I’m open to the idea of paying you
If a client spends a certain amount, I offer a discount in order to encourage bulk ordering. Usually, it’s as (seemingly) simple as free shipping.
Client: I don’t understand why there was a shipping fee on this invoice. Last time I worked with you there was no shipping fee.
Me: If you remember, we agreed that if your order was over $50, I can offer you the shipping for free.
Client: Yes, I do. But this invoice is for $50 and it has a shipping fee on it.
Me: Because it was under $50 before the shipping fee.
Client: But you said anything over $50 would be free to ship.
Me: Yes. Anything more than $50 BEFORE the shipping fee is added.
Client: I don’t understand.
My school wanted a digital log for grades to be visible online. I offered them a solution, and asked for 200€ (which is very low, even for basic database work). They waited for a month, and then…
Client: Can you show one of the English professors how to make it?
Me: Okay, when do you want it done? Also, I would want to remind you that my price is fixed at 200€.
Client: Oh no, you don’t understand. We want you to show it to him so he can make it for free.
It is worth noting that I was in a school for information technologies. All the professors in programming laughed when they were asked to do it for free.
Client: Everything is looking really good. Can you go ahead and move the site to my server?
Me: Absolutely, I’ll send you an invoice and move it over as soon as I receive final payment.
Three days pass with no response from my client…
Client: Hey man, why isn’t the site on my server yet?
Me: I sent an invoice and haven’t received payment yet. As soon as the payment is received, I will move the site.
Two days pass with no response from my client…
Client: After reviewing the site you have been developing, we have decided that it is not the quality that we are expecting. Per our contract, you can either move the site to our server or refund the initial deposit.
Me: I don’t remember the contract stating that I built you a website for half price. Also, if you hate the quality, why did you say it was looking good earlier, and why would you want it on your server?
After a week of silence, the client paid my invoice and I moved their site to their server.
I was hired by a religious group to do an illustration for their printed brochure. They loved it, and I sent them an invoice. Two months later I hadn’t been paid.
I called them, and their manager said they had prayed to God about my invoice, and He told them to use the money for their cause instead.
I waited a few minutes and called him back. I told him that I had prayed to God about it, and He said they should pay me.
They sent me a check.
Client: Are you sure you’re experienced enough to handle this?
Me: Yes, I’ve translated contracts before. I am a qualified lawyer and have specialized training in the area.
Client: Great! So, my client only wants to pay around 400 bucks for the translation -
Me: You do realize that the actual translation would be worth at least four times that, right?
Client: - and they want it done by five pm.
Me: Thank you for your call. There is no way that I can translate a contract of 56 pages for within 7 hours for so little money.
Client: C’mon, it should be easy for you!
I illustrated 60-page book for a client I had previous worked with satisfactorily for many years. The book is now in stores. The client and their publisher and they want to make a larger version of the same book.
Client: We want you to redeliver the illustrations for the new version. The proportions are different, so you probably have to change the composition of each page. And we need you to redo all the illustrations, because we actually didn’t like them at all in the first book. Make them more beautiful, with more details, like a real illustrator would.
Oh, and since we paid you too much on the first version, it seems fair that we don’t pay anything this time around for what are essentially fixes.
Me: Wait… the budget for the first book was proposed by you, and all illustrations were happily approved after some corrections. And now you want me to redo the whole book for free?
Client: Yes. The whole project depends on you!
Me: Did you decide on which proof you liked?
Client: I don’t know. What did you like? I like A but some people like B.
Me: I like B.
Client: Okay let’s do both. That way, we can see what they both look like in finished form.
Me: Okay, but that will effect either the deadline or your invoice. Likely both.
Client: What? Why?
Me: Because I’d be doing twice as much work.
Client: And that entitles you to twice as much pay?
Me: Um… yes?
I did a life-event sketchbook for a wedding, wherein I capture a variety of the moments in quick, often humorous, illustrations.
Despite being clear on my pay beforehand, the client had second thoughts on my salary after the event. I told them to look through the sketchbook to clarify that it was solid work before they paid me.
They kept the book for over three weeks before sending it back, stating that it was too expensive for the quality.
Within a week, I saw scans of all my sketches released via their Facebook account.
Me: Based on everything we’ve talked about, I estimate this will run about 850€.
Client: Great! But I’ll have to pay in US Dollars.
Me: Not a problem. That should come out to roughly $1160.
Client: What? No, I’ll pay you $850.
Me: Well, no, that’s not the price I estimated. I mean, we can lower the cost by removing some options but…
Client: What are you talking about? That’s the same price, just different money.