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  • Why we can't discuss pricing on the GDF

    The reason we don't allow pricing discussions on the GDF is because WebMediaBrands, the multi billion dollar corporation and owner of the GDF as well as 29 other forums says it is illegal and not allowed. That's good enough for me.

    My personal opinion is that pricing is so subjective geographically that any information obtained would be mostly useless anyway.
    Last edited by Red Kittie Kat; 06-21-2009, 03:41 PM. Reason: Company name change

  • #2
    Why we can't discuss pricing: the Details.

    I got curious, so I did some research.

    The short answer:
    1. It's illegal. The law in question is the Sherman Antitrust Act
    2. WebMediaBrands doesn't want us too. Thier website, thier rules.


    The long answer (and some links):

    It carries a pretty hefty price tag. I think that it's safe to say that none of us here can afford it.
    From the US Department of Justice:
    Enacted in 1890, the Sherman Act is among our country's most important and enduring pieces of economic legislation. The Sherman Act prohibits any agreement among competitors to fix prices, rig bids, or engage in other anticompetitive activity. Criminal prosecution of Sherman Act violations is the responsibility of the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.

    Violation of the Sherman Act is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10 million for corporations, and a fine of up to $350,000 or 3 years imprisonment (or both) for individuals, if the offense was committed before June 22, 2004. If the offense was committed on or after June 22, 2004, the maximum Sherman Act fine is $100 million for corporations and $1 million for individuals, and the maximum Sherman Act jail sentence is 10 years. Under some circumstances, the maximum potential fine may be increased above the Sherman Act maximums to twice the gain or loss involved. In addition, collusion among competitors may constitute violations of the mail or wire fraud statute, the false statements statute, or other federal felony statutes, all of which the Antitrust Division prosecutes.

    In addition to receiving a criminal sentence, a corporation or individual convicted of a Sherman Act violation may be ordered to make restitution to the victims for all overcharges. Victims of bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies also may seek civil recovery of up to three times the amount of damages suffered.
    http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/guidelines/211578.htm


    For those of you outside the US: You might not be here, but WebMediaBrands servers are. They provide this wonderful forum for all of us to chat, so the least we can do is respect thier policies. Also, you may have similiar laws affecting you. I didn't run across anything specific, but it was impiled that Europe has something similiar.


    And some informative links:


    Wikipedia: The Sherman Antitrust Act:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act


    The text of the Sherman Act:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sup_01_15_10_1.html


    A FAQ from the HTML Writer's Guild on the Subject:
    http://www.hwg.org/resources/faqs/priceFAQ.html

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.
    Last edited by Red Kittie Kat; 06-21-2009, 03:41 PM. Reason: Company name change
    Light a man a fire and he will be warm for a short while. Light a man afire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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    • #3
      Updated from another thread.

      It's illegal, and as such it is prohibited by the forum rules. More information here.
      Last edited by morea; 08-07-2009, 09:11 PM.
      "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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      • #4
        Originally posted by morea View Post
        It's illegal, and as such it is prohibited by the forum rules. More information here.
        That is absolutely ludicrous, to tie a discussion of theoretical pricing to anti-trust legislation. More likely it has to do with the parent company not wanting their pricing to be undercut on their own board. Let's call it for what it is.
        Last edited by morea; 08-07-2009, 09:11 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BrandStand View Post
          That is absolutely ludicrous, to tie a discussion of theoretical pricing to anti-trust legislation. More likely it has to do with the parent company not wanting their pricing to be undercut on their own board. Let's call it for what it is.
          unfortunately, them's the rules of the road here. you do get used to not talking about it, and we try to direct our members to other sources where they might be able to develop their own or find examples of pricing.
          Last edited by morea; 08-07-2009, 09:11 PM.
          Remember: Wherever you go, there you are.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mojoprime View Post
            unfortunately, them's the rules of the road here. you do get used to not talking about it, and we try to direct our members to other sources where they might be able to develop their own or find examples of pricing.
            The discussion of pricing is a fundamental part of the business of graphic design. It is simply absurd to start a board serving the industry only to disallow such discussions on the basis of scaring people with anti-trust legislation which, trust me, is VERY specific in its legality and doesn't include casual pricing discussions.

            But I respect that all of you are okay with it. I am not. Have a good weekend.

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            • #7
              The forum seems to have gotten along just fine since 2002 without allowing pricing discussions.

              You received helpful answers to all of your questions, including how to go about calculating your own pricing. I think that it's important to keep in mind that even if we were allowed to discuss pricing here, we could not give you a magical formula to calculate the value of your work.

              The link that Audentia posted explains several different ways to determine your own pricing. It depends on:

              - your experience (student / beginner / intermediate / experienced designer? specialist?)

