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Thread: On the matter of payment

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    What's the best way to be paid? On a per-job basis, or an hourly wage?

    See, I'm a college student, and I've been working with Flash through my university's various technology programs and summer research grants. Each job paid a flat wage, and was non-negotiable.

    My supervising professor gave my name to a guy at South Dakota Public Broadcasting, because they need some Flash work for a site they'll be launching in January. They're making some instructional TV programs for 4th-graders, and would like a quiz and game to accompany every episode--about 20 episodes in all, with 4 needed by January.

    Now I need to get back to him with a payment proposal, but I don't really know what I should ask. When is it good to get an hourly wage, and when is it better to get paid on a per-job basis?

  2. #2
    I try to stick to per-project pricing. The main reason is charging hourly can cause some unwanted hassles. If you tell someone it's going to take 10 hours and it ends up taking 15 then you're uping the price and for all the client knows you could be doing it just to rip them off. In my experience the best way to handle a project is to determine the needs and function and from there develop an overall quote. It makes the client happy to have an overall price because then they know exactly how much they need to pay. Hourly fees can fluctuate. If you're planning on charging per-project though you'll need to develop a pricing plan. That's been discussed many times here, but really it's just a matter of determining how much your time is worth and the estimated time the project will require and playing with the numbers.

  3. #3
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    moved to boardroom

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Sinister makes good points.
    And I agree, by the project is the way to go.
    Especially as a contractor, as it allows you to work out payout schedules and place those terms into the contract, further protecting both you and the client.

    And since there is contracted protection on terms of pricing, you'll never have to worry if the client will accept your invoice. Also, the client is assured that you will deliver for said price, so it's far better all the way around.

    For the type of work that you described, which is a multipart project, I would arrainge a leveraged solution, where you set a base price for each set to be created, pending the opportunity for a pricing adjustment per additional work. So, you come out with a base price for each package of 1 game + 1 quiz as a whole. That pricing will be the contracted minimum, but with the terms that the price may vary if you feel that a particular package may require more work in it's creation than the norm.

    Being that these are games for 4 year olds, I don't think you'll need to vary much on the scale, but you never know.
    The best thing for you to do at this point is request any RFP's (Request For Proposal) or other material they may have that can give you an idea of exactly what you will be creating. By getting as much information about the entire scope of the project as possible, you can then come out with an averaged estimate and help eliminate nasty suprises.

    I would like to congradulate you on getting lined up for an opportunity like that. It sounds like a great chance for you to establish yourself as a professional, which many people coming straight out of school have a hard time doing.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Thanks for the input, everyone! It will definately help me figure things out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001


    per project is the best way to go, but keep in mind it always comes back to how long you think the project will take you, based on hours.

    Once you determine how much effort it's going to take you, my suggestion is quote a little higher then that = )... it has beenmy experience that almost every single project takes longer then i thought it would... plus it gives you a little cushion if the client is one to bargain.

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