wow...a $3000 1st poom exam!

d1jinx

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But if you spend $2000 to go to Korea, there is no guarantee you will pass! :)


It's not a "testing Trip". its an educational tour that goes around the same time every year (or other year) with many different activities. A visit to the Kukkiwon is 1 of those activities every trip. This year they "added the test".

The total cost for the trip is $1995.00 and includes Round Trip Airfare, Lodging, Meals and Ground Transportation. This trip will be at:

  • Kukkiwon Special Training
  • Kukkiwon Special Promotion Test
  • Korea Taekwondo Association
  • World Taekwondo Federation
  • Taekwondo Park
  • Temple Stay Meditation
  • National Congress Center
  • KTX – New High Speed Train
  • Korean Traditional Falk Village
  • Local City Shopping and much more fun events
  • Gumdo Competition with Korean and USA Team
 

Daniel Sullivan

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According to which scientific study on the statistics of pricing vs. quality of instruction?
No hard statistics, but personal observation, similar observations being made by others who are long time practitioners and/or instructors/school owners.

Note that I am not saying that cheap automatically means better, nor that expensive means bad. But there is a difference between being merely expensive and being ridiculous.

Three grand for a test, for which the paper has not even been delivered after almost a year, is ridiculous. Even if the paper was delivered on time, it is ridiculous.

Why should we as martial artists feel ashamed to charge a premium price for our services? What is this stigma that says we have to live in poverty in order to enjoy what we do?
This is a disingenuous response, and an attempt to make this discussion about something that it is not about.

You are implying that I said that we should live in poverty or that we should not charge a premium price for our services, and that is not what I said.

Regarding premium pricing, that was never addressed. I actually don't know what this man charges for his tuition.

But I do know that three grand for a lousy pum test is ridiculous, given that the cost for registration is somewhere in the seventy to one hundred dollar range.

Imposing travel and lodging expenses on top of that is even more ridiculous.

Students should not be asked to absorb the travel cost for Kukkiwon masters for a pum test while also absorbing their own. For three grand, a room should have been provided.

So, premium pricing: if the average monthly fee in an area is eighty to one hundred dollars, one hundred and fifty to two hundred is premium. If the average blackbelt test is three hundred, five hundred is premium. Additional costs for colored belt fees, fees for things like 'blackbelt clubs' and such, along with sales from the pro shop and any income from daycare is additional income.

I have never said nor implied that MA instructors should live in poverty. Quite the opposite.

I am perfectly fine with school owners making a reasonable, comfortable, or even a more than comfortable living from their trade. But I draw a line between making an honest living and stupidly inflating prices or shameless money grabs.

Daniel
 

miguksaram

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No hard statistics, but personal observation, similar observations being made by others who are long time practitioners and/or instructors/school owners.

Note that I am not saying that cheap automatically means better, nor that expensive means bad. But there is a difference between being merely expensive and being ridiculous.

But you did imply that with your statement:
Daniel Sullivan said:
Not to mention that outrageous pricing is usually paired with suboptimal instruction.

What is considered outrageous pricing? I know people who have paid $1K for their Dan rank. I know people who have paid $750 for a Dan rank. I know people who have paid $500 for a Dan rank. I know people who have paid $200 for a Dan rank and I know people who have paid $80.00 for a Dan rank. At what point is price considered outrageous? And at that point do we say that person is a suboptimal instructor?

Daniel said:
Three grand for a test, for which the paper has not even been delivered after almost a year, is ridiculous. Even if the paper was delivered on time, it is ridiculous.
Which I don't disagree with. I personally would not charge nor would I pay that much money. However, as I explained, that is because people in my area would pay for such a thing.

This is a disingenuous response, and an attempt to make this discussion about something that it is not about.
But it essentially it is what this is about, what we feel is a reasonable charge for a poom test. Some would feel that $150.00 is outrageous when they can get it for $70.00

Daniel said:
You are implying that I said that we should live in poverty or that we should not charge a premium price for our services, and that is not what I said.
It was more of a general question triggered from the discussion as a whole. Many people feel that as martial artists it is cardinal sin to profit from the martial arts. Does your opinion change if he would have charged his usual fee of $1500? If so, why?

