[BNM] noagenciesplease

Matt Zandstra bnmlist@brightonnewmedia.org
Fri Feb 22 15:45:00 2002

Mate of mine is looking for design contracts without much luck. He tried a
lot of the postings at noagenciesplease.com. For one posting:

> Company working in garden maintenance needs a small website - 5-8
> pages. Usual stuff and no back-end or e-commerce. Maybe a flash
> intro but quote separately.
> Send me urls, quote and timescale.

he got the response below, which confirms some suspicions:

>Dear Designer
>Thanks for replying, but there isn't a job. Sorry. I didn't do this to
>waste your time though.
>I'm a freelance web designer, and I've been replying to these postings
>for about 3 months now... and I haven't ever heard back from a single
>one of them. Zilch. So I just want to know if I am too expensive, my
>urls are crap or what? So I posted a bogus job. Sorry to waste your
>time, but I just needed to know the lie of the land.
>And it's bad.
>88 replies and that's just within 3 hours. It was up to 130 by the time
>I went home. 250 and rising 24 hours later. I've now given up counting.
>(Seriously, if you don't believe me I can pdf you a screen grab of my
>email inbox)
>However I believe we are all in a community of web people, even if we're
>bidding against each other, so as a rare act of altrusim, I'm sharing
>the results of my research with you. It may not be much of a big deal -
>you could have done this yourself (I wonder how many replies I made were
>to bogus postings) - but I have got a couple of hours to waste, so have
>this research on me, free, gratis, cheers mate.
>I posted the garden maintenance job at midday on 20/2/02. (Oddly enough
>I'm supposed to be working on a real garden one quite soon if the client
>will get on and commit.) I checked at 12.30 and it was already live.
>Blimey. The internet eh?
>I had 40 replies in the first hour. Only two were spam, and two others
>didn't want the design but wanted the hosting (huh? - how much profit is
>there in arranging hosting?).
>Attached is a pdf with a breakdown of the prices the first 40 of you all
>quoted. I gave up and didn't bother recording details of the next 200,
>but they followed the same spread. In the pdf is a quick breakdown of
>your price, how long you said you'd take, how many lines in your email
>(roughly)  and the number of URLs you supplied. I'm making no judgement
>about your actual work but I looked at every single URL and some were
>brilliant and some were really bad (so I felt a bit better because mine
>are also good and bad, rather proportionately to the amount of money the
>client had). I was surprised at the number of people who directed me
>solely to their home site, and expected me to navigate around it looking
>for their urls and their prices - some were OK but the majority of
>people's sites just took too long (some didn't work!!!) - when you've
>got 1500 URLs to go through you just give up and move on.
>40 out of the 250 replies were from outside the UK. Mainly from India,
>quite a few from the USA (quoting on dollars) and a fair spread from
>Russia and Australia - my god they must be desperate -  I thought the
>rules were UK only or have I got that wrong?
>A few comments but you can really figure it out for yourself.
>25,  50, 75 quid and FREE!!!! for an entire website? Do me a favour. My
>children have got to eat. Pay peanuts and all that.
>And they're all calling themselves web designers. A few were honest
>enough to admit they were students and graduates looking for any work
>just to get started.
>About 25% went for a price per page option. Personally I don't, and I
>don't think it works like that, but it's surprising how many times it
>worked out at the same price as an average single fee. A few went for a
>price per hour but come on, it's always then a debate about how many
>This is just about reading between the lines. I'm a designer - I went to
>art school and studied stuff. I design websites. It seems to me that a
>lot of people who replied have done a course, know html and dreamweaver
>and sql or asp and can use a computer and oh, by the way, they can put
>pictures in a website and steal a background and plug it all in. Duh.
>A lot of replies talked about how they'd love to work with me, and felt
>they were perfectly suited to garden maintenance yadda yadda yadda. I
>suppose we all try to stand out from the crowd. Being on the receiving
>end is quite instructive. I started out reading the entire email, but
>after 50 replies my eyes jumped straight to the price. A lot of people
>just didn't read the posting properly and didn't but basic price or
>timescale, but they did say that it depends on the length of the piece
>of string, and I thought that was fair enough. About half put a price
>range rather than a single figure - that's what I do as well. Some
>people suggested that a Flash intro is too offfputting and we've all
>figured around that at some point I think - amazing how many people just
>ignored the request for a separate flash quote. Three or four people
>quoted over 1500. Is any private freelancer really getting that for a 6
>page basic site these days?
>In case you can't be bothered to go through the pdf below, we're
>averaging 400 for a 5-8 page site, designed and programmed. Fair
>enough. Quite how the clients pick one or two from 250 replies I don't
>know, but obviously some will be going for the cheaper options and some
>will be going by the URLs and lots don't seem to pick me. If you're a
>pottery shop in Chelmsford I just can't see you buying a site design
>from someone in Calcutta but who knows.
>Just for your information, I too would do the job for about 500-800,
>but I also charge 200 a day when I can get it for high-end design work.
>I can't do asp or e-commerce but I know a man who can. Simple flash I
>can do in a couple of hours, but something clever on the front of a site
>takes me at least 3 days ie 600 quid - I haven't even opened the action
>scripting manual because I'm scared. Ah me, why didn't I take this up in
>1992 when you could get 10 grand for a couple of flat pages using your
>trusty Mac IICI or Compaq 386.
>Thanks for your time people and I hope this has been useful to you. Good
>luck and let me know what you think, and if anyone has actually got a
>real job paying real cash through no agencies please. I would like to
>believe my hours of replying have been worth it.