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  • #61
    Good post.

    So far we have had artists who don't charge enough, welders who don't charge for their overhead, and seasoned welders who charge what the market will bear. There is a simple little formula to figure out how much you should be charging. It goes something like this:

    Take all of your costs for a year(material, shop space, machines, utilities, monthly lease payments, etc.)
    Add how much you would like to make per year (a healthy 80G is a good starting point)

    Now take that total and divide by how many days you want to work per year.

    You soon figure out that you are likely charging too little for your services, no matter what you are doing. A real eye opener, eh? If you think you are charging too much, make your salary less, or get rid of some equipment (overhead), or change your career!

    Don't forget, Capitalism is based on supply & demand.

    Now, here's an anecdote for you. I used to be a sports photographer. I shot for the local University for a couple of years 'paying my dues'. I got sick of being told they could get students to do my job for free.
    A few years later, I see a guy shooting for them for free. He was a full time Lawyer. Do you suppose he would have an issue if I was to practice law for free? (other than the legal implications of course) I got so sick of the market being dragged down by these people that undervalued their services, I had to get out. Believe it or not, just because someone owns a camera, they are not a 'photographer'. Just like a person who owns a welder.
    Last edited by jasonspoon; 07-24-2009, 01:03 PM.
    "When the wise old rooster crows, the smart young rooster listens."


    • #62
      Many of the responses had made assumptions-weekend welder, hobbyist, I charge too much, I charge too little. Even after my last post where I tried to disspell the assumptions, the assumptions continue - live in a $2 million house, married rich, am rich, etc. I have found that on many threads on this board, many are quick to just jump in with assumptions. Why not find out the facts before you jump in with your opinion and just help out the person with a question. I find it interesting that some of the ones who charge the most are the ones who are most vehemently defending it. All I asked if it was a realistic charge.


      • #63

        Originally posted by cat View Post
        Many of the responses had made assumptions-weekend welder, hobbyist, I charge too much, I charge too little. Even after my last post where I tried to disspell the assumptions, the assumptions continue - live in a $2 million house, married rich, am rich, etc. I have found that on many threads on this board, many are quick to just jump in with assumptions. Why not find out the facts before you jump in with your opinion and just help out the person with a question. I find it interesting that some of the ones who charge the most are the ones who are most vehemently defending it. All I asked if it was a realistic charge.
        CAT: Yes, it is a realistic charge.


        Ashler Hills, Troon, McDowell Mountain, they are all very nice neighborhoods
        Last edited by davedarragh; 07-24-2009, 01:55 PM.
        "Bonne journe'e mes amis"


        • #64
          Originally posted by cat View Post
          I have a question for all you mobile welders-what is a typical charge for labor and travel? Especially if you are in Mass.
          I had an art piece sent to a client UPS. In shipping a weld was broken. I told the client to take the piece to a welding shop, they would grind the broken weld, reweld, dress the weld if needed and then it could be spray painted black (original was black powdercoat). The person who packed the piece for shipping didn't want to go after UPS. Instead of this client taking this piece in, she called a mobile service (she couldn't figure out how to remove 4 screws to make it easy to take in; she and hubby are both doctors-go figure). This is the charge: $150 labor (includes $25 travel fee) plus $5 in material costs and this is what they did: grind the old weld, spot weld in 4 spots and spray paint.
          Is this a realistic charge? Seems ridiculous to me.
          Yes the charge is realistic. It got paid didn't it?

          Is it ridiculous is that it failed in the first place?


          • #65
            i don't charge enough
            and Can have your old plasmas? ( i can't afford one.)
            TB 325
            TB 302
            dynasty 200sd
            spoolmatic 30a/wc24
            suitcase x-treme 12vs
            miller 211
            evolution rage 2


            • #66
              perhaps i go thru equipment because i use it alot. when i promise a client i will have their project for them in 2 weeks-i have it for them in 2 weeks. when my authorized miller repair place tells me it will be 3 weeks for repair-i don't call my clients and tell them it will be 3 weeks later than promised. perhaps you could share your plans for making "dilly dallies" although it doesn't sound like a bit seller to me. i sell my old equipment extremely reasonable to someone who could not otherwise afford it and they can get it repaired.


