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Thread: Revealing Travel and PITA Setup Fees

  1. #1
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    Revealing Travel and PITA Setup Fees

    Travel and PITA Setup Fees.

    When do you charge it (for what situations), and when do you mention there is a travel fee or PITA setup fee?

    If you don't advertise your rates, until you communicate with the consumer to get more details about their event, do you just tuck it in with the price when quoted? Or, come out and say the rate will be xxxx and travel is xxx extra?

    If you advertise/display your rate, thus a solid number or starting at XXXX. How do you go about saying there is also a travel or PITA fee? Do you include a travel fee structure in your brochure? Or, get a bit sneaky and tuck it in on the contract showing rate plus addition for travel with out ever mention a travel fee.

    Have you ever lost an event because you asked to me paid for travel and/or a hotel, if hours away from your home base?
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  2. #2
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    Search this forum, much can be learned by doing your own homework.
    Rocky 'djrox' Bourg
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  3. #3
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    A couple of suggestions.

    1) If prices are advertised, a simple "begins from" or "starts at" will allow for the flexibility in quotations. No need to paint oneself into a fixed corner.
    2) When quoting a job that requires extra time, extra labor, extra travel and living expenses, include all those items into a single quote and state clearly that your fee is all inclusive and includes all expenses, including T & L.
    3) DO NOT offer a customer a line item list of what each expenses is and how much. You will find yourself needing to explain each item and, in some cases, find yourself negotiating those specifics and costs. There's your PITA!
    4) For your own bookkeeping, do keep an itemized list of expenses as some may carry a higher tax deduction than standard straight line expenses.
    5) Respectfully decline any customer attempt to "put you up for the night". After being housed overnight in a couple of flea bag low life hotels/motels, never again. Arrange for your own accommodations and meals, then add those fees to your quote.
    6) Where most go astray is in charging for their "time" involved in travel. Getting reimbursed for mileage is swell but what about the hours of your time spent behind the wheel? What's your free time worth, then add it in to the single quote.

    This is the route I take and it's simple, straightforward, and (most importantly) hassle free.
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrox View Post
    Search this forum, much can be learned by doing your own homework.
    Searching for very current thoughts on this topic. Always seeking a fresh perspective over the stale and old.

    Great post Cap. Thanks.
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  5. #5
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    I have never charged extra for what you call a PITA setup. I'm happy to get the job. As for a travel expense I say get the details of the event and give them a price quote. Let the potential client decide if they want to pay that amount or keep looking. That's if you don't decide to open up the conversation for negotiations. For me I feel most people are not going to care about how you came up with that price but what the price is.

    I don't need to know how much it costs a company to make a TV. I just need to know how much I have to spend to own the TV. Now if you require a room for a night after doing an event then I think they should know about that being included in the place quote.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmachoman View Post
    I have never charged extra for what you call a PITA setup. I'm happy to get the job. As for a travel expense I say get the details of the event and give them a price quote. Let the potential client decide if they want to pay that amount or keep looking. That's if you don't decide to open up the conversation for negotiations. For me I feel most people are not going to care about how you came up with that price but what the price is.

    I don't need to know how much it costs a company to make a TV. I just need to know how much I have to spend to own the TV. Now if you require a room for a night after doing an event then I think they should know about that being included in the place quote.
    Is this your Happy Hour
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmachoman View Post
    I have never charged extra for what you call a PITA setup. I'm happy to get the job...
    Desperate is never happy, not in any thesaurus or life I'm aware of.
    Rocky 'djrox' Bourg
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrox View Post
    Desperate is never happy, not in any thesaurus or life I'm aware of.
    Please explain what you posted here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmachoman View Post
    Please explain what you posted here.
    I am suggesting/stating when you say, "...happy to get the job" it is more like "...desperate to get the job."
    Rocky 'djrox' Bourg
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockingdj View Post
    Searching for very current thoughts on this topic. Always seeking a fresh perspective over the stale and old.
    You are free to seek new ways but there is no need to reinvent the wheel and advances in sliced bread are not likely forthcoming.

    I suspect Cap's wisdom, posted above, has been posted in this very forum and likely multiple times, hence my suggestion to do your homework.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockingdj View Post
    Great post Cap.
    I'll second that.
    Rocky 'djrox' Bourg
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrox View Post
    I am suggesting/stating when you say, "...happy to get the job" it is more like "...desperate to get the job."
    Not desperate as I'm selective as to the jobs I agree to do. I just don't understand a DJ nickel and dimming a client. If you charge a nice price for your services, I don't see the need to add a extra charge for the load in and out. That's just my opinion. Others can do what they feel they need to do.

  12. #12
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    So is that Desperately Selective .. or .. Selectively Desperate?
    Steve Montambault, Copper Sound
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  13. #13
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    What I should have said is I'm grateful when a potential client agrees to us being the DJ for the event they are having. Not letting my ego get in the way because they could have easily said no thanks.

    Obviously certain potential clients are worth dealing with. So I let them look elsewhere today. At one time I would take on any client having an event for any amount of money. Not today.

  14. #14
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    Go to 00:57
    Rocky 'djrox' Bourg
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockingdj View Post
    Travel and PITA Setup Fees.

    When do you charge it (for what situations), and when do you mention there is a travel fee or PITA setup fee?
    We have a real pisser of a load in at one venue.
    Fortunately, everybody in town charges an extra fee to play there, so an explanation isn't necessary.
    Some DJ's simply refuse to ever play there.

    As for mileage, I just work it into the overall fee....but it happens very rarely for me.
    I just had one, and when she originally requested a quote...
    I told her that my fee would have to START at $______ because of the drive.
    She totally understood.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrox View Post

    Go to 00:57
    I say PITA and guess who that is for?

  17. #17
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    As someone who does a lot of out of state events, I have a common procedure that I follow. Any event outside of nj has a travel fee. This is on my website and on all my pricing information given to a client so there are no surprises. Philly area is about $100, manhattan is $500, and Long Island starts at $150 generally. If it is an event that requires me to stay a night and give up a day of a potential event, then I charge around 2x my avg booking price for that time of year. They are required to pay for my airfare/hotel/equipment rentals etc. Unless they are Booking the hotel that the event is at (if it is at one) I arrange all accommodations and have them approve before adding it to the bill. Typically I will research the area before giving a contract to provide the proper expectations of what flight/hotel/rentals may cost and so that there are no surprises.

    As far as load in fees... I can’t imagine why on earth you’d need to charge for that. Just get there earlier. Some venues are easy some are difficult, it kinda balances out in the end. The only time I charge is if I CANT get in early enough (minimum 2 hours) and then have to charge for extra labor to accommodate the shorter amount of time given. This is all in my contract.

  18. #18
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    My rates cover travel up to 80 miles each way from my residence. Anything over 80 miles is $2.00 per mile. Anything over 125 miles has a hotel room added into quote by me.

    I charge $125 extra to go into Washington D.C. just because of parking and DC is a pita.

  19. #19
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    I think Cap's advice is best. When you itemize, you invite unnecessary negotiation.

    Cap's advice about accommodation may be sound in the general case. However, if the event is at a hotel, it is probably at least a 3-star property and sufficient. I once got put up at a destination resort and they even arranged for me to be the closest guest room to the banquet area. My load out was 20'. I just put the gear in my guest room and brought it to the car the next day after I had a nice rest.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust123 View Post
    I once got put up at a destination resort and they even arranged for me to be the closest guest room to the banquet area. My load out was 20'. I just put the gear in my guest room and brought it to the car the next day after I had a nice rest.
    Funny how some venues are more accommodating than you could ever hope for...
    while others treat you like crap, and make your life miserable.

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