Actually Steve, call me crazy but I think you have a reasonable idea: However it needs to be *much more anonymous* than posting here.
Yes, we all need to be *extremely careful* in terms of NDA's and keeping our client's info confidential. I feel pretty well cloaked here, which is part of the reason I've felt free to be so honest with people on other threads. Still, there is a line not to cross for my clients.
As for me, bah, there's a 100 ways for you to find out my rates, and we don't seek out clients who respond to companies that underbid, anyway: six years and I've never lost a job to someone that underbid. It's self-selecting that way between us and our clients.
But I've got a better way to do it:
If you put something on *your OWN site*, on a hidden page -
You could post up 1 or 2 or 3 "sample jobs" like they do at the B2Bonline site - and ask people to anonymously "bid" on those projects? Perhaps based roughly on past projects?
Ex. Job -> developing 30 page custom site w/ database-backend for adding new content by staff. Training staff + monthly maintenance:
Your total bid:
(Of course the bid should be more detailed than that - or a range or estimate could be added.)
Either way - as always, Brett's 100% right , it just doesn't work for *this* board but it could be useful elsewhere... if B2Bonline does it, why shouldn't we?
It would be quite an improvement on calling up other developers, putting on a fake voice and asking what they'd charge for X project, wouldn't it? :)
I know people could lie and spoof it - well, kind of pointless if everyone isn't honest.
One last thought - if you do it, it shouldn't be a poll with an "average" of the totals but instead of an anonymous message board kind of thing.