How much is too much to charge?

stone_dragone

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There is a school down the road from me that teaches Nihon Goshin Aikido that I wanted to check out. The only issue that I have is that they charge anywhere from $150-$300 a month depending on which "Program" you join.

My question to the masses is how much is too much? I was brought up paying $30 a month for 3 x 2-hour classes a week.

The average in the Clarksville, TN area was about $100 a month (give or take a few). I still need to visit other schools to see what the average in this town is, the program director from the NGA school did admit that they are the most expensive school in town.

Am I just cheap or is $300 a month a little over the top?
 

stoneheart

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It is a bit higher than I would be willing to pay, but then again my sensei teaches me for free out of his home. Modern times mean modern prices. Perhaps they have a great training facility that they need to pay for, and surely the teacher does this full-time professionally? In the end, the market will decide if his prices are too much.
 

JBrainard

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Am I just cheap or is $300 a month a little over the top?

You're not cheap. Up here in the Northwest it's still about $100 a month for the average MA program as well. The only school in Portland (that I know of) that charges anywhere near $300 a month is a school run by two Wushu champions from the PRC.
I pay $110 a month. I think it's fair considering that it's for unlimited classes and my teacher's good credentials.
 

baron

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i must admit i know nothing about Nihon Goshin Aikido but my questions would be how bad do i want to study this art, is this the only school in your area, what are the qualifications of the instructor, and can i afford to pay the price they want.. if i really desired to study this art and it was the only school i could join in my area and the instructor was qualified, and i could afford their prices than i would pay the price. i know people who travel great distances for instruction in diffrent forms and dont think the travel is to much for the instruction they receive. in my case no matter how much i wanted to study that or any other art at those prices it would be more than i could afford. i am used to paying between $30 to $50 a month.
 

kidswarrior

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There is a school down the road from me that teaches Nihon Goshin Aikido that I wanted to check out. The only issue that I have is that they charge anywhere from $150-$300 a month depending on which "Program" you join.

My question to the masses is how much is too much? I was brought up paying $30 a month for 3 x 2-hour classes a week.

The average in the Clarksville, TN area was about $100 a month (give or take a few). I still need to visit other schools to see what the average in this town is, the program director from the NGA school did admit that they are the most expensive school in town.

Am I just cheap or is $300 a month a little over the top?
It's a lot, but as others have said, it's really about whether you can and are willing to pay it. For some of us $300 is a lot more than for others. For some, that's just their Starbuck's tab, so another $300 wouldn't noticeably dent the 'recreation' pocket book. For others, that $300 may be most of a monthly car or insurance payment, and another $300 would break the bank. Just depends on what you can and will pay, and whether the fit with this studio is right. In other words, only you know. :)
 

arnisador

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I wouldn't pay more than around $100/month where I am (a rural area). It's not uncommon for BJJ to be more like $150/month, and of course private classes or another special situation like that are another matter. But $300/month seems incredible to me.

I pay about $80/month.
 

MarkBarlow

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I've got to raise tuition! I charge $55.00 a month and give a discount for multiple family members and for 4 or more family members, I top out at $185.00. No wonder I'm poor.
 

Big Don

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My Sifu just raised fees to $60 per month, he'd only been charging $55 for 10+ years...
 

exile

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I agree with both KW and arnisador here: yes, if it's what you want enough and you can afford it, then you'll pay $300 and count yourself lucky to be able to have access to it at all; on the other hand, it does seem extremely steep. If all the gas stations around you are charging around $3.00 a gallon except for one place that's selling it for close to $10.00, you have to wonder whyis it street-legal rocket fuel on offer, or what?

One way of getting a handle on the situation might be the direct approach: have you tried talking to the management and asking them upfront why their rates appear to be so much higher than what's par for the course elsewhere? You want to make sure that that $300 doesn't represent a kind of forced enrollement into the kinds of `black belt programs' and the like that at other schools are (more or less) voluntary add-ons to the basic price. Given that much of a price discrepancy, it would bear some serious looking into. You shouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a very clear idea of just what that extra $$ is buying...
 

Lynne

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$300 a month sounds ghastly and that area of Tennessee isn't high-cost-of-living, is it? I could see charging more, say, on the West Coast.

