Should you put your prices on your website?
Wondering whether you should put your prices on your website? Find out when it’s a good idea to publish a price list, and when you should ask people to contact you for a quote.
One of the most common questions I get asked by freelancers and service-based small business owners, is whether or not they should put their prices on their website.
And I can see why they are confused.
Google the question and there’s no definitive answer. Some people recommend that yes, it is a good idea to let people visiting your website know how much you charge. And others advise keeping your prices private and asking people to contact you for a price list or quote.
The truth, we believe, is that there is no absolute right answer for everyone. Instead, whether or not you should put your prices on your website depends on a few factors. Read on to find out what they are.
When you SHOULD put your prices on your website
So when might it be a good idea to put your prices on your website? Here are a few factors that would make me more inclined to have a public price list:
- You aren’t a ‘considered purchase’
- You get a lot of unwanted enquiries
- You want to put off people who can’t afford you
So why are these factors so important in deciding whether or not to publish your prices? Let’s explore further.
Put your prices on your website if your service isn’t a ‘considered purchase’
A while ago my parents were looking for someone to clean their oven. They had no personal recommendations so Googled local companies, and came up with two options. One of the companies had their prices on their website, while the other didn’t.
Now, oven cleaning isn’t particularly expensive (it’s about £60), and the outcome from both companies would be the same – the oven would be clean. Both companies had an equal number of positive reviews, too. So the only differential between them might be price and availability.
My parents didn’t want to spend much effort finding an oven cleaner – after all they were hiring one to save them time! So they wanted to make a decision quickly. They also didn’t want to have to try and call a company for a price and hope they answered, or email them and wait for a response. So they decided to go with the company whose prices were on their website.
This is an example of why it can be good to put your prices on your website if you don’t offer a considered purchase.
If customers want to make a quick decision about what you do, and don’t have questions they need to ask you, then you need to ensure the have all the information they need to make a decision on your website. And that includes your pricing.
If you don’t give customers all the information they need to decide on your website, you risk – as happened in my parent’s case – losing business to a competitor who does.
Put your prices on your website if you get a lot of unwanted enquiries
Another reason you might put your prices on your website is if you want to reduce the amount of time you spend responding to requests for more information from people who have no intention of actually working with you.
By putting your prices on your website, you reduce the reasons why a ‘tyre kicker’ might get in touch. If they have all the information they need on your site to satisfy their curiosity, or make a decision that you’re not right for them, then that will save you time, effort and frustration.
Put your prices on your website if you want to put off people who can’t afford you
In a similar vein, not everyone who gets in touch with you can actually afford to work with you. And encouraging everyone to contact you for more information is a waste of your time and theirs.
It also potentially leads to disappointment – yours in that you’re hoping you’ve landed a new client you like, and theirs in that they hope they can have access to your talent… only for you both to discover there is no possibility of working together.
If your pricing is on your website, it effectively acts as a gatekeeper by letting people who can’t afford you know that you’re not the freelancer or business for them from the outset. Neither of you need to waste time and raise your hopes on a futile conversation that will ultimately lead nowhere.
That’s not to say you have to reveal your entire pricing on your website, especially if you prepare bespoke quotes for each job. It’s quite acceptable to state “Prices from…”. This should help reduce the number of people who can’t actually afford getting in touch.
When you SHOULDN’T put your prices on your website
So when might it be a bad idea to put your prices on your website? Here are a few factors to consider:
- Every project is bespoke – you don’t have a ‘price list’
- You don’t want to put potential clients off
- You like to screen clients and customers before working with them
- You don’t want to let the competition know your prices
So why are these factors so important in deciding whether or not to publish your prices? Let’s explore further again.
Don’t put your prices on your website if every project is bespoke
It’s not possible to share your prices on your website if you need to quote for each project. When I was a freelance copywriter, I never had a price list because every job was different, and needed to be quoted for separately.
Even if I had a similar brief, say to write a 500 word email, the amount of time it would take to write that email would depend on the quality of the briefing, amount of information I was expected to review in order to write it, and number of amends required.
So it was never possible to have standardised pricing, which, in turn, meant it was not feasible to promote my prices on my website.
If what you do is similar, in the sense that each job might have a different cost, and you typically prepare quotes for every client, then you might not want to put any prices on your website – or be unable to! Instead you can simply state, “Rates available upon request.”
Don’t put your prices on your website if you don’t want to put potential clients off
Another good reason for not putting your prices on your website is if you don’t want to put potential clients or customers off.
It might be that what you do is expensive, but you are brilliant at your work and more than worth the money. Or that once people understand the value and potential return on their investment, they usually sign up.
If you generally need to speak to clients before they hire you, show them examples of your work or sell in your offering, the goal of your website should be to get people to contact you.
And putting your prices on your website reduces the chance of this, as they may think they have enough information to make a decision, and miss out on the chance to really understand what you do. Or they might baulk at the price tag without knowing the true value of what you offer.
So if you typically need to sell in what you do, and if your prices could be perceived as high, it might be a good idea not to publish them on your website.
Don’t put your prices on your website if you like to screen clients and customers
You also might want to put some clients off working with you. And the only way to know who these people are is by talking to them. In this case, it is also a good idea to keep your prices off your website.
By encouraging/forcing people to contact you, you can remain in control of the vetting process. You can direct them to a form to complete or ask to meet or speak with them. This then allows you to decide whether you want to work with them.
If not, you can either let them know you’re not a good fit, or price yourself out of consideration. And if you do want to work with them, you can find out more information about the work and their budget, and quote accordingly to help you win the job.
Don’t put your prices on your website if you don’t want to let the competition know your prices
And finally, if you work in a competitive industry, you might not want your prices to be public knowledge by listing them on your website.
If your competitors know your prices, it enables them to either undercut you, if that is their strategy, or use your pricing when negotiating with customers. For example, they may say, “I know she is that price, but we offer a superior service for this price.”
What currency should your rates be in?
There’s one more question you may have when deciding whether or not to put your prices on your website: what currently should your rates be in?
Today, many freelancers and small businesses work for clients across the world. And they may be unsure whether it’s best to quote their prices in their home country’s currency or another.
There are two possible answers to this question. If you work for clients across a range of countries then you may want to use your country’s currency for ease.
But if the majority of your clients come from one country, or are used to dealing in another country’s currency (usually US dollars), you may want to put your prices in that currency, to make it easier for new clients to work out how much you cost.
We get a lot of enquiries from companies across the world to work with our business. Our initial email with pricing and packages is always in pounds, as we are based in the UK. But if the company responds quoting US dollars, we switch to that currency.
Should you put your prices on your website?
I hope this article has helped you weigh up whether publishing your price list is a good idea or not. And remember, you don’t have to permanently stick with whatever you decide. You can try one way and see how that impacts the quantity and quality of jobs you get in, and then change it if you aren’t happy.
Need more pricing advice?
Pricing as a freelancer or small business is always tricky. If you’d like more pricing tips we recommend reading these articles: