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Thread: I gave up. Now I am a bottom feeder.

  1. #1
    Member fatcatdj's Avatar
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    I gave up. Now I am a bottom feeder.

    I hate to say this but the bills are piling up and the clients are becoming cheaper than a $40 whore. The past weeks I have
    been wrestling with brides, grooms, parents on spending $600 to $1,000 on their weddings and they just don't get it.
    My partner quit on me because all we have this year are 3 weddings.

    My rates are cheap and we do a great service. But the clients are getting so damn cheap. I had a bride ask if I can DJ for 8
    hours for $450. C'mon dude. I'd liike to strangle the mother f***er who started 6-8 hour weddings as a DJ. I tell them 5 hours.
    Its like they want you to start playing music at 4pm and end at 12 midnight for under $700.

    So with my partner gone, I'm just going to bring one tripod with 2 lighting effects, a 43" tv and 2 speakers and call it a wedding for $350.
    Plus drink as much as I can, not have a meeting with the couple just emails, look at the itinerary the day of the wedding and wing it from there.
    Thats what these bottom feeder clients want. Sure I wont mess things up but things like up lights and monograms which I used to throw in are all
    options now.

    I hate budget weddings. Visually they suck. I did one last year. No up lights in a Marriot Conference room sucks balls. Its a cheap ADJ Mini Dekker and Chauvet FXArray,on a light stand-- thats all she wrote. Basically all they will get are 2 effect lights. I have a dozen of them, but will just bring 2.

    I'm also thinking about getting a full time job and selling all my equipment. The economy and the ease of a nobody DJing really upsets me. i see low ballers everywhere and they really infiltrated the business, so I'm going to do a few more gigs, while selling off some gear and then call it quits.
    .."You can NEVER go too far"---Ferris Bueller

  2. #2
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    I gave up. Now I am a bottom feeder.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatcatdj View Post
    I hate to say this but the bills are piling up and the clients are becoming cheaper than a $40 whore. The past weeks I have
    been wrestling with brides, grooms, parents on spending $600 to $1,000 on their weddings and they just don't get it.
    My partner quit on me because all we have this year are 3 weddings.

    My rates are cheap and we do a great service. But the clients are getting so damn cheap. I had a bride ask if I can DJ for 8
    hours for $450. C'mon dude. I'd liike to strangle the mother f***er who started 6-8 hour weddings as a DJ. I tell them 5 hours.
    Its like they want you to start playing music at 4pm and end at 12 midnight for under $700.

    So with my partner gone, I'm just going to bring one tripod with 2 lighting effects, a 43" tv and 2 speakers and call it a wedding for $350.
    Plus drink as much as I can, not have a meeting with the couple just emails, look at the itinerary the day of the wedding and wing it from there.
    Thats what these bottom feeder clients want. Sure I wont mess things up but things like up lights and monograms which I used to throw in are all
    options now.

    I hate budget weddings. Visually they suck. I did one last year. No up lights in a Marriot Conference room sucks balls. Its a cheap ADJ Mini Dekker and Chauvet FXArray,on a light stand-- thats all she wrote. Basically all they will get are 2 effect lights. I have a dozen of them, but will just bring 2.

    I'm also thinking about getting a full time job and selling all my equipment. The economy and the ease of a nobody DJing really upsets me. i see low ballers everywhere and they really infiltrated the business, so I'm going to do a few more gigs, while selling off some gear and then call it quits.
    I thoroughly understand. Sorry it has come to this for you. Your location might have a little bit to do with it. Itís not THAT bad here in OKC, but there does seem to be an ever-increasing number of low budget weddings. Fortunately for me, I have chosen NOT to DJ at weddings unless the prospective client knows me, or is the son or daughter of someone who knows me. I donít like some of the music wedding couples want you to play these days, and I feel like itís a little creepy for someone old enough to be the brideís grandfather to be DJing at her wedding. There are other types of events though. They donít usually pay as well as weddings normally do, but theyíre generally a lot less hassle and often shorter, so the difference in the actual price per hour is not that much. I work entirely alone, and I guess I might be considered a bottom feeder, but HEY... itís not SO bad on the bottom.😄 Good luck to you, at whatever you decide to do.😊
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 03-09-2019 at 05:49 AM.

  3. #3
    I stopped doing mobile DJ gigs too. Not worth the effort.

  4. #4
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    I gave up. Now I am a bottom feeder.

