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I am starting to see websites and ads like these more and more. They are growing in numbers and...aren't services and ads like these ruining the industry?

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What do you say to a potential client after he saw an ad like this? What do you respond to something like: I saw an ad from Fiverr and they make logos from $5, why can't you make me one for $10?

Websites like Freelancer and so on are fine for starting designers wanting input on their work but ads like the one above are painting the picture that our work is cheap and easy and shouldn't be worth more than $5.

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    "Starting at" does not promise you will get a logo you like for $5. It says they will bill you for no less than $5, and that there may be a specific version of the service priced at $5 but that may not be on available to or suitable for all customers. "From" is another weasel word. – keshlam Sep 18 '16 at 2:24
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    @keshlam Well, you do have your point but even so, this kind of ads do imprint in possible client's brains. – Alin Sep 18 '16 at 8:57
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    Generally they simply have empty 'stock' designs that they customize for clients, hence the super low price. I tried this very 'gig' from Fiverr last month and -there's no nice way to say this- it was awful. I don't consider myself a designer by any means, but I could have done far better than they did. – AStopher Sep 18 '16 at 10:49
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    @Alin So then the client can enquire, maybe find out they have to pay more than $5, and maybe get a poor logo that makes them wish they'd spent more money. Where's the problem with that? Seems it'll just teach them to apply critical thought to ads, if anyone doesn't already. They might end up back in your inbox. Or if they do only pay $5 and get a great new logo (barring foul play like copying existing logos), then maybe other designers have some catching up to do. Again, I don't see a problem - other than my general disdain for all advertising, that is! – underscore_d Sep 18 '16 at 15:00
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    They've put you in a defensive position for no reason so you really have no obligation to succumb to their ridiculous request. "Oh wow I've never seen that site before. Considering all of my costs, $10 for a logo is not something which I can offer, would you like to proceed with my initial contract?" It's also quite possible that the client thinks that they are the smartest person in the world so they will continue shopping around until someone is foolish enough to undervalue themselves by such a huge amount. – MonkeyZeus Sep 19 '16 at 15:43
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You say "You get what you pay for."

Sure, you could get a logo for your business for $5. You could also build your website with the free "website builder tool" which your registrar offers, and you could get your business cards designed with the "add an element and push print" app from the mass printing company.

The question is this: will these el cheapo products be any good, or will they look el cheapo?

People know about Fiverr, the website builders, and the mass printers. People generally know the quality of the end product, which is somewhere from crap to mediocre.

So you tell your client "The difference is that companies using these services don't look professional. They look, frankly, like startups working out of the basement. If you're just going for local customers who don't care that you're a small operation with three other customers, go for it, and best of luck. If you want to build a business which is going to grow and attract real customers and real volume, you need to invest in a professional logo and a quality corporate identity."

Consider this too: from a work standpoint, do you want the customer who's going to object to paying an appropriate fee for an appropriate amount of work, and constantly nickel-and-dime you and bitch about costs? Or do you want to court the companies which understand that advertising is an investment and not an expense?

And yes, I have walked away from clients with this attitude. It's not worth the time or acida.

ETA something else I thought of: Don't be a jerk to the client when making this statement. The client may be simply uneducated rather than a bean-counter. Leave the door open: "If this [the $10 logo] works for you now as a small business, great. In a year or two, if you decide you want to upgrade, I'd love to hear from you and help you expand/improve/rebrand your business." Present it as a business decision, with pros and cons, and if this is just someone who's starting out rather than someone who will nickel-and-dime everyone over everything, the client might be willing to come back when they're ready to invest in a more professional look.

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    +1 knowing when to walk away is important and saves everyone a lot of hassle – Cai Sep 17 '16 at 13:58
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    These two statements seem to contradict one another: "from a work standpoint, do you want the customer who's going to object to paying an appropriate fee for an appropriate amount of work" "Don't be a jerk to the client when making this statement. Leave the door open" unless you are supposing that the client will have learnt and changed in the meantime. – Lightness Races with Monica Sep 17 '16 at 22:09
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    @Lightness Edited to add, possibly. – Jeffrey Bosboom Sep 17 '16 at 23:09
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit You make a point. My supposition is that there are two kinds of customers: the ones who are nickel-and-diming no matter how successful they are, and the ones who are uninformed and/or just starting out and don't know the value of a professional appearance. The uninformed can be educated, and they'll remember someone who wasn't a jerk and could possibly help them out now that they are educated. In either case "Don't be a jerk" is generally good advice. :) I've edited a bit to reflect your observation. – Lauren-Reinstate-Monica-Ipsum Sep 18 '16 at 11:56
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit in my experience, "ETA" is usually "Edited to Add" – LindaJeanne Sep 19 '16 at 13:12
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I can make you a logo for 10$. For 10$ you buy me for about 10-15 minutes and it is perfectly possible to make a logo in that time. However, there are several reasons why you wouldn't want to buy that logo. Here is a list of reasons:

  1. I am not a graphics designer.
  2. I will be doing it in a hurry. Most likely I would just be choosing a logo of several throwaway logos ideas that I already had done before you came in the door. Just like a hamburger restaurant most of my elements are pre made, they are nowhere nearly as good as a à la carte restaurant would produce.

    In essence the argument is that the value of something drops the moment it is made. I would then go and sell a very similar logo to my next client.

  3. Actually the logo file is not what you are shopping for, you are shopping for experience in several things. You actually want to have a reasonable plan for how to make print publications, how to apply your logo on your webpage and so on. This is something I won't do for the 10$ logo. I won't be there available to consult you on this stuff. So using your logo is more expensive than usual. Go ahead and save only the PNG file and wonder why you have problems doing print work.
  4. In 10 minutes I won't have time to do any checking so you might end up having a logo that is almost exactly like the other logo down the road. So your logos value is severely undermined. That's fine I got my 10$.
  5. You end up in a situation where you are the person deciding what is the best graphical design. Awesome, now let's hope that you yourself were a good graphic designer. So your actually diluting your brand with your own infallibility.
  6. Want to direct me? Sorry one logo for each 10$ I have no time to sit in meetings with you.
  7. The logo looks offensive. Oh how the hell am I supposed to know what the local culture where you are is like? I'm doing this in 10 minutes on a computer far away.
  8. it's 10 minutes of my time, seriously how many things to you think I can reason in 10 minutes.

So go ahead and buy that 10$ logo, I dare you. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. But hey it's cheap.

PS: Actually, it is perfectly possible to get a good designer for cheap if you are OK with having a cultural/timezone gap with your designer. But since buying design is mostly about communication between you and the designer it's often not a good idea to outsource this stuff too far away.

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    I have a feeling that there was a little bit of rage in this too, you were all fired up. :) Did you have your fair share of these kind of clients? Thank you – Alin Sep 18 '16 at 9:05
  • @Alin No rage, yes ive had these kinds of requests. I'm not a graphics designer so there is no reason for me to accept jobs that I dont like. My point is you get a better logo form me by convincing me to do it for free. – joojaa Sep 18 '16 at 9:29
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I have a blog and wanted a logo for some time. The difference for me was the $5 guy's portfolio looked like the 'stock logos' you fill in the words. I went with a pro who charged $150. He had an online portfolio that showed a range of end designs. Logos and blog headers for multiple industries.

5 years later, I needed a higher res version for a poster, and when I emailed him, he sent it to me within the hour. No extra charge. (A testament to his level of organization, and longevity)

In many fields there's high end vs low. Custom crafted furniture vs Ikea. Posters, prints, lithographs, original art. What do you want on your wall?

My answer - "Here's my portfolio. You should take your time and decide what level of quality you can afford."

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What do you say to a potential client after he saw an add like this? What do you respond to something like: "I saw an add from Fiverr and they make logos from 5$, why can't you make me one for 10$?"

Say "I can, and I will!"

Take the $10. Pay $5 to Fiverr, forward Mr ElCheapo his new logo. Pocket the other $5.

Fast, easy money.

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    The amount of time you're going to spend playing middle man is going to result in a net loss. I didn't downvote though because it made me laugh. – Ryan Sep 17 '16 at 15:51
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    That's the point. It's a joke, but one that should be taken a little seriously. If a potential customer asks you this, doing this transparently will send them where they belong: away from you, in the shortest possible time ;) .... anyone that can't answer this question for themselves doesn't deserve personalised graphic design of a business logo. – Confused Sep 17 '16 at 17:01
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    The amount of time you're going to spend playing middle man is going to result in a net loss. I did downvote, because this is exactly what will happen. It should not all be taken seriously. If you want the customer to get away form you, don't take the $10, just tell him to go. – Thomas Weller Sep 17 '16 at 21:37
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    To anyone suggesting or thinking the middle man handling is too long and will result in a net loss, wave the $5 profit at the potential client. Tell him you'll pay him $5 to interface with Fiverr to make his new logo. Now... you might FINALLY be getting the joke. – Confused Sep 18 '16 at 13:38
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My advise is simply state, something like:

I can't beat the price. I can't create you a logo for $5. I charge $200 (making this up) and that's what it costs. I think my logos are worth it, but if you don't that's ok. Keep my contact information, and if you change your mind give me a call.

