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Re: FEE Ethics 101

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Stan Johnson wrote:
> I could not decide whether to post this under FEE
> survey or ethics 101.
> I have been wondering about something, and someone
> in our office also brought it up.  Here we sit,
> talking about what each other would charge for a
> job.  Does this, at some point, constitute price
> fixing, or at least make it look that way?  I
> mean, suppose we hear What'isname Engineer say he
> charges $500 for a retaining wall design.  Some of
> us say to ourselves, "Well shoot, I've been too
> low on my fees", and we start asking for more from
> clients.  Are we just adjusting ourselves to fit
> the market climate, or are we price fixing?


I disagree with you, Price Fixing, as I understand it means a group of
people discuss and agree among themselve to set up a certain price and
charge or bid on a job.  Let me put it this way, before you sell your
house, wouldn't you ask your friend or broker for the market price or
you can also post it on certain real estate on-line services, then you
can decide by yourself how much you are willing to sell your house.

I am essentially doing the same thing here, since I don't do this
particular kind of project that often and are not sure about the market
price. So I decide to ask the SEAOC community for certain guideline such
that I won't overcharge one of my best clients.  One day you will
understand when you are on your own, it is a tough job to write proposal
such that you don't undercharge or overcharge the client and still keep
the company going, keeping your employee busy and your client happy.
I don't think there is anything wrong to find out the market price of a
certain service before I make a decision to propose my service.  Again,
I will be the only one bidding on the job, there is really no price
agreement among anybody.

Tom Chiu, SE
Thomas Engineering
Walnut, CA