There’s a social media group of performers and they’re complaining about gas prices. Here’s the thing, gas prices were higher in the past than they are now. We had higher gas prices in 2008 and from 2011-2014 and that’s without adjusting for inflation, that’s a straight dollar to dollar comparison.
Price comparison source: US Energy Information Assoc
Some people are talking about adding a gas surcharge to their show fee. I think this is a bad idea. Here’s why, it makes buying a pain for the client:
How do you implement it?
If gas prices drop, so you remove the surcharge?
What date do you use for your price threshold?
Instead of having your worth tied to the price of a gallon of gas, you should just raise your rate. I’m assuming you’re worth more than you were last year, or five years ago. Your show has improved, maybe you’ve picked up some national TV credits, or had a video go viral.
If you’re doing the same show they same way you’ve been doing it for a decade, this may be a hard sell to your client and tying your price to the cost of gas might be the only way you can get a pay raise.
Let’s do some math.
For a local gig, let’s say your round trip is 100 miles, your car gets 20 miles per gallon and gas in 2021 is up from 20 cents to just below 70 cents per gallon from 2019. That means you’ll burn 5 gallons of gas at 70 cents a gallon, and it will have cost you $3.50 more in gas to drive 100 miles than it did in 2019.
Are you honestly going to put a line item for $3.50 in gas on your invoice?
If I was booking someone and they wanted me to pay $3.50 for a gas surcharge, I’d laugh in their face. You’re not teenage driver getting their friends to chip in on a trip to the mall.
If your profit margin is soo tight that $3.50 will make you unprofitable, you need to seriously reassess your business!
Be better than you were last year, raise your rate, and use that to justify why you’re worth more.