Quote This Project – Fishing Supply Company Pricing Results

Quote This Project – Fishing Supply Company Pricing Results


A little over a week ago, we set up a survey for a mock project and asked you to give us a quote as a wrap up to our Pricing Bootcamp series. Now that we’ve wrapped up the contest, I’d like to take a look at the results. Thanks to all 67 of you who responded to our pricing challenge!

The Scenario

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to read the announcement post, here’s a quick recap of the mock project requirements:

The Background

A medium sized fishing supply company has approached you about building a website to help promote their store and offer additional information for their customers. This is NOT an e-commerce site, although they will be displaying product information. If a CMS is going to be included, you will have no part in it.

They have no website currently, although both domain and hosting have been taken care of. Both copy and images have also been taken care of. You are responsible for the design and development only. The client has a deadline of three weeks from start date.

Website/Design Deliverables:

The final product should include the following:

  1. A six page website developed primarily in XHTML/CSS
  2. PHP driven contact form for customers to submit additional questions.
  3. Two different design comps of possible layouts (to be done in Photoshop)
  4. Three rounds of revision (each) will be allotted for the website coding and layout comps

How You Quoted

With 67 total entries, here’s a breakdown of pricing. I’m particularly happy that nobody chose the 25k+ option, because that would have begged for a follow up question or two.

Mock quote results

Further Comments

Many of you included some great insight in the additional comments field. In the interest of privacy I’ll only disclose the comment and submitted quote for each. I’ve broken down some of the highlights below based on price range.

Quoted Under $1K

Copy and images finished, web hosting ready… there’s really nothing to do except think up a design and hack it out in XHTML…

…I couldn’t imagine someone working eight hour days, five days a week, and still needing three whole weeks to complete two designs.

Without myself writing any content, and some minimal JavaScript/jQuery for presentation, I would probably charge around $600 for a project like this.

Quoted $1-3K

Since you’re really just designing it for them, no real dirty work to be done which keeps it relatively cheap. I would say, however, this price will definitely vary on how established you are as a company and how big. Especially lately, it’s tough to compete with the “oh my nephew does HTML Graphics” people.

Well, I’d try and aim for the $1,001 – $3,000 because the project is requiring a number of different revisions on both the coding and design, along with two design mockups. Possibly depending on the complexity of the design, the coding could become harder or easier.

There is a lot to consider in this project, but we have to keep in mind the size of the company and what they’re about along with a deadline.

I understood “Medium sized fishing supply company” as a company having more than 50 workers. In that case I would price a little higher such a company than a single person – John Smith the fisherman. The reason is, that I believe they will have more requirements. If I had done this for the Smith fisherman I would choose option one. In this case I am choosing option two as a bottom line. The more is required by the client (i.e. additional project design iterations) the more additional money I will charge (easy to say, hard to execute tho:) ). But yes – 3 weeks, 1000$ – 3000$ for a work sounds reasonable for me.

I would have liked to have tighter ranges for the price. In situations where 3 revisions are necessary, and I know very little about the business (I really know nothing about fishing) I find myself less likely to give an accurate estimate. So, in the past, I have been very honest with the client about my lack of enthusiasm or lack of knowledge for their product. And as such, need to do some more research on the business itself. I then explain what my hourly rate is and then give them a maximum project price based off that hourly rate, but give him a range that he can expect. In this situation I was thinking between 900-1150 where 900 would be the cheapest it would be and 1150 would be the most (even if I go over on my estimate). More often than not, I hit somewhere in the middle which usually leaves the client very satisfied. The design is the only tough part of this project. The HTML/CSS would take no time at all once pounding away.


Quoted $3-5K

I would tend towards the higher end of the 3-5k range because 3 weeks seems like it would put me on an accelerated timeline. This would also mean strictly sticking to the time line and the 3 rounds of revisions – this is also assuming the client is pretty easy to work with (and will not try to stretch the boundaries of the contract).

I’d charge around about the 3,500$ mark, based on the fact that there is no CMS to be involved, and all that they are after is designs and xhmtl/css pages. If they wanted all the copy written for them, I’d probably charge ~$50/hr of writing.

Quoted at $5-10K

…As a freelancer, it is just me doing the work, and I can only squeeze in the time to work on this when I’m not stuck behind my cubicle walls at my day job.  That leaves precious few hours to devote to this project…

…I would quote so high because it will serve as a litmus test for the client.  Every client wants work done cheap and fast–but few are willing to pay for it.  Coming in with a high, yet realistic quote will guage whether the client is serious about the project, or whether their just trying to get a quick web site for pocket change…

Thanks again to all those who responded, I was impressed with many of the comprehensive comments we received!

Discussion

One thing to keep in mind when looking over these numbers is that I did not ask about the designer’s background or skill level. It’s entirely possible that some might come from high brow design agency with high price tags, while others may simply be hobbyists. This is an important thing to consider, because price can also be determined by quality.

As promised, the winners of the contest have been selected and will be contacted by the end of the day to receive their free Billings license courtesy of Marketcircle. Thanks for your participation everyone!

So now that you’ve seen how other web designers have priced this project, what do you think? Has this changed your views on website value? Or just further supported your case for being a “great deal?”

Posted Monday, June 29th, 2009 · Back to Top

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16 Comments 1 Mentions

  1. Austin Author Editor

    Zach, how would you quote the project?

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  2. Alexander Graf Author Editor

    Very interesting results. I, too, am glad that nobody chose the > 20k option. I’m a little surprised that only 67 people answered the quiz, especially since there are real prizes involved.

    Anyway, for me, the mini-series and the quiz were really helpful. Thanks for that and congratulations to the winners of the Billings license! It’s an awesome product and I’ll probably fork out the money as well next month, once my trial expires.
    .-= Alexander Graf´s last blog ..Improving Twitter’s Location Field =-.

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  3. Jermaine Rattray Author Editor

    This article was of great insight. I must admit i recently found out about this site and I find it to be of great use. Good work, keep it up.
    As for the challenge. Id say under $1000.
    Responses were great in my opinion, and brings a lot of things into consideration.

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  4. Steve-o Author Editor

    Just came across this blog post. The valuation of services being rendered is a bit ridiculous by those choosing $1000 and under. A better way to quote a project like this would be to take into consideration similar previous projects delivered and the increase in recorded revenue, sales, efficiency, etc achieved by previous client(s). For example, if you developed a similar web site which achieved an increase of $500,000 in sales for a client or streamlined an aspect of e-commerce which saved $30,000 at year end for a client…charging < $1,000 for the same services would be an enormous under valuation of services rendered and would be an extremely poor business decision. The actual amount of lost revenue (due to under quoting) would be staggering.

    At price points of < $1000 for such projects, I am not sure how you could even support employees, salaries, office space, benefits, etc (even before taxes). You would have to be producing a tremendous amount of web work per week to grow even the smallest bit….which, given the saturation of "web design companies" undercutting everyone else and offshore firms charging close to slave labor wages these days…isn't too likely.

    To make it short, you won't be in business for the long run by continuously "under billing" yourself and your company…not to mention the disservice you do to the industry. Unless of course, your goals are just to work solo out of your mother's basement for the rest of your life. ;)

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  5. Rich Staats Author Editor

    @ steve-o

    Well if the fisherman went to woothemes he could get a fabulous, cms driven theme with all the bells and whistles for $70. Actually, he could get 2 themes for $70. And that theme would be more advanced than the html static page he was looking for.

    I don’t think its fair to say that bidding under 1k is so ridiculous. True: you get what you pay for, but if you are a freelancer charging 50/hour and estimate it taking you no more than 20 hours (of work) then you are doing very well. I have taken psd mockups and coded 6 pages in a half of a day. And I have been fortunate enough to get design approval rather quickly. So if i can get this site done in a week, I would say 1k is pretty nice for a freelancer.

    Not so much for an agency, but they charge so much for overhead and insurance and so on and so forth. Most of my agency friends make a lot less than i do, they just have a consistent salary.
    .-= Rich Staats´s last blog ..Spots Still Available for Wilderness Medicine Course =-.

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  6. Rich Staats Author Editor

    not to say you are wrong in your opinion, just not taking into account the potential range in bidders for a project like this: students, freelancers, small firms, and agencies. Each one has a different way of determining a price.

    Good thoughts though!
    .-= Rich Staats´s last blog ..Spots Still Available for Wilderness Medicine Course =-.

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  7. rohnn Author Editor

    Agreed with Steve-o.
    Any serious & realistic one can’t charge $600 if one want’s his business to last; look :
    2 designs, 3 revisions + 6 pages production time. At min, let’s say 3 days => $200 / day before taxes & costs !
    No way one’s business can live on that if in EU or USA.

    Still, this really depends where you business is based :
    based in US or EU, you surely wont survive with that price… Based where I am based (Eastern Europe, non-EU), my business it not at risk but it wont be growing… In Pakistan (for instance) may be it is a interresting price…. Need to take that into account I believe

    On another subject, stuff like “As a freelancer, … squeeze in the time … when not … at my day job.” is completely disconnected from reality. The dude can call himself how he wants, but freelancing is not about squeezing projects on your spare time.

    I am a freelancer, yes, and that my friend, is a full time job ! :)

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  8. Utopie – Website Design Liverpool Author Editor

    Let’s face it, the hobbiest designer does our heads in and without having too much of a glum outlook, I wonder if this industry will ever be taken seriously enough for the SME and freelance designers to have a stable future in this game.

