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Webassist competing with it's customers?

Thread began 2/26/2010 1:52 pm by info401979 | Last modified 3/19/2010 11:26 am by info401979 | 3595 views | 31 replies

Office Guy-172461

I think we're starting to drift from the original scenario:

  1. Client gives you a project.
  2. You do project and bill $2000
  3. Client decides to research tools used to accomplish the project
  4. Client finds tools at WA - not a problem
  5. Client also finds that a ready made solution is available for $1800 less


Sure you can make money reselling a $200 solution. That's not the issue. We're talking about a professional developer with years of experience put in the position of justifying their price after the fact, when the client has the perception that all they did was put a new face on a $200 solution.

  I wouldn't find that easy or justifiable, and I would certainly worry that it could easily turn round and bite me at some point in the future.  

You have to know the requirements of the project before you can judge this. Would you find $2,000 too much to pay for Amazon.com?

Years ago I wrote a pricing program that took 6 months to complete and was valued by the business's insurance company at $1.5 million. Would it be hard to justify charging $2,000 for that? This is exactly the problem we're up against. You have it in your mind that $2,000 is an unreasonable price to pay for a custom cart, because you know about the one for $200. There is no thought given to what it might take to implement a different type of solution. What if it had to connect to an EDI system, or a main frame, or an existing accounting system? What about unique security requirements? How about processing over a million transactions an hour? Would any of those requirements affect your fee?

I have no problem justifying my fees during the exploratory proposal phase, and have often sent people to canned solutions they could implement themselves, when the numbers weren't right. I'm also a big fan of Open Source. But if someone comes to me in the beginning with the wrong solution in mind, I usually point out the downside and send them down the road. We also have a responsibility not to get involved with solutions we know are destined to fail.

But I do not like to be put in a position of clients questioning my fees when the project is finished, because they become convinced I used an unreasonable markup. No one wins in that scenario.

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