Over charging, Undercharging, Equipment Costs
A DJ telling you he has to charge extra to rent equipment, is asking you to cover his expenses that he, as a DJ, should incurred. It’s similar to buying a car, and being told you need to pay extra for the engine, tires, accelerator, brake, and so forth. You buy a car, expecting the full car, not the parts. You may as well go out, rent the equipment yourself, since it’s the same cost as the DJ, and popped in a CD. Most DJ’s do not get discounts for renting equipment; they pay the same costs you do.
As well, a DJ telling you he has to rent equipment should be the first clue that he may not be a professional DJ, and should be your first red flag and something’s wrong. If they have to rent the equipment, then they may not be familiar with it. Think about renting a car; once you get it, you have to figure some things out.
– Which side is the gas tank?
– How do you turn on the wipers?
– Which button changes the stereo
– Where’s the cruise control
– How do you turn on the dome lights
Now, imagine your DJ trying to figure these things out, during your first dance, and getting it wrong. Is that the memory you want for your first dance?
The typical equipment a DJ should always provide are:
- 2 Turntables or CD Mixer
- 1 Mixer
- 2 Speakers
- 2 Microphones, corded or wireless
Now, going back to the car, if you buy a car, and would like to receive extra services, then that is understandable. You may want sunroof, All Wheel Drive, tow package, leather, navigation, and so forth. Similarly, extras may need to be rented by DJ’s for your services, but they should not be the basic equipment listed above, and don’t be afraid to ask the DJ if he’s familiar and comfortable using the equipment.
During our experience in the music and DJ business, one thing stood out clearly: it’s every man for themselves. The integrity of the business has been watered down by countless DJ’s who do not know the art of the business, and are strictly out to make money, at the expense of the event planners like yourself, cause face it, your wedding is an event you are planning.
We have seen DJ’s who overcharge on events because they know they can get away with it. These usually happen at corporate and private/wedding events, where they know the costs can be easily covered, or the planners are inexperienced. The problem with overcharging, aside from a lack of integrity, is the event planner is usually dissatisfied with the services, expecting something more than what is offered; they get left underwhelmed. You pay for a Mercedes, and end up driving a Kia, not that there’s anything wrong with Kia’s.
Conversely, we’ve seen DJ’s undercharge because they want the money and the business. The issues with undercharging is the DJ that shows up is usually inexperienced, or playing to get the night over with, as they didn’t want to be there in the first place. These DJ’s usually feel they were ripped off by what they are getting paid, and take their heart and soul our of the performance, leaving you with a subpar performance. This also happens when you over-negotiate with a DJ; you may feel you got a great deal, they may feel they got ripped off, and there the service may suffer.
We go by the motto of “you get what you pay for”. You can’t buy something at the dollar store, and expect it to perform the same as one from a department store; you get what you pay for.
Spend the time talking to your DJ, and make sure you’re comfortable with the service. Also, ensure you’re putting in the right amount for it, because face it, if this is your first wedding, it should be memorable for all the right reasons, not all the wrong ones.