    One of the problems is that a lot of people have absolutly no idea when a website looks bad or when it looks good, and that isn’t even considering the code behind everything that makes it tick!

    AND, add onto the top of that companies like BT are now offering relitivly cheap websites with a turn around of a day or 2!!

    I would charge a about £900 for that, not sure what that is in dollars.

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  9. rohnn Author Editor

    @utopie
    “people have absolutly no idea when a website looks bad or when it looks good”
    Somehow, I agree, but I believe it is like wine tasting. :)
    To ppl who don’t know, you can serve anything.
    Still, when tasting a great wine they’ll instantly feel its quality.

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  10. Rich Staats Author Editor

    “Let’s face it, the hobbiest designer does our heads in and without having too much of a glum outlook, I wonder if this industry will ever be taken seriously enough for the SME and freelance designers to have a stable future in this game.”

    Good point. I think that if a hobbyist screws the job up, which is very possible (and likely) since he/she can’t possibly be as talented or knowledgeable as a professional, the client would be pretty foolish to look for the cheapest bid in the future. Or maybe not, I don’t know.

    @Utopie: 900 pounds is a little under 1500 US, which I have a feeling is what most people were quoting.
    .-= Rich Staats´s last blog ..Spots Still Available for Wilderness Medicine Course =-.

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  11. Jeevan Author Editor

    Only a professional will know when a website looks great. Pro will have better understanding of the design aspects and back end work that needs to be done compared to a hobbyist who might always try work out a great design but when it’s converted into an actual site, they’ll face problems.

    just my 2 cents.
    .-= Jeevan´s last blog ..FlicksWorld.com =-.

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  12. Michael Kozakewich Author Editor

    One thing I was forgetting in my consideration was the size of the company. When dealing with single people (especially because I, as a single person, am so darn frugal), I find it really hard to charge a few hundred dollars, let alone $1000. For a medium-sized company, though, $1000 isn’t all that much.
    Another important point to remember is that people gain an expectation of the final product based on their perceptions of the cost. If something seems really expensive, they expect top-notch. If you can do top-notch, you had better charge more than the average Joes.
    .-= Michael Kozakewich´s last blog ..Just Some Updates =-.

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  13. Alex Author Editor

    @Rich – “I think that if a hobbyist screws the job up, which is very possible (and likely) since he/she can’t possibly be as talented or knowledgeable as a professional…”

    Well hang on a minute! :-) There are a lot of assumptions being made there. You’re assuming that a hobbyist is unskilled, because otherwise he would be a professional, well have you considered all those people who might actually do another day job, but still be an incredibly talented artist/designer/coder?

    For example, a friend of mine is a ‘hobbyist’ painter, but their work is an awful lot better than a lot of ‘professionals’, winning a lot of prizes and competitions for their work. Let’s not forget that just because someone is a professional it means automatically they are good at what they do!

    You also mention woothemes. This is an interesting point, and it is companies like them that are going to make it harder for the freelancer. While you get a bargain at $70, for a theme which looks incredible (on the most part) and that has a lot of features (maybe more than needed for the fisherman), it is after all the same theme that other people will be using. So we have to hope that a businessman sees the worth of looking unique, and therefore coming to a hobbyist/freelancer/agency. So in this case $1000 dollars isn’t that outrageous compared to the $70. I would add to that, that woothemes almost underprice themselves, because they know they are going to get hundreds of sales on each theme, and therefore the cheap price tag is multiplied, earning them a lot more for one design than we were talking about quoting here!

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  14. coetsee Author Editor

    coetsee said I am not sure how you could even support employees, salaries, office space, benefits, etc (even before taxes). You would have to be producing a tremendous amount of web work per week to grow even the smallest bit….which, given the saturation of “web design companies” undercutting everyone else and offshore firms charging close to slave labor wages these days…isn’t too likely.

    onlineuniversalwork

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  15. Scorpiono Author Editor

    Zach, Austion has a point, how much would you quote the project?

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  16. Berthold Author Editor

    Frankly, I wouldv’e been scared by this brief. Since when does the client decide how many comps in which software are to be made, or how many revisions are necessary? These things should be at the designer’s disgression. If I don’t feel my design is going to cut it, why would I present it along with another one?

    Another thing that’s scary for professionals and people who endeavour to be professional (me): 3 weeks is an awfully short time for such a project. How will you fit it all in with your other jobs? This means pushing back other designs to focus on this one.

    Thus, <1K is absolutely out of the question. Even though the coding probably won't be all that difficult, with the discovery and research that needs to be done following this short brief and the design process itself, you're looking at 40+ hours including overhead. Which, even at a low $60 hourly rate and exluding nonbillable hours should come to at least 2K. I'd probably not take it at all unless I'm short on work.

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