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From: Melanie Holtz <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Raising Fees and Setting Fees
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 15:27:49 +0000
References: <BAY107-W6BA5B3E6510D4918E238D92490@phx.gbl><17719750.6661199899965134.JavaMail.root@mbs6.homesteadmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <17719750.6661199899965134.JavaMail.root@mbs6.homesteadmail.com>


Thank you Dee Dee, Rondina, Mary, Elizabeth et al who responded to my query on raising fees. It has given me much to consider.

On a related topic, I have read the section in Pro Gen on establishing fees and if I followed the formula I would need to charge $45 an hour to meet my business goals. This is more than is charged by much more experienced members in my specialty [including those CG's] so I placed my rate lower than that even after I increased my fees. Should I have stuck with the formula or is there some leeway since I do not have much overhead, etc. I fear I may have let my insecurities overrule my business sense because I am struggling to make enough money for continuing education much less a profit.

Sincerely,Melanie D. Holtz Holtz Research Services www.holtzresearchservices.blogspot.com Member, Association of Professional Genealogists

> Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 09:32:45 -0800> From: > To: > Subject: Re: [TGF] Raising Fees> > Melanie, This has worked for me - send out letters and let folks know that in 30, or 60, or 90 days that your fees will be going up and offer a brief explanation why. "my fee has been X for a year now and due to increases in cost of living it's time for an adjustment, hope we can continue to do business...", whatever. I raised my rates after certification and twice since then.> > Some of this "transitional stuff" :-) is really all about personal responsibility and where the lines are drawn.> > It's your personal responsibility to set your rates and work conditions.> > It's the client's personal responsibility to determine if they can afford the rates, if they want to PAY for additional work beyond the scope of the original assignment, etc.> > You should NOT feel guilty if your client's personal responsibilities do not mesh with yours. I just lost a client who stands to possibly make a nice inheritance because they don't want to pay for any more research. All the trails clearly point to the need for very focused research in a specific location. My "gut" just knows I can solve this in one visit. But it is my client's personal responsibility to decide what he can afford and what more he wants to pay for. I refuse to feel guilty because he is making a "bad decision".> > :-) It's my personal responsibility to keep working at enough billable hours per week from clients who DO want to pay me so that I can pay my bills. :-) A generation younger than mine has a saying I had to sometimes say out loud when making the transition from worrying about this issue, "Get over it." :-)> > Dee> > > > > ----- Original Message -----> From: "Melanie Holtz" <>> To: > Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 9:10:21 AM (GMT-0600) America/Chicago> Subject: Re: [TGF] Haggling Over Fees and Raising Fees> > Exactly Melissa, however I had to learn this. In my work most of my clients don't know a lick of Italian so they are also paying me for an abstraction into English for them. They wouldn't know the first place to look because they cannot read the language.> > As for your question, is it a simple document request or is there analysis involved? If a report and analysis is expected I would remind them of that.> > I'd like to bring up another question. When I first started my business I started out at one fee and then increased it after some discussion with the other members of the NCAPG. I have kept two of my repeat customers at this old rate because I felt awkward raising it on the 7th or 8th contract. How have others handled this situation?> Sincerely,Melanie D. Holtz Holtz Research Services www.holtzresearchservices.blogspot.com Member, Association of Professional Genealogists > > > From: > To: > Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 08:49:11 -0600> Subject: Re: [TGF] Haggling Over Fees> > Good Morning List,> > Melanie brought up something in her latest post that I would like to > discuss. She mentioned clients haggling with us about your fees. I have > had only 1 or 2 people try to do that with me and I stuck to my guns and > they hired me anyway. I call it the "yard sale" tactic. I am sure a lot of > you have had yard sales or have gone to yard sales. I believe the people up > north call them tag sales. Anyway, I have had these sales before and it > never ceases to amaze me how some people will try to haggle with you on a > $.25 plastic bowl! They don't want to pay that expensive $.25, they want to > pay less.> > It's the same thing with these people that try to haggle down the price of > your services. There will always be people out there that are looking for > the bargain. The fact is, we are al!> ready giving them a bargain and we all > know it whether we want to admit it or not. Just think how much it would > cost a client to travel to the area where you are researching and do the > work themselves. Think about the years of educating yourself that you have > invested, to me it would be hard to put a cost on that, but our clients are > paying us for this knowledge that they either don't have or don't have the > time to use. I think a lot of us on this list charge $15.00 per hour, at > least that is what I have seen so far. I would say that is a bargain!> > I do have a question for you guys though. What do you do when someone asks > you to do a document retrieval and your fee is $15.00 per document and the > client comes back at you with "Well I know the archives will copy the > document for $.50, I am not going to pay you $15.00 to get a piece of > paper".? I usually respond with "Well then contact the archives yourself > and get it, have a nice day".> > To me, this!> is just as bad as an hourly client trying to haggle with you on > you> r charges. Sure, the archives might only charge $.50 for the document to > copy it, but I also have my time, gas, experience in locating and sourcing > the document properly, etc.> > Just another aspect of our wonderful profession!> > Sincerely,> Melissa Barker> Genealogist for Tennessee and Kentucky > > > -------------------------------> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message> > -------------------------------> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message> > > -- > Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist > www.ForensicGenealogyServices.com > 133 N Friendswood Dr Suite 325 > Friendswood TX 77546 > telephone/fax 281-431-3525 > Member Association of Professional Genealogists, > Event Coordinator of the Lone Star Chapter. > > CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the > Board for Certification of Genealogists used under > license after periodic evaluations by the Board.> > > -------------------------------> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message


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