We often get calls from brides and grooms, and the first thing they ask is price. They assume that hiring a DJ is a matter of getting the ‘cheapest’ one because, after all, they’re all ‘the same’, right? While I’ll save the ‘all the same’ for another post at another time… let’s talk about pricing and DJ’s and what you get at the most basic of levels.
DJ’s all bring a PA system, music, and run the PA system. Let’s make that the lowest common denominator for the purposes of our discussion and take a look at the prices they charge vs. what’s needed on this most basic of levels.
A PA system is a must for a DJ if they want to be heard. It requires a fairly basic set up but enough wattage for the number of people you expect. And while a DJ can provide this – you can also rent a PA system from many of the venues in the area when you book your reception. One local venue even provides a sound technician to run the system with it. All for the low, low price of $550. Oh, plus that 22% convenience surcharge, plus a 9% sales tax. That’s $731.39 for a PA system. Oh, did I mention that if you want that on the beach the price goes up a minimum of $50 (+22%+9% or $797.88!).
Now I wonder, why would a DJ provide a sound system for less than the cost of a rental? Plus bring their own music library? Plus perform for 4 hours or more. Plus put in some amount of time on sales, marketing, and planning their performance (we can hope) at your wedding. ALL FOR LESS THAN WHAT IT COST TO RENT THE EQUIPMENT?
If you went to the mechanic and he said, ‘You know what? The parts for this repair will cost you $1000 but I’ll fix your car for $500 ‘ you’d wonder what was up wouldn’t you? You might be concerned where he’s going to cut corners or if he’s going to do a good job. After all, how can someone do the job for less than what it cost buy the parts?
But time after time DJ’s offer to bring a PA rental system worth at least $731, a music library, quite a bit more, and then offer to do it for….. LESS! It seems the more they bring, the less they charge!
I was having a problem with a microphone during testing before a wedding so I rented 2 lavaliere microphones for a wedding ceremony while I had mine repaired. The cost of the rental? $130. That was without the PA, music, or me. That means that 2 microphones and a PA on the beach would costs nearly $930 – without music, coordination, or anything else.
Think about it, if a DJ was performing for FREE – the cost to rent the equipment would be $731. What you get between what they charge and what the equipment cost to rent is what they bring to the table in terms of TALENT, EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, and their ability to DELIVER.
And we hear all the time about how DJ’s ‘own’ the equipment and can charge less, etc. But what happens if their equipment is stolen the night before an event and they have to rent? Are they willing to loose money to ‘make it happen’?
While it’s not always so easy to see, when someone offers to perform for less than the cost of the equipment rental alone, shouldn’t you ask if you should consider someone for your once in a lifetime event if they put a NEGATIVE value on their services to the point that they’re willing to help pay for an equipment rental just to perform at your wedding?
First Day Entertainment is a wedding entertainment company providing a DJ and Master of Ceremonies for weddings throughout Pensacola, Mobile, Destin, and the Emerald Coast. They specialize in creative entertainment for discerning couples – coupling cultural, religious, and personal taste into your wedding entertainment.