Local Company Charging Customers $6500 For Google Map Listing

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I just recently had the opportunity to meet with a new client who owns several Mcdonald's franchises and also several independent tanning salons. She informed me that the company she used for building her website and getting her on Google Maps charged her $6500 dollars!!! for her Google map listing.

This is the shadiest freaking thing I've ever heard of, as it literally takes less than 10 minutes to do. Don't get me wrong, I respect people getting theirs, but come on, that is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. When she stopped paying the $200 for hosting, they disabled the Google Maps listing. That is dishonest especially after she paid that ridiculous amount of money on top of the $200 a month in hosting.

Luckily for me, I'm now in charge of her internet endeavors and probably her wealthy friends. Warriors, today I landed one hell of a client. And if her paying $6500 for a google maps listing is any indicator, I'm going to make some money. But I will be honest and give her reasonable price despite how deep her pockets may be.

Thought I would share this with you guys to show you what's possible if you put yourself out there with local businesses. All it took was a trip to the tanning salon with my girlfriend to meet this client. And it could be a very fruitful endeavor for me.

- Jacob
#$6500 #charging #company #customers #google #listing #local #map
  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    So you gave her a 25% discount, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      So you gave her a 25% discount, right?
      Haha fat chance. She got it 10% off. Still saved $650 dollars. $6000 is definitely worth 10 minutes of my time.

      No but really, I got her google maps listing set up and did it for free. Good will I guess, because as a result I'm going to make some money off her for many months to come.
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      • Profile picture of the author mobilelocal
        Jacob Martus: Classic marketing, give away stuff for free in a couple of steps, then pitch.
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      • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        No but really, I got her google maps listing set up and did it for free. Good will I guess, because as a result I'm going to make some money off her for many months to come.
        There you go. That's the answer. Give it away for free and as the word goes around you get more clients coming to you. Of course on the other hand they will be her competition so its a bit shaky there unless you can get a written testimonial or a review of your work. I've seen this work many times. Great job Jacob.
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      • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        No but really, I got her google maps listing set up and did it for free. Good will I guess, because as a result I'm going to make some money off her for many months to come.
        Sadly, what you're likely to find is that this client won't place any value on your time simply because you don't seem to place any value on it.

        This is exactly how you get bad clients. The kind of clients who call you and waste your time on trivial matters. The kind who don't place any kind of priority on paying your bill. The kind who knows that you're afraid of offending them and who don't respect you, your work or your time.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          Sadly, what you're likely to find is that this client won't place any value on your time simply because you don't seem to place any value on it.

          This is exactly how you get bad clients. The kind of clients who call you and waste your time on trivial matters. The kind who don't place any kind of priority on paying your bill. The kind who knows that you're afraid of offending them and who don't respect you, your work or your time.
          I do understand this line of thinking completely, however I have a hard time believing that this person will not respect me. What makes me afraid to offend them? Because I'm willing to give her a little bit of my time (10 minutes) for free in return for a job building her a new site and hosting it?

          I know this client will be the start of something good for me. Like I said, she's well known in town and spends a lot of money and time with charity. I'm sure now that she knows how much she overpayed, she'll be sure to tell any of her friends who have used the same service or who were planning on using the service not to. I would. And hopefully (wishful thinking?) she will say hey, "This guy knows his stuff, and I'm sure he'd give you a fair deal for the work you're looking for." Seems pretty practical to me, and in my experience the best way to meet potential customers is through a friend or business partner.
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          • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
            Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

            I do understand this line of thinking completely, however I have a hard time believing that this person will not respect me.
            What they're likely do is treat you like one of their hamburger flippers (aka employees) rather than a vendor and fellow business owner. You really have to work on maintaining a business relationship and not an employer/employee relationship. When you're an employee in their mind, you're screwed in more ways than one.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
              Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

              What they're likely do is treat you like one of their hamburger flippers (aka employees) rather than a vendor and fellow business owner. You really have to work on maintaining a business relationship and not an employer/employee relationship. When you're an employee in their mind, you're screwed in more ways than one.
              Very True.

              Like I said earlier, the first clue or hint that you give a business owner that you either don't value your time completely OR that your services are cheap compared to someone elses, in many cases they treat you exactly that way...

              Like your time and effort isn't worth the same as the guy that was charging them a couple hundred bucks more.

              I think throughout this thread, there are people that think that some are saying "hell year, screw the local business guy out of every dime that you can" and that simply isn't the case.

              But, if you go in, make a presentation, and give a price which the business owner agrees to because obviously they see the value, then where is the harm in that?

              On the other hand, if you are doing things with a minimum profit margin, or jumping through a bunch of free hoops to build a relationship, you are not a salesperson or a business owner - you are simply an order taker.

              A press release company called my partner Don the other day and tried to sell us a $600 Press Release written by one of their professional writers - He laughed them off the phone, but I'm sure that they got several people that day to say yes, because they heard the features and benefits, and thought it was a good fit for their business.

              Did the people that said Yes get ripped off? After all, there are people here on the WarriorForum that will write you a good press release and submit it for you for $20...

              Hell no. In their minds they made an educated decision based on the facts that they were given.

              Did we avoid getting scammed? No, we just have enough knowledge and resources to know that we don't need to pay $600 for a press release.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    A service is worth what some one is willing to pay for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      A service is worth what some one is willing to pay for it.
      Agreed. But that is unethical in my book. Taking advantage of honest people who are uneducated about technology and the internet will never get anyone anywhere.

      To quote one of my favorite authors,

      "I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects." - Napoleon Hill (Taken From The Self Confidence Formula)

      To be successful you must be honest, and charging someone $200 a month for hosting a 3 page website and $6500 flat fee for a free listing on Google Maps is one of the most dishonest things I've seen in our world. On top of that they removed her Google maps listing when she stopped paying and took down her website.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        Agreed. But that is unethical in my book. Taking advantage of honest people who are uneducated about technology and the internet will never get anyone anywhere.
        Unethical? Hardly....

        Everyone walking around out there has the ability to do business with who they choose. The difference in this case is that the person who was selling a service was able to make the perceived value of being in Googles local results to be roughly $6,500 if the person was considering doing it before you came along.

        Basically, your competition has "sales people" - I'm sure if she would have scoffed at $6,500 the price would have been whatever it needed to be to still get the business.

        To quote one of my favorite authors,



        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        To be successful you must be honest, and charging someone $200 a month for hosting a 3 page website and $6500 flat fee for a free listing on Google Maps is one of the most dishonest things I've seen in our world. On top of that they removed her Google maps listing when she stopped paying and took down her website.
        What is dishonest about it?

        Person A is offering a service - Person B is looking to buy that service.

        person A charges $6,500 to do it either because they value their time that highly or because like I said earlier, they read the client and felt as though there was enough perceived value there to justify the cost.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Unethical? Hardly....

          Everyone walking around out there has the ability to do business with who they choose. The difference in this case is that the person who was selling a service was able to make the perceived value of being in Googles local results to be roughly $6,500 if the person was considering doing it before you came along.

          Basically, your competition has "sales people" - I'm sure if she would have scoffed at $6,500 the price would have been whatever it needed to be to still get the business.

          To quote one of my favorite authors,





          What is dishonest about it?

          Person A is offering a service - Person B is looking to buy that service.

          person A charges $6,500 to do it either because they value their time that highly or because like I said earlier, they read the client and felt as though there was enough perceived value there to justify the cost.

          Salesman A sells honda civic to customer A for $100,000

          Salesman B sells same honda civic to customer B at it's real value for $20,000

          customer A will be mighty pissed off when they find out they overpaid $80,000 for something. I think 'ripped off' will be the first thought that pops into their head.

          Surely a good sales pitch isn't worth $80,000 to the customer...
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
            Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

            Salesman A sells honda civic to customer A for $100,000

            Salesman B sells same honda civic to customer B at it's real value for $20,000

            customer A will be mighty pissed off when they find out they overpaid $80,000 for something. I think 'ripped off' will be the first thought that pops into their head.

            Surely a good sales pitch isn't worth $80,000 to the customer...
            A fair price is whatever the market will bear.
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          • Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

            Salesman A sells honda civic to customer A for $100,000

            Salesman B sells same honda civic to customer B at it's real value for $20,000

            customer A will be mighty pissed off when they find out they overpaid $80,000 for something. I think 'ripped off' will be the first thought that pops into their head.

            Surely a good sales pitch isn't worth $80,000 to the customer...

            What about this....

            Personal Injury Attorney A is paying $10,000 PER MONTH for his full page, full color, yellow page ad.

            How much should Personal Injury Attorney B be paying for his front page Google Places listing?

            I think most of us would agree that Attorney B is likely getting much more business than Attorney A.

            So, shouldn't he be paying 30K or so a month?
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            • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
              Are you certain that's what he was charged for.

              The service may have been more than just getting the listing on Google maps.

              He may have been paying to get that listing at or near the top of Google maps.

              To do that would require doing things like getting reviews and getting the business name and address listed on as many related sites as possible (plus possibly other strategies).


              It is interesting to note that many business owners DO get ripped off with some of the most basic services.

              For years many have been paying upwards of $5,000-$10,000+ just for a simple website that will never produce any significant sales.

              That's great news for you (and them) if you're genuinely committed to helping businesses make real sales and profits.

              There's a pile of businesses used to cutting large checks so you know you can get paid and whatever fee you take it's a great deal for the business if you make them back more in profits than what they're paying.

              Kindest regards,
              Andrew Cavanagh
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          • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
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            Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

            Salesman A sells honda civic to customer A for $100,000

            Salesman B sells same honda civic to customer B at it's real value for $20,000

            customer A will be mighty pissed off when they find out they overpaid $80,000 for something. I think 'ripped off' will be the first thought that pops into their head.

            Surely a good sales pitch isn't worth $80,000 to the customer...
            Better analogy:

            Salesman A sells Honda Civic to customer A for $100,000 because salesman A says honda civic gets 200mpg, when in reality it only gets 25mpg.

            A service is worth what some one is willing to pay for it.
            And therein lies the problem. Did this person pay $6,500 for a simple google maps listing, or did she pay $6,500 because the service provider told her the google maps listing would bring her thousands of new visitors each month? If I had to guess, I'd say the latter.
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        • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Unethical? Hardly....

          Everyone walking around out there has the ability to do business with who they choose. The difference in this case is that the person who was selling a service was able to make the perceived value of being in Googles local results to be roughly $6,500 if the person was considering doing it before you came along.

          Basically, your competition has "sales people" - I'm sure if she would have scoffed at $6,500 the price would have been whatever it needed to be to still get the business.

          To quote one of my favorite authors,





          What is dishonest about it?

          Person A is offering a service - Person B is looking to buy that service.

          person A charges $6,500 to do it either because they value their time that highly or because like I said earlier, they read the client and felt as though there was enough perceived value there to justify the cost.




          I think you should perhaps reconsider that, I feel certain that 85 out of a 100 ( at least ) would tend to agree that it is unethical.

          I agree that everyone has choices that can be made HOWEVER, a big personal choice of the service provider ( us ) SHOULD be to always charge fair prices and over deliver, on time, while never claiming something false.

          My offline business ( not Internet related ) thrives because of this way of behaving. It has always served me well and is contrary to my competition. This has resulted in my growth in the last 10 years of more than 100% in total clients served and many-many times revenue increase.....all while my competition, all 7 of them, has lost the vast majority to me.

          When I am explaining what I do for a possible new client, I explain it in such a way that I educate them of their options and how if they use someone who is less ethical, it will cost them a great deal and they will most likely get inferior work.

          Best regards,
          Enterpryzman
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        • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Unethical? Hardly....

          Everyone walking around out there has the ability to do business with who they choose. The difference in this case is that the person who was selling a service was able to make the perceived value of being in Googles local results to be roughly $6,500 if the person was considering doing it before you came along.

          Basically, your competition has "sales people" - I'm sure if she would have scoffed at $6,500 the price would have been whatever it needed to be to still get the business.

          To quote one of my favorite authors,





          What is dishonest about it?

          Person A is offering a service - Person B is looking to buy that service.

          person A charges $6,500 to do it either because they value their time that highly or because like I said earlier, they read the client and felt as though there was enough perceived value there to justify the cost.
          What is dishonest about it is when she stopped paying for their services they removed the Google Maps listing.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

            What is dishonest about it is when she stopped paying for their services they removed the Google Maps listing.
            Why is that dishonest?

            If I say "our customers can have this extra benefit for $X" - that means when you're not our customer anymore, you lose it. And if you come back later, you have to pay for it again.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              Why is that dishonest?

              If I say "our customers can have this extra benefit for " - that means when you're not our customer anymore, you lose it. And if you come back later, you have to pay for it again.
              That's equivalent to me saying, "I'll get you a #1 spot for the term make money online for $50,000. I have an awesome link network that I'm sure will put you at the top." Then after I get you there, and you stop paying for other services (hosting + website) I remove the links that got you that spot.

              She payed $6500 flat fee for a google maps listing. She PAID for it! It wasn't an on-going service.
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                Then after I get you there, and you stop paying for other services (hosting + website) I remove the links that got you that spot.
                When I moved out of my apartment complex, where I paid a one-time $30 fee for a key to the swimming pool, they took the key back.

                Is there something wrong with that?
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                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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                • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  When I moved out of my apartment complex, where I paid a one-time $30 fee for a key to the swimming pool, they took the key back.

                  Is there something wrong with that?
                  If I tell you I can perform a service for you for a flat fee. You pay me the fee, and then I provide the service. Then in the future, you stop paying for other services, I go out of my way to eliminate the original service that you already payed for.

                  They wen't back and removed her google maps listing. It isn't that they were constantly providing it as a service. It was a one time thing, kind of like a contract job.

                  So let's say you hire my underground piping company $2 million to completely re-do the sewage in your town. I also tell you that maintenance is going to cost $15,000 a year. A year down the line you decide that you'd like to have your own maintenance done rather than paying me the $15k. Should I go back in and tear up every pipe my company installed because you're no longer paying for the maintenance service?
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                  • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
                    Prob because they registered the Google info on an account that they manage, and if the client leaves they release this listing - its prob the case since you were able to relist them ...

                    Now more than likely you registered a new account for this client and then listed them - not on one of your own accounts right?


                    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                    If I tell you I can perform a service for you for a flat fee. You pay me the fee, and then I provide the service. Then in the future, you stop paying for other services, I go out of my way to eliminate the original service that you already payed for.

                    They wen't back and removed her google maps listing. It isn't that they were constantly providing it as a service. It was a one time thing, kind of like a contract job.

                    So let's say you hire my underground piping company $2 million to completely re-do the sewage in your town. I also tell you that maintenance is going to cost $15,000 a year. A year down the line you decide that you'd like to have your own maintenance done rather than paying me the $15k. Should I go back in and tear up every pipe my company installed because you're no longer paying for the maintenance service?
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                    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
                      Originally Posted by davewebsmith View Post

                      Prob because they registered the Google info on an account that they manage, and if the client leaves they release this listing - its prob the case since you were able to relist them ...

                      Now more than likely you registered a new account for this client and then listed them - not on one of your own accounts right?

                      Exactly what I did. Relisted them under a new account that she is in control of.
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                  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                    If I tell you I can perform a service for you for a flat fee. You pay me the fee, and then I provide the service. Then in the future, you stop paying for other services, I go out of my way to eliminate the original service that you already payed for.
                    Exactly. I pay my pool fee. And when I stopped paying my rent, they took the pool key back.

                    Because the pool is for residents. Not a resident? No pool.

                    And the Google Maps listing was for customers. Not a customer? No Google Maps listing.

                    Just because you would do it differently doesn't make the way someone else does it wrong. For what it's worth, I wouldn't do business this way, either. But that doesn't mean nobody else should.
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                    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
            Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

            What is dishonest about it is when she stopped paying for their services they removed the Google Maps listing.
            I wouldn't say it's "dishonest" - it's a "dick move" but not really "dishonest" unless they said they wouldn't, then did.

