Establish A ‘F*ck Off’ Price If You’re Self-Employed

Establish A ‘F*ck Off’ Price If You’re Self-Employed

Freelancers and other self-employed individuals: Do you have a “f*ck off price”? Without one, you might succumb to taking on jobs that pay much less than you’re worth.

Money picture from Shutterstock

Undercover Recruiter explains the “f*ck off price” principle. Although it’s aimed at recruiters, it’s advice any self-employed person should hear:

Most recruiters, regardless of age, experience or background, are familiar with the ‘f*ck off price’ concept. It’s that moment, whether muttered under your breath, lip-synced in horror, or shouted out the office window, when you forcefully reject your client’s suggested fee. Generally it’s not the done thing to shout it down the phone, but I suspect some recruiters have resorted to that in the past. Tut tut.

In short, it’s that moment when the haggling over fees comes to an end. It’s the point at which you declare ‘enough is enough’ and stand firm on your price. It’s the lowest fee you’ll work for without suffering a heart attack in the process. That’s your ‘f*ck off price’. And it’s incredibly important to stick by it, no matter what.

Because most freelancers worry a lot about a steady stream of work, sometimes it can be hard to stick to your established rate. You end up working for cheap (when free is a better option) and resenting it.

If you’re not a fan of expletives, just call it your “no thank you” price — the lowest you’ll accept, no matter what.

Why Your F*ck Off Price is Crucial in Recruitment [Undercover Recruiter]


  • Not what I was expecting, but good nonetheless. My f*ck off price works the other way around. It’s a special highball figure designed to “price yourself out” of the job. It’s reserved for people who you feel are going to be a hassle to work with and are likely to cause you psychic trauma, or maybe seem unlikely to pay (on time or at all). The formula is: take the usual rate you’d be happy to receive for the job, multiply it by any number you deem appropriate between 2 and 5 then tell them that’s what the job is worth. Mostly likely they’ll go elsewhere. Possibly they’ll pay. If they pay at least you know it will be worth it.

    • Pyschic trauma? What sort of mutants do you interact with? Haha. Nice rule though with the multiply between 2 and 5. Ive heard of workshops that have a dickhead button on their register which automatically adds a pre determined percentage to a final invoice if the customer is a pain in the ass.

      • Where I work currently we have a “negative discount” that’s applied to particular clients who are difficult or are known to be late payers.

        @Skinja : Standard mutants.

        • I have that for afterhours/weekend work – Is it really worth $350 per hr for me to come in and fix your printer? If so I’m happy to do it, if not, see you Monday for $120 p/h.

    • we have something like that for where i work, except for we use it for clients that want things to work on Internet Explorer.

      • Wouldn’t you want it to work on ie anyway? Just for completeness sake?

        On the other hand replicating certain functions on ie often means writing handfuls of fallbacks all over the place, so I do feel your pain.

    • Your response is more like what I was expecting from the article. A price so high that a customer would walk away.

      • Yeah, that’s why I mentioned it, although the article makes a good point. Working for a menial amount is really not worth it.

    • Cosign – that’s my definition of a F*ck Off Price. Similar to the “Dickhead Tax,” which is adding a percentage to the final total for special pain in the ass clients.

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