Common DJ Pricing Scams

If…you’re wondering ‘How do you know all of the info to the right & below? It’s because I was considering ‘outsourcing’ my own wedding, which happened on June 28, 2012 & went ‘shopping’ for a Wedding DJ. So..all the info to the right & below comes from me to you, not to sell myself, but to help you make a value decision when booking a DJ for your event. If it’s not me, let it at least be a hardworking Professional DJ with quality equipment & lights & legal music!

Flat Fee Pricing

Really? Do you go to work for eight hours, get paid for four & work just as hard, feel just as good & especially feel ‘creative’? Nope. So why would any self-respecting, talented DJ be satisfied being paid the same amount for a three hour event, as he/she would for a five or six hour event? Dunno. Maybe a DJ with crappy equipment, non-legal music, no experience & might need his parents to drop him off at the event. Good luck with that. I wouldn’t & didn’t take that chance at my own wedding. You shouldn’t either.

The ‘Bait-n-Switch?

Well, when I was looking to ‘outsource’ my own wedding, I contacted a ‘DJ Service’. Their Google Result reads like this: “Vermont DJ $495-695. The Perfect DJ For Any Occasion”

Really? Well, after you click on the link, it’s really $695, minimum. And right there on that page they state “Only One Per Future Date So Call Now!” Well, week after week, I received an ’email update’ asking if I was ready to ‘book’. By the time my wedding date rolled around, the price was $995. Honestly, I’d expect to pay that or better for a five hour event, but the ‘way’ they dangled that ‘We have a limited amount of dates open at the $495 rate’…was, well, criminal? Nah, more like silly.

“DJ Booking Services”, like Peak Entertainment or Top Hat or (fill in name here):

In plain words: talk a big game & don’t even know how to play it. They just ‘market’ their service (which is ‘Entertainment’); ‘book’ a DJ for you & charge you double. Yep. They’ll send you some grandiose ‘package’, with all kinds of important looking papers, contracts, factoids, etc. I know this, because I still have their ‘package’ in my office. (see text box on upper left).

To continue…they’ll keep a large portion of the fee you pay them & give what’s left to the hardworking, local DJ who paid for & maintains his equipment; who pays to keep current with songs (well, maybe, he/she might be a ‘scraper’ who illegally uses music or ‘live-streams’); who pays the fuel & maintenance & insurance on his vehicle to cart himself & his equipment to your event & who sweats to ‘setup’ for an hour, work for you for four/five/six hours then spends an hour breaking down & driving home.

Oh, & re: gear? Think they all have the same quality gear, like we do? No way to ascertain & the folks who own those companies have no idea what their DJ’s use. And backup in case of broken gear? Nah…

Yes…and on their site & literature, they make it sound as though ‘they’ have ‘everything’ to do with all the above ‘work’. They do not. They like to use the word ‘we’. There is no ‘we’.

Oh…on Peak’s site & I quote:
“Prior DJ experience may or may not be beneficial and is therefore not required. It’s much easier to train a fresh person in the proper way to DJ an event than it is to re-train those who have developed bad habits.”

Really? That’s funny, as an attendee at weddings all over Vermont (& proms, dances, etc.) I’ve not seen or heard anyone who ‘knows’ what we know, both in pro mixing of songs & ability to keep a floor hot & your guests happy. Good luck ‘training’ a rookie to do what we do. That’s like saying that your caterer or cake maker or any other vendor you use for your event doesn’t need ‘experience’. Duh. By ‘DJ’ an event, they mean to ‘play songs’. A five year old can do that. If you’re not serving McDonald’s at your event, then don’t serve up sub-par entertainment.

And by the way: just show me the ‘rookie’ who can turn around a ‘dead floor’ with no prior experience. Sometimes, the best planned out ‘playlist’ does not work, folks. What then? Training on the job? Nope, not for your special event. It takes a Professional DJ to figure out the next move. ‘Rookie’ vs ‘Pro’. Hmmm…


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