Why Your Cheap Pricing Sucks for Everyone

Every single time I see a new review or website popping up about cheap design services it makes me angry. I’m sorry to have to rant about websites like 99Designs, Fiverr, DesignCrowd, and other types of “bottom feeder” creative service providers who hock their crap for a dollar, but these offerings truly benefit no one.

Cheap Pricing Sucks for Everyone

It is asinine to believe that charging a cheap price for professional services would help the designer or the actual client. If a creative person really enjoys eating Ramen Noodles everyday while living in mom and dad’s basement rent free so they can be a designer, then they have that right. Enjoy your hippy loving commune and the ability to never make a dime. But seriously, this mindset degrades the value of the trade and our work as a whole. I’ve written about this before.

And for the clients looking for cheap work …. do you really think someone who cranks out your projects for a few dollars really cares about you or your business brand? Absolutely not! 

I can completely understand that budgets are tight and times may be hard, but you are only shooting yourself in the foot by hiring creative agencies or designers who don’t value their work or your real needs. Throw a bunch of crap at the wall and hope that it sticks. This will hurt your brand and it could cost you way more down the road than you realize. I’ve seen the aftermath of this approach for business owners and how they have had to pay to have creative work redone over and over, resulting in spending more money and time than if they would have done it right the first time. You get what you pay for.

Feel free to share your viewpoints. Do you think cheap services are beneficial or do they suck for everyone?

  • http://twitter.com/meetmicah Micah Choquette (@meetmicah)

    Sites like 99designs are at least damaging the industry. I’ve written my own rant about these guys, and the bottom line is that these are for impatient, short-term thinkers on both ends of the deal. The designer retains no copyright, even if their “submission” doesn’t win. So many of these submissions are actually rip-offs of some other submission, and like you said, there’s no relationship with the client, so very little of the heart of the company makes it through to the logo, if anything. It’s spec work at it’s core, and just a very bad waste of time.

    • http://www.jamesdalman.com jamesdalman

      Micah, you hit the nail on the head.

  • Janet

    I work for a print shop and have worked in both production and design departments. I feel that if you want professional results you need to pay the pros to design your product. You will get a much better product in the end. It also saves in redesign costs and in the the print world, many of the so-called designers have no idea how to set a piece up for print, and our design department almost always has to “fix” a problem.

    • http://www.jamesdalman.com jamesdalman

      Janet, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve tried to educate clients and potential clients that anyone can create something in Photoshop or Illustrator, but not everyone can create something that works for their needs and that will reproduce correctly in print or web. There is much to be said about experience!

  • http://gravatar.com/cherryblueberrymom cherryblueberry6

    Speaking for writers out there – every time I see someone offering to write a “thousand page story” or edit a 2000 word report for 5 dollars – or how about those desperate folks who spend hours writing articles on Hub pages hoping to make a measly 20 cents from Google clicks….it makes me want to scream! Talk about devalueing the industry…..sheesh! Because writers online have turned into a dime a dozen (or 5 bucks a pop)….who is ever going to take them seriously again, hence paying them what they’re really worth? I guess the real question is, why one earth have people become SO DESPERATE, they’d be willing to SELL THEIR SOLE for a measly five bucks????

    • http://www.jamesdalman.com jamesdalman

      The same situation is happening across the creative industry. But here is one good thing that comes from it (if you can call it good) and that is the service providers who work for beans won’t be around for long. The bad thing is that clients who hire these people won’t be able to go back to them in the future because they are out of business. I see it happen a lot!

      Perhaps the best thing that veteran designers/developers/writers/creatives can do is to educate the world on pricing standards and how to be better at charging proper rates. This is in addition to the education that continually needs to be provided to clients.

  • Mark

    I came across this post as I was researching fiverr. I have never used it nor will I ever use it, I just can’t imagine getting anything of value for $5 (well, really $4 after Fiverr and paypal take their fees).

    I did also come across this guy, he is not happy with a design he got from fiverr for $5… the amusing thing is that he is shocked at crappy results: http://streetblastmedia.com/JakeWheat/why-i-am-loosing-faith-in-fiverr-com/comment-page-1/#comment-1850