Undercutting

49 posts
23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
Hi Guys,

Want to know your views on being undercut by our fellow artists. Over the last few days I have found out that 2 of my most regular clients have booked other artists due to them severely undercutting my rates. One saying I'll do you 2 full days for £160! The other working for travel and images.

Clearly they don't realise that when they undercut the whole business suffers these clients used to book me at least twice a month and now I fear they will never come back with the other artists working on a equivalent of £8 to 10 / hour or nothing.

Hopefully the cheaper artists cut corners and the quality of work is of an amateur standard and the clients will be back to me because of my attention to detail and the fact I care about the quality of an image.

My question to photographers is is your main priority budget or quality? I suppose its the same in all aspects of this business photographers doing weddings for £200 models doing nude for £15 / hour etc.

I like to think I'm not expensive, but I don't undercut other artists. I pass a lot of work onto other artists, if I ever find out who these girls / guys are,  I will never pass on any jobs to them and I will make sure no other artists that I know do, eventually they will need us to count on and no one will be around to support them.

I know sh*t happens, and I need to get over it and I know in the current climate people are desperate for cheap labour and any jobs they can get but does this give them the write to tread on everyone they used to count on when they where let down or needed someone last mintute.

Frankly this forum doesn't quite explain how angry I am about this but i want opinions and a decent discussion, no grief please.

Discuss please emoticon
Posted 23 June 2009
Edited by ClaireShipman 23 June 2009
deetvstudio
Photographer
deetvstudio
Frankly, it could be worse - you could be a Photographer!
At least you don't often find amateur or hobby make-up artists who are actually paying models for them to practice on.
I've just been looking at a Thread started by a model, asking for advice on if she should go to an Agency (make-over studio?) and pay a fortune for some portfolio pictures. Loads of replies from both models and photographers suggesting she looks for TFP/TFCD work to build up a portfolio, not one suggesting she finds a good Photographer on here to pay for a portfolio shoot. Which in turn means less chance of the Photographer needing a Pro. Make-up Artist for the shoot.
I give up (almost).

Dave.

Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
Hi Dave, Thanks fr your comments. A lot os trainee mua's pay models and photographers. I have in the past and loved the results. I have seen several of these threads lately and thought to myself for gods sake why doesn't someone suggest she pays a decent photographer instead of telling her she can get it for free I totally agree with you on that one!

SHE IS WANTING TO PAY but you offer to do it for free, that is insane!!!!
Posted 23 June 2009
Edited by ClaireShipman 23 June 2009
simonpaul
Photographer
simonpaul
It's likely that someone working at that rate is not that good. If that is the case, their lack of quality will shine through and it will reaffirm to the client why they used you in the first place. It just isn't worth trying to save a few quid on MUA when you have models, togs, assistants, studio and equipment all being invested into the process.  Stand back, stay friendly and available to the client and perhaps ask them how that worked out for them. Obviously if they were delighted - then yep you will have lost that client - but that is why you should constantly be striving to make sure you aren't too dependent on a small number of clients.

Best of luck. I hope your competitor sticks a lipstick in the model's ear or something! 
Posted 23 June 2009
jes
Model
jes
I'm a MUA and model and it is frustrating when someone undercuts you by price.  I will always negotiate a bit but those prices you stated sound too low to me.  Stick to your guns because you're work is clearly of a high standard and hopefully people will see that they get what they pay for.
Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
Hi Simon,

Thanks for your comments. As I say the quality of work will hopefully be very different.

Thankfully, I don't rely on a select few clients like a lot of artists do and I feel for them, its just the being undercut that has annoyed me mostly, I don't have any problem with someone requiring another artist for a different style, hell I'll even suggest one for them but girls / guys who are deliberately offering silly rates and ruining the business there in and everyone else's I find very annoying.

Posted 23 June 2009
simonpaul
Photographer
simonpaul
ClaireShipman

Hi Simon,Thanks for your comments. As I say the quality of work will hopefully be very different.Thankfully, I don't rely on a select few clients like a lot of artists do and I feel for them, its just the being undercut that has annoyed me mostly, I don't have any problem with someone requiring another artist for a different style, hell I'll even suggest one for them but girls / guys who are deliberately offering silly rates and ruining the business there in and everyone else's I find very annoying.


Just make sure you continue to differentiate your services by offering quality at a fair price. There will be people who will buy cheap rather than quality but honestly you aren't missing much anyway - it just means that you have to adopt a strong posture and make sure people know that when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Posted 23 June 2009
LindsaySianSnuggs
Make Up Artist
LindsaySianS..
ClaireShipman

. Over the last few days I have found out that 2 of my most regular clients have booked other artists due to them severely undercutting my rates. One saying I'll do you 2 full days for £160! The other working for travel and images.

Clearly they don't realise that when they undercut the whole business suffers these clients used to book me at least twice a month and now I fear they will never come back with the other artists working on a equivalent of £8 to 10 / hour or nothing.



I think that's outrageous and completely sympathise with your anger & frustration.
First of all how can they afford to do that? They will then end up seriously out of pocket, and then not being able to charge enough to make money as once they out their prices up to a reasonable rate I bet their clients then move on.

But, and most importantly I feel, it is rude and highly unprofessional to knowingly undercut someone. This industry is so small that you can almost guarantee at some point you will come across the artist/designer you have undercut; word will get round that that is how you run your business and suddenly all your work will dry up as no-one want to work with someone who undermines the business, hard work & effort that professional (I mean this in terms of attitude as well as ability) MUAs put into their work.

Grrr! Ooh it makes me cross!

Linds xx
Posted 23 June 2009
STYLESOMEGA
Photographer
STYLESOMEGA
personally I would be more annoyed at the clients that let them know your rates

Posted 23 June 2009
andy_h
Photographer
andy_h
Hi Claire

As someone who worked with you for the first time recently (and an amatuer to boot) I'd like to add that price wasnt the main consideration for me. When I took advice from others, they all said I should be speaking to you for help in getting the best shots I could. I'm glad I took their advice on board, and yours during the shoot as well.

I shoot purely for enjoyment, there's no plan to sell anything and I rarely do TF, so it's usually what I want to do. Whatever makes it easier to get a better result is what I'm going to go for. To me, thats quality of work in that area over price every time.



Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
STYLESOMEGA

personally I would be more annoyed at the clients that let them know your rates


Unfortunatley you cant stop this happening. I always get: "well My last make up artist used to charge me this ...." Perhaps they are so new to the business they have no idea what to charge. A lot of them are pulling a fast one but some feel the need to tell me what there other artists are charging when I dont really care as im running my business not theres.

I have just been pointed out an artist on this site charging £50 for a full day that is the equivalent to £6.25 / hour a similar rate to working on a check out at Aldi, except you dont need £3,000 worth of kit and hundreds or thousands of pounds of training!
Posted 23 June 2009
Edited by ClaireShipman 23 June 2009
STYLESOMEGA
Photographer
STYLESOMEGA
ClaireShipman

Unfortunatley you cant stop this happening. I always get: "well My last make up artist used to charge me this ...." Perhaps they are so new to the business they have no idea what to charge. A lot of them are pulling a fast one but some feel the need to tell me what there other artists are charging when I dont really care as im running my business not theres.

I have just been pointed out an artist on this site charging £50 for a full day that is the equivalent to £6.25 / hour a similar rate to working on a check out at Aldi, except you dont need £3,000 worth of kit and hundreds or thousands of pounds of training!


Its a tight rope really, especially when there are alot of ametuers peaople who do it as a hobby
but these people wont be able to sustain these jobs they will either run out of kit, quality wont be as good or they will realise they are suckers
Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
andy_h

Hi Claire As someone who worked with you for the first time recently (and an amatuer to boot) I'd like to add that price wasnt the main consideration for me. When I took advice from others, they all said I should be speaking to you for help in getting the best shots I could. I'm glad I took their advice on board, and yours during the shoot as well. I shoot purely for enjoyment, there's no plan to sell anything and I rarely do TF, so it's usually what I want to do. Whatever makes it easier to get a better result is what I'm going to go for. To me, thats quality of work in that area over price every time.


Hi Andy,

Thanks for your input.

It was a pleasure and your quality of work compliments mine, I love the new images you have put up.

I always spend time helping in anyway I can before, during and after the shoot I think its whats required of a good make up artist and we are amounst many on Purestorm I would just like to add a positive instead of all the negativity on other artists but they really dont help themselves sometimes.

Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
STYLESOMEGA

Its a tight rope really, especially when there are alot of ametuers peaople who do it as a hobby
but these people wont be able to sustain these jobs they will either run out of kit, quality wont be as good or they will realise they are suckers


A lipstick costs me double that. I would be very interested to see the quality of the products in her kit.
Posted 23 June 2009
ClaireShipman
Make Up Artist
ClaireShipma..
LindsaySianSnuggs

I think that's outrageous and completely sympathise with your anger & frustration.
First of all how can they afford to do that? They will then end up seriously out of pocket, and then not being able to charge enough to make money as once they out their prices up to a reasonable rate I bet their clients then move on.

But, and most importantly I feel, it is rude and highly unprofessional to knowingly undercut someone. This industry is so small that you can almost guarantee at some point you will come across the artist/designer you have undercut; word will get round that that is how you run your business and suddenly all your work will dry up as no-one want to work with someone who undermines the business, hard work & effort that professional (I mean this in terms of attitude as well as ability) MUAs put into their work.

Grrr! Ooh it makes me cross!

Linds xx


Hi Linds,

She may well regret it if I ever need an assistant for vogue and shes on set haha

xx
Posted 23 June 2009
Edited by ClaireShipman 23 June 2009
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