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My Favorite Responses When a Buyer says "You're Too Expensive"


smashradio

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When you're charging your worth it's inevitable that some buyers will think you're too expensive.

Here are some of my go-to responses when a potential client considers my rates too high. Naturally, you should adapt them to fit every situation. 

1: I take pride in the prices I set. They are necessary to deliver the high standard of service my clients have come to expect.

2: Have you considered the cost of not addressing this issue now or going with someone who offers lower quality, in terms of stress, cost, and lost time?

3: If the success of your project hinges on paying the least amount possible, I may not be the best fit for you. 

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39 minutes ago, smashradio said:

some buyers will think you're too expensive.

You know I have a low pricepoint and some buyers even want me to lower prices :))

I had a dude that was shifting what I said to make it seem like I agreed to a much lower price. That's the beauty of being a freelancer, you can set any cost you want, and stick with it. 

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15 minutes ago, donnovan86 said:

You know I have a low pricepoint and some buyers even want me to lower prices :))

I had a dude that was shifting what I said to make it seem like I agreed to a much lower price. That's the beauty of being a freelancer, you can set any cost you want, and stick with it. 

Yeah, that's the thing. You could price your services at a dime per 100.000 words, and people will still try to haggle. 🤣

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16 minutes ago, nickj2013 said:

If a customer thinks my rate is too high, I'm willing to offer a discount. If the discount is a problem for them, my next response is... 'sorry we couldn't agree to terms. Let me know if you change your mind.'

Personally, I don’t like offering a discount as I think it devalues the service and might make the buyer question why it was priced higher in the first place.

What I’ve done in the past is to work with the client to find an option that’s more affordable for them – but without discounting the package. For example, if I offer a 60 second explainer video and they can’t afford the cost, I’ll find out their budget and then offer them a shorter length video to match their budget. Another thing I’ve done is to offer to remove included revisions, with the understanding that doing so will mean that any revisions are chargeable.

I’ve found these techniques work well for me.

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38 minutes ago, nickj2013 said:

If a customer thinks my rate is too high, I'm willing to offer a discount.

They shouldn't seem interested, talk about what they want and not discuss anything about pricing, then at the end ask for a discount.. you know already what you are talking about and they just want to low ball to see if it sticks. If the seller has a proven record, they can charge whatever they see fit. Asking for a price reduction on a $5 gig though, that's something else :))

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28 minutes ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

Personally, I don’t like offering a discount as I think it devalues the service and might make the buyer question why it was priced higher in the first place.

 

I think when you're a newbie and just started freelancing you don't even mind doing work even for almost nothing if it can give you some visibility and help you gain recurring clients and earn something later. 

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55 minutes ago, nickj2013 said:

If a customer thinks my rate is too high, I'm willing to offer a discount.

I only consider discounts if its a repeated customer or buying multiple orders.
Giving discounts for new customers can be a bad habit and will give you a mindset that your gig can be worth that much. And if you get a low conversion, you might think that lowering your gigs price will help.

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3 hours ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

Personally, I don’t like offering a discount as I think it devalues the service and might make the buyer question why it was priced higher in the first place.

What I’ve done in the past is to work with the client to find an option that’s more affordable for them – but without discounting the package. For example, if I offer a 60 second explainer video and they can’t afford the cost, I’ll find out their budget and then offer them a shorter length video to match their budget. Another thing I’ve done is to offer to remove included revisions, with the understanding that doing so will mean that any revisions are chargeable.

I’ve found these techniques work well for me.

That's pretty much what I mean. But if I have a gig priced at $200, I'm willing to let it slide to $175 in order to do the customer a favor. IF the assignment appeals to me enough. The latter is key. I wrote a game script last year at a little under rate because the project sounded fun. And there were future opportunities to come from that one agreement. But do I just hand out lower rates to anyone and everyone? Absolutely not.

