Placement Fees

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I recently opened my babysitting service-nanny agency, and one of my babysitting client families is contemplating hiring a part time nanny through my agency. DB is in residency, works insane hours, and MB is a graphic designer who currently stays home. They had a nanny who quit without notice, which forced MB to be a SAHM. From what MB said, the nanny quit without explanation via text. This family is incredibly sweet, and I'm sad I can't babysit for them in two weeks.

My search fee is $300, compared to the $450 and $500 that my competitors charge. My part time fee is $600, while my competitors charge $1100-1500. Doing the math, it's obvious I am cheaper, yet I'm not super cheap. I love this family and want to help them, because MB is essentially a single parent with DBs hours. They were my first family signed up with my babysitting service, which is why I'm unsure how to bring up the subject of fees. I don't want to break them, but I don't want to screw myself and I won't place for free. I'm thinking waiving the search fee and 30% off finders fee. I have a candidate in mind for them with terrific experience, and I mentioned this to MB. What would be a fair fee to both and how do I bring this up? MB said she had to talk to DB about budgets, etc. This family gave me a glowing recommendation, and I love the idea of my first placement.


Anonymous said...

Why cheapen yourself? Go by market and maybe 15% less. When you drastically go cheaper you make yourself look unworthy.

That said.. Simple sentance..."great, let's set up a time to go over the contract and work out the details". Done. Don't make it harder than it need s to be or bigger than it is. Be strong and confident. No wishy washy. No one will take you seriously


Dadhere said...


Why wouldn't you charge the going rate or a little less? That big of a price difference would be a red flag to me as a parent. Perceived Value is a real thing. Look into it.

OP said...

Dad here:

Read my post: I have a non refundable fee of $300. My competitors charge $450 and $500 for the same fee. My fInders fee is $500 temporary, $600 part time (under 32 hours) and $900 full time (over 32 hours).

Competitor A charges $500 for a search fee and $1500-2000 or more for a finders fee. She has been around 17 years and has no real experience in the field of early childhood ed; she had only been a nanny for a few years before she opened her agency. Her nannies appear to be rude, obnoxious and conceited. I know this because I interviewed for a position with the family's then nanny, who happened to be placed by my competitor. I know another nanny who knows this particular nanny, and my nanny friend said this nanny was/is very rude to her charges. Other nannies who I have talked to passed on the interview process with this agency, as they felt the owner really doesn't know the nanny industry as well as she thinks she does, and the owner isn't very friendly,

Competitor B charges $450 for a search fee and $1100-1400 for a finders fee. I don't know her personally, but through the grapevine I heard she is a flake and a bit of an airhead. I had a friend with a degree, exceptional experience, great references and a clean background check apply with this agency, and they blew her off, like they didn't know who she was. Nannies I have talked to have said this owner is also rude and not very friendly. This owner has some experience in ECE, but not a lot.

So because I charge less that's a red flag? Care to explain why you feel that way? How is it a red flag? Personally you sound ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Yet it is a red flag.

By your own words, one doesn't have experience in child ed and has poor nanny selection....yet you degrade yourself by at minimum 35%/45%. The other is a flake and you still degrade yourself. I'm assuming you think you will be better this and yet you still devalue yourself.

By doing so, you will get a different crowd of clientele (as a business, often a less desirable crowd) and set yourself up for price haggling.

Put value in yourself if you feel you will be better at this than the other two. Don't settle and don't appear to be "hungry". This is a turn off to the right clientele.


OP said...


So what your saying is lower fees and more experience is going to bring few families? I figured lower fees would attract more families.

Dadhere said...

I read your post and agree with Angie. If I saw a X for 20 and an Y for 50, I'd tend to assume that the Y is of better quality. Undercutting hurts you more. Place families for almost the going rate. Not for the steep discount you're offering. I- were I seeking a nanny- would walk in with preconceived notions. Hearing that you're so much lower would persuade me you don't think you're as good as your competitor.

Jess said...

IMO more experience brings in more families. Not lower prices. These are nanny seeking people not people shopping for gum.

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily fewer but a different breed of clientele. Often the bargainers, stiffers and those struggling to pay all these fees. You would spend more time and money trying to collect your fees and keeping clientele


Former Nanny said...

I agree with the previous posters. When shopping for anything (especially a service) of course I am interested in not overspending but I value quality. I'm guessing you want to attract families that are interested in high quality care for their children, not bargain hunters/cheapskates.

Lets say I need a room painted and have three painters come give estimates; Painter A quotes $500, Painter B quotes $450, and Painter C quotes $300. Obviously I'd be initially attracted by the lower cost but then I'd be worried that C is going to cut corners, thin down the paint with water, not use primer, etc. Then if it turns out C is new to the game and has very few reviews/referrals, I'd be really skeptical. I think you should set your prices closer to the low side of average for the going rate in your area but have a very good "satisfaction guaranteed" policy so that clients are willing to take a risk with your new, unproven service.