    Quote Originally Posted by djnotapplicable View Post
    I stopped doing mobile DJ gigs too. Not worth the effort.
    Are you doing clubs?... I talk to guys who do club gigs, and none are happy with the pay and working conditions. Sure, itís nice not having to lug all the gear, but I still think your chances of earning decent money DJing is in the mobile business. Even as a bottom feeder.😄

  5. #5
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    There are always going to be cheaper DJís. You need to find better clients and you need to be able to sell them on what you need to make the night good. Work with people but donít drop your pants just to work. Your in business to make money. Not to do stuff for free. If they want a dj for 6 hours but donít want to pay, they are not the right client for you. Move on!

  6. #6
    Truck Driver Dix's Avatar
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    DJ Bobcat is spot on. I too, assume its your location. I have compared my local market in N/E Louisiana with the Dallas market & I see people doing gigs for 1/4 of my prices.

    Here is where I am. I charge $400 for the 1st 3 hrs & $125 per hour after. A DJ & equipment to play & a wireless mic is all they get for that. If they want anything extra, they pay for it. I'm a DJ, not a lighting guy so if they want lights, they gotta pay extra for them. Slide show.... extra, etc, etc. I DJ... period. If they want extra, they pay for it.

    My philosophy is; this is YOUR wedding, not mine. If you want me to play YOUR wedding, you gotta pay for it. If you want cheap, hire DJ Cheap across town... I wont be there.
    My thing is, I don't need to DJ to make a living. I do this on the side. I'd like to have 1 or 2 events a month, but if I only got 3 gigs a year, it wouldnt bother me. That's just more time for me to spend at home with my family relaxing on the weekend.

    My old fire fighter friend used to say; "The only thing I have for sale is my time & I have to get as much for it as I can".

    I know what my time is worth to me & what its worth for me to leave my relaxed home & miss Dr Pol on Saturday night to go play some girls wedding. If she wants me to come play it, she's got to make it worth my while. Otherwise, I am happy staying home.
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  7. #7
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dix View Post
    ... Here is where I am. I charge $400 for the 1st 3 hrs & $125 per hour after. A DJ & equipment to play & a wireless mic is all they get for that. If they want anything extra, they pay for it. I'm a DJ, not a lighting guy so if they want lights, they gotta pay extra for them. Slide show.... extra, etc, etc. I DJ... period. If they want extra, they pay for it...
    ^^^^ Similarly... I charge $400 for 4 hours, w/ $400 minimum... If they want 3 hours, itís still $400. Each additional hour is $100. Iím there; Iím already set up, so I see no reason to charge more for additional hours, but Iím not going out my door for less than $400.

    I have one package... it includes a PA system with adequate speakers for the event/venue. I have 3 EVOX-8ís, so Iíll use one, two or all three if necessary. If thatís not enough, then Iím not the right company. So far, Iíve never needed to turn down an event because my PA System is too small. I offer dance lights at no extra charge, but if they donít want them, thatís fine with me because Iím not really a lighting guy. I only have them because my competitors have them. I offer up to four wireless mics at no additional charge. Like Dix, I DJ on the side. Iím retired and donít need the money. I use what I make from DJing to buy more cool toys.😄

  8. #8
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    The problem with the downward spiral is, once you're on it, you're on it!

    When you show up with what you have, requested as cheap, others think that's what you are, what you have and it's harder to sell your self for more. Every event you do is an advertisement for the next. You're minimum package still needs to be good. Bolt ons are the best way to get a little more cash, you need to find ideas that will interest them. And, price them better. If people want to save money get them to reduce the time. To make it not look like you're a lazy DJ, have little request slips or something, wrote on it "DJ starts at 9". If there's 2 rooms, make it so they can't go in that room until later.

    I'd never get a "real" job but there's a lot of other ways to earn more money. Especially things you can do while auditioning new music, the main part of our job, what takes the most time, that many so called DJ's don't do.

  9. #9
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchiemasha View Post
    The problem with the downward spiral is, once you're on it, you're on it!

    When you show up with what you have, requested as cheap, others think that's what you are, what you have and it's harder to sell your self for more...
    Youíre right... Thatís why being a bottom feeder isnít SO bad. There is no lower you can go unless youíre a free DJ.😄

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Bobcat View Post
    You’re right... That’s why being a bottom feeder isn’t SO bad. There is no lower you can go unless you’re a free DJ.��

    Bottom line is you have to do what you have to do...I did a 2 hour kids party last night for a couple of hundred bucks. Got the call Thursday I was off for Saturday so why not. My Daughter did most of the work and made a few bucks I made a few bucks for 2 hours of my time. Would this happen in prime wedding season? Of course not but march is pretty quiet in these parts I only have 2 this month not including that one or the Friday night bar gigs

    It did motivate me a bit that the kids Aunt runs a venue that refers me quite often

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