Price Lists for Computer Services (Not Products) to Commercial Customers
August 11, 2006 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Need to find price lists for computer services or tasks. This is proving tough to find via Google. More specifically, I am NOT looking for prices for products, such as software or hardware products, e.g., Windows XP or a Mac computer (for which I can find millions of price lists). Computer services would comprise, for example, help desk, software programming of any kind, network configuring, network administering, database tweaking, etc.

If I can get highly descriptive lists - fine-grained - that's even better. A big facet of this: I need service price lists specifying what a vendor or consultant would charge for these services to *commercial* profit-making customers, and NOT to government or non-profits. Is there a site or resource to check that would show many price lists all in one convenient place, or do I have to go to multiple sites? Where to go?
posted by Kellyu to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
These services are worth whatever someone is willing to pay. Or what someone can talk them into paying. Rates paid are all over the map, depending on experience level, marketing, etc. Help desk is usually the least expensive of the ones you listed ... Some help desk operators make less than $10/hr starting pay. Database and programming would draw a much higher rate, varying widely from perhaps $30 to over $200/hr, with networking a close second. There is no real "going rate" or "street price" that I am aware of.
posted by TreeHugger at 2:51 PM on August 11, 2006

I would think it varies ALOT from area to area.

Here in Gadsden, AL (population of 100k for Metro area) for example, the place I work charges $80/hour for computer tech work including but not limited to network, hardware, software, and printers.

We end up charging people about $40 each for PCs they bring they only need minor work done.
posted by Ateo Fiel at 2:52 PM on August 11, 2006

A good place to start might be the various jobhunting sites. Monster, Dice, etc.

Location also plays heavily into price lists. A particular service in a large city is going to cost more than the same service in a small city.
posted by cCranium at 2:53 PM on August 11, 2006

I seriously doubt that something like this exists. A lot of the services you describe are not "flat-rate" services but variable with time spent, scope of project and expertise. Three variables that are extremely difficult to compare on a pure cost basis. Another difficulty is that the cost of these services is usually set in contractual terms rife with non-disclosures. Seeing that you're looking at this from a commercial perspective, I would be incredibly wary of any contract services who would disclose their service costs in a public forum (base line is a different situation, but hardly indicative of final cost).

Your best bet is to contact multiple sourced vendors in your area(s) and compare those quotes. Again, quoted "prices" for the services you describe will probably be way off what those services would finally cost.
posted by purephase at 2:57 PM on August 11, 2006

Also, it's always worth it to pay more for excellent technical work. Future maintenance costs and bug fixes will be much higher with less-skilled technicians. If necessary, hire someone with vast experience to do your technical interviews. (I'm assuming you're looking for technical workers rather than offering your own services.)
posted by TreeHugger at 3:33 PM on August 11, 2006

What you want, I think, is something like the Chilton and Motor manuals that list projected work times for auto repair tasks.

So far as I know, there is no such list for computer repair tasks -- there's too much variation in what can be wrong with a machine.
posted by baylink at 3:51 PM on August 11, 2006

Response by poster: What I'm looking for is quite like a Chilton's manual, but not to hire someone for my company, but rather for the purpose of doing a study comparing what is charged to commercial firms to the charges for when it's done for the government (for the same service). For example, am looking to see where the price for say, web programmming in Java for a commecial firm costs more, less, or the same as the identical task contracted out to the feds.
posted by Kellyu at 10:41 PM on August 11, 2006

Response by poster: One more observation: there are very specific price lists for a huge array of IT and computer services done for the government. But I have yet to find anything even remotely similar when selling the services to commercial companies.
posted by Kellyu at 10:44 PM on August 11, 2006

I'm afraid you won't be able to find any conclusive results, because there is no set price list for commercial companies. The price for any service will depend on many, many factors, including but not limited to: previous interaction with the client, complexity of the task, skill of the person, ego of the person, what type of computer (I'd charge more to troubeshoot a problem on a Win95 machine vs. XP), what time of day (if they're busy, they might charge more) etc. The best I could suggest is to perhaps call up a good number of local computer repair shops and try to get prices from them, however this in itself might be hard as some shops don't have set prices, again due to the afformentioned factors.
posted by Meagan at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2006

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