Daniel said:
Regarding premium pricing, that was never addressed. I actually don't know what this man charges for his tuition.

What if he charged $500 a month for his lessons? Is he still ridiculous?

Daniel said:
But I do know that three grand for a lousy pum test is ridiculous, given that the cost for registration is somewhere in the seventy to one hundred dollar range.
I believe paying $1500 for an an Armani suit is ridiculous but people do it all the time and it is made up of, at best $50 worth of material. Point being that it may be ridiculous to us, but so what?

Daniel said:
Imposing travel and lodging expenses on top of that is even more ridiculous.

Students should not be asked to absorb the travel cost for Kukkiwon masters for a pum test while also absorbing their own. For three grand, a room should have been provided.
I don't disagree with you here.

Daniel said:
So, premium pricing: if the average monthly fee in an area is eighty to one hundred dollars, one hundred and fifty to two hundred is premium. If the average blackbelt test is three hundred, five hundred is premium. Additional costs for colored belt fees, fees for things like 'blackbelt clubs' and such, along with sales from the pro shop and any income from daycare is additional income.

I have never said nor implied that MA instructors should live in poverty. Quite the opposite.
Again, a question that was raised based on the discussion and not directed specifically at you.

Daniel said:
I am perfectly fine with school owners making a reasonable, comfortable, or even a more than comfortable living from their trade. But I draw a line between making an honest living and stupidly inflating prices or shameless money grabs.

Daniel
Again, at what point is considered "stupid inflating"?
 
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Daniel Sullivan

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But you did imply that with your statement:
No, I didn't.

What is considered outrageous pricing? I know people who have paid $1K for their Dan rank. I know people who have paid $750 for a Dan rank. I know people who have paid $500 for a Dan rank. I know people who have paid $200 for a Dan rank and I know people who have paid $80.00 for a Dan rank. At what point is price considered outrageous? And at that point do we say that person is a suboptimal instructor?
Given that the cost of a KKW dan/pum is the same for each and every school, the cost for a KKW dan/pum should not vary so widely. Most other comodities have an average markup/cost ratio. The belt itself costs money. If the belt is an Eosin Panther belt, then I would expect the cost of the promotion to reflect that. If the promotion includes other goodies, such as a new dobok, perhaps a weapon, or other MA related gear, then again, I would expect the cost to reflect that. If the promotion occurs outside of normal class times, then I would expect the cost to reflect this as well (twenty dollars is reasonable, given that there is no actual instruction going on).

At what point does it become ridiculous? When you are paying more than two hundred percent over what any additional items would cost retail (i.e. already marked up), then that is ridiculous. Association fees should not be considered a 'base cost commodity,' as it is not a product that you are selling.

So If a test occurrs during regular scheduled class time and all the student gets is a cert, a belt, and a dobok, then a first pum/dan test should cost no more than two hundred dollars (an embroidered black belt is not all that expensive retail, and neither art doboks). If outside of normal class time, then two hundred and twenty is reasonable. If you are having it at some kind of cool venue, then three hundred. If the cool venue is such that the test would be much more than that, give the student the option to test in the school. Then if they wish to pay for a cool venue, then that is their decision.

It is a fricking test that you are required to take if you wish to compete at certain levels or to progress further in the art. Turning it into an opportunity to fatten up your bottom line shows a lack of integrity. Unless your tuition rates are insanely low and it is the only way to meet your expenses and keep the school going, there is no excuse to charge more than about 150 to 200 dollars for a first pum/dan test that includes only a cert and a belt.

If the school is independent and has no association to pay a fee to, then the test should cost no more than fifty to a hundred dollars.