I live in NY, but it's a rural area near Binghamton and somewhat economically depressed. IBM moved out of the area, thanks to exorbitant NY taxes. The economy took even more of a nosedive after that.

My daughter's tuition is $65 a month with a $195 a year registration fee. My tuition and registration is $423 a year (second family member discount). These rates provide 2 classes a week, 45 minutes - 1 hour in length depending on the day the classes are taken.

Black Belt Club allows attendance as many times a week as we like and doesn't cost anything extra, but does include a three-year contract. Regular classes are under contract as well.

Oh, we get discounts on the sword program if we are TSD member. There aren't any programs that cost even $150/month.
 

Grenadier

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People will pay whatever a school charges, provided that they get goods and services for what they believe is fair market value.

For some localities, the populace may very well be poor, and they believe that fair market value is closer to 30 dollars a month. Maybe a school simply doesn't offer what they're looking for, which would further reinforce a "I don't want to pay more than 30 dollars a month" attitude amongst the people.

Some localities have a wealthier populace, but this isn't necessarily the main reason why people are willing to pay $150 / month. The important thing to remember, is that if a school offers what they're looking for, and if they feel that they are getting what they want, then the amount of money paid for tuition becomes secondary.

We can look at this similarly as we do with cars.

Vehicles will take you from point A to point B. For some people, that's all they're looking for, and they would be perfectly happy buying, say, a $13,000 Ford Focus.

Maybe someone who wants faster performance is willing to spend $20,000 for a sportier car.

Maybe someone who wants to go off-road, is willing to spend $25,000 for an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Maybe someone who wants a luxury car, is willing to spend $50,000 for a Mercedes-Benz.

Any of the above are going to get you from point A to point B, which is the main reason why you bought a vehicle in the first place. For some people, having that GPS unit, leather seats, anti-lock brakes, computerized air conditioning, etc., makes it worth it. For others, they're willing to pay the extra money, since they know that their car is going to be better suited for a particular situation. Some are going to be willing to pay even more, since they've test-driven a particular vehicle, enjoyed what it offered, and are willing to fork over the extra money for those features.

It's not really that different with the martial arts.

Some people are going to be willing to pay $150 / month, because a particular school offers them what they want. Maybe the school has really nice facilities, maybe the school caters to their exact needs better than others do.

Some people are going to be perfectly happy learning out of someone's garage, and paying him 25 bucks a month, even if the garage has rough concrete floors, lacks any amenities, etc.

The bottom line is, that as long as the instruction is good, and the system a reasonably good one, then any of the above individuals are going to get what they want.
 

Em MacIntosh

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Our instructor paid off his dojo a long time ago. Annual Ontario Karate Assoc. Membership is $100. He charges us $80/month. BBs teach voluntarily. You can get anywhere from 2 to 5 hours per night, minimum of five days per week. I like a place that doesn't have too much money. Seems more real to me. For $300 per month I want a free uniform, unlimited use of facilities, which should be available all day, no grading fees and a very good family rate.
 

exile

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Our instructor paid off his dojo a long time ago. Annual Ontario Karate Assoc. Membership is $100. He charges us $80/month. BBs teach voluntarily. You can get anywhere from 2 to 5 hours per night, minimum of five days per week. I like a place that doesn't have too much money. Seems more real to me. For $300 per month I want a free uniform, unlimited use of facilities, which should be available all day, no grading fees and a very good family rate.

Exactlyto me, that does sound like rocket fuel more than plain ol' petrol. But if it were me, I wouldn't hold my breath on actually getting anything like that...
 

Kosho Gakkusei

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There is a school down the road from me that teaches Nihon Goshin Aikido that I wanted to check out. The only issue that I have is that they charge anywhere from $150-$300 a month depending on which "Program" you join.

My question to the masses is how much is too much? I was brought up paying $30 a month for 3 x 2-hour classes a week.

The average in the Clarksville, TN area was about $100 a month (give or take a few). I still need to visit other schools to see what the average in this town is, the program director from the NGA school did admit that they are the most expensive school in town.

Am I just cheap or is $300 a month a little over the top?