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2 hours ago, donnovan86 said:

They shouldn't seem interested, talk about what they want and not discuss anything about pricing, then at the end ask for a discount.. you know already what you are talking about and they just want to low ball to see if it sticks. If the seller has a proven record, they can charge whatever they see fit. Asking for a price reduction on a $5 gig though, that's something else :))

Normally I tell them my price. And they sometimes say 'that's a bit outside my budget.' I then offer a discount depending on the price. If the item is a $35 logline, then there's no rate slash to put forward. It's $35. Same with a $55 basic synopsis. If you can't afford $55 then why even bother? If it's a full page synopsis priced at $150, I'll go $140 just to do business. But nothing below that. If it's a $5,000 screenplay/script job, I'll go $4,500 because I like to write in my preferred genre. IMO, it's not about extending a discount. But how much of a discount you're willing to offer. I've found discounts work with bundles and high priced gigs. But you have to also let the customer know they aren't going to be able to take advantage. Part of doing business is allowing a customer to save money at a rate that you're comfortable with. I have no issue with writing a full-length horror-themed script for $4,500 instead of $5,000. Because I love the genre, and I love writing. But once we go below $4,000, it gets harder for me to turn a profit. At that point, I can offer to write a short film for you, or we can go our separate ways until you scrape together some more cash.

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20 hours ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

This is (almost) word-for-word the phrase I use.

Great minds think alike. 

20 hours ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

Personally, I don’t like offering a discount as I think it devalues the service and might make the buyer question why it was priced higher in the first place.

What I’ve done in the past is to work with the client to find an option that’s more affordable for them – but without discounting the package. For example, if I offer a 60 second explainer video and they can’t afford the cost, I’ll find out their budget and then offer them a shorter length video to match their budget. Another thing I’ve done is to offer to remove included revisions, with the understanding that doing so will mean that any revisions are chargeable.

I’ve found these techniques work well for me.

I agree. I only offer discounts as part of promotions or sales (like doing Black Friday deals) or for big bulk projects (like a client ordering 20 articles at once). It's always done as an incentive to spend more (let's say the client initially wanted to order ten articles, and I sell them on 20 with a 10% discount off the total). I never discount to match a client's budget. 

I'll also work with clients to make their packages more affordable if possible. In 90% of the cases, the buyer ends up paying the full price anyway because they suddenly realize what goes away if they want to pay less, and it helps them see the value of my higher rate. 

 

20 hours ago, hamzaachkaj said:

I think when you're a newbie and just started freelancing you don't even mind doing work even for almost nothing if it can give you some visibility and help you gain recurring clients and earn something later. 

This is a slippery slope. As a new freelancer, you set the bar for all future relationships and how you'll do business. If you're not worth saying, "This is my price," then you can't expect the client to think you are. I never work for "exposure." If a client comes with the whole "If you do this for five dollars, I'll have a lot work in the future, and you'll get the benefit of showing up on our Youtube channel", my retort is, "Why would I want even more work for less money in the future, and how do you expect the offered exposure to pay my bills?"

 

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When I started on Fiverr I was offering my gigs at a much lower rate. I think this was partly lack of confidence and partly trying to get some reviews on my account so I could get a good foundation to build on. This served me well but I have had to say goodbye to some clients as I've raised my prices. I'd rather not have needed to, but as long as there are new clients taking their place, willing to pay more for a good service, it seems to work. I'd rather make more money out of fewer orders.

The one exception I will make to discounting, though, is when I'd like to bring a particularly good client on the journey with me. So, on occasion, when a previous client comes back to me and comments on my prices being higher, I'll offer them one further order at my previous rate as a "loyalty discount".

The thinking here is to deliver great work again and show that it's worth the higher price tag (for next time). It also shows a level of appreciation for the customer's loyalty. When I do this, though, I make it very clear that it's a one-time offer and that further orders will be offered at whatever the current rate is at the time.