Which I don't disagree with. I personally would not charge nor would I pay that much money. However, as I explained, that is because people in my area would pay for such a thing.

Do you mean people in your area would not pay for such a thing?

But it essentially it is what this is about, what we feel is a reasonable charge for a poom test. Some would feel that $150.00 is outrageous when they can get it for $70.00
See above for my thoughts on reasonable.

It was more of a general question triggered from the discussion as a whole. Many people feel that as martial artists it is cardinal sin to profit from the martial arts. Does your opinion change if he would have charged his usual fee of $1500? If so, why?

What if he charged $500 a month for his lessons? Is he still ridiculous?
Without qualifications to the statement, yes. Really, if you are charging for colored belt testings and limit students to two classes a week, more than a hundred a month is unreasonable. And I live in a high income area, just to put it into perspective.

I believe paying $1500 for an an Armani suit is ridiculous but people do it all the time and it is made up of, at best $50 worth of material. Point being that it may be ridiculous to us, but so what?
Sure, its ridiculous. But not as ridiclulous as three grand for a pum test. They should have bought their kid an Amani suit instead. Would have saved them over 1500 dollars done the kid more good.

I don't disagree with you here.


Again, a question that was raised based on the discussion and not directed specifically at you.


Again, at what point is considered "stupid inflating"?
See above.

Daniel
 

d1jinx

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you guys are letting yourselves get sidetracked....

NO. YOU'RE SIDETRACTING THEM by saying they are getting sidetracted. so they are sidetracted by your sidetract that sidetract them in the first place... :slapfight:


:lfao:

lol.
 

ralphmcpherson

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According to which scientific study on the statistics of pricing vs. quality of instruction?

Why should we as martial artists feel ashamed to charge a premium price for our services? What is this stigma that says we have to live in poverty in order to enjoy what we do?
I couldnt agree more. People only have to look at the cost of golf lessons, tennis lessons, piano lessons etc to see that martial arts instructors dont actually charge that much. I dont believe there is any proven correlation between high prices and poor instruction and as far as Im concerned if somone wants to get rich through teaching martial arts then good on them. I dont know where this idea comes from that its bordering on fraudulent to make good money out of teaching martial arts. My instructor has become quite wealthy out of a life time of instructing and I say good on him.
 

miguksaram

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NO. YOU'RE SIDETRACTING THEM by saying they are getting sidetracted. so they are sidetracted by your sidetract that sidetract them in the first place... :slapfight:


:lfao:

lol.
But you just sidetracked his sidetrack which put us back on track which we took off track in order track down the track which this debate was all about.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I couldnt agree more. People only have to look at the cost of golf lessons, tennis lessons, piano lessons etc to see that martial arts instructors dont actually charge that much. I dont believe there is any proven correlation between high prices and poor instruction and as far as Im concerned if somone wants to get rich through teaching martial arts then good on them.
Again, that assertion has not been made on this thread. I did point out that lousy instruction is often paired with high prices (not always).

I dont know where this idea comes from that its bordering on fraudulent to make good money out of teaching martial arts. My instructor has become quite wealthy out of a life time of instructing and I say good on him.
It didn't. Until you brought it up. Nobody has said anything of the sort on this thread. However, an over 4000% mark up over an association registration fee for a kiddie belt is ridiculous.

If you want to charge more than three times the going rate for monthly tuition in your area, you had better be able to offer three times the quality of instruction. Otherwise, you're gouging your customers.

So, back to the OP: do you think that this is just peachy? Remember, we are not talking about the school's tuition, or even the quality of their instruction. Just a three grand plus expenses pum test for a kid whom the OP says is kind of okay.

Daniel
 

miguksaram

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Again, that assertion has not been made on this thread. I did point out that lousy instruction is often paired with high prices (not always).


It didn't. Until you brought it up. Nobody has said anything of the sort on this thread. However, an over 4000% mark up over an association registration fee for a kiddie belt is ridiculous.