            I can't say that I wouldn't do the same if I had a premium customer fire me... even though my work MAY HAVE BEEN delivering the result agreed upon for the price agreed upon... and then hiring some dude off the street because he's cheaper and said I was ripping them off.

            Again, I don't know the full conditions of the deal, but unless there was some kind of expectation otherwise, I don't see that if there's information that I collected and maintained for you, I'm not justified in removing the benefit you get from my work once you remove the benefit I get from it.

            Unless that was specified in the nature of the work in the contract, there's technically not even anything wrong with it. Plus, we don't know if this lady ASKED this company to do Google Maps when it's not something they necessarily offer.

            Maybe they named their price and she didn't shop around. I do that all the time - name a high price for work I don't really want to do. If you meet my price, I'll do all kinds of stuff I don't normally do.

            And what's funny is I will charge you more for stuff I don't know how to do, because it's HARDER for ME to do stuff I'm not good at. I'm probably the most expensive PHP programmer in my area and I'm TERRIBLE at it.

            It's because sure, I'll do the work if you ask me to. I might even tell you it's not my forte but I'll name you my best price and you should shop it around because it's not really my main business and might not be a deal.

            But anyways, I digress.

            If you pay me for a thing that I collect info on and maintain, and then you stop paying me, it's not crazy to assume I will take back my work, unless we had an agreement otherwise. It doesn't matter that it's hosted in Google or whatever.

            Again, personally, I think it's a dick move, but unless there was lying involved, not dishonest.

            If it was me, and we hadn't done a work for hire deal and it was just a service contract, I'd probably offer a work transfer payment where you, as the new provider, could buy my "work in progress" off of me, and they can fund that if they want.

            Then you can have it to do what you want. If not, I take back my work, and then you can go about doing the work that I did.

            Another thing to keep in mind is that while a lot of folks are like "good job dude! Big customer!" All I can think about is how I hope some high-school kid doesn't roll in and undercut YOU, because this is not a loyal customer.

            And if I'd gotten into business with a client to this degree, where it was a monthly payment, it would have been part of a contract, and I would have been able to go and sue if they quit paying on the contract.

            I sell my work time as a product, and I depend on that being worth a certain amount, and I plan my life and business around the jobs I take. It's a commitment from me, and I can't be having people jack with that because THEY'RE not committed.

            Only once have I had a client bounce me somewhat like this, and I didn't delete any of his work, but I didn't assist in the transition at all - why would I? The guy told me "nothing personal, it's business". And you know what? I DID take it personal because I was taking his BUSINESS personal and treating it like my own.

            So when that other guy didn't work out, the client wanted to come back to me and I told him I wouldn't do it for the same price - it cost double now.

            I told him that was my risk fee so that if he decided to quit on me again in any given month, I could not go out of pocket to have to take the time off other jobs to go chase down a new client to fill his spot.

            He decided not to pay it. I think he's still got a half-built website. I hadn't bothered to check recently, but it was still borked as of 6 months ago.

            A lot of folks here are sympathetic to all sides but the side that I see myself in when I look at the situation.

            Totally different side tangent - when I think about it, what I would have liked to do in your position was leave the client be, and then go to this firm and say hey, I know you are able to charge X for this.

            I can't charge that much, but I can do the work really cheaply, so if you want to expand that business and sell it to more clients, kick me the work, I'll charge you my fee and 20%. You keep 80% minus the fee and do none of the work but selling it.

            Once I build it, you control the listings I build, you control the client. I'll make my money strictly by doing the work you throw my way. Not only that I can do XYZ too, and that's why you want me vs. some kid off the street or overseas outsource.

            Now in that scenario, you get a potential stream of leads with no effort, you make whatever that 20% is OVER what you were going to make if you chased down those clients yourself, AND you don't have the hassle of even messing with the client at all.

            Man, that's a good idea. I should look into that.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
              Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

              I wouldn't say it's "dishonest" - it's a "dick move" but not really "dishonest" unless they said they wouldn't, then did.

              Again, personally, I think it's a dick move, but unless there was lying involved, not dishonest.

              If it was me, and we hadn't done a work for hire deal and it was just a service contract, I'd probably offer a work transfer payment where you, as the new provider, could buy my "work in progress" off of me, and they can fund that if they want.

              Then you can have it to do what you want. If not, I take back my work, and then you can go about doing the work that I did.

              Another thing to keep in mind is that while a lot of folks are like "good job dude! Big customer!" All I can think about is how I hope some high-school kid doesn't roll in and undercut YOU, because this is not a loyal customer.

              And if I'd gotten into business with a client to this degree, where it was a monthly payment, it would have been part of a contract, and I would have been able to go and sue if they quit paying on the contract.
              Right, but it was a flat fee that she paid them. It wasn't an on-going service. It was, "Pay me $6500 for a Google Maps listing" It wasn't, "Pay me for a Google Maps listing and then continue to pay for hosting your website or I will remove your Google maps listing". She paid for that listing once. She wasn't continuing to pay for it. So she held up her end of the bargain. Then this company got pissed when she stopped using them and removed work she had already paid for. That's dishonest.

              I didn't undercut this company. They were already fired. I just happened to learn about her situation because I struck up a conversation with her which lead to her asking me what I did. And I was able to parlay my building my own sites into an opportunity to help her out.
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              • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
                confused here?

                You firstly said ...

                All it took was a trip to the tanning salon with my girlfriend to meet this client. And it could be a very fruitful endeavor for me.

                Then you said ...

                I just happened to learn about her situation because I struck up a conversation with her which lead to her asking me what I did.



                Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                Right, but it was a flat fee that she paid them. It wasn't an on-going service. It was, "Pay me $6500 for a Google Maps listing" It wasn't, "Pay me for a Google Maps listing and then continue to pay for hosting your website or I will remove your Google maps listing". She paid for that listing once. She wasn't continuing to pay for it. So she held up her end of the bargain. Then this company got pissed when she stopped using them and removed work she had already paid for. That's dishonest.

                I didn't undercut this company. They were already fired. I just happened to learn about her situation because I struck up a conversation with her which lead to her asking me what I did. And I was able to parlay my building my own sites into an opportunity to help her out.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
                  Originally Posted by davewebsmith View Post

                  confused here?

                  You firstly said ...

                  All it took was a trip to the tanning salon with my girlfriend to meet this client. And it could be a very fruitful endeavor for me.

                  Then you said ...

                  I just happened to learn about her situation because I struck up a conversation with her which lead to her asking me what I did.
                  Ok I may have worded that wrong. I went to the tanning salon with my girlfriend and while I was there I happened to start a conversation with the owner.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
                    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                    Ok I may have worded that wrong. I went to the tanning salon with my girlfriend and while I was there I happened to start a conversation with the owner.
                    You didn't word it wrong - You've just got yourself a thread going where there are people looking to pick holes in what you said and try to argue with you because they have nothing better to do.
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                  • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
                    lol i hate when that happens


                    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                    Ok I may have worded that wrong. I went to the tanning salon with my girlfriend and while I was there I happened to start a conversation with the owner.
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        • Profile picture of the author onlinemoney00
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Unethical? Hardly....

          Everyone walking around out there has the ability to do business with who they choose. The difference in this case is that the person who was selling a service was able to make the perceived value of being in Googles local results to be roughly $6,500 if the person was considering doing it before you came along.

          Basically, your competition has "sales people" - I'm sure if she would have scoffed at $6,500 the price would have been whatever it needed to be to still get the business.

          To quote one of my favorite authors,





          What is dishonest about it?

          Person A is offering a service - Person B is looking to buy that service.

          person A charges $6,500 to do it either because they value their time that highly or because like I said earlier, they read the client and felt as though there was enough perceived value there to justify the cost.
          I totally agree with you, nobody forced her to pay that amount, she felt it was worth it at the time & paid for it.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        To be successful you must be honest, and charging someone $200 a month for hosting a 3 page website and $6500 flat fee for a free listing on Google Maps is one of the most dishonest things I've seen in our world. On top of that they removed her Google maps listing when she stopped paying and took down her website.
        Let me get this straight.

        They said "we will host your website for $200 a month, and list you on Google maps for an additional $6500."

        The business owner agreed, and paid.

        Then the business owner decided not to keep paying, and stopped.

        So they stopped providing the services she had been paying to receive.

        I fail to see the dishonesty. If I tell someone "I will sell you this thing for $20," and he buys it, how is it dishonest if I got it for a quarter? He still bought it for $20 all by himself. It's not like I lied to him.
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        • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Let me get this straight.

          They said "we will host your website for $200 a month, and list you on Google maps for an additional $6500."

          The business owner agreed, and paid.

          Then the business owner decided not to keep paying, and stopped.

          So they stopped providing the services she had been paying to receive.

          I fail to see the dishonesty. If I tell someone "I will sell you this thing for $20," and he buys it, how is it dishonest if I got it for a quarter? He still bought it for $20 all by himself. It's not like I lied to him.



          Dishonesty and lack of ethical bahavior do not have to be the same.......you can be telling the truth AND screw someone at the same time., guess will will have to agree to not agree.

          I just think that it is completely wrong to grossly overcharge someone due to them not knowing any better and thinking they are getting a deal. What the market will bear IMO is not the best way to live.......FAIR prices are the best policy, you treat customer fair and earn a fair living.

          Enterpryzman
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by enterpryzman View Post

            I just think that it is completely wrong to grossly overcharge someone due to them not knowing any better and thinking they are getting a deal.
            That's funny. What I saw was someone charge more than you would charge.

            But you seem to know why they did it. That's a neat trick.
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          • Profile picture of the author miavanru
            the key takeaway for me here is that there will be different customers with different budgets and preferences, much like people buying cars or riding planes. it will get you from point a to point b. just depends how luxurious or simple you wanna be.
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          • Profile picture of the author oihjk
            The problem may not be what the service provider charged for the service. It could be that the service provider did a poor job educating the client on what she was getting for $6500. She thought she only received a Google Map listing, but in reality, it could have been a complete SEO package.

            If in fact it was only a google map listing for $6500, that is steep. I know I would not be able to do that with a clear conscious, unless I could clearly quantify that the return she was getting at least matched that price in a couple of months. Even still I don't think I would charge $6500 for that one thing. I would definitely throw some other services in as a bonus.

            Eric
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          • Profile picture of the author sbctrls250
            I only read the first page of this so i'm not sure where the discussion has gone, but i think the biggest thing is that $6500 could be a bargain for this woman if it brought her $15,000 worth of business a month (or whatever amount ... but business is all about making more than you spend). Assuming shes a good business woman, she wouldn't have spent the money if she wouldn't earn more money out of it (now if the guy lied to her about the potential of doing this, that is definitely unethical ...).

            But at the same time, thanks to capitalism, $6,500 gives a whole lot of room for the rest of us to undercut his business.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Let me get this straight.

          They said "we will host your website for $200 a month, and list you on Google maps for an additional $6500."

          The business owner agreed, and paid.

          Then the business owner decided not to keep paying, and stopped.

          So they stopped providing the services she had been paying to receive.

          I fail to see the dishonesty. If I tell someone "I will sell you this thing for $20," and he buys it, how is it dishonest if I got it for a quarter? He still bought it for $20 all by himself. It's not like I lied to him.
          You honestly don't see the dishonesty of selling someone a website for a lot of money, hosting it at a monthly price that exceeds most yearly hosting plans, creating a Google Maps listing for $6,500 and then deleting it all when they don't want to get soaked by these "salesmen" any longer?

          So what did they actually get for all those thousands of dollars they spent? They should have at least ended up with their Google listing and their website files to be hosted elsewhere, since they did actually pay for that.
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          • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            You honestly don't see the dishonesty of selling someone a website for a lot of money, hosting it at a monthly price that exceeds most yearly hosting plans, creating a Google Maps listing for $6,500 and then deleting it all when they don't want to get soaked by these "salesmen" any longer?

            So what did they actually get for all those thousands of dollars they spent? They should have at least ended up with their Google listing and their website files to be hosted elsewhere, since they did actually pay for that.
            I think a lot of the folks who are calling it dishonest see the internet as a city, with websites that are like permanent buildings that will last forever until torn down. Maybe it's the "VRE" mentality that IM has given us.

            That's not really what the internet is, people. It's a giant yellow-pages or newspaper. When you pay me to make you a website, it's just like you're running an ad in the paper or yellow pages.

            When you stop paying me to run the ad for you, I take down the ad. In a newspaper/magazine scenario, once that issue's out of print, it goes away. The internet just seems different because it's constantly published, but it's still just a big periodical.

            To the OP's point about not snaking the customer - my bad. I missed that point as had the other person who commented about it.

            But re: turning off the service, I still say they were totally within their rights, because unless it was a work for hire contract vs. a service, she didn't actually buy anything tangible.

            I know she paid a single payment for the Google listing, but even that could have been considered a "lifetime service" lump sum, as I assume they would have updated and corrected her info if necessary.
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          • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
            Customer should get all intellectual property as she paid for the development thereof

            We have established the old provider didnt register the google listing in a seperater account that the customer could control ...

            As for the hosting ... I believe all ISP/Hosts will delete all files on termination of contacts

            The customer is lucky she had her domain name ...

            Personally i agree with both sides ... I dont have a problem charging customers for something that they dont have an issue paying for ... by the sounds of the necklace and the frachises and the "well known" - seems that given these circumstances, perhaps charging premiums would be acceptable as a person with money generally has an affinity to spend the money on quality ...

            I however do not believe that the way the contracted was terminated was correct

            i have lost customers and on departing i made their files available online (securely), delivered via secure hand delivered post (memory stick) a signed contract stating their rights to the intellectual property, all artwork and an additional 6 months hosting at no charge with support to enable them a opportunity to source alternatives. Furthermore their new supplier was more than welcome to contact me to discuss moving of dns/source/email etc at no charge

            And I did very well, my clients were selected by me, my referals were word of mouth and the few clients who did leave due to issues, all left happy for greener pastures and returned with apologies

            Personalised service, honesty and support pays in the long run



            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            You honestly don't see the dishonesty of selling someone a website for a lot of money, hosting it at a monthly price that exceeds most yearly hosting plans, creating a Google Maps listing for $6,500 and then deleting it all when they don't want to get soaked by these "salesmen" any longer?

            So what did they actually get for all those thousands of dollars they spent? They should have at least ended up with their Google listing and their website files to be hosted elsewhere, since they did actually pay for that.
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      • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        To be successful you must be honest, and charging someone $200 a month for hosting a 3 page website and $6500 flat fee for a free listing on Google Maps is one of the most dishonest things I've seen in our world. On top of that they removed her Google maps listing when she stopped paying and took down her website.
        Yeah, I agree but still we can't discount the truth that there are wealthy bad guys out there.

        You know what? If she can afford to pay $6,500 for the google listing then I assume she can easily pay a good attorney to get it listed again.
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      • Profile picture of the author Malik.A
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        Agreed. But that is unethical in my book. Taking advantage of honest people who are uneducated about technology and the internet will never get anyone anywhere.

        To quote one of my favorite authors,

        "I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects." - Napoleon Hill (Taken From The Self Confidence Formula)

        To be successful you must be honest, and charging someone $200 a month for hosting a 3 page website and $6500 flat fee for a free listing on Google Maps is one of the most dishonest things I've seen in our world. On top of that they removed her Google maps listing when she stopped paying and took down her website.
        I Really Respect your upholding of values, most people have that thrown out of the window any time money is involved.
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    • Profile picture of the author russellprisco
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      A service is worth what some one is willing to pay for it.
      Agreed, and yet, you could interchange that with "a sucker is born every minute."

      That is just taking advantage of someone that is ignorant about a certain subject, and I question the morals of this company.

      My brother has a term for this. "Legalized Stealing".

      That's like selling a mentally disabled person a 25 cent blow pop for $2500... Hey, they were willing to pay it...

      I understand that the woman was probably not mentally disabled, but I mean come on...

      There's nothing wrong with making a profit, and I agree with the statement you made, but wrong is still wrong.

