Social Question

Paradox1's avatar

How much should you pay a friend for a service they rendered you?

Asked by Paradox1 (1167 points ) October 21st, 2011

I’ve had a friend design a website for me.
He’s in web design part time for himself, and he said this project took him about 5 hours. Now normally he would charge around $200—$250 for client work but would charge me less. I asked him about payment and he was under the impression he was doing this as a favor. I am certainly grateful, but I know he is somewhat struggling financially to find adequate work to support himself, and I know he dropped everything he was doing to help me with this as I needed a fast turnaround.

We were roommates and still remain good friends.

My question is what is appropriate amount to pay him? Keep in mind this is a business expense so tax-wise it is written off. I really would like to pay him something for his time (or maybe get him a gift?), but I also understand maybe he would like to do this as a favor for me based on our friendship.
What do you think?

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9 Answers

Yanaba's avatar

If you can afford it, I would say go ahead and pay him the full amount. If he argues just say that you’re paying him half his normal rate, plus a big premium for fast turnaround. Tell him your business needs to keep assets like him onside ;)

If money is tight, I would say $15 an hour or $75 is a decent minimum, plus buy him a drink next time you go out. You could also offer to pass his name to your networks as a way of saying partial thanks too.

Boogabooga1's avatar

Is there no favor you could repay him with?
What are your skills or contacts? Sounds like he needs a job.

Think outside the square, all favors needn’t be re-payed financially or materially.

stardust's avatar

If you can afford it, I’d pay the full amount too. If he’s struggling financially, it’ll come in very handy for him.

YARNLADY's avatar

Pay the full amount. It sounds like a win-win situation.

Aethelflaed's avatar

If you can, pay the full amount, it will only strengthen your friendship.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with everyone who has posted already. I have a friend who did a big favour for me and proofread my thesis (only someone who loves you will do this). She didn’t want to take any money for her time so I put $200 on a shopping centre card for her and put it in a thank you card and posted it to her (registered post of course).

Hibernate's avatar

If you know he needs the money and you can afford it I’d say pay him the most you can. I understand he is your friend but help him and he’ll be grateful later.
You know .. one hand washes the other. [forget the face here]

Help him and you help yourself .. you’ll feel really good.

There’s always the “I won’t take your money because you are my friend and I did it because of this”. Don’t accept it. No good deed should remain without a form of reward [of some sort].

smilingheart1's avatar

I vote for finding a way to get the moolah to your friend whether it be in cash, gift certificates, tickets for a game, an actual gift or a dinner out. We all love personal notes of thanks as well!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I would have guessed about $250. but since that’s what he normally charges then I’d get him a gift instead to the equivalent of $100. My first choice would be a gift card to a good surf & turf restaurant, a Trader Joe’s gift card or a gift card to a movie chain.

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