Now hold on there cowboy...it wasn't just for the belt. If I recall they were also given sword set and an embroidered uniform as well. :)

If you want to charge more than three times the going rate for monthly tuition in your area, you had better be able to offer three times the quality of instruction. Otherwise, you're gouging your customers.

Why are you gouging? If I charge $500.00 a month and Instructor 'B' charges $100.00 a month and we are both equal in quality. Why am I the gouger? Simply because I place a higher monetary value on my services? How is that gouging? If people choose to pay a higher fee for my services so be it. That is THEIR choice.

So, back to the OP: do you think that this is just peachy? Remember, we are not talking about the school's tuition, or even the quality of their instruction. Just a three grand plus expenses pum test for a kid whom the OP says is kind of okay.

Daniel

I already made my thoughts clear on this. The fact that the instructor did not follow through on his part is wrong. He promised them a service and did not do what he was supposed to do. Now the fact he charged $3K..again, I do find that crazy HOWEVER, he has every right to charge what he feel is appropriate. People paid it so why should I be upset at him for that?

As far as the kid only being ok, that has nothing to do with the rate he charged in the first place. I have seen kids play cost for their poom belt and still suck worse than some 8th gup. So the price charged for the testing is not a factor in my opinion.
 

miguksaram

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One more thing to keep in mind in all of this. He charged $3K. Someone paid. What was the total result of this? The person ended up quitting and going to a different school. So there are consequences to this guy's pricing action. He lost at least one student and I bet he will lose several more. His short sightedness of the quick buck cost him much more in the long run.

Which proves what I am trying to get across. As instructors we have every right to charge what we feel is appropriate. If people are not willing to pay, they will go else where.
 

Archtkd

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Totally agree on this point, usually people put their price high for the wow factor "wow if he/she costs that much surely they must be good..." when in reality they're compensating for the fact that they're not good by trying to give a false impression.

I hadn't seen this, but I now that I have read it it makes me wonder? Do you use this deeply flawed commercial philosophy to find a good martial arts school or buy any other services or products?
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Now hold on there cowboy...it wasn't just for the belt. If I recall they were also given sword set and an embroidered uniform as well. :)
If he got the sword set from Bugei, then I take it back; its a bargain. If it was a set of wooden swords (unlikely to be anything else in a TKD school) or a forms sword set from Karate Depot, then it's still a rip off.

Why are you gouging? If I charge $500.00 a month and Instructor 'B' charges $100.00 a month and we are both equal in quality. Why am I the gouger? Simply because I place a higher monetary value on my services? How is that gouging? If people choose to pay a higher fee for my services so be it. That is THEIR choice.
Except that you didn't respond to what I said: I did not say 'Instructor B.' I said the going rate for tuition in the area. Major difference.

I already made my thoughts clear on this. The fact that the instructor did not follow through on his part is wrong. He promised them a service and did not do what he was supposed to do. Now the fact he charged $3K..again, I do find that crazy HOWEVER, he has every right to charge what he feel is appropriate. People paid it so why should I be upset at him for that?
Yes, I agree; he has the right to charge what he wants. Nobody said that he doesn't have the right. People have the right to do all sorts of unethical things in this country. Just because they have the right to do so doesn't make it ethical.

As far as the kid only being ok, that has nothing to do with the rate he charged in the first place. I have seen kids play cost for their poom belt and still suck worse than some 8th gup. So the price charged for the testing is not a factor in my opinion.
Agreed.

Daniel
 

miguksaram

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If he got the sword set from Bugei, then I take it back; its a bargain. If it was a set of wooden swords (unlikely to be anything else in a TKD school) or a forms sword set from Karate Depot, then it's still a rip off.
Most likely a set of 3 for $80.00 :)


Except that you didn't respond to what I said: I did not say 'Instructor B.' I said the going rate for tuition in the area. Major difference.

Then we will say Instructor 'B' is charging regular rates for the area. Now proceed.