It's important to note that I will only do this if it's a client I really like and don't want to lose.

Has anyone else done a similar thing?

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16 minutes ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

When I started on Fiverr I was offering my gigs at a much lower rate. I think this was partly lack of confidence and partly trying to get some reviews on my account so I could get a good foundation to build on. This served me well but I have had to say goodbye to some clients as I've raised my prices. I'd rather not have needed to, but as long as there are new clients taking their place, willing to pay more for a good service, it seems to work. I'd rather make more money out of fewer orders.

The one exception I will make to discounting, though, is when I'd like to bring a particularly good client on the journey with me. So, on occasion, when a previous client comes back to me and comments on my prices being higher, I'll offer them one further order at my previous rate as a "loyalty discount".

The thinking here is to deliver great work again and show that it's worth the higher price tag (for next time). It also shows a level of appreciation for the customer's loyalty. When I do this, though, I make it very clear that it's a one-time offer and that further orders will be offered at whatever the current rate is at the time.

It's important to note that I will only do this if it's a client I really like and don't want to lose.

Has anyone else done a similar thing?

Starting off with a bit of a lower price when you're a beginner is a valid strategy and a smart move, honestly. As I got more confident and skilled, I began to push up my prices bit by bit. But even as a newbie, it's important to make sure you're not selling yourself short. When you're fresh on the scene, you're not going to be bringing the same value as a ten-year pro, so don't feel pressured to charge the same, especially not if the pros are the ones telling you what to charge. 

I've had to say goodbye to a fair few of my old clients as I've nudged my prices up over the years. This year I really took the leap and doubled my rates on voice-over. Now, I'm thinking about going all out and cranking my gig up to Pro with a 100-dollar price tag - with more words included, of course.

If I lose a few clients because I'm asking for more, I'm okay with that. Why hang onto low-budget clients when there are buyers out there willing to pay more? It just doesn't make sense to me to keep working with clients who can't match my worth, even if they're a pleasure to work with.

I've done the same as you for some of my clients. I've let some of my regulars, the ones who've spent a lot with me, stick around at my old price for a bit longer. So, when I doubled my prices, I gave my best clients the chance to stay at my old rate for the rest of 2023. But, to tell you the truth, I'm not expecting them all to stay. Some might stick around, but if they don't, that's fine. 

I have a simple rule: I charge based on the value I provide, not my time. Let's say you've had to call three different plumbers, and none of them could fix your leak. Then you call a fourth one, who manages to solve the problem in just two minutes. Should his quick, effective service be valued less than the hours spent by the previous plumbers?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Starting off with a bit of a lower price when you're a beginner is a valid strategy and a smart move, honestly. As I got more confident and skilled, I began to push up my prices bit by bit. But even as a newbie, it's important to make sure you're not selling yourself short. When you're fresh on the scene, you're not going to be bringing the same value as a ten-year pro, so don't feel pressured to charge the same, especially not if the pros are the ones telling you what to charge. 

I've had to say goodbye to a fair few of my old clients as I've nudged my prices up over the years. This year I really took the leap and doubled my rates on voice-over. Now, I'm thinking about going all out and cranking my gig up to Pro with a 100-dollar price tag - with more words included, of course.

If I lose a few clients because I'm asking for more, I'm okay with that. Why hang onto low-budget clients when there are buyers out there willing to pay more? It just doesn't make sense to me to keep working with clients who can't match my worth, even if they're a pleasure to work with.

I've done the same as you for some of my clients. I've let some of my regulars, the ones who've spent a lot with me, stick around at my old price for a bit longer. So, when I doubled my prices, I gave my best clients the chance to stay at my old rate for the rest of 2023. But, to tell you the truth, I'm not expecting them all to stay. Some might stick around, but if they don't, that's fine. 

I have a simple rule: I charge based on the value I provide, not my time. Let's say you've had to call three different plumbers, and none of them could fix your leak. Then you call a fourth one, who manages to solve the problem in just two minutes. Should his quick, effective service be valued less than the hours spent by the previous plumbers?

