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Thread: Charging for pre-built code

  1. #1
    ReMember jennyj's Avatar
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    Not a "how much" question.....

    Don't be nasty to me...

    This is not a how much question, not even a flash question really, but I hope someone can help me out

    I do a lot of coding in ASP, and because of the nature of what I do, a lot of this code is exactly the same, and can be reused from one client to the next

    My question is.... Should I charge each client for the time it took to originally implent this code, or should I only charge for the time it actually takes to put the code into their page

    Thoughts please

    JennyJ

  2. #2
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    I'd charge them based on the time it took to create originally otherwise you might as well just sell templates or pre-made/out of the box solutions.
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  3. #3
    One day older, one day wiser rafiki55's Avatar
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    yup agreed with above. And if you think about it, it really wouldn't be fair to the first client (unethical almost), who you charged full price.

  4. #4
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    I run into this a lot. I charge them for the amount of time the original code cost to build. There is nothing unethical about it; it's called making money. Companies do this all the time. Coca-Cola charges 50 cents for a can of Coke that cost them 5 cents to put together.

    Charge them. Make money.

    Although reusing previously built code is never as easy as it sounds.

    Scott

  5. #5
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    jennyj,

    I retitled your thread. I think it's a good topic that others will find interesting.

    Scott

  6. #6
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    It's amazing to me, from people new to business, this apparent fear of making money... The goal of my business, when it's all said and done is making money. If I have a product that people are willing to pay $50.00 for why on earth would I go into business and sell it for ten?

    It really comes down to balancing it out. What do you need to make to break even? What are people willing to pay? If you can figure out what people are willing to pay, and it exceeds the cost of being in business, you are on your way.

    In some instances, like Coke would, you can make up R&D costs and operation costs on volume. I personally never want to get into such commodities trading, but to each his own.

    The thing that you have to be most aware of is this. The benefit of reusable code is lower production cost. BE DILIGENT in keeping up with what local competition is doing. While it is getting cheaper for you, it is also getting cheaper for them. You will either need to be flexible in your pricing or provide greater level of service to justify your pricing to customers. You need to be aware of it, cause you customers most certainly will.

    Bottom line... charge as much as your product is worth to your client while not ignoring your need to sustain your business. If you can't charge enough to cover costs, you need to look at a different business model altogether, but in you senario, charge what you can get.

    Be a business person. Make money... provide for yourself and your family. It's the capitalist way.

    Good luck

    I kinda got to rambling on this so I hope something I said helped.

  7. #7
    ReMember jennyj's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your input, I had already figured I should charge the same amount, but I wanted to see what everyone else thought. As I usually charge on a "per hour" basis, I had to make some kind of allowance for this kind of scenario.

    JennyJ

  8. #8
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    I see this as another downside to charging on a per hour basis.

    After using the 'per hour' method of charging clients for a number of years I find I spend more time calculating costs in some scenarios than I do actually carrying out the work.

    Now I prefer to give the client a quote of how much I think the work will cost. I always tell them that it is an estimate and that I will stick to it as best I can but the more alterations / mind changes etc added by the client may affect the final cost of the project. I always ask for a deposit up front (normally 50%).

    anyway, enough off topic nonsense.
    Living the dream

  9. #9
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    You can actually use this prebuilt code to give yourself a sales edge over the competitors. I often tell clients that I have prebuilt stuff that I can use on their project. As a result, I'll cut down the time it takes to deliver the product. But I generally don't give them a cost break because actually they should be paying a premium to get it faster!

    You have to be careful though, based on your contracts with the first client. By default, unless you specify that there is "common code" or "developer code" in the final deliverables that you can take away and reuse, the client generally OWNS IT ALL. Even the reusable bits.

    Most clients won't know the difference as long as you just reuse common routines. But if you build a full-on stock trading system for one client, and then go sell 90% of that code to one of their competitors, you could get nailed. Always best to put some clause in the contracts that you can reuse any code you build for "noncompetitive purposes".

  10. #10
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rdixon
    You can actually use this prebuilt code to give yourself a sales edge over the competitors. I often tell clients that I have prebuilt stuff that I can use on their project. As a result, I'll cut down the time it takes to deliver the product. But I generally don't give them a cost break because actually they should be paying a premium to get it faster!

    You have to be careful though, based on your contracts with the first client. By default, unless you specify that there is "common code" or "developer code" in the final deliverables that you can take away and reuse, the client generally OWNS IT ALL. Even the reusable bits.



    Most clients won't know the difference as long as you just reuse common routines. But if you build a full-on stock trading system for one client, and then go sell 90% of that code to one of their competitors, you could get nailed. Always best to put some clause in the contracts that you can reuse any code you build for "noncompetitive purposes".

    I would guess a change in variable and function names may be in order, but every professional writer I know uses nouns and verbs. Every home builder, wood.

  11. #11
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    Originally posted by serpent star
    I would guess a change in variable and function names may be in order, but every professional writer I know uses nouns and verbs. Every home builder, wood.
    every pimp uses whores...
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  12. #12

  13. #13
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    you seem to know a bit about this Matt!?
    Living the dream

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by serpent star
    I would guess a change in variable and function names may be in order, but every professional writer I know uses nouns and verbs. Every home builder, wood.
    I'm not saying it's wrong to reuse stuff...just protect yourself!

    Every SMART whore uses condoms...

  15. #15
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RazoRmedia
    you seem to know a bit about this Matt!?
    I'd prefer "Pimp Daddy Mat"


  16. #16
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rdixon
    I'm not saying it's wrong to reuse stuff...just protect yourself!

    Every SMART whore uses condoms...

    cooooool jive turkey.

  17. #17
    Waaambulance Pilot sk8Krog's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rdixon
    I'm not saying it's wrong to reuse stuff...just protect yourself!

    Every SMART whore uses condoms...
    haha, no such thing!

    great tips, I might be running into this problem pretty soon. Thanks for the help!
    It must be obvious day at camp stupid

  18. #18
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    oh dear

    Living the dream

  19. #19
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    pwahahahahaha
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  20. #20
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    LOL! Somebody has waaaaayyyy too much time on his hands!
    And I'm pretty intrigued as to what nutritional sustenance Mr. Manning lived off of, being trapped in the loo!

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