I asked my interior designer what her percentage mark up is on product and was told she can not tell me that. Am I wrong to feel this is not right? I feel as the customer I should be given this information. Understand, I do realize there is a mark up, however, feel it is my right to know what the percentage is.

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    Why do you feel like you should be given this information? Do you ask every store where you buy a good or service what their markups are? – Zach Saucier Apr 2 '17 at 14:03
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because its not about graphic design but interior design that is in all intents and purposes a different profession. Its like asking the police about the job of a firefighter. – joojaa Apr 2 '17 at 14:36
  • In either case the markup may not be so obvious as to give out. But in general this is not information that is commonly available in nearly any profession. – joojaa Apr 2 '17 at 14:38
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    @joojaa I think interior design could be on-topic here, but it's actually irrelevant because the general question could apply to graphic designers as well. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Apr 2 '17 at 14:38
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    I agree. Every service in the world comes with a markup. People spend time perfecting a certain skill so you as the client can save time and focus on your own skill (probably with your own markup). You either take it, or you leave it. – Lucian Apr 2 '17 at 15:19

What would you do with the information if you had it?

Would you insist on a discount because you feel her markup is "too much"? Does she have to do a breakdown on how she arrived at that percentage? Do you feel you have a right to know what she spends on overhead, salaries, utilities, and insurance, and what part is profit?

Would you take that information and use it to go to another designer to get a lower price? Would you try to go wholesale and eliminate the middle-person and her markup altogether?

How could it possibly benefit her to tell you what her markup is?

Because I can't see any scenario where you, the customer, are not going to use this information against her in some way. Any money being paid by you over the wholesale cost of the item goes to her. What she uses that for is to run her business, to live her life and keep her bills paid. That markup pays for her skill and experience. It pays for her knowledge and her taste, and her ability to design. It pays for her to research the best items, the best quality, and the best vendors. It pays for her time and effort cultivating a relationship with the vendors.

If you object to paying a markup, don't take it out on a designer who is trying to do the job you hired her for. Do the design yourself, do your own research, find your own materials, install everything yourself, and don't harass someone who is trying to make an honest living.

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  • I think you could phrase the last part better by saying that knowing where to source the items is part of the job. And without this knowledge one ends up spending more time so the markup is not necessarily really markup at all. – joojaa Apr 2 '17 at 14:44
  • @joojaa those things are both true. I worded it the way I did because I am, frankly, offended that people feel they have a "right" to know what the markup is on artistic services because it's somehow not as valuable as paying for groceries or buying a car. That designers, in any industry, don't deserve to make a profit, or even a living, from their efforts. That may well not be what the OP intended, but it is definitely how the question came across. I cannot fathom another reason for "tell me what your markup is" other than "because I think you don't deserve to be paid that much." – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Apr 2 '17 at 14:50
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    Well, some, people work that way. Usually the price they pay is not getting things done.. But when im doing engineering tasks where i buy the parts people have to understand that i pay a fraction of the cost that you would as a private person because the wholesale channels would not sell to private persons and i get a 15% discount on even that discount. So when i charge a markup its markup on a price that is better than you can get most of the time. So the markup percentage becomes irrelevant and not possible to calculate. – joojaa Apr 2 '17 at 14:55

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