Earlier this week, Jason Rubio wrote an article called “How Much Should I Charge For A Deposit?” http://www.mobilebeat.com/how-much-should-you-charge-for-a-deposit/
I’m the first guy to say everyone is open to their opinion and more importantly, every market is different. Certainly Jason’s Austin market is different than my LA market. What I think happens to be universal is that DJs should advertise to our clientele, every moment they can, how valuable we are to having the perfect event.
Jason seems to suggests that having a $100 non-refundable deposit on a $2000 event is “fine.” Even if they cancel a few, that’s fine too. (His words.)
I highly disagree, as do more than one person I’ve spoken with on this subject. This isn’t real world logic. It also paints DJs in a very bad light and lowers their value. Yes, $100 is low and affordable Jason, but that’s gives them an easier out if they want to dump you for any reason. You wouldn’t be mad if they dumped you a month before the event, only to go to your main competition and book them?? Then you sit at home and do nothing and make $100???!!! Sorry, Jason, this really grinds my gears. I just wanted to provide everyone with another viewpoint.
If we take Jason’s number of $2000 for a wedding let’s say. He charges $100 deposit…I charge 1/3 now (at the time of booking) and I charge the final balance when I do all their music and timeline at 2-3 weeks prior to the event. This makes the client INVESTED IN US. When we book the client, we are taking our time, our money, our gas, our paperwork, our resources. That to me is worth way more than $100. Furthermore, every time I’m booked I want the client to stay with me. Based on how I do it I have had only 3 clients in the last 7 years cancel their date. Two of them moved their event to another date down the road (which I was happy to help them out and not double charge them.) If a client for any reason wants to cancel, why do we want to give them an out? All of the people who read Mobile Beat are DJs who try to perfect their craft and put on the best events for their clients. The last thing I want to do is see someone telling my brotherhood to take $100 for a spot in their books…Hold your value high. You are who makes or breaks their party; you spend thousands on equipment; you spend countless hours on music; you take time with your clients.
Another thing to mention that is super important. Collect your balance BEFORE the day of the event. In the previous paragraph, I talk about that. When you plan the event, whether on the phone or in person, the last thing I always say is “You’re all set. I just need to collect the balance.” If you want to risk asking for it after you’re done spinning tunes, you could strand yourself waiting for it, you risk not getting it then or after or even weeks after because: honeymoon, and why would you ever want to deal with money the day of? Last reason you always collect prior to the event…You’re jeopardizing your tip. If a client is writing you a check for $1500 as a final balance they are LESS likely to add more in there because that amount to them might be huge. Allow money to be off their minds and in your bank account with nothing on the day of but a great event!
So how much should you charge for a deposit??? A third or a half or a quarter…Up to you. You should charge something substantial because you are way worth more than $100.
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