      Russell =P
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  • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
    Nice one you'll definitely profit on the long run and she will most likely refer her friends and other business partners to you as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author RS3RS
    Yeah, that's insane. There's capitalizing on a need... and then there's just ripping people off. Sounds like you're doing a better job, let's hope you make as much money
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Kudos man, nice score. It sucks to think of it that way, but sometimes I'm grateful there are so many lazy, greedy competitors out there.

    You can make a tidy little client list just by looking for people who have been victimized this way - either offer to do the same for a little less, or do a little more for the same amount. I recommend the latter, because if they've been okay with paying that much for terrible service, it doesn't take much more to make them delighted, and you're in a position to expand services for more money.

    I find when you start off on the "discount" foot, sometimes that paints you as the "guy who will do it cheaper".

    And though they sometimes give me referrals that's how they talk about me then - the lower-priced guy. It sucks.

    I'm not really looking for a client who is looking to save money. I'm looking for a client who has the money to waste on bad service, because I can overdeliver just by aiming for mediocre to decent.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

    This is the shadiest freaking thing I've ever heard of, as it literally takes less than 10 minutes to do. Don't get me wrong, I respect people getting theirs, but come on, that is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. When she stopped paying the $200 for hosting, they disabled the Google Maps listing. That is dishonest especially after she paid that ridiculous amount of money on top of the $200 a month in hosting.
    Might be a stretch but....she wouldn't have saved her website by any chance? Back up? on Disc?

    For the Google listing...you should beable to salvage that by:
    1. creating a new GMail account
    2. Log into Google Places / Local with it....look for "Add a new business"
    3. put in the name of the company...Google Places should show that a listing is already in place for that business...claim the listing
    4. click yes...look it over to make sure it's filled out correctly....then hit submit...
    5. you will need to re-verify the listing with the business phone #

    Worth a shot...

    ~Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      Might be a stretch but....she wouldn't have saved her website by any chance? Back up? on Disc?

      For the Google listing...you should beable to salvage that by:
      1. creating a new GMail account
      2. Log into Google Places / Local with it....look for "Add a new business"
      3. put in the name of the company...Google Places should show that a listing is already in place for that business...claim the listing
      4. click yes...look it over to make sure it's filled out correctly....then hit submit...
      5. you will need to re-verify the listing with the business phone #

      Worth a shot...

      ~Ken
      Oh I already set her up a google listing free of charge just for good will. The website is no big deal as that's where I come in. I'll build her a better website for cheaper and host it for a much more reasonable price than $200 per month.

      On top of that, she's pretty well known in my town...she's connected. Which should help with me getting my foot in the door with her friends. If her situation is any indicator I should be able to mop up on hosting alone! Very exciting day and it just goes to show what can happen with a friendly conversation and a positive mental attitude.

      Forgot to mention, She has a necklace with a charm of the Golden Arches...except it's made out of diamonds. That's definitely the coolest way I've seen to rock your franchises.
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  • I guess I better raise my prices. Lol
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    The funny thing is that the whole "offline consulting" thing that seems to be pretty popular around here is based on overcharging people for services such as SEO, email marketing, and social media services.

    Maybe not massively overcharging, but still.

    In their defense though, if their clients get a great ROI, then I guess it doesn't matter what they pay
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    • Profile picture of the author WebMarketeer
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

      The funny thing is that the whole "offline consulting" thing that seems to be pretty popular around here is based on overcharging people for services such as SEO, email marketing, and social media services.

      Maybe not massively overcharging, but still.

      In their defense though, if their clients get a great ROI, then I guess it doesn't matter what they pay

      I have to disagree and agree, some people may over charge, but i really believe the offline business is about us knowing what they dont. This is with every business, not just IM. Ever hear of the old "fed-ex" story.
      To make it short, their main factory shut down one night, everything just died, the manager was frantic, called the repair man, who said, "calm down, I will be there in 5 minutes" Gets there, looks around, walks to the center of the room, opens a panel, takes out a screw driver, turns 1 screw half a turn and everything starts up again. Manger thanks him graciously and says how do I owe you, the repair man says $10,000. Manager laughs and says, you turned one little screw, please give me a detailed invoice. Repair takes out a little piece of paper writes something down, manager reads it, laughs, shakes his head in agreement, pays the man in cash. The piece of paper said "Turning Screw $1.00" "Knowing which screw to turn, $9,999.
      Get the point. People have specialties and whatever price they decide to give is them putting that price on their knowledge, sure some may overprice, but that is up to the individual and also the business owner for not researching different options.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        Everyone is stuck on what it "actually costs" - meaning the Google local listing...which is the wrong way to think about it.

        My father owns a plumbing and heating company in New Hampshire, I worked with him from the time I was probably 10 until I was about 16 i would say.

        We would go to the supply house, pick up a $5 part, and when that part was installed, the homeowner would pay a bill of over $200 for the service call, the part, and a minimum labor charge.

        Right before we just went on our trip to Louisiana, I had to get the front hubs on my truck replaced as they were "going bad" according to the mechanic. It took him an hour and a half to put the parts on, and the total cost of the parts was $245.97 according to Auto Zone, yet my bill was $1,040.00 (including an oil change also).

        Did I get ripped off?

        Hell no, because I don't know how to and didn't want to spend the time myself putting the parts on and fixing the truck.

        Could I have gotten it done cheaper from some one man show a couple blocks away that works out of his garage?

        Most definitely, but the fact that this shop has worked on my vehicles in the past, and I agreed to the price he gave me after he took a look at it - I GOT A GOOD DEAL, because it is the deal I decided to take.

        3 Weeks ago, I did a consultation for a Remax Real Estate office about 45 minutes away from me, there are over 10 agents working out of that office, and I got paid $3,000 to spend just a little over an hour there talking about some REALLY BASIC STUFF...But, it was stuff they didn't know, and they were happy as hell with the way everything happened, what they learned, and the fact that they had an expert there telling them what's what...Did they get ripped off?

        If you are selling yourself or selling services that you provide or oversee, A "fair" price is whatever price you put on the service, and what the customer will agree to pay - Bottom Line - End of Story.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Right before we just went on our trip to Louisiana, I had to get the front hubs on my truck replaced as they were "going bad" according to the mechanic. It took him an hour and a half to put the parts on, and the total cost of the parts was $245.97 according to Auto Zone, yet my bill was $1,040.00 (including an oil change also).

          Did I get ripped off?
          Just a heads up if those numbers are correct you did get ripped off. Here in the north east you pay your mechanic by the hour. 80-100 an hour is pretty standard.

          Your parts where $245 plus lets say 2 hours of labor that would be an added $200...You looking at around 500 bucks tops...
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
            Originally Posted by Daniel Deegan View Post

            Just a heads up if those numbers are correct you did get ripped off. Here in the north east you pay your mechanic by the hour. 80-100 an hour is pretty standard.

            Your parts where $245 plus lets say 2 hours of labor that would be an added $200...You looking at around 500 bucks tops...
            hehe - you forgot about the oil change and the markup that they do on the actual parts. Typically, if a mechanic, or any sort of service provider such as the guy that comes to fix your AC buys the parts for you, they mark that cost up as much as 200% depending on the original cost of the part, and where they get it from.

            I'm sure I did pay a bit more than I should of, but I agreed to the price, and I paid it. I'm not really sure what he charges per hour, but I do know different places charge different amounts.

            When I took the same truck to the dealership to replace a motor in my power windows, they wanted to charge me almost $400 to do it - The same mechanic that did the hub work for me did the job for $150.

            If I would have gotten it done at the dealership, should I have considered myself scammed or ripped off even though the quote was put in front of me, and it was up to me to either accept it or say no thank you?

            As individuals and businesses we all have the free will to both do business with who we want, and to ultimately decide what we think is a fair price. If a business has a consultation with me, I educate them, and at the end tell them what it is going to cost, and they agree and write me a check, then both myself and the business owner got a "good deal" simply because we both know what is expected of one another, and we both agreed in principal, and consummated the relationship with the exchange of currency.

            Would I personally charge $6,500 for a Google Local Listing? NO, I wouldn't, and I don't think any of our sales people would have the balls to ask for that much of a fee for that particular task.

            BUT

            More times than not we are indeed PAID to get a business listed, UNLESS we see a potential, and the client agrees via an oral commitment that they will allow us to do a larger paid project upon completion of the listing being successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
    Dang it.. They were outsourcing that work to me for $1,500. Now what?

    Seriously though, I see both points. That does seem kind of high, but yet as Jeremy says, a service fee for a service is in the eye of the beholder. If that $6,500 mad a company $65,000 it is still a good business deal.

    Also, maybe there was more to the service than just creating the listing. A full service company would need to continue building 'citations' to keep/move that listing higher and higher up the map list and expand the keyword categories upon which it will show up. That is where the blood, sweat and tears comes into play.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Here's a real life example..

    We do SEO and charge an average of £5000 (plus VAT) a year (that's around $7500).. depending on the keywords of course.

    I'm not going to reveal the markets we operate in but I will give you the figures..

    Most of the companies make an average of £50 per sale.. with a minimum of 4 orders each day.

    That's £200+ a day into their pocket, £6000+ each month and £72,000+ a year.

    For an investment of £5000, they see a return of £67,000+ GBP a year ($100,000+ USD)..

    Those are real figures from real businesses.

    The companies we deal with are grateful to us, and rightly so.

    Are we ripping them off? No, we're creating six figure businesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Picture this.. you get your client in Google Local listings for free.. they go to the top of all searches, above the organic SERPs.

    Now they don't need your services at all - and you can be sure that they ain't gonna tell their competitors about the 'nice guy' who got them there, for free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      I could just be the way I am in this situation because I'm a life long salesman - Everything from Kirby vacuum cleaners to financing for Inc. 500 companies.

      When I train my salespeople, they are given guidelines for pricing, but they know they have the flexibility to charge whatever they can get depending on the rapport they have with the prospect, and what kind of buying questions and signals they are throwing off.

      Now, we have some that always sell at the bare minimum and they do OK...But, we have some that always charge more and they do VERY WELL. They always have money in their pockets, and surprisingly(?), the ones that charge more always get a greater number of referrals who are ready to purchase from them just based on the previous customers recommendation.

      The difference?

      The salesman that charges rock bottom prices leaves the impression that he/she is offering a rock bottom service, where the guy/girl that charges more usually always leaves the client with them thinking that they are getting the superstar treatment.

      So, more money goes in my pocket, more money goes into my salespersons pocket, the customer is happy to pay, AND they send referrals often.

      So, offer the service for free or get $6,500 for it? I'll take the $6,500.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

    I just recently had the opportunity to meet with a new client who owns several Mcdonald's franchises and also several independent tanning salons. She informed me that the company she used for building her website and getting her on Google Maps charged her $6500 dollars!!! for her Google map listing.

    This is the shadiest freaking thing I've ever heard of, as it literally takes less than 10 minutes to do. Don't get me wrong, I respect people getting theirs, but come on, that is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. When she stopped paying the $200 for hosting, they disabled the Google Maps listing. That is dishonest especially after she paid that ridiculous amount of money on top of the $200 a month in hosting.

    Luckily for me, I'm now in charge of her internet endeavors and probably her wealthy friends. Warriors, today I landed one hell of a client. And if her paying $6500 for a google maps listing is any indicator, I'm going to make some money. But I will be honest and give her reasonable price despite how deep her pockets may be.

    Thought I would share this with you guys to show you what's possible if you put yourself out there with local businesses. All it took was a trip to the tanning salon with my girlfriend to meet this client. And it could be a very fruitful endeavor for me.

    - Jacob
    $6500 for google local maps? This person got taken and there is no doubt about that. Shady people will steal from the blind if they could. Some have no value and that's nothing new.
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    • Originally Posted by Magic Mel View Post

      $6500 for google local maps? This person got taken and there is no doubt about that. Shady people will steal from the blind if they could. Some have no value and that's nothing new.
      Just because they paid $6500 does not automatically mean they've been "taken." We have no idea what this person is taken in on their investment. Obviously, they've got no problem investing $6500 in marketing, so there must be money in it for them.

      I think a lot of people here are just not placing enough value in the work they do.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
        Originally Posted by killercopy View Post

        Just because they paid $6500 does not automatically mean they've been "taken." We have no idea what this person is taken in on their investment. Obviously, they've got no problem investing $6500 in marketing, so there must be money in it for them.

        I think a lot of people here are just not placing enough value in the work they do.

        This is not copywriting. This is a simple ass google local map listing, that takes not much time and effort. Fooling an unknowing client and taking $6500 for a job that at most costs $200-$500 is unethical and shady. It has has nothing to do with value and much more on how dignified a person is.
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        • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
          Originally Posted by Magic Mel View Post

          This is not copywriting. This is a simple ass google local map listing, that takes not much time and effort. Fooling an unknowing client and taking $6500 for a job that at most costs $200-$500 is unethical and shady. It has has nothing to do with value and much more on how dignified a person is.
          It's not automatically shady - we don't know the positioning of this service. They might be all suits and ties compared to this kid with the long hair, right?

          The Porsche Cayenne starts at $46,700.

          The Volkswagen Touareg starts at $40,850.

          They're the SAME CAR.

          Is the guy selling the Porsche ripping off the people who buy the Cayenne for about $6k off the top? Not at all.

          What you charge for something and what I charge for the exact same thing DO NOT have to cost the same amount at all regardless of the eventual result.

          The cost can be justifiably different JUST BECAUSE of who executes the service and how they are positioned. I charge 5 figures to write copy, minimum. Lots of guys out there will do it for cheaper.

          Maybe some of them are even better.

          Doesn't stop people from picking me over them. It's the strength of the brand and the story behind it. It helps that I make my clients more than I charge.

          I'll tell you a secret - I've discovered it's a lot easier to write copy for something REALLY EXPENSIVE like $2K a pop than it is to write copy for something that costs the last $200 someone might have.

          Sometimes the client doesn't even WANT it until they hear that it costs an arm and a leg. Like some of these people are saying, if I came in and told you that for $200 I can get you on page 1, which is worth $70K in business every year, that sounds dubious.

          I come in and look nice, have a tie and a briefcase. I tell you that in order to make you up to $70K more a year in business by getting you on Page 1 of Google, all I need is 10% of whatever increase I get you, or $7K whichever is less.

          A deal is a deal, and sometimes the package IS the deal.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

            It's not automatically shady - we don't know the positioning of this service.
            Let's put it another way. Two business owners come into your office, and explain what they want. They want more or less the same thing.

            Each business owner has an inventory system that tracks their shipments and sales in real time. It is, in fact, the same exact inventory system - an off-the-shelf package many small business owners use.

            They would like to connect this system to their web site, so customers may search their inventory in real-time and see whether products are in stock.

            Not only is the amount of work exactly the same in each instance, but you can do both sites at once. You can copy what you do for one client over to the other client's website, and just change a dozen lines in the configuration.

            Should both clients be charged the same amount of money?

            Clearly, right? That's fair. But let's put out a little more information here.

            Client A, the first one who came in, is the sole proprietor of a small used bookstore with an annual revenue of about $40,000.

            Client B is a DeBeers jewelry franchise owner, with a massive store in a nearby high-traffic mall, and an annual revenue slightly over $1.4 million.

            NOW should both clients be charged the same amount of money?

            Let's assume you still say "yes." So pretend we can peer into the future and see that the used book store will raise profits by 5% with this new feature, while the jeweler will raise them by 15% with it.

            So when you do this work for the used bookstore, he'll make an extra $2,000 a year.

            And when you do it for the jeweler, he'll make an extra $210,000 a year.

            Does it still seem like you should charge them the same amount of money?

            Let's assume it does, shall we?

            What should you charge?

            Now, me, personally - I say the price should be different.

            I say that because the used bookstore will only make $2,000 a year from this, they need to be charged a heavily discounted price to justify the expense. I'd lean in the direction of $300 to $500.

            And because the jewelry store will make a shedload of cash, they need to be charged more because the service is worth more. Even if I charge them $50,000 for this, they'll make it back in a month and a half.

