Slow Times, DJs race to lower rates (Big Mistake?)

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Well-Known Member
Here's an insert of something I read today. Interesting and a good lesson for those that LIMBOED their rates thinking that's the magic answer to book a few more shows.

Macy's announced the closing of 11 stores in 9 states
due to underperformance.

As history repeats, 2/3 of the middle class move up
and 1/3 drop down and the 'middle' disappears.

Macy's is certainly identified as the bottom of the
'upper', and therefore takes a hit. On the flipside
of the coin, Neiman-Marcus posted a 12.9 Million dollar
profit this past quarter.


Because they are firmly planted as a retailer of
luxury goods that target affluent, ultra-affluent,
and mass-affluent. These folks are the least and
last affected in an economic downturn.

This is because many spend less than 2%-5% of their
income on necessities so by the time they feel any
pinch of the economy, this recession will have blown

The Lesson

Your success as a DJ this year will be greatly
strengthened by targeting a better "who" as your

By the way, Saks Fifth Avenue who many would
compare to Neiman didn't fare as well and
many speculate because their fear of the economy
caused them to drop prices, which for obvious
reasons cannot sustain profits selling more goods
for less money.

Also by the way, same happened to restaurants who
think that the best response was to cut prices only
to find they have the same number of visitors but
now at lower prices.

Food for thought.

Chris Michaels

Active Member
Yup... It's best to ride this one out. I have ONE mobile gig this entire month (still have the bar tues, fri and sat) because I will not lower my prices. The $40 an hour guys are busy! Gosh, I hope they don't lower their prices.


Don't Care About Titles
It's the easy way out. Let us NOT work harder or smarter, let us work easier.

It is much much easier to drop a price 100.00 or more vs learning what clients truly are willing to pay a higher dollar amount for, and providing it.


Active Member
hello all...
new to the site. dj'ing for 17+ years.....
keeping my prices the same @ this weekends bridal show.

Chris Michaels

Active Member
We need to retain our value. The trick is do do it and not go hungry! I'm FT and the money from bar account doesn't go far.

We normally book 4-10 shows a week, I've booked one so far this year and it's for the end of the month. Only 23 on the schedule for 2009, but 9 of them are weddings at regular price, $1499 for 5 hours.

Jason Cathcart

New Member
I had the same thoughts, so instead of lowering my base price, I raised it by $100. My phone has been ringing off the hook this week, and I've got 4 meetings with potential B&G's this weekend. My higher price doesn't seem to be scaring anyone away - quite the opposite - they're feeling since I cost more and have more experience than 90% of the mobiles in my market that I'm an obvious better value.

Calls in December - 3 (yup it was a VERY slow december)
Calls this week - 15 since Sunday and counting.

I guess a lot of people got engaged over Christmas? I don't know - the first week of January has never been this busy for me.


Active Member
A recession is a great time to expand/improve your business as well. Competition gets squeezed out because they can't earn enough and their market share is then available ($40 an hour? Dear heavens). I would rather get a 2nd job than lower my prices.


Well-Known Member
The way I hear it businesses that are lowering rates are going out of business quick or will soon as they train their customers to expect lower rates from now on and they attract the deal lookers. In course, the quality of service has been lowered so the good clients notice and go elsewhere.

Same effect for DJs?


New Member
Many young ladies received rings over Christmas so we will be getting more phone calls. We haven't raised or lowered our rates and still booking. With all this talk I am reminded of a line said by Scott Glenn in Hunt for Red October, "The secret is to know when to say chicken." It's not time yet.


Entertainment Director/DJ

With a bridal show coming up next weekend, I was over to a local multi-op's site.

I've never seen prices on his site, until recently.

I'm glad to see what I'm seeing. His basic 4hr weding packages start at $1095! If you want the owner, that'll be $1795...

Nice to see! Yes, he will be at this same show.
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Scott Hanna

There are many reasons why businesses fail or succeed. For any business to just assume that lowering rates will drive more business is a mistake. Same thing with just raising the rates.

If a business lowers rates as a part of a marketing strategy and uses that strategy effectively to drive in more business and then more referels, and hence, more overall revenue, it is possible for a rate "lowering" to be effective.

If the strategy is raising rates and trying to attract higher end clients, then the marketing should reflect that...extra services provided, brochures, web site, etc.

DJ Dr. Drax

Active Member
I think it is a mistake to lower your rates.
Rather increasing your value is a better solution as it maintains your rates & market value. arbitrarily reducing your rates will cost you for a much longer period of time than the events you might lose.

If your only providing commodity services, you will be more subject to market forces. You must be able to show them why your more unique & better than others.
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