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#1 June 21, 2010 16:02:18

Michael S.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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Price fixing (was Re: How much would you charge for this? £5k? £15k? £50k?)


I'm no master of the law, I have a lawyer for that, but a quick read about
price fixing seems to suggest that this is not that at all. Rather, price
fixing is an agreement made so that competition in a market is lost by
vendors agreeing upon a rate to sell a product or service for current and
future clients, making it impossible for them (the clients) to seek better
deals elsewhere (or for the market to be fairly regulated by supply, demand,
and so forth). This is not a case of that, because ALJ is not trying to fix
the market at a particular price (i.e., he is not saying "Calling all Django
Developers; cap your rates at <$x>/hour so we are all equal.")

To the Frequently Asked Question entry that you point to, it mentions that
"several brokers in DC were successfully prosecuted for simply discussing an
increase of fees at a dinner meeting." That appears to be specific to
multiple competitors seeking to agree upon a rate so that they are all equal
in their pricing (and therefore do not compete based upon that), rather than
a case in which an up-and-coming broker is simply trying to learn how prices
are determined.

Regardless, it does not seem like ALJ is trying to formulate a charge for
this current project, which is already underway (as indicated by there being
such a plethora of changes only halfway through). Instead, it seems to me as
if ALJ is merely trying to educate himself on how experienced developers
determine pricing, so that he may understand what sort of expenses to take
into account to accurately judge the worth of a project.

Just my two cents. If this is on the border of being illegal (or otherwise
off-topic for this group), then the topic should by all means be dropped,
but I do not think that any activity as indicated by my reading about price
fixing is taking place.

To ALJ, it is difficult to determine a price for these specific requirements
(especially when changes are being made after). I would recommend that you
consider how this project will add to your reputation and education,
especially since you are inexperienced with this framework (and perhaps the
language). Newer developers will often have to 'sacrifice' a higher pay so
that they may build their portfolio and learn more about what common jobs
require they know. As they do this and continue to prove themselves worthy,
they can raise their rates--not to something that necessarily matches what
everyone else is charging, but to what they feel is representative of their
time spent, and knowledge used, on the project.

Sincerely,
Michael A. Schade

On Jun 21, 2010, at 9:19 AM, Nick Arnett <nick.arn...@gmail.com> wrote:



On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 2:12 AM, ALJ <astley.lejas...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm just starting out with Django so using an hourly rate isn't really
> applicable because I'm going to be much slower that a 'real'
> developer. So far I've spent about 6 months part time.
>
> What kind of ballpark amounts would people suggest this is worth?


I don't know about the law elsewhere, but in the United States, having a
discussion with other vendors on what to charge clients opens you up to
prosecution for price fixing. It almost certainly should be a banned topic
here.

For a fairly good description of the issue, look at the HTML Writer's Guild
guidelines:http://www.hwg.org/resources/faqs/priceFAQ.htmlNick

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