From the start of April 2017 I will be implementing a new price-list, which unfortunately increases the cost of booking me. This is the first time I will have put my prices up in over three years.
I also worked out that due to inflation that my fees have actually decreased in real terms* since I turned professional in 2006. What this means is that on a real-terms basis it’s cheaper to book me today than was to book me a decade ago! Of course, I’d like to think that though I was good back in 2006, the product that I bring to the end-user (ie., the magical entertainment your guest will see) has significantly improved over that time.
Therefore, not only has the service I provide increased in quality, but I’m actually charging less for it too!
Over the last few years I had deliberately decided not to raise my prices because I like knowing that I am giving my clients good value for their money. I realise that my fee can still be a significant investment to many people -- especially if it’s looked at purely as an hourly rate (even though people do talk about the experience they have for years afterwards).
There are many magicians who charge more than I do. I know this, and I know that I am better and more experienced than some of them. Saying that, I’m not going to say that I’m the best -- there’s some incredible guys out there who charge a bloody fortune, and their fee is completely justified.
There are also many more who charge less than I do. To put it frankly (and this isn’t ego talking) I am better than them. I’m more experienced. I have a more honed repertoire. I have more polished and rehearsed techniques. I’ve more ad-libs prepared. I wear a freshly dry-cleaned suit that fits properly. My shirt is ironed, my shoes are polished, my teeth are free from bits of cabbage, and I know how to just get on and do my job.
I also have a set pricing structure. Whether you are scrimping and saving for a small wedding reception in a village hall, having a birthday in a restaurant or organising swanky corporate event in a premier venue; I still charge the same for my standard packages. Everyone gets the same professional service -- and I don’t try and con a few extra quid out of people just because their dad has been saving up a small amount every week for the last thirty years.
And you can see that pricing structure in the client area on my website.
The reason I have been keeping my fee lower than I know I could (and should!) charge because then I know I will provide you with good value for money. Even if I have “bad gig” (some tricks go wrong or I just don’t seem to click with the audience -- very rarely does it happen though) I know I have still hit expectations. If I have a “good gig”, or even just an “average gig” then I have surpassed all expectations you had of me.
Essentially, it gives me room to manoeuvre should something not go right on the night.
But here’s the thing. By me knowing I have this “good value for money buffer zone” in place I arrive at bookings more relaxed and stress-free. I’m not spending two hours feeling like I need to going at it 110% non-stop. And guess what? Because I’m relaxed and enjoying myself and not worrying, I come across better to the guests; they connect with me on a personal level and they enjoy the magic, the entertainment and the humour.
But, as I said, reality bites and bills need to be paid. Each year the cost of me staying in business increases.
So, what now?
Well, for anyone I’ve given a quote to (in the last 12 months, don’t start digging back to some email from 2008) I will honour it as long as you confirm the booking by Wednesday 19th April -- that is four weeks from today.
From the 1st of April my new price-list will be in place for new enquiries, and will supersede any existing quotation provided from Thursday 20th April. Therefore, if you have been thinking about booking me for an event then take advantage of this period and book me.
Over the next week I will send some direct emails to people who have shown an interest in booking me to let them know of the impending increases (with a link to this full article), but I won’t be sending it to my entire database. If you wait until after 20th April (for existing quotations only) to book me then complain that the price has gone up then tough. You’ve had plenty of time to book me and I’ve warned you -- do Tesco send you an email giving you 28 days notice before they put up the price of a tin of beans…?
(Plus, my standard terms is the quote is only valid for 14 days and can change without notice.)
You can access my prices and booking diary by registering for a client account. This will enable you to get a quote, check my availability and make a booking online immediately. (Will the wonders of technology ever cease to amaze me?)
Thanks for making it to the end and I hope you understand why I must increase my fees, but if you are quick you can still book me for your event and get a bargain!
Robert Bone, 22nd March 2017
* To clarify what “real terms” means, I’ve taken inflation into account as the cost of living increases. Over the last decade food, bills, council tax and especially fuel costs have increased. Therefore what £10 will buy you in 2017 isn’t as much it would have bought you in 2006 -- so the actual value of a tenner (as in what it will buy you) has gone down in “real terms”