How Much Should You Charge for a Deposit? Part II

April 23, 2017 by Jason Rubio

Last week, I wrote an article about how much you should charge for a deposit. I saw another post, from another Mobile Beat writer named Randy, stating his opinion/feedback, which I always appreciate. I wanted to visit this topic, again, to add a few more details, which I planned on doing, anyway (I post once per week).

As I previously stated, our company charges a $100 deposit to book any of our services. We know this is certainly not the norm in the wedding business and we purposely set our rate this low. Again, we make it easy for clients to book with us. I actually just got married, last October, and though we already knew the wedding business well, it was still overwhelming. Even though my wife and I are certified wedding and event planners, it still required a lot of work, time, and money, to secure our vendors and plan our wedding. Altogether, the deposits were thousands of dollars. We then realized why our clients always tell us how much they appreciate how easy it was to book with us!

That being said, this does not mean we don’t value our work. Randy’s argument was that it costs money, time, and effort to book a client and that he charges a higher rate so his clients are “invested in him.” Sure, there are email exchanges, maybe a phone call, as well, in order to book with us; however, we’ve simplified our booking process so much, that it literally only takes us 3 minutes to reply to any client email, every time! We are very transparent and make information available on our website that literally covers nearly everything a client (and our competitors) may want to know! (We also know this is definitely not the norm). The more clients can learn about us, the less time we spend answering emails, questions, etc. 95% of our clients book with us, after just two email exchanges. The other 5% want more information, or to schedule a meeting, to get more details. At that point, we schedule a phone call or Skype meeting (which last an average of 15- 20 minutes), to answer questions, before booking. So overall, we normally spend an average of 30 minutes of our time, to book a client! I’ll write more on how we do this, soon.

Regarding “a client being invested” in our services, and possibly losing a client because they book our competitor (since they’ll only lose $100), sure, this may sound reasonable, but it isn’t for us. We’ve never lost a client to a competitor, when they’ve already paid a deposit, ever. We’ve only had two cancellations, ever. One was rescheduled, and the other was because the wedding was called-off. Clients normally shop around before booking their vendors. Most will narrow down their choices and then pick the best one. Rarely will anyone continue to shop around, after they book someone. There’s no need to, once they know they are completely happy with their choices. We receive about 50 booking inquiries weekly, and we only book about 6-8 weekly. We’re now able to choose which events we want to do and we politely decline many. (I’ll also write more on how we got here, soon).

As I previously stated, this system works well for us, but every business and market is different. Do what’s best for you and your client! So if you ask me “is it worth my time to book a client for $100″ (for 30 minutes of work), I say, “absolutely!” (We’ll collect full payment 21 days before the wedding).  Am I worried about losing clients to a competitor? Absolutely not.

Be confident in your business + know exactly what sets you apart from your competitors = success!

Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (66 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, in 1991, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events. In addition to writing for Mobile Beat, Jason also writes for “The DJ Insider” for Rent My Wedding Magazine. Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Though Jason worked in the education field since 2003, he continued to DJ public and private events, and later founded Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths, with his wife, Diana, who also DJs, in 2012. Today, Austin’s Best DJs provides music and entertainment for approximately 300 public and private events per year, in the Austin and central Texas area. Visit us: www.AustinsBestDJs.com


Filed Under: Business, Sales & Marketing, Weddings