            My basic rule of thumb is that a service of this nature should cost no more than it will return in two months time.

            I think that's a perfectly fair way to price things. But how much that is depends on the client.
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              Let's put it another way. Two business owners come into your office, and explain what they want. They want more or less the same thing.

              Each business owner has an inventory system that tracks their shipments and sales in real time. It is, in fact, the same exact inventory system - an off-the-shelf package many small business owners use.

              They would like to connect this system to their web site, so customers may search their inventory in real-time and see whether products are in stock.

              Not only is the amount of work exactly the same in each instance, but you can do both sites at once. You can copy what you do for one client over to the other client's website, and just change a dozen lines in the configuration.

              Should both clients be charged the same amount of money?

              Clearly, right? That's fair. But let's put out a little more information here.

              Client A, the first one who came in, is the sole proprietor of a small used bookstore with an annual revenue of about $40,000.

              Client B is a DeBeers jewelry franchise owner, with a massive store in a nearby high-traffic mall, and an annual revenue slightly over $1.4 million.

              NOW should both clients be charged the same amount of money?

              Let's assume you still say "yes." So pretend we can peer into the future and see that the used book store will raise profits by 5% with this new feature, while the jeweler will raise them by 15% with it.

              So when you do this work for the used bookstore, he'll make an extra $2,000 a year.

              And when you do it for the jeweler, he'll make an extra $210,000 a year.

              Does it still seem like you should charge them the same amount of money?

              Let's assume it does, shall we?

              What should you charge?

              Now, me, personally - I say the price should be different.

              I say that because the used bookstore will only make $2,000 a year from this, they need to be charged a heavily discounted price to justify the expense. I'd lean in the direction of $300 to $500.

              And because the jewelry store will make a shedload of cash, they need to be charged more because the service is worth more. Even if I charge them $50,000 for this, they'll make it back in a month and a half.

              My basic rule of thumb is that a service of this nature should cost no more than it will return in two months time.

              I think that's a perfectly fair way to price things. But how much that is depends on the client.
              While I understand where you're coming from... I wanted to add to this with my own example.

              As some of you know... I write copy for a living.

              Some clients make hundreds of thousands with it... some make far less than that.

              But how the client uses my work should not impact on me getting paid what my work is worth.

              Admittedly... if a client only has a few hundred dollars... I have things I can do to help them within those price ranges, like an hour of consulting or a critique.

              But I don't base my fees around what the client can pay... or how much money they'll make based on their experience (or lack thereof).

              My fees are based on the time it takes me to complete a task and the value I bring to the table.

              To some of you, that's probably pretty obvious...

              ...but I thought it was worth mentioning for the sake of clarity.

              -Dan
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

                But how the client uses my work should not impact on me getting paid what my work is worth.
                To whom?

                Every economic exchange happens because two people disagree on the value of something.

                Let's say I give you five dollars for a cheeseburger.


                You would rather have five dollars than a cheeseburger. The five dollars is worth more than the cheeseburger.

                I would rather have a cheeseburger than five dollars. The cheeseburger is worth more than five dollars.

                If someone were to propose that we exchange the same five dollars for the same cheeseburger in the opposite direction, we would refuse. I'm not selling this cheeseburger for five dollars, and you're not paying five dollars for that cheeseburger.


                So when you say "my services are worth $X" and your clients pay you $X, they are only doing it because they believe your services are worth $X+N.

                Your job as a service provider of any sort is to make the average value of N - across all your clients - as small as is reasonably possible.
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        • Originally Posted by Magic Mel View Post

          This is not copywriting. This is a simple ass google local map listing, that takes not much time and effort. Fooling an unknowing client and taking $6500 for a job that at most costs $200-$500 is unethical and shady. It has has nothing to do with value and much more on how dignified a person is.
          It has everything to do with value. It is a skill set that you have and they do not. That is why we pay others to do work for us...mechanics, plumbers, attorneys, accountants, etc.

          I couldn't replace a carburetor to save my life...the mechanic down the street can do it in his sleep...So, because it is easy for him, I should only pay him $10 instead of $75?

          Believe me, when my accountant charges me $600 to do my my taxes while I sit there and watch her do it in front of me in about 30 minutes time....it surely doesn't seem like much time and effort on her part. But I pay (apparently I pay $1,200 an hour!)

          When an attorney settles a million dollar lawsuit by sending out a simple letter that takes 10 minutes to write and makes a 33% contingency fee for doing so ($330,000), that sure doesn't seem like much effort either, does it?

          But that's the way it goes. They have a skill that I don't.

          The person charging $6,500 to get that person listed on Google Places values their skill set just like an attorney, accountants, mechanics, etc do.

          Paying $1,000 for a piece of paper might seem like a complete rip off...but if that single piece of paper leads you to sunken treasure filled with gold doubloons, it's worth it right?

          Don't undervalue what you know. Yes, because many people here on the forum know how do do this does not mean you should be charging peanuts for your services.
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        • Profile picture of the author MassiveMarketer
          Good for you.

          There are some people who really charges high from their clients. It depends on the clients and also the clients' responsibility to know if they're paying just right for the service.

          You'll just realize if you paid the right amount when you get the result or the outcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
    so the question would be to make it fair for both sides is, what would be fair price for Google maps?.

    and since we're on the Google subject, how about Google News?.

    Also getting on Google maps in one thing but having your business listed on the right side of the Google maps picture front page is another challenge. Back to keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Originally Posted by Always-A-Warrior View Post

      so the question would be to make it fair for both sides is, what would be fair price for Google maps?.

      If you charge them $6,500 and it brings in $30,000 worth of profits for them it's a stunning bargain.

      If you charge them $50 and it never brings them in a cent you just ripped them off for $50.

      Real value will probably gravitate somewhere between those extremes but the value of a service is very much relative to the results it produces for a client.

      If you're focusing on making sure your clients make more profits from the services you provide than the fees you charge them you'll always be delivering fantastic value.



      Someone else mentioned that many of the marketers here simply don't value their own services enough (finding it hard to believe any business would pay $6,500 for a simple service).

      That's very true.

      It's not about the fee charged for a service it's about the results you deliver for a client.

      If you said this business paid $6,500 for a google maps listing and never got a cent back in sales that's an outrage.

      But without the second piece of information you can't really judge whether it was a good deal for the business or not.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        For some reason I can't stay away from this thread, but I'm going to try and make this my final post...

        The whole offline craze has been pretty hot and heavy on the Warrior Forum since the day I signed up here. I think right before or right after I signed up Andrew started selling his OfflineGold report and it did VERY WELL.

        Since then it seems that everyone is either trying their hand at it, is doing well at it, or is pretending that they do well at it....right?

        But, take a look at the ones that are actual emailing potential clients, sending mail pieces, knocking on doors, and using other avenues and lead generation strategies to get clients...You can basically put them into 2 groups.

        Group 1 - These folks will sell their service for $50 if they have to - hell they even take a loss in some cases just to say they got a client. They have to get 20 - 30 clients a month just to pay the bills and eat, because in their own mind they can't convince themselves that the services and benefits that they can and do provide are important to business owners.

        To them, their services are only worth $50...maybe because they have never seen results from their efforts when it came to their own online business, or maybe because they just don't think what they do is anything special...who knows?

        The point is, they run themselves ragged and still never really get ahead, they are always juggling clients, always looking for new ones, and are consistently trying to fulfill their promises and contracts to their different customers.

        Group 2 - These people only really have to get 1 or 2 clients a month because they are able to convey that they are experts. They are able to express to business owners that what they can provide will indeed be a benefit, and then they can produce results.

        Moreover, they don't just stop at "google local listings" Instead, once they get their foot in the door they are able to actually build a business relationship with the client - which is definitely worth more than a couple hundred bucks...especially if you are truly consulting them, not just in their online activities, but in different ways to maintain their customer base via auto responders, solicit referrals, and to generally make each and every lead they get worth more money to them.

        Understand that regardless of the kind of business you are talking to, mailing to, or trying to get business from...if you can really do what you say, in most cases $6,500 is a drop in the bucket to them as long as they can see a return on the investment.

        Stop thinking of yourselves as order takers and take a consultant role. If you an convince yourself that you truly are a consultant,and can truly benefit business owners - $6,500 is an easy figure to ask for.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          The point is, they run themselves ragged and still never really get ahead, they are always juggling clients, always looking for new ones, and are consistently trying to fulfill their promises and contracts to their different customers.
          This was me from late 2000 to early 2002.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Group 2 - These people only really have to get 1 or 2 clients a month because they are able to convey that they are experts. They are able to express to business owners that what they can provide will indeed be a benefit, and then they can produce results.
          This was me from mid 2002 to early 2004.

          But here's the problem, Jeremy: until early 2002, I wouldn't have listened to this "load of crap." I would have insisted that it was all money-grubbing garbage and the people telling it to me were just ripping off their clients.

          Some people aren't going to listen. And that's fine, because I'm only really concerned about those who will.
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      • Profile picture of the author THK
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post


        It's not about the fee charged for a service it's about the results you deliver for a client.

        If you said this business paid $6,500 for a google maps listing and never got a cent back in sales that's an outrage.

        But without the second piece of information you can't really judge whether it was a good deal for the business or not.
        This is very true.

        There is no clear indication what she got back for her money. But the fact that she canceled the service altogether perhaps give us a clue.
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        If you charge them $6,500 and it brings in $30,000 worth of profits for them it's a stunning bargain.

        If you charge them $50 and it never brings them in a cent you just ripped them off for $50.

        Real value will probably gravitate somewhere between those extremes but the value of a service is very much relative to the results it produces for a client.

        If you're focusing on making sure your clients make more profits from the services you provide than the fees you charge them you'll always be delivering fantastic value.



        Someone else mentioned that many of the marketers here simply don't value their own services enough (finding it hard to believe any business would pay $6,500 for a simple service).

        That's very true.

        It's not about the fee charged for a service it's about the results you deliver for a client.

        If you said this business paid $6,500 for a google maps listing and never got a cent back in sales that's an outrage.

        But without the second piece of information you can't really judge whether it was a good deal for the business or not.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
        I agree with this completely. A results or performance based fee structure is best for both parties. But it seems that some people are fine charging inflated prices before the actual value is delivered.

        If the company charged a reasonable upfront fee and then tacked on additional fees based on the actual traffic or additional leads generated that would be cool.

        But this nonsense that "oh my service is soooo worth is cause i'm the sh*t" mentality is bogus. Charging a high fee for DELIVERED results and a REAL increase in sales or leads is good business.

        But you're not going to know the results up front so why try to juice people on the POTENTIAL of your service...that's "all sizzle and no steak"...
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      • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        If you charge them $6,500 and it brings in $30,000 worth of profits for them it's a stunning bargain.

        If you charge them $50 and it never brings them in a cent you just ripped them off for $50.
        How can it be a rip off when its a service you're providing to place them on Google Maps?. They can see their business on Google maps and you're done.
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        • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
          Originally Posted by Always-A-Warrior View Post

          How can it be a rip off when its a service you're providing to place them on Google Maps?. They can see their business on Google maps and you're done.

          It depends on how you think about your relationship with a business and your role in helping them.

          Your question highlights the primary reason people have trouble making a serious income both in this niche and in many other niches.

          If you want to make serious income you have to deliver serious value and go beyond the employee mentality.

          Employee mentality says if I promise to do a job for $X and I do that job I should get paid and the person who hired me should be happy that I did the job for them.

          That's fair enough but it consigns you to forever working hours for dollars.



          Ethical business mentality says I won't even start doing a project for you at ANY price unless we're fairly certain it will make back more dollars than you pay me for doing it.

          And if it doesn't I'm going to keep working at it until I do make you a profit.

          When you're focusing on delivering value you get out of the hours for dollars trap because you can now charge based on the value you deliver.

          A project might take you a day, you charge $1,000 for it and it makes the business $10,000 in profits...a fantastic bargain for everyone.

          Or you might spend an hour outsourcing a project to your team, you might charge the business $5,000 for the project, pay your team $2,500 (a rate they're thrilled to do the work for).

          The business makes $15,000 in profits.

          Again a fantastic deal for everyone.


          Once you start thinking about how you can deliver real value to a business it changes the possibilities for you to make money from your work.

          In many cases you may be making serious income for just providing some advice and assistance that's very simple to you.

          And that's exactly what consultants do.

          As long as the business makes far more from your advice and assistance than they pay you it's a great deal for everyone.



          The reverse side of that is that you really do have to focus on delivering results (and working with clients who make it possible for you to deliver results while passing on the others).

          If something's not working you need to be committed to delivering the business value which might mean changing your approach, testing new ideas or coming up with another solution for them that does work.

          The amount you charge is not important. Delivering results over what you charge is.

          Kindest regards,
          Andrew Cavanagh
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          • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
            Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

            It depends on how you think about your relationship with a business and your role in helping them.

            Your question highlights the primary reason people have trouble making a serious income both in this niche and in many other niches.

            If you want to make serious income you have to deliver serious value and go beyond the employee mentality.

            Employee mentality says if I promise to do a job for and I do that job I should get paid and the person who hired me should be happy that I did the job for them.

            That's fair enough but it consigns you to forever working hours for dollars.



            Ethical business mentality says I won't even start doing a project for you at ANY price unless we're fairly certain it will make back more dollars than you pay me for doing it.

            And if it doesn't I'm going to keep working at it until I do make you a profit.

            When you're focusing on delivering value you get out of the hours for dollars trap because you can now charge based on the value you deliver.

            A project might take you a day, you charge $1,000 for it and it makes the business $10,000 in profits...a fantastic bargain for everyone.

            Or you might spend an hour outsourcing a project to your team, you might charge the business $5,000 for the project, pay your team $2,500 (a rate they're thrilled to do the work for).

            The business makes $15,000 in profits.

            Again a fantastic deal for everyone.


            Once you start thinking about how you can deliver real value to a business it changes the possibilities for you to make money from your work.

            In many cases you may be making serious income for just providing some advice and assistance that's very simple to you.

            And that's exactly what consultants do.

            As long as the business makes far more from your advice and assistance than they pay you it's a great deal for everyone.



            The reverse side of that is that you really do have to focus on delivering results (and working with clients who make it possible for you to deliver results while passing on the others).

            If something's not working you need to be committed to delivering the business value which might mean changing your approach, testing new ideas or coming up with another solution for them that does work.

            The amount you charge is not important. Delivering results over what you charge is.

            Kindest regards,
            Andrew Cavanagh
            Ah I see what you mean now. I'm using the single barrel approach and you're using the shotgun approach. I like that.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
              Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

              Dennis,

              Thank you for doing your part to direct this discussion from a debate about ethics to potential ways for me to maximize the potential of this situation. I appreciate your input and the idea that you've presented has helped to direct my attention in the right direction.

              I never meant to stir a debate about honesty and ethics and looking back, I can see how I could have worded the opening post in a much more direct way without expressing my opinion on the ethics of it.

              If there's anything that I hope people can take from my input it's this:
              Opportunity comes when you least expect it, especially when you maintain PMA (positive mental attitude) in everything you do.

              Thanks,

              Jacob
              Jacob, you are welcome. I like the way you think. Unfortunately, it seems my call to rally around you with actionable ideas has mostly fallen on deaf ears.

              If you have any specific questions or just want someone to bounce ideas off of feel free to send me a PM. I'll help if I can.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
                Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                Jacob, you are welcome. I like the way you think. Unfortunately, it seems my call to rally around you with actionable ideas has mostly fallen on deaf ears.

                If you have any specific questions or just want someone to bounce ideas off of feel free to send me a PM. I'll help if I can.
                I will most definitely take you up on that. Thanks again.

                - Jacob
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                • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
                  Jacob,

                  One of the first things that you need to do is ask her what "results" she would like to see with her marketing.

                  Get an idea of who her ideal client is (families - teens - accountants - europeans with names that begins with the letter J) what ever it is.

                  Ask about her budget....

                  Then actually go and do home work and find what it takes to reach that group. (this includes finding what the associated costs are)

                  (It may turn out to get the the free maps listing in the #1 slot for maps requires 80+ positive reviews in 6 major review sites)

                  Then and ONLY Then, Go to her with a proposal.

