Pianotech

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You know you're not charging enough when...

  • 1.  You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-24-2022 19:45
    ...you hand the customer your invoice and they say: "Oh, that's all? The last tuner charged twice as much, and didn't do nearly as good a job as you."

    ...and then does not give you a tip.


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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 2.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-24-2022 20:07
    If I could have had a dollar for every time one of my customers asked if that enough, I could retire. 

    Oh, wait.......


    Smile

    Wim





  • 3.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-24-2022 20:35
    For me, it usually seems to be right when I bid between $700-$1000 for a job and the client gives me 'the face,' then says, "Oh really? We were expecting $2-$3k to get it fixed."

    Facepalm. I am getting better at bidding, but it still hurts whenever I get this comment. Should've bid higher!

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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (256) 947-9999
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 4.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Member
    Posted 05-25-2022 00:53
    Is any one charging a fuel fee to help with the increase on full costs ? Our gas prices in SC are all above $4 a gallon and in the Boston area, CT and NJ where I was recently is was closer to $5 a gallon. I have a 19 gallon tank so its $76 to fill @ $4 a gallon and $ 95 @ $5 a gallon


    Someone recently said my fees where high to which I replied a plumber or electrician charges even more
    ​​

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 5.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-25-2022 09:51

    $4/gallon? I'm going to drive over there to fill up! We're at $5.15 in Oregon. I've raised my mileage rate. I don't charge for a 10-mile radius, but I'm thinking of changing that too. I used to have a zone rate-this much for this city, etc. but distances within cities can vary widely.

    Perception of fees is an interesting topic not only because it varies so much but because most of the time we probably never really know what people are thinking. They're generally too polite to say one way or another. 

    I had a guy come to fix my rattling screen door-he charged $115 just to show up. Plus more to "fix it," which he didn't really do. I just smiled and forked it over, but made a mental note not to call him again. I suspect most people are like that.

    I'll bet many pianos get trapped in a continuous pitch raise/poor regulation condition: the owner gets it tuned infrequently, each time getting a price shock as fees rise. Then another decade goes by. Repeat.

    if someone were to complain about a basic tuning fee (they haven't), that actually makes my life easier because I won't chase them down next year. Reminder card and postage stamp saved.



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    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
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  • 6.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-25-2022 12:38

    I recently raised my rates after 5 years at the same rate.  It's not gas, only.  It's everything else has gone up a lot as well.  With Diesel prices going through the roof, everything will continue to add to inflation, not just our driving needs.  Again, Steinway massively increased their parts recently.  I'm not going to eat that either.

     

    It's a nasty upward spiral that shows no signs of stopping.

     

    There again, what were your tuning prices 25 years ago??  Who can afford to live on $50-75 prices? Weren't tuning prices about $25 in the '50"s?

     

    It's just life.  It's not great.

     

    If we ever had a huge DE-flation (LOLOLOL) would you lower your current rates accordingly?

     

     






  • 7.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-25-2022 10:11
    Fuel fee add on? Nope. It's a cost of business, like insurance, tools, vehicle ownership, etc.
    Adjust your prices. Work at getting away from fossil fuels (panels on your roof, mini splits for heat & A/C, buy an EV).
    Currently driving a gas hog RAV4, I need to change that.

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    Patrick Draine RPT
    Billerica MA
    (978) 663-9690
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  • 8.  RE: You know you're not charging enough when...

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-25-2022 10:25
    Patrick,
    Isn't it a question of what you call it? You don't have to call it a "fuel fee." You can just call it a "standard mileage rate."

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    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
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