Should you charge a client for something that's not used?

  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

In my design contract I state that I'll design 3 templates in photoshop for the client to choose from. I design these at an hourly rate. Once the client has chosen a template should I charge them for the time it took to design the templates they don't pick? They're custom templates designed specifically for that client based on case studies so I can't use them for other projects so it seems like a waste of time if I don't charge for them...but it kinda makes me feel guilty to charge them for random work that they don't want.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • camperjohn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can you absorbe it? In other words, was the money you made from the final design worth the first experiments?

When I ask designers to make templates, I know there will be changes. But I don't pay for 3 designs (2 experiments + 1 final). I just pay for the final design. But the cost is included in that final design and we both know it.

BUT, if you charge by an hourly rate, and it takes 4 hours to get to the final design, even if that final design only took one hour, then you must charge for all 4 hours.
  • iliya428
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hour rate is a flexible thing. There is hour rate for your customers and your own hour rate. When you say $100/hour, usually this doesn't mean you'll finish job within one hour. You can do job either slower or faster, but you just say to customer how many hours job takes.

'We will prepare 3 templates for you to choose from. The work will consume 10 hours on USD 100/hour rate. The total is USD 1000'. (don't copy/paste - English is not my native :) )

And don't think what you do for free and what for money. Actual job may take 20 hours including e-mail and phone conversations. Such overhead should be covered by your public hour rate. I mean your real rate may be $30/h or $50/h.

I just tried to say - do not pay too much attention to hour rate. It's somewhat of level. If you say $10/h - you're from India/China or from school, if you say $150/h - customer expect state-of-art quality job, done in a strict timeframe. Just choose your level.

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