                  Knowing these things, you have a much better idea of the types of promotion that will work.

                  Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    I don't know how I could determine that he was ripping anyone off if I don't know the details of his hosting and what other services he provided. I noticed you think $200 a month hosting is a rip off too. Are you kidding? There are businesses that will not do shared hosting at all. Guy may very well have been ripping her off and not giving quality but it is extremely possible to justify the price without claiming that fair is whatever the market will bear. If that were the case we wouldn't have anti gouging regulations in place after a hurrican passes through.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      I don't know how I could determine that he was ripping anyone off if I don't know the details of his hosting and what other services he provided. I noticed you think $200 a month hosting is a rip off too. Are you kidding? There are businesses that will not do shared hosting at all. Guy may very well have been ripping her off and not giving quality but it is extremely possible to justify the price without claiming that fair is whatever the market will bear. If that were the case we wouldn't have anti gouging regulations in place after a hurrican passes through.
      $200 a month is high no matter how you look at it. Eliminate shared hosting, get a VPS or a dedicated server and unless you're running a massive website with tons of bandwidth usage, you're hosting bills aren't going to run $200 a month. Less than half of that. And in doing some research, it was being hosted on a VPS with about 20 other sites on it. I'm assuming it's the rest of the people who got hosed by this person on that server. So if we do the math, that's 20 x 200/month, $4000 a month. I'd say that a lower price would be in order.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        So if we do the math, that's 20 x 200/month, $4000 a month. I'd say that a lower price would be in order.
        I used to charge $300 a month for managed hosting. Each and every site was monitored 24/7 by a sysadmin who was guaranteed to respond to any outages within 90 minutes, and to maintain 99.9% uptime for all sites.

        That sysadmin cost me over $10,000 a month in salary. I ultimately discontinued the service because I couldn't get enough managed customers to offset the cost.

        And the main reason I couldn't get enough managed customers was that every pissant on the planet kept mouthing off that you could get hosting at this place or that place for $20 a month, so why would anyone pay $300 a month?

        Because the alternative is to employ your own six-figure sysadmin, that's why. All the way back in 1997, I pointed out that the average sysadmin spends most of his time sitting around waiting for something to break... and it's probably not going to. So instead of paying a sysadmin at every company, you should have one real hotshot sysadmin handling the servers for a whole bunch of companies, because the workload of a sysadmin is just under 1% - so that sysadmin could handle 60 to 80 sites easily.

        But every manager on the planet has some jackhole nephew or something who doesn't know squat about enterprise-level web hosting, and just laughs his arse off at how gullible and stupid you would have to be if you pay $300 for web hosting.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          I used to charge $300 a month for managed hosting. Each and every site was monitored 24/7 by a sysadmin who was guaranteed to respond to any outages within 90 minutes, and to maintain 99.9% uptime for all sites.

          That sysadmin cost me over $10,000 a month in salary. I ultimately discontinued the service because I couldn't get enough managed customers to offset the cost.

          And the main reason I couldn't get enough managed customers was that every pissant on the planet kept mouthing off that you could get hosting at this place or that place for $20 a month, so why would anyone pay $300 a month?

          Because the alternative is to employ your own six-figure sysadmin, that's why. All the way back in 1997, I pointed out that the average sysadmin spends most of his time sitting around waiting for something to break... and it's probably not going to. So instead of paying a sysadmin at every company, you should have one real hotshot sysadmin handling the servers for a whole bunch of companies, because the workload of a sysadmin is just under 1% - so that sysadmin could handle 60 to 80 sites easily.

          But every manager on the planet has some jackhole nephew or something who doesn't know squat about enterprise-level web hosting, and just laughs his arse off at how gullible and stupid you would have to be if you pay $300 for web hosting.
          Like I said, this isn't enterprise level hosting. This is a 3 page tanning salon website! This isn't a business that relies on it's website to make it's money. The website was put online to generate new customers. Some downtime would not affect this business in such a negative way to have them paying for a 24/7 system admin.

          This debate of what's ethical and what's not could go on and on. I know that for ME, I will charge an honest price for my services and not grossly overestimate their value just because someone has the money to pay for it. Call it what you want, I call it good karma and honesty. If you don't see it that way, that's all good. This situation will pay off for me in the long run because I didn't say, "Oh that's terrible, they took away your google maps listing" "Well I can put it back up for you, for $6500 bucks!"
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          • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
            Here is a question ....
            How much rent does the Salon pay for its location?
            Does the salon sell high end products?
            What does the average hair treatment cost?




            Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

            Like I said, this isn't enterprise level hosting. This is a 3 page tanning salon website! This isn't a business that relies on it's website to make it's money. The website was put online to generate new customers. Some downtime would not affect this business in such a negative way to have them paying for a 24/7 system admin.

            This debate of what's ethical and what's not could go on and on. I know that for ME, I will charge an honest price for my services and not grossly overestimate their value just because someone has the money to pay for it. Call it what you want, I call it good karma and honesty. If you don't see it that way, that's all good. This situation will pay off for me in the long run because I didn't say, "Oh that's terrible, they took away your google maps listing" "Well I can put it back up for you, for $6500 bucks!"
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            watch this space ...
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            • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
              Originally Posted by davewebsmith View Post

              Here is a question ....
              How much rent does the Salon pay for its location?
              Does the salon sell high end products?
              What does the average hair treatment cost?
              1.) I have no idea how much they pay for rent. If I had to guess based upon my knowledge of the location and an offline pizza business I owned nearby, I would guess around $2500.

              2.) It's a tanning salon. They sell tanning lotion and other tanning stuff. There is two shelves of tanning supplies in their waiting area.

              3.) I have no idea how much the average hair treatment costs, it's a tanning salon. :p As you can see, it's been awhile since I had a haircut.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

            I know that for ME, I will charge an honest price for my services and not grossly overestimate their value just because someone has the money to pay for it.
            The problem here is that you think you know what the value of the services was, and why the provider charged these prices.

            But you don't.

            All you know is what the customer who cancelled the services is telling you.

            Of course the customer thinks she was getting a bad deal. That's why she cancelled. Whether the customer really was getting a bad deal is another question entirely.

            We don't have an accurate story. What we have is the story you got from a business owner who has now gotten her $6,500 Google Maps listing replaced for free.

            Yeah. That seems like someone stupid who doesn't know any better, all right.
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            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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            • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              Yeah. That seems like someone stupid who doesn't know any better, all right.
              Yeah! Never underestimate the intelligence of a client who has earned enough money to afford you.
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                Yeah! Never underestimate the intelligence of a client who has earned enough money to afford you.
                I have caught far too many clients in outright lies to believe them anymore.

                Every client that has ever hired me for a web project got ripped off by his last web developer, who was incompetent, and really needs a discount because that last guy took him to the cleaners.

                Trouble is, sometimes the last guy is a friend of mine. When I was attending the monthly PHP meetup in Seattle, it was reasonably common for me to say "I went to work for this client" and another developer there to say "yeah, I was working for him last month."

                And, strangely, he didn't actually charge those rates, and was perfectly competent, and also got asked for a discount.

                Ultimately, whether you give a discount or not, odds are good that your final invoice will never be paid.
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                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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            • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              The problem here is that you think you know what the value of the services was, and why the provider charged these prices.

              But you don't.

              All you know is what the customer who cancelled the services is telling you.

              Of course the customer thinks she was getting a bad deal. That's why she cancelled. Whether the customer really was getting a bad deal is another question entirely.

              We don't have an accurate story. What we have is the story you got from a business owner who has now gotten her $6,500 Google Maps listing replaced for free.

              Yeah. That seems like someone stupid who doesn't know any better, all right.
              Ok so you think it's ok to charge someone a one time fee for a service and then upon termination of other business agreements, eliminate what she paid for in the first place? That seems like stealing to me.

              Hey, let me sell you my writing services! But make sure you always place orders with me or I'm going to come back and take the articles that you already paid for!
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

                Ok so you think it's ok to charge someone a one time fee for a service and then upon termination of other business agreements, eliminate what she paid for in the first place? That seems like stealing to me.
                What did she pay for? Do you know? Does she know?

                You're outraged by the price and execution of a service, when you don't even know what the terms of that service were.

                What it comes down to for me is that I simply don't believe anyone would charge $6,500 for just a free listing in Google Maps. I think there's more to it than that.

                I'll give the owner the benefit of the doubt and say she probably just doesn't understand there's more to it, but honestly, the kind of small business owner you're describing is precisely the sort that tells bald-faced lies to get free and discounted service.
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                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Darklock does it again.

    Great example. The local offline hero model would have you going after all the local businesses to build a client roster, but you can also focus your whole business on doing what it takes to grab the business of a bigger client, like the jewelry stores.

    Or you can use the money from the big jobs to help you make the good deals for the smaller guys so you can make all the money you want and never have to say no to anyone you can help if you don't want to, even if they "can't afford" the full amount you charge.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      Darklock does it again.
      Can't take the credit for the analogy, which was Wes Maldonado's. He runs the PHP Meetup for the Seattle area, and we were sitting around one night after the meeting discussing the life of an independent contractor and the question of "standard" prices.

      I continued to think he was wrong for a couple years, all the same. :p
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
      It is hard to make a good judgment call without knowing all the facts. Sadly, though, we live in a time when stories of unscrupulous operators abound: the mechanic who replaces parts in a car, yet an examination reveals not new but used parts in place; the traveling painter who paints a house, but the paint washes off in the first hard rain, and the painter is long gone; the guru who promises the universe, but delivers little. In the final analysis, the person with whom I want to associate, and to whom I will cheerfully give my business, is the one who charges a fair price, earning what he deserves, and delivering good service or a useful product. That is the person who will be admired, and will win loyalty from his customers and accolades from his peers.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I dunno, if someone is willing to hand over the money are they really being ripped off? They could and should do their research first - buyer beware, I say.

    And you mentioned this person "being ripped off" owned several McDonalds franchises and tanning salons? Haha, who is ripping off who here? Do you know how much the burgers at McDonalds would actually cost to make?
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  • Profile picture of the author crystalq
    who is that company I want them to teach me
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

      There's LOTS of apples to oranges in this thread.
      There have been a lot of good points made, but this is the best yet!
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  • Profile picture of the author sabun
    Strange enough, i never come across such clients who are willing to pay thousands without even doing a basic search on internet if the service is worth it ... i mean come on, a simple search at Google should have exposed the ripoffs ... it's weird that a person shedding so much money on a product will be unable to find out that the product is available for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I thought it was about I time I said my piece on this.

    I can see both sides of this coin.

    I have a software company and for some potential clients they won't consider a solution that is less than £200k

    They view their problem as being a multi-million pound problem and therefore need a 'comprehensive', 'professional', 'scalable', 'customised' solution that's been designed for the job and modified to perfectly suit their needs.

    They're expecting to pay several hundred thousand dollars and for a professional consultative interaction to get it integrated into their business.

    So - even if we could create the same thing for $500 - they wouldn't buy it because it doesn't respect the size of the problem they perceive they have.

    I've worked with other high-ticket software companies in the past and they'd have the same situation.

    The biggest dilema for some of these companies is how to create a product that is essentially the same but can get the optimum price in the market.

    Usually there are hundreds/thousands of potential small customers who want to pay hundreds of dollars (or just a few thousand) for their solution - so that's most of their market and they need to have something at that price point.

    However, there are also a dozen big players who expect to, and are happy to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for it.

    So - you end up with the situation where you have to create different propositions for the same thing in order to sell it for what people are willing to pay, without removing the option to sell to others who have a different budget and expectation.

    Electronics and cars do this all the time - they build a high-spec model and then proceed to start taking bits off and renaming the model so they end up with a range of products all based on the same design but with different levels of features for which they charge different prices.

    It's all about trying to have something to sell that maximises the budget of all your potential customers.

    There are many examples of revaluing things.

    Look at silver coins - you can find a coin in your change when shopping that may have more silver in it that the value of the coin suggests.

    There are people selling 'collectible' silver coins where the silver is worth $20 and they're charging people $125 for the coin.

    They have lots of ways of trying to create increased perceived value for something that you can buy for 5 times less.

    You buy a gold necklace for $500 but the gold is only worth $80 - did you get ripped off?

    I used to print bookmarks and sell them when I was younger - they cost me 2p to make but I found that I sold most when they were priced at 95p.

    A lot of this is down to perceived value.

    However...........

    With that said - charging someone $6500 for something they could do for free in 10 minutes that requires almost zero skill I do believe is dishonest and I could never do it.

    I'm sure there must be more to it that we've seen in the OP.

    Obviously from the replies we've already had - some people here seem to be happy to do it so some people seem to think it's ok.

    If someone charged me that much just because they thought I'd never realise it they were overcharging - at best I'd never do business with them again, but I think I'd also be tempted to be a little more interactive.
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Based on the information given, and the replies, I think charging $6,500 is fine.

      Why? Because the client is an experienced business woman. She runs a chain of McDonalds restaurants! She'll be used to haggling, comparing prices, calculating ROI etc. This is just another supplier with another offer - that simple.

      Plus we don't know what work went into the listing, and perhaps it was a number of listings or guaranteed #1 position.

      Now if this was door-to-door selling of life insurance to confused elderly people at over-inflated prices - that in my book is scummy selling and it is those sorts that need to be sent to jail. But the transaction in question isn't like that at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    There's a company I know who charges $1,000 per article and they do lots of it for a single customer only and they have several customers.

    They target big clients who has the money to pay and who probably gets a good ROI regardless of how much they spend.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
    Andy is totally on the ball here. (and in so many other threads - "removes lips from ass"...)



    I'm honestly quite surprised by how many people support and justify getting $6500 for that amount of work. I understand it's all perception and positioning...but come on man.

    When it comes to stuff like this I just ask my self how I would feel if the roles were reversed. How would you feel if some guy over charged you like that for fixing your car or some type of repair on your home, etc...

    I wouldn't want it done to me, so I'm not going to do it to others...

    Personally I'm looking to over deliver as best as I can while making sure both me and the customer are happy about both sides of a transaction. Bullsh*ting people into paying that kind of money when you know good and well how much effort really goes into the task is some shadey ass sh*t.

    Just because you can get someone to pay $6500 for something like that don't mean you should. I know it's a personal thing we each have to decide but I had no clue the line was that blurred...

    To each his own...what goes around comes around...Karma..ect.

    p.s. the company could of at least given her a year of hosting or something with that...jeez $200 a month on top of that.

    Much love,
    Daniel.
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  • Profile picture of the author davewebsmith
    @jacob - i think you are a really nice guy .. but i think you will one day learn that you have shot yourself in the foot ...

    I know a guy who works for a huge corp ... contracted to another ... he gets paid $xxxxx.xx (5 figure p/m) but costs way more .... this is not dishonest

    I know advertising agencies that make $millions ... not dishonestly ....

    Business is business ... Percieved value ... How much money has this client made as a result of the original website/listing

    How much traffic is the website?
    Was it perhaps a redundant dedicated server?
    Secure SSL Ecommerce platform with Credit card processing - if so thats a good deal

    i mean YouTube doesnt run on some $3.99p/m UNLIMITED Hosting package

    We all seem to fall into this trap - we undervalue because we use "pegging" as a price standard ...

    Top designers sell a pair of Jeans for $20k, handbags for $15k and there are customers .... many many many customers who pay that and are happy with the price ....

    Just do yourself a favour ... Dont undervalue your services and pricing ... Or you will be set/stuck at the price point ....

    But of course by all means engadge in honest and productive business practices ...

    davewebsmith
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    watch this space ...
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  • Profile picture of the author ordinary_joe
    Intresting posts in the thread...now i wouldnt mind getting a pieve of that 6k pie...see even has a nice little ring to it. lol

    Desmond
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

    When she stopped paying the $200 for hosting, they disabled the Google Maps listing. That is dishonest especially after she paid that ridiculous amount of money on top of the $200 a month in hosting.
    This kind of thing is going to bite offline marketers in the backside. This is one of several threads started that show the offline marketers holding the work they've done and gotten paid for hostage because the client now wants to stop being ripped off and discontinues the service.

