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Thread: Rates and Market Forces!

  1. #1

    Question Rates and Market Forces!

    The classic argument about rates has been a topic of much debate on the boards of late. Kind of gets one to thinking: By now we should have learned one lesson from it all: The more you hammer the SP's and agencies that they owe it to all, to lower rates, the more SP's and Agencies will dig in their collective heels. You'd think everybody'd catch on by now.

    The old axiom still applies: You will always get better results using the carrot rather than the stick. There are already a couple of agencies offering specials to members of the boards. Patronize them! You want better SP's? Tip them well and praise their efforts. Not just with reviews but where it counts – in the pocketbook. Institute little promos on the board. The MODS will frown on slandering an agency (and rightly so) but I am sure that initiatives to boost the “gems” both SP's and agencies just might be well received and reap benefits. Why not approach the MODS with requests for stickies like:

    “Merbites SP of the week” Rig it with a regenerating poll and members might be a little more generous with tips, for example.

    “Merbites Best Value (Special, promo, etc.) Of The Week” and encourage members to support that agency.

    Allow agencies and Indies to advertise these endorsements on their websites as a “seal of approval”. Just two easy to institute examples of the types of promos possible. Will they work? Is it not human nature to just say, “Screw it! Nothing will change!” or “Let the others do it! And I'll reap the benefits!” Yeah I believe there is a business doctrine rooted in the “Guide to Office Politics” floating around espousing that concept. But look where that kind of self-serving thinking has got us. But, by way of example, consider that those who patronize public television support it with real cash. And is it not becoming something of an initiative on the restaurant circuit to have customers pay what they think is fair. People will rise to the occasion. Might be worth a shot!

    I just threw out a couple of ideas off the top of my head and I would bet that others here could even come up with better. But one thing for sure, letting the discussion devolve into a verbal tiff between the members, guys and SP's, might be entertaining but that's all it is.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  2. #2
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    Is it just me or these threads asking for lower rates are getting boring, if not plain annoying? It always turn into the same story over and over...

    Of course, agencies/indies will dig-in theirs heels on their positions, that's their absolute rights and they'd be stupid not to! Whoever want to charge whatever they want can do it. Those who don't want to pay whatever rate they think is too high just have to see somebody else and that's it! THAT's also part of market laws.

    Are you seriously going to see Ferrari and tell them their cars shouldn't sell for more than a Hyunday? All you can say is, in your opinion, a Ferrari is too expensive for what it does and simply don't buy a Ferrari but, Ferrari have no reason whatsoever to lower their price for you for a simple reason: even if it's too expensive for you, some peoples still buy Ferraris. If all you need is a set of wheels and an engine who take you from point A to point B, saying the Ferrari is too expensive, you'd be totally right! But some peoples see it differently.

    If some indies/agencies ask too much, they'll get less customers, that's a given but, that's exactly what some want: control the amount of calls they do in a week to a level they feel comfortable with.

    Some are plain greedy and simply don't see the "big picture" so, they ask as much as they think they can get away with, without thinking about tomorrow. So what? Who are we to dare telling them what they are worth? If they ask too much, they won't get enough customers. Again, that's true! Yes, there's a sucker born every minute so, plenty of peoples who will pay too much without knowing but, that's the way it is and that's why boards like here exist. We do reviews and then peoples can decide if the asked price is ok for them or not but, whe have absolutely no say on how much the agency or lady is asking. All we can say is, in our opinion, it's worth it or not. If the asked price is really too high, the provider will have no choice than do something about it. If they don't and stay afloat, maybe it's because the problem isn't with the provider but it's imagined by customers who can't afford the asked price?

    Studies have demonstrated that, for quality providers of any type of service or products, lowering prices isn't always the best course of action. That's why we see Frequent Flyers programs, hotel points, rebates for certain occasions like birthdays... If I'd be an SP or agency owner, I'd be betting on this. In the escort industry, the drawback is, to track these things, some records must be kept and, with the current laws about living of the avails of prostitution, agency owners certainly don't want too much records hanging around... Plus, if you want your customers to be loyal and you give them extras in order for them to stay loyal, it also forces you to provide quality service: no point for a customer to collect "points" to get a shitty product! Some SP/Agencies are allergic to good service so, this wouldn't work...
    Last edited by metoo4; 03-26-2009 at 10:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Yet another rate thread. One can argue about how SPs or the industry are being affected by the economic downturn, but the only thing certain is how it affects the number of rate discussion threads on MERB!!! I am certain if the ladies or the agencies are starving they will make adjustments!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by metoo4
    Is it just me or these threads asking for lower rates are getting boring, if not plain annoying? It always turn into the same story over and over...

