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Ask HN: Charging clients for estimates?
8 points by tnorthcutt 1987 days ago | hide | past | web | 4 comments | favorite
Can anyone point me to resources, or offer suggestions here, on how best to go about doing this? I'm part of a (small) design/development shop - most of our clients are small to medium local businesses. I've read some stuff suggesting that it's best to charge for an estimate, the justification being that you need to expend significant energy to come up with something that accurately scopes the project, and that's of value to the client.

Absolutely. You're delivering a product (translation of their ideas to actionable deliverables) that's theoretically portable.

I blogged about charging for estimates here: https://planscope.io/blog/2012/03/13/6-tips-to-help-you-crea...

I believe a good way I've seen this work is to charge 1-2 days at a consultancy rate (based on amount of effort required) with terms that deduct the estimate charge from the project (assuming they sign)

Offer to prepare a specification for their project...for a fee.

If they don't like your price to execute the spec, they have something of value, and you've been paid.

Yes, do charge them.

Way less headaches.

I've done this in multiple industries (not only software), and it filters out the tire kickers.

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