              • #67
                Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                When I was in the engine building and machine shop business I was always getting the work because I had the reputation and gave a good warranty.
                I was too cheap. I can see that now. I scoffed at the high priced competition. I literally worked my tail into the ground untill I was sick of it. Never had enuff money.
                If I had raised my prices according to what I now know, I would be much farther ahead today than I am. I had the business and people would have payed for ME to do the work...I know that now.
                I wonder just how much of this the teach you in college?
                This should be repeated for a whole lot of small biz's


                • #68
                  Dear Cat, ie FELLOW WELDER

                  I see that in your first posts you showed some of your work. And it was nice work indeed. Nice stuff to say the least. And funny enuff, if you also read these old threads you will see many of the exact same folks you got praised by are the very ones that you now are getting a different response from.
                  I like to do jobs for my customers I consider my friends as well. Your type of work is not beyond my abilities for sure.
                  When I do that type of work I definitly work for much less money. I sit and stare at the work at times and come up with creative things and blow peoples minds at the craftsmanship. There are many of us here who can and do this sort of thing.
                  But when the phone rings, and people want us to gather up all our tools and go to their place and perform, in the least amount of time it takes to do the job, then all the staring and pondering stops and the gloves go on!! Whether it is working on a piece of art or laying under a rusty trailer it is work and it pays the same. They KNOW my abilities from the awsum works I have done that they can see everyday. And they also believe I am the person who can and will fix whatever it is they imagined. And they also have assessed in their mind by what I charge if it is worth it or not long before I ever showed up. I also make sure new customers know all of this up front as well.
                  I believe with your talents and knowledge that you would benefit a great deal by being ready and willing to do this sort of work as well. There is something very rewarding from going out and accepting the challenge that comes from having to repair whatever has to be done with metal. You get to see everyones mistakes in engineering and design failed and waiting for your improvements. It makes you a much better fabricater to see what is a stupid way to do things without having to do the same stupid things from your own expiriences! Not to mention all the cool tools it lets you get to further enhance your many skills.
                  I have learned much more in my life from people I once thought stupid than I ever did from truly smart ones. When a dumb guy finds what works it is the real thing for sure.
                  We all here share a passion for pretty much the same thing, and when we flip down the hood, rich or poor doesn't make a rat's @$$!!!
                  We all know that and we know you know that as well.
                  You may even show us all a thing or 2 as well...I'm up for that. That's why I come here. I read much more than I post. If you check you will see most of my post's are related to aluminum. But I also read all the mobile ones as well...that's how you got ME on your tail.
                  I worked my tail off this week thru rainshowers and hot sun. I got/took jobs from a cheap competitor also. He is ok but I use methods and go thru steps that he doesn't. Soon it will be colder out and school will be happening and everyone will put their boats back up. But I will more than likely be still getting calls from my people... and that other guy...I watch him as well, and he will be working a job for somebody like me, who charges like I do, just like he does every year.
                  It is a wonderful thing you married rich but could you make it if it all failed tommorrow? I say you could with your skills, but I bet you would see it a bit more thru my eyes... and you might be just a bit better for it as well.


                  Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                  MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                  Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                  Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                  Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                  Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                  Miller WC-115-A
                  Miller Spectrum 300
                  Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                  Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


                  • #69
                    Dear Cat:

                    I don't care whether you are a guy, a girl, a confused "it",,,, whatever. I do find it extremely offensive, that you are arrogant enough, to tell me I am "profiteering",,,,, or whatever your words were. It's not worth it for me, to go back and read the exact words you wrote.

                    Fact. Nothing I charge, is over market. Price is dictated by seller and buyer. It is what I'm willing to start up the truck, drive out to the job, do the job,,,,,,,, vs. whatever the customer is willing to pay. We, over time, come to a "meeting of the minds",,,,,, not negotiating every time,,,, but seems the price finds a equilibrium point,,,,, I mean,,,, when was the last time you tried negotiating the price of a loaf of bread, with the owner of the grocery store????? You either pay his price, go elsewhere,,,,, or simply cook your own bread.

                    When I started business for myself,,,,,, many many years ago,,,,, there were plenty of people who thought they could tell me what a good price for my services was. Need I say,,,, none of them are currently on my client list??? Need I say,,,, also,,,,, none of them are are on ANY professional's client list????? Need I say, the only reason they came to me, or people like me,,,, just starting out at the time,,,, was because nobody really in the business,,, would do anything for them anyway??????

                    And if in any way, you think telling us,,,,, you live in a $2 million house,,,, gives you any credibility,,,,,,, at least in my case,,,, it don't. I know both good people and weasels that live in dirt poor shacks; I know other good people and weasels that live in multi-million dollar places. Don't matter to me how rich a person is, the price is the same. Yeah, I will do "pro bono" work (thanks Mac for the term) when appropriate,,,,, I haven't taken a penny from any neighbor in all the time I've been in business (non-commercial work),,,,, Anytime one of the farmworkers comes to me, wants a tortilla warmer,,,,, it's gratis. BUT,,,,,, I don't raise the price, simply because somebody is in a fancy house.

                    In any case,,,,, seems you think YOUR time is worth enough,,,, that you can live in, and brag about, your $2 million dollar house?????? But us common folk, can't????? Why don't you apply for a job, in the current administration????? They have already decided,,,,, what the proper amount doctors can make. They have already decided, the proper amount bankers can make. They have already decided,,,,, the proper amount business excecutives can make. I 'm sure you can help them decide, what manual laborors such as welders and plumbers deserve to make,,,,, just peanuts, of course,,,,, While the decision makers, can make as much as they want, or can get away with. Can you spell socialism???? There's plenty of rich socialists,,, you know. The only difference between the rich capitalist, and the rich socialist,,,,, is usually the rich capitalist actually took risks, and actually produced something. Rich socialists,,,, on the other hand,,,, such as yourself, I'm assuming,,,,, just got there because they dictated the "new world order" to everybody else.

                    And oh, yeah,,,,,, Cat. Be sure to tell all of us,,,, the vast majority of commissioned art created today, is either paid for by public moneys,,,, or if private, it was required by whatever permitting agency. Even if it is bad art, the public is paying for it, one way or another.

                    If your little chicken**** weld, couldn't survive UPS, or whatever, it was worth diddly squat. The guy (or girl, we's being diverse and inclusive here ), who came out and fixed it, actually gave real value.

                    Last edited by JSFAB; 07-25-2009, 05:41 PM.
                    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


                    • #70
                      I did not read all eight pages, but. I get $80/hour labor plus consumables, two hour minimum plus $1 a mile travel after 20 miles. After 4PM and wekends I charge $160/hour, two hour minimum. I don't want to sound like a d!ck but it is what it is, if a customer schedules after hours work or weekend work it is straight time.


                      • #71
                        Ahhhhhh,,,,, but Tozzi ...... Ms. Cat thinks you should be honored to weld on her artwork,,,,, $5.00 seems like a fair price????? I'm sure, she will send you a little gold star, you can stick by your name.
                        Last edited by JSFAB; 07-25-2009, 05:58 PM.
                        Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


                        • #72
                          I'd try the $160/hour thing on weekends,,,, but I'm afraid Ms. Cat would turn me in to Mr. Obamamnnnana,,,, for profiteering.
                          Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


                          • #73
                            Cat, you start by asking us if you agree that the charge was "ridiculous." Some who disagreed were understandably annoyed by that. You respond with annoyance at the disagreers, and imply that not looking for your previous posts indicates a lack of due dilligence on our part, which is ridiculous.

                            You let it be known that you dropped your previous profession to become a professional artist. Is this supposed to impress us grubby blue-collar clods? I can walk fifty feet from where I sit and look at welded steel artwork bought by my local city government which is of so little merit as to be worth no more than its scrap value . . . less the cost of demolition and transport.

                            Then you tell us you were previously an engineer. Is THAT supposed to impress us knuckle-dragging tradesmen? Got news for ya: many of us here spend much of our time fixing mechanical failures designed by engineers. Unfortunately, students in engineering schools are often boys and girls who have never built or worked on anything, and apparently become engineers mainly because they were good at high school math and think that engineering sounds like a nice clean white-collar thing to do.

                            I spent yesterday afternoon hanging under the dashboard of a '71 Mercedes Benz sedan, a car that was lauded in its day as the epitome of engineering excellance. What a crock that was!! Plainly, none of the engineers involved in the design had ever turned a wrench themselves, so, as so very often happens, they built a mechanic's nightmare. In such moments of frustration I am filled with admiration for the one good idea of Mao Tse Tung. He had college students and college grads rounded up and shipped off to the farms and mines for a couple of years so that they had to get pig-**** under their nails and maybe lose some of their arrrogance and ignorance. And oh, how they hated it! Well, if I were hiring for an auto manufacturer, I would hire no engineering grad who had not put himself/herself through a finishing school by working in an auto machine shop, repair shop, etc., to see first-hand the consequences of bad design.

                            And that's just cars. Many of us have to repair excavating implements, trailers, etc., that seem to have been designed for digging and transporting syrofoam chips.

                            I'm out of time, but let me end by saying that running a successful welding business, especially demanding industrial, fabrication, and repair welding, fixed and mobile, impresses me a lot. So do the many fine engineers I know, or whose work I have seen. But merely stating that you are an engineer doesn't impress, in and of itself.
                            Last edited by seattle smitty; 07-29-2009, 04:13 PM.


                            • #74
                              Ummm,,,, smitty,,,,,, You forgot the two million dollar house. You could'a got a couple more paragraphs out of that one.
                              Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


                              • #75
                                Aw, Fab, how can I get off a good blue-collar rant if I have to conserve space?!!