    Studies have demonstrated that, for quality providers of any type of service or products, lowering prices isn't always the best course of action. That's why we see Frequent Flyers programs, hotel points, rebates for certain occasions like birthdays...........Plus, if you want your customers to be loyal and you give them extras in order for them to stay loyal, it also forces you to provide quality service: no point for a customer to collect "points" to get a shitty product! Some SP/Agencies are allergic to good service so, this wouldn't work...
    Agree the subject of rates is just plain boring. It's been done. That being said, if you observe this marketplace it's somewhat of a microcosm of some of the principles businesses are employing during this recession. Without naming names:

    1) You have one good solid operational player who for a long period of time has employed a consistent advertising & marketing program. In addition, they've discovered a very good niche to harvest additional income.

    2) Another once great agency is seeking to go back to the basics of the formula that brought them great success. In the recent past they ventured off into areas that seemed "easy or better money" only to realize such opportunities can dry up quickly. So there back to the old success formula, boosting their product and customer service. They're even trying a few new offerings at different price points to see if such a sliding scale will work.

    3) Then there's the mass marketer who puts a lot of product out there, running many of the same under different "brand names", sometimes trading stock between the brand names to determine the best formula. They've got a lot of advertising and marketing efforts going. They're seeking to develop loyal clientele with private sales, contests and programs

    4) You've got another offering a kind of "all you can eat buffet" as a fairly low price, sometimes offering "blue light" specials for weaker products.

    5) Then you've got the copycats. The other agencies that see what the others are doing and think to themselves, "I can advertise like that and get customers". So they make weak stabs at immitating, not understanding that simply advertising is not the same thing as a good marketing plan or good salesmanship.

    Just a few observations.

  5. #5
    I will only see girls "on special" or that have a rate below the current standard of $180 CDN

    If you feel strongly about pricing then you should follow suit

    The more of "us" there are, the more likely the rules of supply & demand will naturally lower the standard rate back down to $150 CDN

  6. #6
    I disagree they set their rates on what they think will maximize profits at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with discussions or arguments about pricing on the boards.
    I don`t really see where the disagreement is. I think you have just made my point. What you have described is the principle behind market forces, namely what will maximize profits at the end of the day. Also the second point that arguing and discussing on the board will get you nowhere. Yet many who complain about rates do that exact very same thing. And it gets 0 results.

    Now there is no question that agencies are employing many of the same tactics used in the retail sector, namely, membership clubs, daily specials, twofers etc. It is perfectly reasonable to suppose that the economic downturn we are experiencing is contributing to this relatively recent wave of innovation in SP marketing.

    My comments are directed to those who have fomented the concept that pricing like everywhere else in the retail sector should reflect the present economic climate. My point is simple.: First, yes there is room for improvement in terms of quality of the encounters and second, in the normal course of events as we are seeing in all other areas of the retail sector, price does normally reflect the present economic climate. Now you can express frustration at what you feel is a “going against the grain”, rant and rave
    about it, in other words be reactive or you can be proactive with some very simple strategies.


    As far as tipping goes if you want to tip go right ahead to each their own. I don`t feel a need to tip sp`s who make a $100 to $300 per hour depending on wether they work for an agency or they are an indie. It does not get you better service period. What gets you great service is being showered, polite and friendly, being sober and having a good attitude.
    So if I get your drift, then you feel that no input from the membership in any capacity can work towards influencing the level of service you will get. And to that all I have to say is pick the SP on the board with one of the worst track records, service wise, book an appointment, be showered shaved and polite and see where that gets you. But from what I have seen as a result of the review process, you had better hurry because agency owners don`t tend to keep them around too long, as a rule. Showering shaving and politeness are all good but don`t discount the influence of the membership, as a group, here. And if you do not wish to tip, fine, but I suspect that you may be in the minority. Question is why do many others do it? An interesting comment from Malika on that subject:
    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showpost.p...postcount=4972
    Last edited by Regular Guy; 03-27-2009 at 03:52 AM.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  7. #7
    Is it just me or these threads asking for lower rates are getting boring, if not plain annoying? It always turn into the same story over and over...
    Again I say that you have just made my point. The discussions of late have been a perfect picture of members spinning their tires when what may be needed is an innovative, creative, proactive approach. That's all I am offering here. And if memory serves me correctly, up to now most discussion on the topic has been negative and reactive as opposed to positive and proactive.

    Now if you are lumping a positive approach in with all the negativism we have been seeing to date then I hope this clarifies it. However just on the off chance that you find any discussion of this topic to be, as you put it, “boring” that is the reason that I only reproduced that part of your comments above. For you I guess that says it all.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff jones
    No imput from members is just fine i wasn't one of the ones who complained about you starting this thread, i just expressed an opinion on tipping and pricing, i am sorry if that offended you Now let me ask you why would anyone pick the worst sp on the board. If you do tipping, or being showered is not going to make much difference. Now for those who tip i take it they do it at the end of the date so how does that help your mileage. If you tip at the start of the date you would have to be a little stupid. I have read the boards for years and have been a john for over 20 years so i know what i am talking about. i don't tip and i have yet to come out on the short end of ymmv, wether it is a first date or a repeat date. Tipping is optional but not necessary, i am not knocking those who choose to tip but i don't, never have, never will and i get great mileage. Now try not showering for a week, be rude and an absolute prick and an asshole flip her an extra $20 and see how far it gets you. I'll take my chances my way it seems to work just fine
    Actually I wasn't referring to those who were “complaining” about starting this thread. I believe that either they didn't truly understand the thrust of my argument (different from the usual bitching and complaining on rates) or they just like to rag my ass for reasons of their own. Actually when I used the term “input” I was referring to any actions that could be taken on the boards by the membership as a whole, the “proactive” component. Don't worry about offending me. My skin is a little thicker than that.

