Don’t Get Short-Changed – Shop Around

Don’t Get Shortchanged

I recently needed some graphic work done for one of my projects. I started out by asking for a quote from a graphic designer who had worked on a previous project, on which this new project would be based. He was unavailable this time around, so I moved on.

My next call was to a local designer with whom I’ve had some contact in the past. I emailed a detailed list of the job requirements and asked how much the work would cost and how long it would take.

The answer, given promptly, was that the work would take around six hours and that it could be done in a few days. Let’s say the total estimated cost was around $900.

I moved on once more. The quote seemed high, both for the amount of time required, and for the hourly fee.

I keep a list of recommended suppliersĀ  and decided to call one of them. I had never worked with this designer before, but she came highly recommended by a few people whose opinions I trust.

Yes, she could do the work. Yes, it could be done today. Yes she would charge by the hour. And yes, she understood exactly what I needed.

Her estimated price for completing the work the same day? $70.

You read that right. Just $70.

I decided to give Designer Number Three the job. Not exactly a big risk if it didn’t work out well. For $70, I was interested in seeing what she could do.

So what could she do?

She finished the main design reworking in just 20 minutes, stayed with me on the phone while I checked the first draft, make changes while I waited, and sent along the final draft within the hour. She then sent along all the various sizes, file types and letter combinations I needed.

In short, fast, efficient and competent work.

Now I wasn’t asking for any creative input this time around since I was basing the new design on an existing one, but I got excellent service and exactly what I needed, when I needed it.

So how come there was such a difference between the two quotes I received?

$900 vs. $70.

Well, honestly, I don’t know.


But I like Designer Number Two and I’m going to ask her. I don’t for a minute think she was trying to scam me into paying more than the job was worth. Most likely she didn’t understand the limits of the work I was asking for, or she overestimated the time it would take her. I knew her quote was high from the beginning, but in fact it was sky-high. And she needs to know that. Because not everyone will tell her why they aren’t using her – and she should be attracting more clients because she’s talented at what she does.

I was never even close to accepting the quote for $900. But I might have been if I hadn’t had a good sense of the going price for what I was asking.

The next time you get a quote for a job, check around. Make sure you’re not being short-changed.

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