Usually this falls into one of a couple of categories.

  1. They are trying to get you to lower your price. Don't. You have set your price, let market factors dictate changes, but not one sale.

  2. They don't know. Your not going to be able to explain it to them either. They have to experience it. Once they have then you can talk to them about it.

  3. They don't need a $200 logo. My wife recently started selling some crafts as a kind of hobby job. She tried to buy a logo from some graphics artists and just laughed at them, right in their face. You want how much? You do understand that I think a good month is $200 profit? No! You've lost your mind! I'm not going to give you $1,200 for a logo for a fun side business hobby thing... She ended up paying for one of those $5 logos. It's exactly what she needed.

When I have had customers like that, and I use this approach, most come back in a few months to a couple years and pay my price. It's about getting the customer what they need, and sometimes they just don't need your services. Sometimes they just need a $5 logo.

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    Yes, this is the point I was trying to make in my slightly confused addendum. Sometimes the customer only needs a $5 logo, and if you're not a jerk about it, they might remember you as the polite professional and someone they've already talked to, so you're less intimdating to call now that they're ready. – Lauren-Reinstate-Monica-Ipsum Sep 19 '16 at 17:37
  • You're completely right, but you realise you're saying your wife laughed in someones face for doing exactly what you said to do in point 1? – Cai Sep 19 '16 at 20:16
  • @Cai, yep, but that's part of the process. – coteyr Sep 27 '16 at 18:04
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I think there are (at least) four issues here.

One: As others have discussed, quality. I'd give the client an analogy based on their own business. For example, if the client is a fine restaurant, you might point out that you can get a meal at McDonalds for $5, so why should you pay $30 for a meal at his restaurant? Others have discussed this.

Two: Marketing ploys. Lots of companies quote prices "starting at". Usually, what you get for the "starting at" price is junk, and it's just a -- dare I say a "trick" -- to get you in the door so they can sell you something much more expensive. Car dealers often offer cars "starting at $2,000" or some such very low number. Then you get to the dealer and the $2,000 car is a rusted old piece of junk somebody traded in, and the only reason they are selling it is so they can show you why they have this for people who can afford nothing better, but YOU want this better car over here. Etc. The issue becomes quality again, with the same reply.

Three: Loss leaders. Companies will sometimes sell you a product at or below cost to get you on their client list, and then start trying to sell you other services. It can be a viable strategy: You get some service very cheap. You see that the company produces a quality product. You're ready to go back to them when you need other services. Of course it may backfire: customers may go to them for the discount service, they lose money on the deal, then the customer goes to somebody else for other services. Regardless, frankly, this puts competitors in a bind. If you're not willing to sell the same product as a loss leader, why should they come to you? Unless you can offer some other incentive, you may just have to accept that you will lose some customers. If someone has come up with a competitive solution other than "offer your own loss leader or suck it up", I haven't heard it.

Four: A harsh reality of the commercial art industry: There are lots of people out there who think creating artwork is fun, and who will do it as a hobby for a minimal price. They like to draw or paint. If no one was paying them, they'd do it just for fun. There's the extra excitement of seeing artwork that they have created displayed in public. Most other industries don't have this problem. I've never heard of someone who just loves to pick up other people's garbage and does it as a hobby for free after working his regular job. :-) Etc for most industries. It's classic supply and demand: This inflates the supply, thus depressing prices. I think the only thing you can do about it is to paint yourself as a stable company that will stand behind it's products and that will be there in the future, while the cheap hobbyist feels little pressure to live up to commitments and may lose interest any day.

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    There are a lot of us developers who write software for free, too. Interestingly enough, we get paid really well for our developments that are custom tailored to business needs ;) – Wayne Werner Sep 19 '16 at 18:18
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    Groupon has proven that the loss leaders will bankrupt a small business, that is why you never see those type of sales on Groupon ( or competitors ) anymore. People would drive across town for deal and then never return. – user31027 Sep 19 '16 at 18:46
  • @WayneWerner Sure, I wasn't trying to say that this issue is unique to the art world, just that it's unusual. Yes, in the same way, some people just like to write software and/or get some satisfaction out of seeing software that they wrote being widely used. I don't doubt one could find other examples. But this isn't an issue for MOST professions. – Jay Aug 29 at 13:51

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