marketing Mentor discount with promo code “CMM12

10 thoughts on “Should you post prices on your web site?

  1. Megan

    This is always an interesting issue and one that I can see both perspectives on. When my website goes live later this year, I intend to make indicative rates available, but I will make it clear that each project is assessed individually. This way, prospective clients can get an idea of cost without having to go through the enquiry process.

    What do others do on their websites?

  2. Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

    My design business has been online since 1998 and from the very beginning I knew that I would never be posting any prices online. First of all, the specifics of each project varies so much that generic price posts might just complicate matters and confuse site visitors. Secondly, posting prices would eliminate the opportunity to have a business dialogue with a potential client. Those truly interested in my services need to contact me via phone or email. “Tire kickers” are quickly weeded out by the initial pricing information I then provide.

  3. Eve Daniel

    This is a subject that my husband and I go around and around with. We price things per project. Yes, we have an hourly rate is that is how someone wishes to pay, but even that changes slightly depending on how much work we are doing with said client. Most design companies in our area do not list prices or even hourly rates. I like what Jeff says about weeding out “tire kickers”, but that also means that your online portfolio must present your very very best work and a wide enough gamut that it would make a variety of different types of clients interested in working with you. Unless of course you are placing yourself in a specific niché such as churches, bands or real estate or something. It is definitely a tough market out there. What is the best way to make your company stand out from all of the rest?

  4. htech

    No. Not only do you not want to put your pricing on a website, I believe you don’t want to distribute pricing for any of your work beyond what you set in a proposal for a specific project for an individual client.

    Formal proposals not only let you set a firm price, they also let you define the scope of the project and define rules for changes and additions that extend beyond the scope of the original project. This is especially true if you like setting project prices, though I recommend you instead set hourly rates and offer firm estimates to fulfill obligations within the scope of your proposal. Written proposals prevent miscommunication and misinterpretation, either accidental or intentional, for what you’ve promised to deliver.

    You want to talk to every tire-kicker, because you want to know who they are, establish a likelihood of doing business with them and qualify whether you want to establish a marketing relationship with them.

    Even the prospects who don’t immediately buy from you can be entered into your client and prospects database. If you want to work with them, this allows you to maintain contact with them and solicit their business. If you don’t want to work with them, you can establish a record to that effect in your database that keeps you from accidentally falling into a bad business relationship.

  5. Jon Sandruck - ohTwentyone

    I’ve been a freelance designer for most of the last 12 years, and I’ve recently gotten to the point where I am seriously considering posting pricing on my site for the first time.

    I like the way they handle it over at Newfangled, which is to give a pretty broad range, and offer some case studies with ranges attached.

    The reality is that I have a range that I’m comfortable with, a minimum budget for every type of project, and some basic terms that are true about every project I do. If publishing that info will prevent me from spending countless hours every month entertaining tire-kickers, then it may be well worth it.

  6. Barbara

    I too have gone back and forth with posting pricing and ultimately chose not to do so. As others have already stated, depending on a project and its parameters as well as the technology used to execute it can vary the cost greatly. If people simply see a number/price without any type of conversation there is little opportunity to explain the value that goes into it. I believe that there is still the stigma that undervalues designers and what they truly do for clients. As for “tire-kickers” – just dealt with one of those. It appears that attorneys do not like to part with their money.

  7. d1ng0

    I would leave the prices out. Is better to have a better knowlwdge of the project before commiting to a price. By putting the price out there you also might turn off prospective clients if it is too high and clients looking for something cheap tend to go with the web design mills. Is also easier to sell yourself while on the phone and the client would apppreciate to be able to ask questions. If the phone is an issue, start a google voice account and use that as your contact number. That way you are not bothered 24-7.

  8. Kevin Barnard

    The only pricing I have on my website is at the very bottom of the home page –
    Design Consultation
    $50 per hour. Order through PayPal.
    …with an “Add to Cart” button.

    This works great for clients who want to order “À la carte” – while at the same time indicating my basic hourly rate to the casual visitor.

  9. T Katz

    The achievement of a Fast Food chain like McDonalds is, that they standardized a food item and made it available in the same way around the globe. The standardized item contains the least common denominators of components necessary for a hamburger.
    Graphic design is a service that is most of time custom made. Elements, amount of research and individual requirements change the scope of each project. Even a logo, a task that might be able to be standardized, requires each time more or less research and custom care. There surely might be mills that throw logos together the way a hamburger is assembled, however a professional designer should prefer a custom approach to deliver a true match for a unique client.
    Posting prices on your website can be a tool to secure a minimum price for a standard service, but it might also mean that you plan to deliver a standard item. Or the bare minimum as in the hamburger. You will have to spend the same time on each item, or less, no matter if it fits the project or not. Is that really possible if you care? It might mean that you might overcharge if you are faster, or deliver something unfinished or eat your time, when you work longer.

    If you post an hourly rate on your website, it will tell people that you are expensive compared to Bangalore, but cheap compared to New York. The client still won’t know how fast you work and if you are able to do the job to his satisfaction.

  10. Monica Betel

    I put pricing ranges on my website but specify that custom quotes vary. I decide to do this just because I tend to get a lot of inquiries for ‘cheap and dirty’ jobs (aka logo designs for $100, etc.), most of which I find aren’t worth my time and my experience is that a conversation with these types of clients doesn’t lead to a negotiation of a more realistic price.

    It’s an interesting idea to leave pricing out and potentially capture business by phone or e-mail – the ability to sell oneself is a huge plus – but I’m not sure how much that actually happens. How many people come to your site and maybe don’t bother to contact because they don’t see a price? In today’s world, with instand gratification, I think a lot of people want to be able to know the cost right away – or at least a ballpark figure.