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retainers

what is a retainer

     
3:22 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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pardon the ignorance here,

i have a client, wants to put me on a retianer.

could someone get me up to speed on what a retainer is, what they mean to us webmasters, and what to look out for?

thanks!

3:25 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For me a retainer, is when they pay a monthly/weekly/quaterly (etc) charge, for you to continue to give them a service.
3:38 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i take it you have to make these non-refundable.... say they don't use $xxx worth of service
3:42 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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IMO, non-refundable and the hours they've paid for in advance must be used within a reasonable period of time.
3:50 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yeah... like 30 days :)
3:57 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't think you can generalize that much.

In my case being on retainer is usually a matter of clients paying a discounted fee for a set number of hours of my time. So the amount of days/months varies according to the client's needs. Just be careful not to oversell your time or extend the time frame out too long.

4:00 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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One advantage of being on retainer is that the bookkeeping/billing can be simpler for both you and your client.

Give thought to how you'll handle fluctuations in the workload. Some months you'll feel overpaid, other months you'll feel underpaid, but as long as things average out satisfactorily over time that's okay. You might want to have something in your contract that allows for extra fees in unusually busy times.

8:48 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have a client who "retains" me. It simply means that I will ensure certain basic functions for the site occur and I am available if something needs attention - all for a fixed flat monthly fee. Some months, he needs nothing at all. Some, more. But the work to be performed is limited to a specific list of services and it is very clearly spelled out what is and is not included. It works out well for both of us, he keeps his costs fixed and I have no bookkeeping to do. As buckworks said, things need to average out satisfactorily over time.
8:55 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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> am available if something needs attention - all for a fixed flat monthly fee.

My retainer is more of an insurance policy. I'm there as a "fixer" in emergencies or when the instruction manual (euphemistically speaking) doesn't cover the situation at hand. It means their email goes to the top, phone calls are answered, etc.

10:45 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Retainers in my business are also intended to stop you working for the competition. They reserve you to themselves for future specified eventualities for a set period of time.
Basically its usually money upfront for a set of contractually agreed services and those services may vary from deal to deal.
 

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