By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 13, 2008
For those of you feel you should be cast based upon your voice and not because of what you've quoted, I am going to propose something that should help remedy that age old concern and level the playing field as well, ultimately making it easier for clients to quickly pick a voice and for you to be hired without having to quote.
We've received some valuable feedback and were also able to make some clarifications where there were misunderstandings as well as raise the rates from what they were initially when this was posted earlier today.
This feature is not active yet and we are looking for feedback now so that we can make the feature the best and most seamless that it can be.
Any positive feedback is welcome with regard to what you feel the rates should be.
Many of you have voiced concerns regarding what you suspect some people may be quoting at online marketplaces and feel that there is likely lowballing going on that gets those voice actors the jobs.
While at Voices.com the vast majority of people quote within the set budget ranges, it is a known fact that there is a degree of underbidding that goes on within the industry as a whole.
After much thought the team at Voices.com is about to implement something new that will put both clients and voice actors in the fast lane while evening the quoting field so to speak by removing the quoting process.
Essentially, we're going to add a new set of categories, similar to the Featured Talent directory, and each category will have reasonably priced packages that clients can "Buy Now!" selecting from a variety of featured voices listed in that category.
Let's talk about the forthcoming radio commercial packages categories.
Clients will be able to buy packages for their radio commercial voice overs. There will be individual packages, all priced appropriately, for small, regional and national markets. These rates are based upon the non-union standard rates sheet for voice overs at Voices.com.
The client reviews the samples that are listed within the radio commercials category and once they hear a voice that suits their commercial, they'll have the ability to "Buy Now!" just like on sites such as eBay.com.
This process, by virtue of set pricing, eliminates the need to quote which in turn eliminates underbidding and dispels the myth of seeking out that "magic number" to quote when auditioning.
If you've read between the lines, you'll also notice that there is no auditioning involved, a perk for those who have no time to audition but certainly do have the time to cut voice tracks and be paid for their work.
The client will make a deposit using SurePay for the advertised price of the package they are purchasing.
For those of you who are familiar with the workings of SurePay through auditions, you know that the transaction fee is added on top of the price you quoted (i.e. you quote $100, client pays $110), however, with "Buy Now" prices for packages, the transaction fee would be included in the advertised price so that clients know right off the bat that they are buying a package for X number of dollars and not be surprised by an additional fee at the point of sale.
We've found that although SurePay is very effective and many people use it, clients who buy voice overs, just like any other buyers, are accustomed to sellers covering the marketplace transaction fees.
That is a common practice at marketplaces.
At Guru.com or Elance.com, for instance, the seller charges X fee for a product and the buyer pays that same fee. Any transaction fees are taken out of the sale price, not added on top.
One of the reasons why we opted to have the SurePay transaction fee on top of what you were quoting was because the last thing we wanted to do was have our customers (specifically the voice actors) think we were taking a commission when it was truly a transaction fee.
Anywhere you look, it's always the sellers who cover fees, never the buyers. Why should it be any different at Voices.com?
Premium members of our service will be able to take part in this new exclusive marketing opportunity. The listings will rotate dynamically using the same algorithm as the Featured Talent Directory.
Starting out clients will be able to buy packages for radio spots, television spots and Internet (which includes videos, podcasts, etc.). Telephone voice over packages will also be available.
To be part of this special program, you will need to opt in (agree) to do the voice over work for the set asking price listed for the categories which includes the escrow fee.
(UPDATE - 1:49 p.m. EST June 13, 2008) Please be sure to note that the escrow fee is included in the overall price that the client pays. It is not a commission, it is a transaction fee.
The graphic at the top of this article shows voice talent earnings and then the deposit as the client would see it which includes the transaction fee and simplifies the process immensely when purchasing these packages.
* Update - previous example citing eBay removed and replaced with far better examples, Guru and Elance, as those sites do charge membership fees for people to promote their services and apply for jobs as well as have an escrow service that includes the fee such as was described in the posting.
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