    In the same way that Internet Marketing has earned a bad rep, these scammers will give offline marketing the same reputation and make it all that more difficult to win these projects.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      This kind of thing is going to bite offline marketers in the backside.

      these scammers will give offline marketing the same reputation and make it all that more difficult to win these projects.
      I do not think so, for those offline marketers who position them selves properly and run a good business they will continue to grow and get stronger based on referrals from existing clients to new ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    This thread seems like a waste of time now - everyone is speculating about what went on and who said what to do without any actual evidence.
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      This thread seems like a waste of time now - everyone is speculating about what went on and who said what to do without any actual evidence and it's become a pendantic hypothetical discussion about who's more savvy about pricing and value.

      It's obviously going to have different perspectives because some people are applying their own ethical standards (or not) to a situation which is unclear.

      It could go on forever with people coming up with possible variations and rationalisations for what behaviour they think is right in different imaginary situation.

      Thanks to the OP for sharing but I don't think there's much point to this thread now apart from people stroking their egos.
      You could choose just not to participate in the thread rather than come in here to proclaim you are no longer going to be commenting.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

        You could choose just not to participate in the thread rather than come in here to proclaim you are no longer going to be commenting.
        Some of us actually think it matters that Andy has consciously decided the thread is pointless, rather than just forgetting about it.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
          Banned
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Some of us actually think it matters that Andy has consciously decided the thread is pointless, rather than just forgetting about it.
          I really hope that's sarcasm.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

        You could choose just not to participate in the thread rather than come in here to proclaim you are no longer going to be commenting.

        Haha - and the point you're making with this post is?

        Hey - you wanna go round and round - go for it.

        I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who want to show you that their opinion is the right one and expose how you really just don't understand proper business like they do.

        Fill your boots.

        Making a pointless comment criticising me for pointing out that this thread has become pointless just proves my point.
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        nothing to see here.

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        • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

          Haha - and the point you're making with this post is?

          Hey - you wanna go round and round - go for it.

          I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who want to show you that their opinion is the right one and expose how you really just don't understand proper business like they do.

          Fill your boots.

          Making a pointless comment criticising me for pointing out that this thread has become pointless just proves my point.
          It was just hilarious that you made a comment and deemed the thread pointless now cause it didn't interest you. It had nothing to do with wasting a post. If it doesn't interest you, just move along. Should I start popping into threads and saying "Guys, I am declaring this thread pointless" and then exit.
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          • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
            Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

            It was just hilarious that you made a comment and deemed the thread pointless now cause it didn't interest you. It had nothing to do with wasting a post. If it doesn't interest you, just move along. Should I start popping into threads and saying "Guys, I am declaring this thread pointless" and then exit.
            Ok - Thanks for that. I'm honered to abey your directions for how I should behave.

            Thanks for the insightful and useful post.
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            nothing to see here.

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            • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

              Ok - Thanks for that. I'm honered to abey your directions for how I should behave.

              Thanks for the insightful and useful post.
              No problem.
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            • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
              Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

              Ok - Thanks for that. I'm honered to abey your directions for how I should behave.

              Thanks for the insightful and useful post.
              Not to be a dick, but... you come in and tell us the discussion that was happening before was pointless? You're kind of REALLY making that post pointless now, since you've been in here like 4 more times now.

              Don't feed the trolls dude, you're better than that. Accept the irony that you found the time to make a pointless post about how pointless a thread was and move on.

              Me? I really have nothing better to do than argue with the internet. Everyone else should be more productive.
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              • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
                Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                Not to be a dick, but... you come in and tell us the discussion that was happening before was pointless? You're kind of REALLY making that post pointless now, since you've been in here like 4 more times now.

                Don't feed the trolls dude, you're better than that. Accept the irony that you found the time to make a pointless post about how pointless a thread was and move on.

                Me? I really have nothing better to do than argue with the internet. Everyone else should be more productive.
                Yeah - I know - I'm human and sometimes I forget just how idiotic I'm being and jump in both feet first. Usually I can catch myself before doing such stupid things, but this time I was tired and a bit slow to flip the switch.

                I accept my the irony - thanks for not taking my stupidity as a generalisation for my mindset.
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        • Profile picture of the author WebMarketeer
          Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

          Haha - and the point you're making with this post is?

          Hey - you wanna go round and round - go for it.

          I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who want to show you that their opinion is the right one and expose how you really just don't understand proper business like they do.


          Fill your boots.

          Making a pointless comment criticising me for pointing out that this thread has become pointless just proves my point.
          How true is this.. 60% of the forums are these people. Im glad others realize this as well. Like sifting for gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
    Banned
    I feel bad for people that fall for stuff like that, but at the same time use your head. You're a successful business owner and you don't think twice about spending $6500 to get found on Google Maps? Either they thought it was worth it or they were just lazy and stupid.

    But I don't care what anyone says, the guy charging $6500 is a dirtbag too.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    The lady owns several Mcdonalds franchises and tanning salons? She probably doesn't view $6500 the same as you do and she's probably used to paying a lot more for less.

    I think it might be you who is getting ripped off - now she knows she has someone who will do her SEO work for cheap and she's going to keep expecting cheap prices.

    I don't see what's unethical about this at all. Maybe if they took the last $6500 from a nun who was trying to get into Google to advertise her good works that she does free for charity, I might think it was not so nice, but this lady owns several Mcd's - she probably got some money to spare.

    Lee

    Just wanted to add that I do think deleting the listing was kind of crappy ... but did they give her the money back when she canceled - because if they did then deleting it seems to be justified. Of course, not knowing the actual contract she had with them it's hard to say, maybe it stated the listing would be removed if she cancelled....
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Jacob,

    Its great that you got the client!

    Your client is used to hiring low wage people to implement tasks and systems that were created and developed by high paid, skilled professionals.

    This is no different.

    There is no way for us to tell what the original agreement was, nor do we know that the only site the company developed for this project was the site this person "Owned"

    Many professionals build up sites to help with ranking and traffic that are the property of the marketing company, not the client. These "Lead and Ranking" sites are part of the network the client gets while they are a client.

    There are clients that have requirements of dedicated secure managed hosting from their head office, even though they are only a "Dealer - Franchise" for the protection of brand management.

    $200 per month for a dedicated managed host is cheap.

    I don't know if this is one of the requirements of Mc Donald's.

    My suggestion to you is to create a fee schedule that you going to charge for her friends and referrals and give it to her.

    The one company got $6500 for a google maps listing, If you handle this situation well, you will get far more than $6500.

    Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
    Well it's a good thing you came along to offer your services.

    Yup... I totally agree here. I would be fuming mad if I paid some company $6500 for a google maps listing. But perhaps look at it in another way- whoever sold this woman on it, must be damn good at what he does. Or else they would not have gotten that amount.

    Must be one heck of a sales person whether they lied or not, it is amazing they persuaded someone like that to give them that amount.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    What was written in the legal contract?

    This is where we draw the line between being dishonest and company strategies.

    Without that information, just is just a battle of opinions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    The problem with this whole debate is that the offline SEO industry is still sucking its pacifier and so no one REALLY knows what the market will bare ON AVERAGE for certain services.

    Until then people who will do something for free are always going to see those who charge good money for the same thing as unethical.

    I have to agree with Jeremy for sure.

    Oh an by the way giving stuff away for free is BAD! Bad because word gets around that your give stuff away for free and that's what you become known for.
    You can argue that point all you want but its the truth and if you don't know that yet you haven't been in business selling to brick and mortars long enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      The problem with this whole debate is that the offline SEO industry is still sucking its pacifier and so no one REALLY knows what the market will bare ON AVERAGE for certain services.

      Until then people who will do something for free are always going to see those who charge good money for the same thing as unethical.

      I have to agree with Jeremy for sure.

      Oh an by the way giving stuff away for free is BAD! Bad because word gets around that your give stuff away for free and that's what you become known for.
      You can argue that point all you want but its the truth and if you don't know that yet you haven't been in business selling to brick and mortars long enough.
      I haven't ever been in the business of selling to brick and mortars. This is the first time I've ever even had the opportunity. That was kind of what I was going for with this thread. I should have been more direct.

      I was just trying to encourage people. Opportunities come when you least expect them, like when you decide for the first time ever to go with your girlfriend to the tanning salon!
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        I was just trying to encourage people. Opportunities come when you least expect them, like when you decide for the first time ever to go with your girlfriend to the tanning salon!
        and look at the trouble it's caused you, as you get older you will learn women and shopping / shops / hair do's / ladies things do not mix with men.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Oh an by the way giving stuff away for free is BAD! Bad because word gets around that your give stuff away for free and that's what you become known for.
      You can argue that point all you want but its the truth and if you don't know that yet you haven't been in business selling to brick and mortars long enough.
      actually I think you are dead wrong. Giving stuff away for free can really work in your favor. It's a great advertising gimmick!
      pizza parlours do it all the time...free pop with that large pizza - even McD does it: free toys for the kiddies when their parents buy them a kiddie meal...need I go on?

      back to the OP: I admire Jacob for his honesty and I too believe in karma and that you should treat people the way you want to be treated. Period. I think what that other service provider did to that client is totally unethical, and frankly I'm shocked that so many of you think charging $6500 for a Google Map Listing and then removing the listing once the client switched hosting is ok.
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    $6500 for a google listing......!!!!! Holy crap what a rip off. I get companies listed in Google listings just as a freebie to show them what type of things I can do for their company.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

    This kind of thing is going to bite offline marketers in the backside. This is one of several threads started that show the offline marketers holding the work they've done and gotten paid for hostage because the client now wants to stop being ripped off and discontinues the service.

    In the same way that Internet Marketing has earned a bad rep, these scammers will give offline marketing the same reputation and make it all that more difficult to win these projects.
    When I first started working with brick & mortar businesses, I spent a good portion of my time needing to re-gain the trust of many local businesses in my town. Someone must have done a real number on these folks to envoke such fear & distrust. I re-positioned myself as an educater, just to get my foot in the door most times....

    It truly was a tough act to follow.....trying to show local business owners the benefits that the Internet can add to their marketing plans when the one's before me overcharged & under delivered, in many cases blantantly ripping off businesses that paid for websites that were never produced or held hostage, who's sole plan of action was to find ways to part local businesses from their money......"The value of a service or product is what ever the market can bare"....true, but with-in reason....$6500 for a Google listing is not with-in reason...i'm sorry! Why...because she can afford it?

    (ex: a plumber walks into mc donalds & buys a big mac meal for $5.99. Ten minutes later, a wall street broker pulls up in his rolls royce....orders the same big mac meal.......does mc donalds charge him $5.99 or do they think...hey, this guy can afford it...charge him $29.99)

    Giving the service away for free? Good Business? No...
    Charging $6500 for a simple one-time service? Good Business? No...
    Charging a lower price, gaining the trust of your client...parleeing that lower fee 20+ fold with referrals from this influential member of the local business community? Good Business? Yes....

    ~Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Jimian
      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      When I first started working with brick & mortar businesses, I spent a good portion of my time needing to re-gain the trust of many local businesses in my town. Someone must have done a real number on these folks to envoke such fear & distrust. I re-positioned myself as an educater, just to get my foot in the door most times....

      It truly was a tough act to follow.....trying to show local business owners the benefits that the Internet can add to their marketing plans when the one's before me overcharged & under delivered, in many cases blantantly ripping off businesses that paid for websites that were never produced or held hostage, who's sole plan of action was to find ways to part local businesses from their money......"The value of a service or product is what ever the market can bare"....true, but with-in reason....$6500 for a Google listing is not with-in reason...i'm sorry! Why...because she can afford it?

      (ex: a plumber walks into mc donalds & buys a big mac meal for $5.99. Ten minutes later, a wall street broker pulls up in his rolls royce....orders the same big mac meal.......does mc donalds charge him $5.99 or do they think...hey, this guy can afford it...charge him $29.99)

      Giving the service away for free? Good Business? No...
      Charging $6500 for a simple one-time service? Good Business? No...
      Charging a lower price, gaining the trust of your client...parleeing that lower fee 20+ fold with referrals from this influential member of the local business community? Good Business? Yes....

      ~Ken
      Well said and SOOOOOOOOOOO True. Nothing but horror stories I continually hear from the locals. Most common complaint: Over paid and poor or zero results!
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      (ex: a plumber walks into mc donalds & buys a big mac meal for $5.99. Ten minutes later, a wall street broker pulls up in his rolls royce....orders the same big mac meal.......does mc donalds charge him $5.99 or do they think...hey, this guy can afford it...charge him $29.99)
      Well that's not a fair example because it's the same big mac. It's not like the guy in the rolls has the ability to eat the burger in different way that will make it taste better to him. The result is the same and you're looking at a service as a concise product.

      If you want to create a high-value, high-preeminence service business around yourself, don't focus on the fair price of the service. Focus on the fair price for the result. If you know what you're doing, and can actually deliver results, this is a much safer investment for any business owner than getting the guy who charges the same for each job. Not "safer" as in materially different, but "safer" as in a more confident investment of resources.

      Your role as the provider of this service is not that of a manual laborer who executes exactly the same service - you are an experienced practitioner who can provide drastically superior results for a business with the resources to pay you a lot more.

      In my case, this is true. I charge a high fee but I tend to take on products with high prices so that my fee is more than taken care of. It's not really worth it to hire me to do a salesletter for a $7 ebook. If you hire me to do a salesletter for a $2K product, you don't have to sell too many for you to be happy.

      If the result of your work is going to scale, charge more! This is why athletes and celebrities with good agents earn so much because they are not leveraging their earnings based on the effort it takes for them to do their thing, but on the financial outcomes that will come of it.

      You should be the "star" of your business in the way that some people "star" in movies. In the same EXACT way, you don't take every script that comes across the table. Take the high-paying jobs you will knock out of the park. If you can't make a given client the kind of profits needed to justify your high prices, DON'T LOWER your prices. Apologize, pass on the job, and then go find someone who can.

      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      Giving the service away for free? Good Business? No...
      Agree.

      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      Charging $6500 for a simple one-time service? Good Business? No...
      Disagree depending on circumstance. Sometimes people ask me to do projects I don't want to do, so I deliberately overcharge and tell them it's not normally my thing, so I have to charge more, and they should shop it around. If they don't want to, I won't make them. Sometimes they would just prefer me to do it, and I'm not going to argue. I just charge what I want to get paid for the hassle of doing that particular job.

      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      Charging a lower price, gaining the trust of your client...parleeing that lower fee 20+ fold with referrals from this influential member of the local business community? Good Business? Yes....
      I want to re-iterate that it's not in your best interest to EVER be known as the guy who charges a lower price. You will get 20+ referrals of the worst kind of customer - the kind who expects the same or better performance for less. I don't like those kinds of customers.

      I rather the scenario I described above, where I can work within my comfort zone effort wise, be well into the mid-high end of what people in my business earn per job, and make them a HUGE return by carefully selecting my projects for the above criteria.

      When I do that, I get referrals for more of that exact same kind of customer. The kind who are willing to spend a lot to make money. I mean, I'm in business myself, I don't want to earn them a bunch of profit and not get a fair taste of the results.

      It doesn't matter what my effort was - it matters what my effort is going to earn them, and what my effort costs ME.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
        Banned
        You guys can justify either side all you want....

        The company that sold them the $6500 listing overcharged them, pure and simple. I don't care what other people charge for this service. A 12 year old can figure out how to get listed on Google Maps in about 2 minutes. There are consequences to ripping your customers off.

        The customer didn't do the due diligence to figure out that a 12 year old can do this in 2 minutes. That's their problem.

        The company has every right to collect their $6500 for what they did. The customer has every right to bitch about how they got ripped off.

