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Thread: Are You The Best?

  1. Are You The Best?

    I was listeneing to Randy Bartlett's tape titled "Raising Your Rates While Lowering Your Guilt" from the 2000 DJ Times Convention with Dr. Drax on our way to a PADJ meeting, when something he said really struck me.

    To paraphrase he said:

    "If you charge less than another DJ in your market, then you are admitting by your price that his service is better than yours. But if you are the best in your market, then you should be getting the highest prices."


    So, here are my probing questions... (He said probing...)

    #1: Are you the best DJ in your market?

    #2: If so, are you charging substantially more than your "competition"?

    #3: If not, who is the best DJ in your market?

    #4: Is he (and/or she) charging substantially more then you?

    #5: Do agree that anyone in your market who is charging more than you is delivering better service than you?

    #6: Do believe that you provide better service than DJs in your market who are getting more than you are?

    #7: If so, why haven't you rasied your rates?

    Here's my answers...

    #1: No
    #2: N/A
    #3: Mark & Rebecca Ferrell, Chase & Kelly
    #4: $600 to $1,000+ more than me
    #5: Yes
    #6: No, because they work as couples and I work solo
    #7: N/A

    As far as I know at this point, I am the most expensive solo wedding DJ in my area. But if I were made aware of another solo wedding DJ in my area who is successfully getting booked at a higher rate than mine, I would gladly acknowledge that he must be providing a better quality of service than I am.

    So how do you measure up in your market?

    "Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!"
    Peter Merry
    Author of "The Best Wedding Reception...Ever!"
    http://www.TheBestWeddingReceptionEver.com

  2. #2
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    Wasn't there a "Pricing Forum" set up for threads like this?

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  3. #3
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    Who cares who is the best? I view this as the "mine is bigger than yours" mentality. I could care less who thinks they are the best in my market. I want to be the most financially successful. I suppose I am. Every other dj in my market has to work a day job to get by.

    Peter it appears your thread is heading back in that old direction. It also appears you are not taking operating cost and expenses into account. As I have pointed out MANY times, the guy charging more is not always putting more in his pocket.

    I agree with John. Maybe it's time to bring back that old board for you guys that want to hash this out.

  4. #4
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    I just read the Bartlett quote again. No, maybe the dj that charges more is admitting that his expenses are higher. Peter did you know, based on figures that Randy has presented in the past, that I can charge $500 less per night than he does, and put the same amount of profit into my pocket as he does?

    I say some of you guys need to learn how to operate more efficiently. Give yourself a REAL pay raise and cut your expenses.

    I think I will now remain silent on this. I am sure you will find plenty of djs to chime in on what I view as a question that will go nowhere.

  5. #5
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    This might be of interest to some (and surely poo-poo'd by others). As you may know, Hewlett-Packard recently acquired Compaq. HP is headquartered in northern California and Compaq is headquartered in Houston. The head honchos will soon determine whether they will establish the newly merged company in HP's northern California base or in Compaq's Houston base.

    Their decision does not concern us, but a recent Houston Chronicle Business Section article -- associated with this merger -- was most illuminating in comparing the cost of housing between northern California and metropolitan Houston. I didn't save the article so I'll have to go from memory here. The median price of a 3-bedroom home is around $117,000 in the region around Compaq's Houston headquarters; the median price of a 3-bedroom home is around $280,000 in the region around HP's headquarters in northern California. Apartment rental differences were just as staggering. A 2-bedroom apartment in the region around Compaq's Houston headquarters is around $700 a month; the same 2-bedroom apartment in HP's northern California region is a whopping $1700 a month.

    DJ's have to have a place to live, right? So ...

    Class ... What have we learned about DJ pricing today?

    Scott

  6. #6
    As a businessman, can I not set a profit margin I want to make on each job. Then go out and offer a quality, maybe the best service ever offered to my customer at a lower price than my competition?

    If I deem myself the best, hell, if my customer deems myself the best in my market...do I have to raise my rates to reflect that if I am happy with my profits?

    Needless to say, once, IF, my calendar ever fills up, yes I may raise my rates. I do not want to work 2 gigs a week for 52 weeks. I am not trying to feed my family on my dj income right now.

    I am however trying to offer the best entertainment value to my clients without them feeling I have taken advantage of them. IMHO I think in the wedding industry, vendors take advantage of clients becuase it is a once in a lifetime event. A wedding should not cost $10,000 or more unless market COL dictates that. I know local vendors that get more for the same catered meal for a wedding than they do the exact same meal for a corporate outing. This is not right. We are all professionals and by it being a wedding does not change our job. If you have 25 weddings under your belt or 500, it's the same. Contrary, if you have 500 you know it shoould be easier for you thus making your job easier.

    These are my personal feelings. Not backed by industry studys or years of research. I have 2 daughters that someday will be married and I know we will not spend unheard of prices for the weddings. They will be lovely, but not be rendering my retirement useless.

    Roy

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Scott Susor
    Class ... What have we learned about DJ pricing today?
    Oh teacher, I know I know!!

    *ahem* DJ pricing is relative to the standards of living in a given market. A DJ who charges $1200 in a market with $280,000 homes has the same purchasing power as a DJ who charges $600 in a market with $117,000 homes.