    As to tipping, I was pretty much going with the flow. It does seem, for many members to be an integral component of their experience. To be quite honest, in some ways I can see your point. The SP is bound by the review she is liable to get and on top of it she may never see the member again. I can only speak for myself. The other members will have to provide their own rationales. I suppose that the only positive side to it might be: to maintain and promote good relations within the community, the possibility of clicking so well as to become a regular, or simply because it has come to be expected at all levels of the service industries. I trust you read Malika's post for a typical reaction when tipping is called to question. Whether these arguments are comprehensive enough, well, you will have to judge that for yourself. And yes, I do believe that bringing a true BFE to all encounters is a must, not an option. Those who show up reeking like a barnyard are the first to complain about the level of service. They are pathetic. Perhaps other members will comment on their own reasons for tipping. In any event I do appreciate your comments on the subject.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  9. #9
    I have to agree with Jeff Jones. Tipping mentioned by Malika is definitely self serving. But consider this when we book an escort or take dances the price we pay includes the service so I see no reason to tip. I seriously doubt tipping is gonna improve service to any extent it may after several repeats. As for a waitress when we buy a drink we are only paying for the drink and it does not include the service keep in mind they get paid minimum hourly pay plus tips. Those dancers that ask for me for tips I always ask them why I would tip them and never repeat with them. Those that want to tip by all means do so but there is really no reason to tip them since the price includes the service.
    There is no knowledge that is not power.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff jones
    Malika's post makes no difference to me, with all due respect to Malika it is self serving. She used to be an escort and is currently a dancer so you want to believe that she wants you to believe everybody tips and that it is necessary. Does she tip her accountant, her mechanic, her doctor, her plumber and i could go on and on and on, somehow i don't think she does and they all provide services. Tipping for good service in a restaurant is the expected norm(a lot of them make minimum wage plus tips) but dancers or escorts who ask for a tip or even hint about a tip they never dance for me again if they are a dancer and i never repeat with them if they are an escort

    I couldn't agree more, I never and will never tip an SP. Why? Because I just gave them a lot of money already. Why would I give them more? They are paid to be nice and to pretend like they are enjoying themselves. Is it easy? Of course not, that's why they get paid what they get paid. Should they make more? The escorting business is probably the best example of market forces. There are all kinds of rates out there. People will pay what they feel is a reasonable amount and SP's will charge what they feel they can get for the service they offer. The market will decide. If an SP charges a certain rate while offering a certain type of service and if such a service at that particular rate is deemed unreasonable by the market, she will have a harder time making a profit. If an SP or dancer feels she is being exploited, she can always go do something else. That is also part of the market.

    As for review boards, they do have a certain influence, just like for other businesses. If a restaurant is reviewed poorly I'm certain the owner will not be happy about it and it will certainly have an affect on his business. The way he responds to reviews is his choice, he can ignore it and see what happens, but he will lose a certain type of clientele. The type that reads restaurant reviews of course. It is the same for SP's. If they get bad reviews they can choose to ignore them, again they risk losing a certain type of clientele: us.

    My point is this: it's all about choice, we choose to pay for sex, SP's choose to sell their bodies. How much that choice costs is up to the market and we are the market.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff jones
    Malika's post makes no difference to me, with all due respect to Malika it is self serving. She used to be an escort and is currently a dancer so you want to believe that she wants you to believe everybody tips and that it is necessary. Does she tip her accountant, her mechanic, her doctor, her plumber and i could go on and on and on, somehow i don't think she does and they all provide services. Tipping for good service in a restaurant is the expected norm(a lot of them make minimum wage plus tips) but dancers or escorts who ask for a tip or even hint about a tip they never dance for me again if they are a dancer and i never repeat with them if they are an escort
    Okay before this blossoms any further, let's make it clear that I was not hanging my hat on what Malika did or didn't say. It is a fact that tipping is a widespread activity where SP's are concerned. That fact appears in post after post. Whether you agree with it or not will not change the fact.

    I disagree they set their rates on what they think will maximize profits at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with discussions or arguments about pricing on the boards.
    Now it is true of course that agencies will set their rates based on maximizing profits. I don't agree that the boards have no influence on that fact. Case in point is the recent thread by Lisa concerning pricing for Dangerous Liaisons. In this thread she asked for input from the members and acted on it. And I don't think it would be too much of a stretch that some initiatives taken by other agencies were driven by the need to remain competitive.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

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