General Question

spywacko's avatar

A retainer fee?

Asked by spywacko (324points) March 15th, 2008

I’m working on a new project and they want to know my retainer fee. I’ve never really done this before. Can anyone share their thoughts on this?

I’m not really sure how many hours it will take, so should I just charge a few hours at my usual rate?

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5 Answers

glial's avatar

On large projects I charge a 50% retainer fee. Half up front, half upon completion.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I agree with glial, that’s the best way to make sure you get paid but sometimes it scares customers away but if your a good referral and they like your past work you should be okay

glial's avatar

Right, if it is a large project the retainer is important for you to be able to “live” on while the project is in process.

srmorgan's avatar

Depending on what you are working on, you might also want to ask for progress payments or “pay on milestone”, Say you have accomplished 75% of a job, ask for another progress payment. Or you could base it on “deliverables” like coding finished, or design submitted for final approval. This is very common in construction projects or free-lance advertising.

The comments from Glial and Ninjaxmarc are right on target. The more you get paid during the project the less you have to worry about getting paid at the end of the project.
This is especially good advice if you are working for lawyers on this project as they have been difficult to collect from, at least in my own experience.

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