I've been told by some of my customers that I don't charge enough. In response, let me offer an explanation. At least once each year I take stock of my competition. Primarily this consists of trying to determine precisely what other piano tuner-technicians within reach of my service area are charging and what other kinds of promotions they may be offering. Some of my competitors I know on a first name basis.
Honestly, I am astounded by the fees which some of those in my profession are charging. Some I know are charging twice, even three times as much as I do - plus mileage. I have intentionally held my price for years to what I consider a healthy profit margin. Twice in the past 10 years I have actually lowered my price to account for a reduction in expenses. For others it seems, price changes have gone in one direction only, and I don't need to tell you which way that is. I understand inflation, but prices should increase as demand increases, not simply to keep up with the rate of overall inflation.
With piano tuning, I know what the job entails and the time it takes to do it right. I know the average percentage of the overall fee which goes toward fuel and travel time. I know how quickly a piano belonging to a customer whose piano I have tuned for 10 or 15 years straight can be tuned and serviced, compared to one which I have never tuned before. And I know how negligible the overhead expenses are for an experienced, full-time piano tuner and technician. With the economy as it is, I intend to keep my fees right where they have been - reasonable, balanced and in line with what the average consumer can afford. You can count on it.