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Pricing? I don't know whether to be amused or annoyed!

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by TeacherTrix, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. I've recently raised my tuition fee. Since then I've been asked by one (Yr 10) student if I do 1/2 hour sessions because 'we could fit it into half the time' (this made me laugh - I've never yet been able to get away from her on time because she keeps asking questions at the end!). Last week another new Yr 11 student suddenly start haggling with me over the price of tuition because they'd heard from a friend that my rate was £20 per hour - (it's now £25).
    I raised my price a couple of months ago but kept it at the old rate for my existing students - which is why my new student's friend was paying less. I travel to the student's home and some of them are a few miles out of town so I don't think my rate is too high but I do want to feel like I'm offering good value for money and not over-charging. I can see that someone feels that they are being unfairly charged more than someone else but I also don't want to just raise my prices (for exisiting students) mid-year.
    The haggling did make me giggle but nobody had ever questioned my price before I raised it so I am a little bit worried - I don't want to lose
    business over this.
    Just wondering if anyone else had this problem and/or how you'd deal with it if you did? Should I just go back to my old price and leave it alone until next year - then raise it for everyone at the same time - or stick to my guns?
     
  2. I've recently raised my tuition fee. Since then I've been asked by one (Yr 10) student if I do 1/2 hour sessions because 'we could fit it into half the time' (this made me laugh - I've never yet been able to get away from her on time because she keeps asking questions at the end!). Last week another new Yr 11 student suddenly start haggling with me over the price of tuition because they'd heard from a friend that my rate was £20 per hour - (it's now £25).
    I raised my price a couple of months ago but kept it at the old rate for my existing students - which is why my new student's friend was paying less. I travel to the student's home and some of them are a few miles out of town so I don't think my rate is too high but I do want to feel like I'm offering good value for money and not over-charging. I can see that someone feels that they are being unfairly charged more than someone else but I also don't want to just raise my prices (for exisiting students) mid-year.
    The haggling did make me giggle but nobody had ever questioned my price before I raised it so I am a little bit worried - I don't want to lose
    business over this.
    Just wondering if anyone else had this problem and/or how you'd deal with it if you did? Should I just go back to my old price and leave it alone until next year - then raise it for everyone at the same time - or stick to my guns?
     
  3. Stick with the new price, teachers/tutors charge too little in my opinion. I have a window cleaner...I pay him £12 to clean windows once a month....15 minutes work! If you call out a plumber or anyone in the trades you pay all their charges....and they seem to charge by the minute!!!
    If you go to a hairdresser for just a wash and blowdry you pay between 20 and twenty five pounds. Then why on earth do some students and their parents expect to get tuition for half nothing? I find it insulting that some parents even try to "bargain" with teachers for tuition.
    We have to spend a lot of time planning our classes and finding suitable resources...if there is travel involved it can take more time...not to mention petrol...and all the extra time you spend at the end if answering questions.
     
  4. I seem to have 3 rates - my old clients are on my original one and my most recent ones are on my new expensive one. It's the market - I am really busy at the moment so if people are prepared to pay £30 an hour, suits me.
    I know the argument about hairdressers etc - my opinion is that over the month it is between £100 to £150 a child which adds up for a family as opposed to occasional luxuries. And a good client lasts for a long time.

     
  5. Georginalouise

    Georginalouise New commenter

    I increase my rates every September. I have two rates, one for 'teaching in' and another for 'teaching out'. That said, if I take on a student for two years, I keep them on the original rate, as I feel that is the amount of money factored in by the bill payer. If someone finishes GCSE but wants to stay for A level, then it is the new rate for the next two years. I don't haggle and I don't do mates rates (although I have been known to barter). I echo the above, good clients are worth keeping.

    Someone tried to argue, stating a tutor up the road was much cheaper and I politely pointed out that they were free to use them. Four months later they returned to me and paid my rate without question. I am not the cheapest tutor, nor the most expensive. I've a good reputation locally and I get results. If I struggle to get students, I might have to rethink, but while I am busy I can let the odd potential client go as I know there will be another one around the corner.
     
  6. I lost a client a week ago - parents' financial situation. Replaced in 2 days at a higher rate [​IMG]
    And I got some daytime clients as well.
     
  7. Thanks for the feedback. I guess I just wanted a bit of ressurance that I wasn't overcharging or being unfair.
    I would have been annoyed if the parents had started questioning my fee, especially as it was the end of the session not before, but it was the student who started haggling with me (I don't even know if it was the parents' idea). I'll stick to my price, thanks all!
     
  8. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    If you have an hour's counselling, the average price around here is £35. So I think the cost of tutoring is too cheap!
     
  9. I have been in the charging business in a different sector before this for 30 years and it is difficult but once you decide to put your rates up you have to stick to it - if you waiver you have to reduce them and then you are stuck for years. You are worth a combination of what the local competition are charging and what you think you are worth which is based on your results.
    You should use your results as part of your bargaining/reasoning when stating your service and before you announce your charges. Fees should be paid up front and in advance and missed lessons should not be credited. This is a business - the more business like you are about running it, the easier it becomes. You may find it easier if you print a leaflet with all of your terms on it - that way you will have less to discuss with your clients.
    Don't get annoyed about people querying your rates - they have the right to query but stand your ground - act as though someone else sets your rates and don't take it personally.
    I hope that you find this helpful.
     
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Assuming that most of you are on UPS, in a school you would get around £35 ph. Yes, tutoring may be 'nicer' as in less paperwork and generally no violence/abusive students BUT I assume you don't get holiday pay/sick/maternity (unless you work through a council or agency) and youcan be 'terminated' at a moment's notice, unlike a school teacher. I aslso know of plenty of tutors who charge more than £40 ph.
     

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