              - your location (not just your country; this can range dramatically from one city to another)

              - what type of clients you are working for (a mom and pop shop is not going to pay the same amount for their logo as a major corporation or city)

              - what services you are providing (how many initial concepts? how many rounds of revisions? how many proofs, and what type? what rights are you turning over to the client upon completion of the job? are you handling the printing yourself, tracking down printers that would be good for the job, or handing over the files for the client to handle that on their own?)

              - whether you want to bill on an hourly basis or a per-project fee (a beginner who works very slowly may not be able to charge an hourly rate for their work and still get jobs)

              and many other factors. Asking in an online forum that includes members from all over the world would get you such a wide range of answers that it would likely be useless.

              Your best bet, as stated in that thread Audentia posted, is to pick up a copy of the GAG Handbook on Pricing and Ethical guidelines to use as a starting point and work from there.

              I hope that you can appreciate that pricing is a very subjective topic, and there is no one "right" answer. If you want to write this forum off because no one can tell you "you should charge exactly $X" then that's your right, though I believe that you would find it a valuable resource.
              Last edited by morea; 08-19-2009, 10:59 AM.
              "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BrandStand View Post
                The discussion of pricing is a fundamental part of the business of graphic design. It is simply absurd to start a board serving the industry only to disallow such discussions on the basis of scaring people with anti-trust legislation which, trust me, is VERY specific in its legality and doesn't include casual pricing discussions.

                But I respect that all of you are okay with it. I am not. Have a good weekend.
                I gather you didn't read the link. This was not our idea, we don't want to be accused of price fixing, which is illegal in the United States.
                The premier New York Rangers forum on the web

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BrandStand View Post
                  That is absolutely ludicrous, to tie a discussion of theoretical pricing to anti-trust legislation. More likely it has to do with the parent company not wanting their pricing to be undercut on their own board. Let's call it for what it is.
                  Just to go back to this for a second, our parent company makes their money by providing educational services and by managing successful informational forums (such as this one) which are supported by advertisements.

                  I did some checking, and they do not even offer graphic design services; in fact they sometimes hire outside graphic and web designers for their own projects, and therefore they are not in competition with members for design jobs. That makes the above point rather moot, I'm afraid.

                  (In case you question my motives you should know that as a moderator I am a volunteer, not an employee of WebMediaBrands, and I receive no financial compensation for posting this information.)
                  "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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                  • #10
                    There is also the issue that what is a fair price in one country, state or province may not be true elsewhere. We can't just put a set price on something because we are all from different parts of the world with different primary industries that pay into or need graphic design and the rates will differ. Even from city to city inside one state or province the rate can be completely different. It's supply and demand.
                    Therefore it does not seem fair to discuss pricing.
                    I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain

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                    • #11
                      Your hourly rate x your hours spent designing = price to charge (+ transfer of rights).
                      Last edited by CkretAjint; 08-07-2009, 08:10 PM.
                      Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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                      • #12
                        + overhead. Don't forget overhead.
                        Last edited by PrintDriver; 08-07-2009, 09:34 PM.

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                        • #13
                          What is "price fixing"?
                          Any discussion of pricing by a group of people within the same industry is illegal in the U.S. It doesn't matter where, how, and when it happens. The federal government calls it price fixing. For additional information on the legal aspects of price fixing, you can visit the United States DOJ - Antitrust Division. This position by the federal government has been successfully proven in the federal courts of law.

                          Due to the large volume of traffic and number of members on our forums, it is impossible for Web Media Brands to determine the intent of our members' discussions about pricing. We, therefore, cannot determine whether exchanges of price information might hamper competition.

                          A couple of pertinent quotes:

                          "... the courts have developed a doctrine of 'per se' illegality which conclusively presumes such practices to be unreasonable. In other words, when a per se offense (such as price fixing among competitors) is charged, all the government or the private plaintiff must establish to make out a Section 1 violation is that the defendant has, in fact, engaged in the proscribed practice; illegality follows as a matter of law, no matter how slight the anticompetitive effect, how small the market share of the defendants, or how proper their motives." [Richard M. Steuer, Executive Summary Of The Antitrust Laws, Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, LLP]
                          "A famous story locally in Washington DC involved a group of real-estate brokers who went out to dinner together to celebrate a birthday of one of them. At the end of the dinner, one broker announced that he was raising his commission from 5% to 6% and wanted them to hear it from him before reading about it in the trade press. No further discussion ensued. Over the next year, several of the others also raised their commissions to 6%. All of them were indicted, even those who did not raise their prices, for price fixing. Criminal indictments, I might add." [Lewis Rose, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn]
                          Last edited by garricks; 08-07-2009, 08:24 PM.
                          The premier New York Rangers forum on the web

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                          • #14
                            There's also this formula, posted by David Airey:

                            Design Pricing Formula
                            "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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