        At the end of the day, who is going to be hurt more? I'm guessing the company that provided the service. So that makes it a bad business decision
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  • Profile picture of the author Ashley G
    The fair price is always $1 more than the market will bear.
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  • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
    I am not that amazed by the complete lack of understanding of what real business is and how one should conduct themselves in an ethical way. That is exactly why those that employ high ethics and treat clients fairly, thrive and are able sleep at night.

    I can honestly say that I have never taken advantage of a situation because I know more than my client, actually I would never dream of doing that.

    My service business ( which is an offline enterprise ) deals with providing very delicate services to clients every day that know very little to nothing about what they are buying.

    To me, it is an honor to be trusted and be able to build relationships and many-many repeat customers.

    You can lay the foundation and build a business and reputation that will last a lifetime OR, take advantage of uneducated clients and build a reputation that will also last a lifetime......pretty simple choice.

    I am sorry to say that I know very little about anyone whom I am exchanging dialog with in this thread. I know nothing about their actual business or real world experience, only what is demonstrated here. I can only say that I walk the walk and do exactly what I am saying and in doing so, I have been able to build a business that employs 20 full time and 10 part-time, I serve hundreds of clients every year and I assure you that while I make a very good living, it has never been required that I look at every client in a new way, provide them similar things, and charge higher or lower, depending on what they had to spend.

    Once you understand what your cost to provide something is, and you factor in whatever markup you feel you need to live the way you wish to live, that should be your price, period. Some can afford you and some simply are not able. If you elect to help someone new and lower your regular price as a show of good will or whatever, so be. I have done this many times, I have helped multiple individuals every year, who had no money at all by providing what they needed at ZERO cost to them, all while it may have cost me out of pocket 5 or 6 thousand dollars in hard cost's.

    I absolutely assure you that this in no way created an impression of my company providing services that have little or lower value, that never has and never will happen if done correctly.

    I will not comment anymore on this thread because I appear to be talking to the wall. My intent is not to offend anyone but, perhaps effect a little change in how you address a future clients and actually build something in your business that will last.

    Wishing everyone and I do mean everyone here a productive and ethical year,
    Enterpryzman
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  • Profile picture of the author THK
    I wonder why the lady canceled later? Is there a case of not delivering on the promises!

    Tanvir
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikedb
    Hi jacob,

    I didn't read the whole thread but I disagree with your post.
    If they charge $6,500 they did a GREAT job!

    You are not getting the whole picture.
    If a company is willing to pay that amount, GO for it.
    How much do they make from that listing?
    Why is everybody selling cheap?

    If a company makes $1,000's from that listing why not ask that amount?
    Never ever sell what you know for near to NOTHING!

    Again, that company did a great job.
    I'm charging one of my clients $12,000 per month.
    Too expensive?
    NO, never..... they make more from their listings.
    BTW this includes Google Maps and SEO.

    Regards,

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author ozduc
      The bottom line is if someone sets a price for their product or service and someone else agrees to pay that price then it is a good deal and they are not being ripped off. (Unless it doesn't deliver what was promised). Sure they may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere but if they are not bothered to research and find it cheaper, then whose fault is that?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
        Originally Posted by ozduc View Post

        The bottom line is if someone sets a price for their product or service and someone else agrees to pay that price then it is a good deal and they are not being ripped off. (Unless it doesn't deliver what was promised). Sure they may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere but if they are not bothered to research and find it cheaper, then whose fault is that?

        Correct. Except when she stopped paying for other services, things she had already paid for were removed...ie the Google Maps listing.

        She paid for it, the right thing to do would have been to leave it alone. Instead, for whatever reason they removed the Google maps listing after she payed such a high price for it in the first place.
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        • Profile picture of the author ozduc
          Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

          Correct. Except when she stopped paying for other services, things she had already paid for were removed...ie the Google Maps listing.

          She paid for it, the right thing to do would have been to leave it alone. Instead, for whatever reason they removed the Google maps listing after she payed such a high price for it in the first place.
          I totally agree with you on that point. Once the service is paid for it should not be removed. But that goes to the point I made about (unless it doesn't deliver what was promised.)
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        • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
          Originally Posted by killercopy View Post

          It has everything to do with value. It is a skill set that you have and they do not. That is why we pay others to do work for us...mechanics, plumbers, attorneys, accountants, etc.

          I couldn't replace a carburetor to save my life...the mechanic down the street can do it in his sleep...So, because it is easy for him, I should only pay him $10 instead of $75?.... <snip> ....

          Don't undervalue what you know. Yes, because many people here on the forum know how do do this does not mean you should be charging peanuts for your services.
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Let's put it another way. Two business owners come into your office, and explain what they want. They want more or less the same thing.

          <snip>...

          Client A, the first one who came in, is the sole proprietor of a small used bookstore with an annual revenue of about $40,000.

          Client B is a DeBeers jewelry franchise owner, with a massive store in a nearby high-traffic mall, and an annual revenue slightly over $1.4 million.

          NOW should both clients be charged the same amount of money?

          Let's assume you still say "yes." So pretend we can peer into the future and see that the used book store will raise profits by 5% with this new feature, while the jeweler will raise them by 15% with it.

          So when you do this work for the used bookstore, he'll make an extra $2,000 a year.

          And when you do it for the jeweler, he'll make an extra $210,000 a year.

          Does it still seem like you should charge them the same amount of money?

          ... <snip>
          I think that's a perfectly fair way to price things. But how much that is depends on the client.

          After reading through most of this thread, I do / don't agree.

          I do totally agree with the posts above (and many others)... the fact of the matter is, everyone has different budgets, and the bigger companies *can* afford to pay the higher fees. And, as someone else mentioned, some companies won't even *look* at a "solution" that is less than a certain amount of money.

          They perceive that it costs higher, it must be worth it. (Not that it's always true, but that is the reason for higher cost).

          There will always be people who barter and price shop around looking for the best deal they can have, (even so much so as to compare walmart vs any other related store) for example, and they'll go to that one store because its $1 less than the other place... never mind the fact that they just spent probably MORE than that $1 in gas getting there LOL

          (Yes, that was an offline analogy, but it is still true.)

          On the other side of the coin, there will always be people who refuse to buy at Walmart, just on principle - even if they can buy the same product there for say 20% less than it would at a Sears or other major department store... they refuse to even consider walking into Walmart because THEY don't want to be perceived as being "cheap".

          To them its status to say that they bought it at the "fancier" store.

          Thinking of it from the aspect of this person's charge of $6500 and $200 for the site... personally I think it's a little much and I would never charge it, BUT again, what did they offer FOR that cost?

          Anyone can get cheap hosting. But I have a few clients who pay me close to a hundred a month for hosting - rather than choosing the cheap $10 a month hosting that my associate charges.

          What's the difference? Value. Whenever those hosting customers need anything, they have access to us at like *any* time of the day pretty much, but even if we're offline, they know that the minute we're there we'll handle any issue they have. (Hasn't happened, we gave them direct access to us )

          Funny, those clients actually cost us much less in time than ones who HAVE paid $15 a month hosting... perceived value. The cheaper clients seem to want everything they can for that cheap cost. (And no, I don't host many, just a few exclusive clients - my choice). The ones who pay more, have said "sorry to bother you when I know you're busy" - which of course we stress its never a bother, no matter how busy we are.

          It's totally true - perceived value.

          AND knowledge.

          That person was willing to pay the $6500 because the company's knowledge and ability was obviously sold, regardless of whether we may feel it was a huge charge.

          I've seen people charge $100 for SEO, and others charge $10,000.

          I've paid $1000 for hosting, and I've paid $100 for hosting. (Dedicated servers I'm talking here). The cheaper you go, honestly the cheaper you do get.

          Paul Lemberg said last year in some of the stompernet courses (which I never finished due to time ) was that even in a recession, you CAN raise prices - rather than the first knee-jerk reaction of lowering them. Depends on the offer, the value you create to the person.

          The person may not have even bothered to try to figure out how to get on the google maps system - the knowledge had its value.

          My husband is an MCSE/MCDBA. He builds networks and systems. When he was at a major hotel in Niagara Falls a while ago building a new network for them, after a short while, any time they called for support, he'd go in. The accountant started looking over his shoulder and asked him how to do it so she could from then on. (And no, it wasn't a simple fix that anyone could do without screwing up).

          He finally sat back and asked her about her job. How long did she go to school for Accounting? If he saw her and asked her to show him how to do his books, would she for free?

          Of course not, she said.

          He agreed. He reminded her that he paid for his education (AND has 15 years of experience) - why would he hand out his knowledge to someone who just didn't want to pay, but honestly had no clue what they were doing?

          The fact is, he charged them half of what past guys did hourly (but still an amount he was more than happy with). They DID value what he did, and he did fix it properly.

          It's all in the value. So obviously as I said, the company probably said what they were getting (she maybe only remembers $6500 for google maps... but perhaps there was more in a contract?)

          Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

          Correct. Except when she stopped paying for other services, things she had already paid for were removed...ie the Google Maps listing.

          She paid for it, the right thing to do would have been to leave it alone. Instead, for whatever reason they removed the Google maps listing after she payed such a high price for it in the first place.

          As for this...

          I would say for her to read her contract (hopefully she had one!).

          If she paid for *ongoing* to have this done, then yes - the company had the right to pull it.

          But, if she paid a "one time $6500 fee" for the map to be done, then they should have left it, and if she wanted to, she COULD fight them for loss of business for wrongfully pulling it.

          All depends on the docs. Ask her if you could see if if she's willing to show you, perhaps you could help advise her on that, or direct her to the right place.

          For the most part, you eat it as a cost of business when you overpay, and move on to someone more reasonable.

          They lost a client... you gained one (and hopefully more).

          But absolutely do NOT undercut yourself THAT much.

          Amber
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          • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
            I just had another thought I meant to say too:

            Remember this: we all know the hype of the offline 'riches' for doing services for the offline businesses who have NO CLUE how to do what many of us do online. It's just become extremely popular lately. Obviously now, people are going to undercut each other (just like IM) until it's going to be hard for companies to see "who" they should pay/deal with.

            However - there is a remark that is said - "the early bird gets the worm".

            The first ones who could do the SEO charged the high fees.

            Back in 1997-2000, you couldn't BUY a solo ad for less than $100 for most lists... not long after it happened that they became literally the cheapest in most places because the "solo ad mailers" cut the costs down till everyone was falling over each other to be the cheapest.... NOT the best. (And most don't do anything).

            The first ones in hosting easily charged $50 a month for a small 10 mb website... because they COULD, they were the first ones.

            Ebooks used to actually be worth a lot of money when they were first started... then everyone and their brother started doing the resell rights and PLR and suddenly they became almost worthless unless they're called by a different name.

            So this company who charged $6500 for a google maps listing, "Could" because he was probably one of the first to even offer it to your client.

            Remember that

            Amber
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  • Profile picture of the author khanhdom
    congrats on a good client
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesDubec
    This forum is great, I am learning very quickly who I will never buy services from, as a newbie I cant believe how unethical some of you are and understand why the online marketing thing has a hard time shaking the shady name it has. A happy customer who doesnt feel ripped off is worth a lot more over the next 20 years than the one that bad mouths your company all over town when they learn they have been ripped off. I think the same honest ethical behavior should be a part of every successful business whether online or offline. I know I am setting myself up as a newbie with this comment but I also believe in telling it like it is.
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Originally Posted by JamesDubec View Post

      This forum is great, I am learning very quickly who I will never buy services from
      Some of us would tell you to have the 'nads to charge what your product/service is WORTH
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    this is probably how the original deal was structured:

    $6,500 down
    $200 per month

    for everything they did: the website, google places listing, etc.

    This is totaly normal for 'real companies' offering web development services.

    I have a client who pays me 10 times as much per month for the website I built them ($2k), and they aren't ignorant - they constantly get sales reps from other companies trying to lure them away from me. I had another client who paid me just as much - and after 3 years I lost them to a company who charges them even more.

    Some people get it, others don't. You are not charging for your time. Your prices should be value based, not based on what your self confidence says your time is worth. I willingly paid big money for product launch formula & mass control, because their value to me was significant. Jeff and Frank could have easily put the same info into $47 ebooks - but they get it.

    There is a company working in one of my offline niches that charges 3k per month to set up and 'manage' a ning site, then feed the rss to facebook and twitter (and they set up a google alert for the clients company name). I know a sales rep for them, and the last time we had talked they had landed 10 clients in the previous WEEK (on 1 year contracts).
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      this is probably how the original deal was structured:

      $6,500 down
      $200 per month

      for everything they did: the website, google places listing, etc.

      This is totaly normal for 'real companies' offering web development services.

      I have a client who pays me 10 times as much per month for the website I built them ($2k), and they aren't ignorant - they constantly get sales reps from other companies trying to lure them away from me. I had another client who paid me just as much - and after 3 years I lost them to a company who charges them even more.

      Some people get it, others don't. You are not charging for your time. Your prices should be value based, not based on what your self confidence says your time is worth. I willingly paid big money for product launch formula & mass control, because their value to me was significant. Jeff and Frank could have easily put the same info into $47 ebooks - but they get it.

      There is a company working in one of my offline niches that charges 3k per month to set up and 'manage' a ning site, then feed the rss to facebook and twitter (and they set up a google alert for the clients company name). I know a sales rep for them, and the last time we had talked they had landed 10 clients in the previous WEEK (on 1 year contracts).
      This.

      I thought I was going crazy for a minute lol
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      this is probably how the original deal was structured:

      $6,500 down
      $200 per month

      for everything they did: the website, google places listing, etc.

      This is totaly normal for 'real companies' offering web development services.

      I have a client who pays me 10 times as much per month for the website I built them ($2k), and they aren't ignorant - they constantly get sales reps from other companies trying to lure them away from me. I had another client who paid me just as much - and after 3 years I lost them to a company who charges them even more.

      Some people get it, others don't. You are not charging for your time. Your prices should be value based, not based on what your self confidence says your time is worth. I willingly paid big money for product launch formula & mass control, because their value to me was significant. Jeff and Frank could have easily put the same info into $47 ebooks - but they get it.

      There is a company working in one of my offline niches that charges 3k per month to set up and 'manage' a ning site, then feed the rss to facebook and twitter (and they set up a google alert for the clients company name). I know a sales rep for them, and the last time we had talked they had landed 10 clients in the previous WEEK (on 1 year contracts).
      No one is arguing that it isn't possible to rip these people off. The question is should you?


      I have a client who pays me 10 times as much per month for the website I built them ($2k), and they aren't ignorant
      That depends. If they're not getting their investment back, they're not exactly brilliant, are they?

      And that's what I never hear. I never hear about these companies making money, or getting new customers because of these services. Oh wait, I tuned in to a webinar the other night, and the guy said his grandmother was getting customers to her shop because of her sewing website. Give me a break. How many, two? Considering there's no traffic for the keyword in question, two might be a stretch.

      Sorry, but, imho, this entire off-line business is one huge scam, with some exceptions. Sure, you can get people to buy it, but so what? I can get people to buy little known cancer cures too, but that doesn't mean I should.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Yeah, $6,500 is way steep, I use Google Maps in part of my offline package but would most likely charge between $250 to $500 depending on how competitive the industry is.
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

      No one is arguing that it isn't possible to rip these people off. The question is should you?
      I never said anything about ripping anyone off. I said charging what the market says your service is worth to them.

      Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

      That depends. If they're not getting their investment back, they're not exactly brilliant, are they?

      And that's what I never hear. I never hear about these companies making money, or getting new customers because of these services.
      Why do you assume they are not getting their investment back? In this case the ROI is an average of 500% PER MONTH.

      I built a lead generation website for a client that makes them an extra 10k a month profit (one guy works the leads when things are slow). They paid me $500 up front, and $500 a month for it. A competitor of theirs said they'd pay me 2k per month for the site. And this is a static html site with maybe 5 pages.

      I just got paid $1.5k to build what is basicly a website with 1 page of actual content. It's built around 1 KW phrase that is worth over $10k a month to the business if it hit's the first page of google. They were willing to pay me that much because:
      a) they know I can "deliver the goods" - SE rankings, leads, etc.
      b) it will generate a lot of business for them
      c) this site is going to let them cancel 3k a month in ppc

      I actually screwed this one up badly- I probably could have gotten 1.5k PER MONTH, but their testimony will be worth a lot in future business for me.