    *ahem* In a recessionary business cycle, the American public becomes more price sensitive and searches for bargains based on price, and not necessarily on value. Their apprehension about losing their job and not being able to replace it soon thereafter makes them hesitant to purchase big ticket items.

    Well, teacher, how'd I do?

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  8. Housing costs were not an issue. Comparative prices between differing markets was not an issue.

    Being the best in your market and getting the highest price in your market was the issue.

    Comparative markets, cost of living and home values are all valid, but not realted to the topic at hand...

    So are you the best or not? (In your market...)
    Peter Merry
    Author of "The Best Wedding Reception...Ever!"
    http://www.TheBestWeddingReceptionEver.com

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by DJ Gila
    So are you the best or not? (In your market...)
    By what objective standard of measurement, Peter?

    Scott

  10. Scott~

    Read #5 again really slowly...

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by DJ Gila
    Scott~

    Read #5 again really slowly...
    OK, happily ...

    #5: ... Do ... agree ... that ... anyone ... in ... your ... market ... who ... is ... charging ... more ... than ... you ... is ... delivering ... better ... service ... than ... you?

    Your turn to read MY question slowly ...

    By ... what ... objective ... standard ... of ... measurement, ... Peter?

    Scott

  12. #12
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    I answered it once, Go back and read what I wrote about Randy in my second post. I can not make it any clearer. Do you not understand how profit margins work? Maybe the dj in your market that charges more than you can explain it to you.

  13. Joe~

    I know that profit margins are you pet project, but the question was based on service provided, not profit margins.

    There are plenty of businesses that have great profit margins, but offer lousy service.

    Fry's Electronics is notorious for their lack of service, but because they sell commodities at the cheapest price, they stay in business and make a great profit.

    Nordstrom's is reknown for their great service and their high prices. A jacket purchased at Penny's will likely be three to five times as much when purhcased at Nordstrom's, but would Pennys' be willing to admit that Nordtrom's offers better service. Based on Penny's prices, the answer would be yes.

    Start a profit margin thread again if you'd like, but the question remains, if someone is able to successfully charge more than you in your market, would you be willing to admit that they must be offering a higer quality of service?

    It's a very simple objective test- for most of us...

  14. #14
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    I am sure other djs are having no problem understanding my point. To answer your #5 question in a way that you may understand it.....

    They might be....They might not be...

    Who Cares?

  15. #15
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    Re: Are You The Best?

    Originally posted by DJ Gila

    As far as I know at this point, I am the most expensive solo wedding DJ in my area. But if I were made aware of another solo wedding DJ in my area who is successfully getting booked at a higher rate than mine, I would gladly acknowledge that he must be providing a better quality of service than I am.
    Not sure why you would think that. Just because he charges more than you he must be better?

    Why?

    Seems like you would need to know a lot more to make that assumption, like actually seeing him/her in action, right?
    Scott Peck
    Backstage Pass Mobile DJ Service
    Bellingham, Washington

  16. #16
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    Scott Peck:

    I'm glad to see that you understand. For some reason Peter assumes just because one djs charges more, that his service must be better.

    Could be the more expensive dj has more expenses he has to cover.

    As I read Peters original post, I am wondering what he is trying to say. He admits that Mark and his wife charge more than he does, but he is quick to point out that they operate as a team. Should we divide their price by two to determine their individual worth. I wonder if Peter would then be getting paid more than each of them. Peter has admitted that Mark is better.

    Peter my friend, you are talking in circles. Are you trying to validate to the djs here at DJChat you are the best?

    Hell, I will concede that. You Da Man!

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Joe Martin
    I'm glad to see that you understand. For some reason Peter assumes just because one djs charges more, that his service must be better.
    There's another big assumption being made here too, right Peter? That other big assumption is that this "other DJ" who CHARGES more actually GETS WHAT HE CHARGES. I could tell people that I charge $10,000 a gig, because I'm WORTH $10,000 a gig. But if nobody will PAY ME $10,000 a gig, am I still WORTH $10,000 a gig? According to Peter's convoluted logic, I am. Why? Because I am the best and should be paid according to what I think I'm worth. It doesn't matter that the laws of free market economics dictate what I can reasonably expect to get. All that matters is WHAT I THINK I SHOULD GET. Yeh, that's just plain brilliant thinking. And they wonder why nobody will buy this steaming pile of cow dung?

    Scott

  18. #18
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    Apples and Oranges

    #5: Do agree that anyone in your market who is charging more than you is delivering better service than you?
    This really could be apples and oranges here. Mercedes has a new sports coupe that has a starting price of about $25K. That is a lot less than say a Dodge Grand Caravan ES ($32K). Is the Dodge a better car? You can't say because minivans and sports coupes are rated on different criteria. Likewise, if you specialize in school dances, how do you compare yourself to the guy that specializes in Game Show Mania. There is overlap in capability but the direct comparison isn't fair.
    The No-Hype DJ:
    When you can't afford the best...
    I'm one of the rest.

  19. #19
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    Sawdust, I might be wrong here, but I think Peter is just wanting us to validate that he is the best. I have already done so. Anyone really want to disagree? If you do, I am sure he will be quick to tell you otherwise.

  20. Scott~

    As I stated from the start, "...successfully getting booked at a higher rate than mine" which is much different than claiming to be booked at $10,000.

    Change the premise if you want to, but question remains the same...

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