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Thread: The state of the economy and pricing.

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    Member RGoldman's Avatar
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    The state of the economy and pricing.

    Well..... I did something yesterday that I never imagined I would do in my lifetime. I paid $5/gal for diesel fuel. I have owned the same truck for 12 years and when I first bought it, I could fill it up for $35. It's now $175 for the same tank full of diesel. I am self employed, running 2 different businesses for the last 20 years and have seen my expenses jump as high as 600% on electricity, 500% on fuel, 400% on propane (which I use a lot of and purchase 1000 gallons at a time), and anywhere from 200-300% on everything else. In that same time, I have only raised my prices twice and not even close to the percentages that everything else has gone up.
    I have watched the stock photography market sales rapidly decline over the last 5 years with pricing going the exact opposite of everything else and customers that think pricing should be lower because "it's digital, all you do is put it on the computer and it's done".
    Sorry for the rant but.... I guess my question here is what is everyone else doing to cover the rising expenses when most people are expecting to pay the same or less for our work? Not to mention, the hundreds of amateur photographers advertising themselves as professionals and bidding on jobs at 1/10th the going day rates since they got a new DSLR for Christmas?
    I know there is always a market for quality work and I have picked up several jobs this year from people that hired the photographer with the cheapest bid on the job and then found they couldn't use any of the images because they were so bad. But even those customers want to pay less than what I feel my time and investment in equipment is worth!
    If anyone has a brilliant solution, please share!

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: The state of the economy and pricing.

    The economy is actually pretty good.
    Fuel pricing is still below where it ought to settle based on world-wide norms for non-producing nation. We are getting to the point given our low production that there is no reason that our fuel prices should be any lower than most of Europe where is is now about $9.00 per gallon.
    We have gotten used to the idea that goods we buy ought to be cheap because there is always the availability of cheap labor to produce them. We have been doing that for many years and have enjoyed a standard of living that has been artificially elevated. Unless our own productivity gains at a faster rate when compared to the rest of the world, and we begin to spend less money then we take in, the process will continue.
    As for your work, perhaps you could try to build a brand that has value and quality. Something that differentiates what you do when compared with the pack. If you cannot do this, then you will be right there amongst them and will be fighting over meager leavings.
    just a random thought.
    -bob

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    Re: The state of the economy and pricing.

    [QUOTE=RGoldman;31661]Well..... I did something yesterday that I never imagined I would do in my lifetime. I paid $5/gal for diesel fuel. I have owned the same truck for 12 years and when I first bought it, I could fill it up for $35. It's now $175 for the same tank full of diesel. I am self employed, running 2 different businesses for the last 20 years and have seen my expenses jump as high as 600% on electricity, 500% on fuel, 400% on propane (which I use a lot of and purchase 1000 gallons at a time), and anywhere from 200-300% on everything else.

    Yes interesting my cost have gone up the same as yours but reported inflation is only running 4% a year..... wonder who is cooking those books?

    tm

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    Re: The state of the economy and pricing.

    Because inflation and cost of living are two different things. If you bought a car 20 years ago and it had only seat belts inflation would measure how much that car would cost today. The problem is today's cars come with anti-lock breaks, airbags everywhere, on board computers and so on. None of those improvements get counted in inflation!!! But here is the problem, you can't buy a car without all the new technology hence your cost of living is higher.

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    Re: The state of the economy and pricing.

    Hey

    Have no photography comments at moment. However in New Zealand the property and petrol/diesel have doubled in the last 6 years. Wages at one place I know of, have gone up 40-60%. But thats not a lot considering basic living gone up. All Dairy products doubled... The NZ dollar would buy US$0.40 then and now US$0.78. So as far as some personal interests go its a lot more affordable buying from overseas.

    Wayne

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