Yes, I agree; he has the right to charge what he wants. Nobody said that he doesn't have the right. People have the right to do all sorts of unethical things in this country. Just because they have the right to do so doesn't make it ethical.
This is the part I have problems with. You are calling this guy unethical for charging a large sum of money. Why? Unless he told her this lady that is what everyone charges or that the Korea is charging him that much or some other lie, he is not being unethical, greedy...yes...unethical...no.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Most likely a set of 3 for $80.00 :)
Kind of figured that.



Then we will say Instructor 'B' is charging regular rates for the area. Now proceed.
There's nowhere to proceed. If you're quality is equal to instructor B and instructor B's pricing is in line with the area's norm, then you are price gouging. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_gouging

This is the part I have problems with. You are calling this guy unethical for charging a large sum of money. Why? Unless he told her this lady that is what everyone charges or that the Korea is charging him that much or some other lie, he is not being unethical, greedy...yes...unethical...no.
Taking advantage of the ignorace of your students who trust you in order to charge them way too much money for something is unethical. Why?

Again, this is price gouging.

Daniel
 

ralphmcpherson

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Again, that assertion has not been made on this thread. I did point out that lousy instruction is often paired with high prices (not always).


It didn't. Until you brought it up. Nobody has said anything of the sort on this thread. However, an over 4000% mark up over an association registration fee for a kiddie belt is ridiculous.

If you want to charge more than three times the going rate for monthly tuition in your area, you had better be able to offer three times the quality of instruction. Otherwise, you're gouging your customers.

So, back to the OP: do you think that this is just peachy? Remember, we are not talking about the school's tuition, or even the quality of their instruction. Just a three grand plus expenses pum test for a kid whom the OP says is kind of okay.

Daniel
I know it hasnt been brought up in this thread, but the idea that martial arts instructors who make good money out of what they do are frauds or are not doing the 'honourable thing' by keeping prices low is all over the net. Many times on many martial arts forums I read about people being very hard on instructors who treat it like a 'business' and believe that martial arts shouldnt be a business and that those profiting from MA's must be frauds. I know you never said as such, but a lot of people do feel this way unfortunately.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I know it hasnt been brought up in this thread, but the idea that martial arts instructors who make good money out of what they do are frauds or are not doing the 'honourable thing' by keeping prices low is all over the net. Many times on many martial arts forums I read about people being very hard on instructors who treat it like a 'business' and believe that martial arts shouldnt be a business and that those profiting from MA's must be frauds. I know you never said as such, but a lot of people do feel this way unfortunately.
I 100% agree that that mentality is out there. But bringing it up in this thread without any sort of qualifier implies that criticism of a massive price gouge on a pum test equates to espousing such a view when all it is is criticism of a massive price gouge on a pum test.

Daniel
 
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msmitht

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What is a fair price? You have to take into consideration many things. I have no problem with making money as an instructor. Charge what you want for classes. But to rape parents for a cert is outrageous. I finally submitted her to kkw and her cert will be here in 6 weeks. Mom thinks it is normal and the reason I charge less is that I am not a gm. LOL!
 

IcemanSK

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What is a fair price? You have to take into consideration many things. I have no problem with making money as an instructor. Charge what you want for classes. But to rape parents for a cert is outrageous. I finally submitted her to kkw and her cert will be here in 6 weeks. Mom thinks it is normal and the reason I charge less is that I am not a gm. LOL!

Regardless of your current title, hopefully she simply sees the difference between you & her daughter's previous instructor is that you are a man of your word.
 

Archtkd

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What is a fair price? You have to take into consideration many things. I have no problem with making money as an instructor. Charge what you want for classes. But to rape parents for a cert is outrageous. I finally submitted her to kkw and her cert will be here in 6 weeks. Mom thinks it is normal and the reason I charge less is that I am not a gm. LOL!

The details get more messy. Denial occupies a large part of the minds of the abused and exploited. Also, few parents admit failure to thier children. The GM must be swimming in cash if he has a large number of children with such parents.
 
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