 

 

Interesting. It's good to hear that the strategy I'm following can work in the long run. It's worked very well for me so far but I've only been on Fiverr since 2020 and obviously the world's changed a lot in the last few years and it can be hard to know if what's worked so far will continue to work.

I'm sure there's a ceiling on how high I can push things in terms of pricing and I've already seen a slow down in the amount of orders I'm getting. Luckily the order value has been steadily increasing, which counteracts that.

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21 hours ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

Interesting. It's good to hear that the strategy I'm following can work in the long run. It's worked very well for me so far but I've only been on Fiverr since 2020 and obviously the world's changed a lot in the last few years and it can be hard to know if what's worked so far will continue to work.

I'm sure there's a ceiling on how high I can push things in terms of pricing and I've already seen a slow down in the amount of orders I'm getting. Luckily the order value has been steadily increasing, which counteracts that.

As you say, the number of orders has dropped, but your order value has increased. I prefer to look at this in total revenue numbers, not just order value, although it can be a good indicator. If you manage to work less and earn more, you're on the right path, in my opinion. Naturally, there's always a limit. Finding the sweet spot is what it's all about. 

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On 7/15/2023 at 6:42 PM, hamzaachkaj said:

I think when you're a newbie and just started freelancing you don't even mind doing work even for almost nothing if it can give you some visibility and help you gain recurring clients and earn something later. 

Fiverr itself states:

Quote

Know your value

Fiverr’s services start at $5. While it can be tempting to offer promotions or discounts to get your orders rolling in from the start, offering your work for free is not a recommended approach to connect with or entice potential buyers.

Set your potential buyers' expectations and set the precedent that your work can’t be obtained for free. It’s essential to know your worth as a seller and not to compromise it to attempt to attract buyers.

Source: https://www.fiverr.com/support/articles/360010949038-4-Things-to-Do-Before-Creating-Your-Gig?segment=seller

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16 minutes ago, xiveratik said:

For new buyers, it's a win-win situation to provide a discount. My reply goes to buyers is you're going to have this 10-20% discount after ordering 5 times consecutively. But not in the first order.

There's nothing wrong with offering a discount in and of itself, as long as that discount is part of your pricing strategy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think those responses are very interesting to implement, I will take them into account. I haven't had complaints about the prices, but I'm aware that there are people who offer the same service for less money, although the quality is clearly not the same.

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  • 1 month later...

As a seller, I often encounter buyers who ask for unwanted discounts or offer very low prices. Some buyers also want quality full work in a cheap price, which is not possible. Additionally, some buyers may say that the work was done within 15 minutes, so the price should be low. However, they do not understand the effort that the seller has put in to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to do the work well. Ultimately, the quality of the work is more important than the amount of time it takes to complete.

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  • 2 months later...

As a freelancer you can set your own prices, and people will always haggle. But in my experience, the ones that try to haggle you down, will give you more problems later on. It's never good to be the most expensive seller on the market, but it's not good to be the lowest one either. 

Pick something in the middlefield and let your clients know, that if they pay peanuts they will hire monkeys.

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Very interesting thread! When do you think it is best to start increasing your prices or changing your pricing strategy? As a starting freelancer, I am waiting until I reach Level 1 Seller, but I am not sure if this is the right thing to do. My train of thought is that if I become a Level 1 Seller, I logically won't be a New Seller anymore; hence, the raise in prices is justified because of my proven work experience

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When I started selling on Fiverr I offered my services at a discount, but found that even though my price was discounted, buyers still expected A+ content.  The price is discounted but not the end product.  After a few months, my price went up to what I think is a good value to my clients, but also what I feel I am worth.  I do offer coupons to customers who are repeat buyers as an incentive to stick with me after I increased my rates.  This has been a good business model for me for the time being.

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