      BUT, let's assume for a minute that there wasn't a positive ROI..

      Every hear of Super Bowl Ads?
      Some companies will pay handsomely for prestige and ego. I'm putting together a $10k a month "web presense" package just for companies with over-size ego's In this case, it's up to them to decide if they can justify the price.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    btw: I know of plenty of companies who could EASILY justify spending $6,500 for a google places listing if it got them into the 7 or 3 pack, instead of being 2 or 3 pages back on the local business listings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    This is one example of my reasoning behind moving to a Retainer plus percentage fee structure.

    It allows their company and mine to benefit from Effective Marketing, I don't have to try to make my fees match what the company can afford.

    With the retainer and fee model there is also an implied long term relationship build in.

    The example of $6500 for google maps could have turned out to be a steal, if that page contained a trackable coupon, for tracking purposed the coupon could be updated weekly (or any other time frame) and fees would be based on redemption.

    It's possible that that $6500 would turn into many times more, but with traceable results.

    Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I'd also like to point this out, as I see it a lot.

    I know of a guy that does direct mail campaigns for car dealerships. For those that do not know, the national average for a dealership is to spend over $500 in marketeing for every car sold.

    This guy does the campaign for FREE (all expenses out of his own pocket), and takes a $200 from each sale he generates. This is determined by comparing the names/addresses from the list he mailed to (which he provides), vs the names/addresses from the sales over 3 months.

    This is how bad some businesses are at figuring out whether something was worth it:

    A dealership client of mine used his service (it's how I met him). He generated an 800% ROI for the a test campaign for them, for a total profit I think of 24k.

    The sales manager for the dealership says that the campaign was a bust and hasn't done another one - even when staring at the real numbers.

    He inserted $1 into a black box, and out came $9 - and yet it was a bust????

    I can also tell you that the VAST majority of businesses have no idea where their customers are coming from, and hence have no idea what marketing they are doing even works.

    I had that same dealership implement a short marketing survey - every customer that made it to the finance office must have already filled one out.

    This dealership said 5% of their business came from the internet - yet according to the customer surveys, it was was 30 - 50%.

    Even when confronted with the hard numbers of what marketing was driving their business, they still routinely would want to stop doing what was working, keep doing what wasn't working (newspapers), and keep trying new things because "so-and-so down the street is doing it".

    This is much more common then a lot of people realize.

    So I always take the "I was ripped off" complaint with a grain of salt..
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Whether you view the $6,500 fee as unethical price gouging or as ethical because it's a mutual agreement is really a side issue to me. The important thing here is, the OP has a chance to profit in many different ways from the other company's exorbitant pricing...and I think most here would agree the pricing is exorbitant.

    Debating the ethics of the high fee is fine, but the OP has already stated he believes it is unethical, and in the end ethics and morality come down to personal beliefs.

    Jacob has a chance to win a lot of long term business with recurring income. How about shifting focus here from ethics to offering him some ideas for taking advantage of the fortunate situation he finds himself in? I'll start since I've thrown down the challenge...

    The first idea that came to mind was to buy or compile a list of mailing addresses for local businesses and send them an info-pack that details the importance of a Google map listing, and include an invitation to a presentation that shows them how to get a free listing. Don't charge for the seminar, you just want rumps in the seats. At the end of the presentation offer products and services they would be interested in. For example, SEO services, list building services, DIY courses, etc.

    Okay, I can think of a lot of other ways to profit from this, but I'll toss it out there for others to contribute at this point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

      At the end of the day, who is going to be hurt more? I'm guessing the company that provided the service. So that makes it a bad business decision
      I just wanted to point out that a company that successfully charges $6500 to do a very easy task is not really going to suffer much. There are always companies that want a premium product and look for the premium price to indicate to them which one is the "best".

      Not only will that not put them out of business, I bet that's not even the only web consultancy in the OPs city that's charging that much and thriving.

      Just saying the "you'll get yours" comments tend to come from people who don't shoot for charging premium pricing. And yet, there continue to be business who manage to pull it off and still have happy customers too.

      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Jacob has a chance to win a lot of long term business with recurring income. How about shifting focus here from ethics to offering him some ideas for taking advantage of the fortunate situation he finds himself in? I'll start since I've thrown down the challenge...
      Yes, this is a great point Dennis. I will say that if you want to grow this business based on referrals do 2 things.

      Now that you know what someone was able to charge, don't charge LESS. Charge as much but add way more value. If you want to compete on a matter of absolute scale where the same service costs the same amount for every customer, then make it up by doing way more jobs as part of the service. That's one way to preserve your value and try to avoid being labeled as the "guy who will do it cheaper".

      Second, if you DO get referrals, let them know that while you DO offer these packages to clients for starting, it's conditional on if they are happy with the work, they will (not might, WILL) refer you to two other clients with a phone intro to let that referral know you'll be calling them.

      Follow up and make sure this happens. If you're giving a competitive discount, get something out of the deal. Don't just HOPE you get a good buzz - MAKE a good buzz happen.

      Hope those tips help!
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
        Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

        My fees are based on the time it takes me to complete a task and the value I bring to the table.

        To some of you, that's probably pretty obvious...

        ...but I thought it was worth mentioning for the sake of clarity.

        -Dan
        and your value is determined by your client.

        Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

        You guys can justify either side all you want....

        The company that sold them the $6500 listing overcharged them, pure and simple. I don't care what other people charge for this service. A 12 year old can figure out how to get listed on Google Maps in about 2 minutes. There are consequences to ripping your customers off.
        really? Well, there are a TON of car dealers in the columbus ohio market who would like to be in the local 3 pack for used cars (there are hundreds of dealers within a 50 mile radius). Being there could easily be worth 10k or more per month profit to dealers. Guess what - you aren't gonna get any of them there simply by claiming their listing and adding some coupons to it for them. I would not hesistate to charge thousands to pull this off for one of them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Whether you view the $6,500 fee as unethical price gouging or as ethical because it's a mutual agreement is really a side issue to me. The important thing here is, the OP has a chance to profit in many different ways from the other company's exorbitant pricing...and I think most here would agree the pricing is exorbitant.

      Debating the ethics of the high fee is fine, but the OP has already stated he believes it is unethical, and in the end ethics and morality come down to personal beliefs.

      Jacob has a chance to win a lot of long term business with recurring income. How about shifting focus here from ethics to offering him some ideas for taking advantage of the fortunate situation he finds himself in? I'll start since I've thrown down the challenge...

      The first idea that came to mind was to buy or compile a list of mailing addresses for local businesses and send them an info-pack that details the importance of a Google map listing, and include an invitation to a presentation that shows them how to get a free listing. Don't charge for the seminar, you just want rumps in the seats. At the end of the presentation offer products and services they would be interested in. For example, SEO services, list building services, DIY courses, etc.

      Okay, I can think of a lot of other ways to profit from this, but I'll toss it out there for others to contribute at this point.

      Dennis,

      Thank you for doing your part to direct this discussion from a debate about ethics to potential ways for me to maximize the potential of this situation. I appreciate your input and the idea that you've presented has helped to direct my attention in the right direction.

      I never meant to stir a debate about honesty and ethics and looking back, I can see how I could have worded the opening post in a much more direct way without expressing my opinion on the ethics of it.

      If there's anything that I hope people can take from my input it's this:
      Opportunity comes when you least expect it, especially when you maintain PMA (positive mental attitude) in everything you do.

      Thanks,

      Jacob
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

        Opportunity comes when you least expect it, especially when you maintain PMA (positive mental attitude) in everything you do.
        I'm absolutely 100% behind that sentiment, and I think we can at the very least come to some mutual understanding around that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Perks
    Great post and I can bet my last dollar that
    this is happening all the time to unwary customers
    all over the globe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Winlin
    If you don't find at least $6,500 worth of services to market to this woman ... I am going to be very disappointed ... "Very Disappointed"

    But by all means give her, her moneys worth...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jodie Thompson
    Do the right thing by her ... make sure you get some reviews on there and teach her to ask her customers to do the same ...
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    That's B*S*.....this is a simple rip off. I knew some would support it.

    A service is worth what some one is willing to pay for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Jeremy...shame on you man. Seems like you'd sell your gran for a profit? Do you have a line between making as much proit as possble and plain scamming? Becasue I think it gets crossed often in business.

    A fair price is whatever the market will bear.
    Say you went to a dentist and he said "hmm..you need route canal treatment and super anamal, coating and that isn't cheap. It's going to ost you $5,000 but it's the best treatment and you need it now to save your teeth."

    You kind of think oh well he knows best. I trsut this guy (LOL).Better get it done.

    Six months later you talk to another dentist and he falls off his chair whern you tell him. He now explains you have been ripped off as that treatment was really worth $500.

    How do you feel? The first dentist was fine becasue he got as much money from you as possible? Is that ethical business? OR do you feel scammed and vow never to deal with him again?

    It's like all the companies offering poor/desperate home sellers the chance to sell their homes and live in it. But what a scam. They only give 60% -70% value of the home and then evict them after 6 months. YET I guaranteee some on here will say "Well....that's business they didn't have to sign it." UNBELIEVABLE.

    There are some real shisters in business who must have no consience at all. It's not for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Jeremy...shame on you man. Seems like you'd sell your gran for a profit? Do you have a line between making as much proit as possble and plain scamming? Becasue I think it gets crossed often in business.
      I havn't said one thing in this thread that either indicated that I scam anyone or that I endorse others doing it.


      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Say you went to a dentist and he said "hmm..you need route canal treatment and super anamal, coating and that isn't cheap. It's going to ost you $5,000 but it's the best treatment and you need it now to save your teeth."
      Well, it would appear in this situation that I have the same 2 choices as anyone else with free will and a brain:

      1. I can accept the dentists proposal and give him the go ahead
      2. I can say that I want to call around and see what others are charging.

      Oddly enough....maybe you won't believe this...But, even dentists have different prices depending on who they are, and what they specialize in. We got a whole range of prices when we were getting braces for my wifes sister.

      You kind of think oh well he knows best. I trsut this guy (LOL).Better get it done.

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Six months later you talk to another dentist and he falls off his chair whern you tell him. He now explains you have been ripped off as that treatment was really worth $500.
      I probably would kick myself for not calling around and getting prices which was my option to do. It definitely wasn't the original dentists option to tell me how much everyone else charged.

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      How do you feel? The first dentist was fine becasue he got as much money from you as possible? Is that ethical business? OR do you feel scammed and vow never to deal with him again?
      How was it not ethical?

      We live in a capitalists society where as individuals and businesses we can put a value on our own worth without having government, individuals, or other businesses dictate to us how much our time and expertise is worth.

      Go into the WSO and warrior for hire section, and you can get someone there to do some keyword research for you, build you a site, write some content, and do some SEO on it and then turn it over to you...There are people there that will do the whole process for $100 probably.

      Now send me a PM and ask me how much I would charge you to have my team do it.

      I know what my team does, and I know the results that they get me, so I can guarantee you that the price is going to be alot more than a couple hundred bucks.

      Either you accept my price or you reply with something like "well, so and so will do it for XXX"

      AND

      My reply will be - "Well, let so and so do it for you then"

      Is that me trying to scam you? Hell no, that's me not willing to whore our my knowledge, skills, and team for a couple hundred bucks because I know it's worth alot more than that.

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      It's like all the companies offering poor/desperate home sellers the chance to sell their homes and live in it. But what a scam. They only give 60% -70% value of the home and then evict them after 6 months. YET I guaranteee some on here will say "Well....that's business they didn't have to sign it." UNBELIEVABLE.
      Why do they evict them?

      Because they don't pay their mortgage. If your lending money that doesn't need to be paid back...seriously, let me know dude.

      I'm not saying that you are wrong, but I am saying that not you or anyone else gets to dictate what I charge for ANYTHING. There have been times that I gave ridiculous prices on purpose because I didn't want to do the project, and guess what? A week later we received a check.

      In the offline world, the people that you work for do a couple of things:

      1. They call you all the time
      2. They expect results
      3. They ask a million questions
      4. They continue to contact you even after the project is done

      Knowing all of those things, I always charge a premium knowing that a call is going to be forwarded from our business line to my cell phone some Saturday night at 8:00 a night because some question just popped into their head, or because they have a problem that they think needs to be taken care of right there.



      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      There are some real shisters in business who must have no consience at all. It's not for me.
      And there are a TON of people in this business that have no idea how much what they know is worth.

      Like I said earlier, for all of you that are pimping yourself out for a hundred bucks or two hundred bucks - Good on you I'm more than happy to work with the folks out there that:

      1. Don't think that they can get the job done for a couple hundred bucks.
      2. Have an understanding that what I have to offer is valuable.
      3. Don't mind paying for results.

      I'm going to repeat again - I would never charge anyone $6,500 for a local listing, and if we ever get the whole story, I don't think that the original business owner in this case was charged $6,500 for a local listing either.
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  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    Scenario:

    Business owner (similar to 99.85 % of other business owners) has no idea about, or how to get on Google Places and what keywords to optimize it with for best dollar and traffic value.

    Sneaky salesman comes in and sells Google Places for 6500.

    Suddenly each month another 3000 people get to se the business phone number on top of google when they search for the products they work to sell. Increase revenue with a few thousand.

    This is not unethical.

    Taking it down though is.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I find it interesting that judging by a lot of the comments on this thread that it appears that a lot of people would not charge the most amount of money they could get for a product/service they provide.

    Whenever I offer a product/service, I look around to see what others are charging for the same or similar offer. Then, providing I can give an equal or greater value, I charge the going rate.

    Is this not what everyone else does?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
      cashcow,

      No not really, That is a product based commodity mindset.

      People can buy shoes at walmart for $10, which is below the average price for shoes.

      People also pay $14,000 for a pair of shoes even though about 1% of the shoe market sells for greater that $1000 a pair, pricing has very little to do with the product, and much more about the buyer.

      Find the affinity buyer then build your product/service.

      It is a point that so many miss, that's why this is called Marketing not Producting

      Mark Riddle

      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      Whenever I offer a product/service, I look around to see what others are charging for the same or similar offer. Then, providing I can give an equal or greater value, I charge the going rate.

      Is this not what everyone else does?
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    What we have here at the WF is a pocket of people who really have no idea what sort of value the can bring to a business (if they actually know what they are doing)..

    Then again, if you don't understand that, then maybe you don't bring much value to them after all.

    I have a client who's done the math, and every email lead they get is worth $150 PROFIT to them (10% closing ratio, $1,500 average profit).

    If you were that company, how much would it be worth to your business to double your leads? triple? If you can get them 20 extra leads a month, then it is worth $36,000 per year to them. If you only got paid $300, then YOU are the person who's being taken advantage of.

    If being #1 in google is worth extra 100k a year in profits (and there are some local businesses where this is true), what is it worth to the company in question to get there?

    And if the google local business listings then pushed their #1 postion below the fold, then what is a top postion in the 3/7 pack worth? It is worth THOUSANDS. And as I pointed out earlier, when you have a few hundred competitors in the area, it's going to take more to get there then simply claiming their listing (if they haven't done so already). If I was confident in my ability to get them there, I would easily charge them a few grand.

    I worked as a sub-contractor for several IT companies as a Java Developer. They billed my out to their clients at $180/hr, I billed them (the IT company) $100/hr. Was I ripping off the IT company ("$200,000 a year for a programmer?!?!?!")? Were they ripping off their clients (Fortune 500 companies) when you can get programmers on elance for a fraction of the price?
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  • Profile picture of the author seolytics
    Wow it is amazing that there really is a 'sucker born every day'

    If the Franchise owner was slightly more savvy - they could have shopped around and would have determined that this was not great value.

    IMO they got what they deserved... making a purchase requires offer and acceptance... at no point did anyone force them to accept the offer.

    I hope they at least placed them at the top ranking for this investment?
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