Before I formulate an opinion on what a business is charging please give me more information as far as the differences between the programs. What do you get for $150? And what do you get for $300? Are there testing fees? Annual membership dues? What reasons did the program director give for being the most expensive?

_Don Flatt
 

Kacey

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I agree with the majority of posters - whether or not this is a "fair" price depends on whether there are any other instructors teaching Nihon Goshin Aikido (if not, the cost will be higher - more demand and lack of competition), the quality of the instruction (see previous), the frequency of instruction (more class/access to facility = higher cost), what is included in the monthly tuition (if test fees, uniform, equipment, etc. are included = higher cost - if not, this could get seriously expensive fast), cost of doing business in the area, and so on.

If you have the money and you want to study with this instructor - then it's worth whatever he charges. If you don't have the money and want to study with this instructor - go talk to him; the worst he can do is refuse to give you a discount, and if you can't afford it, you can't afford it - his loss (of you as a student) - but maybe he'll be willing to work with you. If you can't afford it and he won't change it - the best I can suggest is that you look around for another instructor.
 

CoryKS

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If I said I thought it was too much, all that would answer is whether I thought it was too much. I think $400 is too much for a frickin' phone, but millions of Apple fans disagree with me.

The school costs too much if there are no students. If there are students, it's not too much. At least to them.
 

jks9199

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I can't say whether $300 a month is too much to charge...

It's more than I'd probably be willing to pay, though. Then again, it depends on what the package includes. If the package includes, for example, a gym membership available with reasonable hours ($40 to $80 or more/month around here), a certain number of private lessons at no extra charge (cost varies with the school; say $100/month for 2 privates a month), and other benefits, you might see that cost whittling down to something reasonable.

But the bottom line is simple: Are you willing to pay the $300 for instruction in that school? Is it giving you what you feel to be fair return for your money? If so, then it's not too much to charge. If not... even $1 would be too much to charge!
 

AceHBK

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When they tell you that they have to run your credit and you may need a co-signer.

When they ask you for a 6 month deposit.

When they say to you after they tell you the price..."money should be no object when it comes to learning self defense"

When 2 months cost more than it would to buy a gun and apply for a permit to carry it.


Everyone can say "well what is fair" but I wont sugar coat it...heck yea it is too much money. n Is Steven Segal giving private seminars as well?? Heck some places you can get private lessons maybe 2x a week for that price.

For $300/month I want some damn guarantee's. Not only should that include bet fee's, uniforms (not uniform) but they should also wash them.

Im sorry but no one can sit here and justify $3600/year for MA lessons. If I pay that kinda money I should have no debt and should never complain about bills. That kinda money your first lesson should be learning the Death Touch. There's a 31st generation Shaolin Fightin Monk that teaches in NYC that doesn't charge that much.

*IN BEST JIM MORA VOICE* "$300?!?! $300?!?! Any school charging that much isnt worth diddly poo"
 

Brother John

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How much is too much?

When it's more than the Average interested person // or person in your 'target market' is willing to pay.

Your Brother
John
 

14 Kempo

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I agree with a number of posters here, what is too much? It's a matter of pure economics. If the student feels he/she is getting value for the dollar, then it isn't too much, no matter what the cost.

There is something else to think about, some believe that if you raise yoiur prices, people will believe you are the best ... if only for a time. An example of that is branding within a supermarket. People believe that one cereal is better than another because of the name on the label. Yes, in some cases it is, just as with some expensive MA studiios, the training is better for the price. However, in other cases, this is completely false.

It all comes down to you. Attend the classes. Work with the instructor(s). Is the class worth the money? Is/Are the instructor/s worth the money? Only you can tell. Yes, people will have opinions. Many will say it isn't worth it in any case, but they really don't know your circumstances, the school, or the instructor(s).

I was paying a large amount for training up to a certain level and it was worth it, to that point. After a time I failed to see the value in the training, so I moved on. I now pay only 3/5ths of the cost, for much more aadvanced training. But I'm one of the lucky ones, I think, I was able to find something better for less.

Again, and last word ... it's all up to you as to whether it is worth your time and your dollar ... good luck!!!
 
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