Multi-Subject/Level Pricing Thoughts

Good morning everyone!

Natalie, one of the Product Managers at Tutorful, here! Hope you’re all having a lovely week so far!

Recently we’ve been considering how we can support tutors and the way they tutor in more granular detail, and one of the ideas that’s been raised is something we’re calling “multi-subject/level pricing”. To give a bit more context:

  • As a tutor, you are likely tutoring in more than one subject and/or level (for example, if you’re an English tutor, you may tutor at a GCSE/A-Level/Degree level, and you may also tutor in a language like Spanish or French)
  • In order to support you with various needs from parents and students, we would give you the option to set more granular pricing for subjects/levels in which you tutor (for example, you may choose to offer tutoring at a Degree level in English at £40 because it requires more preparation to teach a lesson of that level, and you may offer Spanish at £30 because it’s not your main subject in which you tutor, but you enjoy it)

A couple of questions off the back of those points:

  • Is that a feature you think you would use?
  • Which aspects of the proposed pricing options would you use?
  • Do you think this is something in which your students/parents would be interested?
  • Do you think it would help you gain more business?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback, it is always greatly appreciated, and we use it to guide how we progress with features!

Kind regards,
Natalie

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I am definitely interested in this option. I offer tuition for a variety of subjects, and there is a very big difference in the amount of preparation required for them. For example, preparing a Key Stage 2 Maths or English lesson requires considerably less time and effort than an A-level or Degree level Philosophy lesson.

In addition, some students request homework while others don’t. Some students have very little homework while other (or rather their parents) request an extensive amount that I have to mark before each lesson. It would be nice to add an option for including extensive homework or little/none.

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Hey Lewis!

Wow, thank you so much for the feedback, this is great. I love the idea of the “extra preparation” or “has homework needs” as part of it, I’ll take that feedback back to the team.

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond, we’ll keep you all in the loop on our progress!

:slight_smile: Natalie

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I have thought about this too.

I tutor many subjects from primary to adult and at the moment have one price for all.

I would like to be able to charge more for gcse and 11+ as these take the most time for me to prep and a lot of marking is involved.

Trouble is the market on here requires me to keep my price low.

If there was a way of separating the tutors doing specific subjects and levels that would level out the market a bit.

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I think that would be a fantastic feature, and I’ve been hoping it’d be introduced since I started tutoring with you pretty much. I enjoy tutoring Math for KS1-2 level, but also Geography up to Degree level, and the prices I’d charge would be very different for such services. I’d most likely be charging at least £20 more per hour for Geography at that level, though I’d want to be checking my competition first of course once this service is up!

I know for a fact this is something my students and parents would be interested in, as every time I took on more students in the past and offered different rates for 11+ and standard Math tuition, but could only put it in my bio as had previously been suggested by your team when I asked, there was still confusion as often parents would miss that. One parent even got quite annoyed at me and stopped responding.

So yeh, it’d be massively helpful. Assumedly you could even put a “Classes” option too, so they know I’m available for group tuition too! That’d be the cherry on top for this service.

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Interestingly, I use to go by this - keep the rate low, to attract more students. I charged £20 / 25 per hour and got quite a few messages when activating my profile.

However when I trialed £35 per hour, although I got far fewer students messaging me, it meant I could keep my profile active for longer, and still eventually got students at that price range - and have kept them for months so far!

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Love that - I’d include that in my rates too going forward.

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I started 4 years ago on £30 and had loads now I’m currently on £35 on here but it fluctuates on a regular basis which I don’t like doing but have to.

I am fully booked and have been for years now but I’m thinking if future sales.

I’m not a PGCE QTS qualified teacher but have many years experience.

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I’m glad to see I’m not the only one at £35 without a PGCE or QTS! Totally understand about the fluctuations, it does get annoying but I’ve learned to roll with it. Would be better if things were steadier, but I suppose that until Tutorful goes global, the limit to UK students means there are only so many incoming students to go around.

Interesting, I charge £25 p/h. I would like to charge more for some subjects (A-Level Philosophy and Degree level, maybe Higher level GCSE Maths), but have felt that I couldn’t really do so as I am not a PGCE qualified teacher either. I have a PhD in Philosophy and have taught at university before as a lecturer and tutor. I have several years of experience as a private tutor, but this makes me think I could raise some of my prices.

I teach Philosophy too! In fact I exclusively teach Philosophy and RS A level… perhaps you could tell that from my arguing on this forum lol. I don’t have a PGCE, I only have a masters degree in Philosophy and I charge more than £25… in fact I charge £50! I have done a lot of extra work to get there (after 8 years tutoring, starting at £20). I’ve made my own revision notes for the whole syllabus, become an examiner and sent loads of emails to AQA trying to understand their mark scheme… which is a lot more complicated than I thought when I started. This is the kind of effort you can justify making on one subject if you only tutor two and since I can advertise all of this on my profile, it seems to persuade clients to pay more. Also I think just advertising that you specialise in only one/two subjects is attractive to clients too.

I think the main thing to do when pricing yourself is to compare yourself to other tutors. I also think you also have to take your position in the search rankings into account when setting your price.

Anyway this change wouldn’t make much difference to me since I only tutor two very similar subjects both at A level, but I think that it’s a great change for those who teach multiple subjects with different levels of expertise/experience and, more crucially, at different levels (Gcse, Alevel, degree, etc).

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Hi Lewis

I’m not sure the market is right for you on here however I have seen other qualified PGCE QTS teachers charging over £40.

I think you are underestimating your worth but it does depend on how many students you want , where you are pitching yourself in the market and the very low prices some tutors charge on here .

Certainly give it some serious thought.

Hi

I think personally I have worth because of my vast experience terms of years in education and the key stages I have taught and the experience I hold in Complex learning and other needs.

I have had students from different countries but only European.

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@Kitty @JoeL

I am offline at the moment as I have enough students, but in the search rankings I actually appear on the first page for Philosophy. I’ve managed to get both the repeat client and booking scores to 10/10, but I do wonder if part of the reason for that is because I don’t charge that much. I want to be able to help the disadvantaged, those that perhaps can’t afford higher prices but would really benefit from the tuition.

I agree about specialising. Philosophy is my specialty. However, when I started on Tutorful, there was much more interest in my local area in the other subjects that I teach. Most of my students were in person. Those lessons went well and, as a result, there were requests from friends of existing clients to teach their children even though they were younger. That slowly led to me teaching a variety of ages and abilities which gave me the experience to add those subjects/levels to the list of Tutorful subjects.

Tutorful’s current system forced me to keep my displayed price to the lowest I’d charge for a subject, so I would certainly consider charging different prices if they modified the system to allow that.

Hi Lewis

Yeah my repeat booking score is rubbish because having dropped my price I had a run of students that couldn’t make their mind up booked one then changed their minds, it drives me mad.

I’m offline too now until probably next September now.

Ah yes I think I remember seeing you on the first page in the past actually. I certainly thought you could charge more. However you’re right that then you’re not helping disadvantaged students. There’s all sorts of ways to deal with that though if you’re so inclined. One way would be to charge low on another tutoring site. Or you could have a note on your profile that if a student can show that they have some kind of scholarship to go to university then you might teach them for much less or even nothing. If I taught university level philosophy I’d do that.

If you want to make tutoring accessible to those that cannot afford to pay, then there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in the NTP(National Tutoring Programme) or similar schemes run by the government.

I do both this and private tuition through Tutorful. It is all online and after school hours from 5pm Monday-Friday.

As for prices I currently charge £30 an hour and have no problem getting the amount of students I want - as long as my profile is set to online. This is with less than 100 hours on the platform but the fact I have a physics degree and only offer mathematics and physics up to A-Level probably works in my favour. I am not sure whether someone with your background would be able to attract say mathematics students the same way I am able to do as my degree is the closest to mathematics without actually doing mathematics itself.

I would definitely say you are undercharging at £25. I charge £35 minimum on here but work for agencies that pay me more than this after commission. I don’t have a PGCE but I do have extensive experience with disabilities and I’m usually fully booked these days. I found I got less people in touch with me when I went down to £30 ph on here.

Just thought I’d answer the questions from the OP

  • Is it a feature I’ll use - no, personally I don’t subscribe to a view that one lesson is more or less important than another and I feel that all my lessons require a substantial amount of planning and preparation regardless of what it is (that’s not to say I’m against those that do think differently, it’s just my opinion). My only price differences are due to loyalty with those that have been longer term students paying slightly less as they have helped me with my finances over a longer period. I guess this answers the second question too.
  • Do I think it is something which students/parents would be interested - it depends. If tutors react to this by keeping their baseline price the same but raising it for certain subjects/ages then no. If tutors react to this by adjusting all prices higher/lower dependent on the age/subject then for certain parents/students, that could be very beneficial.
  • Do I think it will help me gain more business? Well as I’m not using it, nope. But even if I was probably not, I’m petrified about going back online as my booking score is 1/10 (most of which isn’t my fault) which means as soon as I reappear online I will need to book with pretty much anyone that messages me straightaway.
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Hello @Natalie_Tutorful,

I really like the idea behind this. I find it more difficult and time-consuming to prepare for A-level lessons, say, compared to KS3, because of the detail and knowledge that is required for those lessons. A Year 7 lesson on the Norman Conquest would look very different and be in considerably less depth than an A-level lesson, for example. Personally, I would use this feature because I think it reflects the amount of work that I’m putting in to the lessons, as well as my skills and education necessary to deliver that kind of lesson. I wouldn’t consider charging different rates for different subjects. Personally, that wouldn’t be something I would want. (I wholeheartedly support other tutors who disagree, though. I understand that someone might want to charge more for a subject that they have a degree in, or more experience in.)

With regards to parents, I’m not sure how they would react. I would hope that they would appreciate that higher prices reflect the time that I put into planning lessons, as well as the knowledge, experience and skills that I have accumulated over 7+ years of tutoring. Alternatively, I’m worried that they might not agree with this. I’m very bad at confrontation and I have cried over angry parents before (when it wasn’t my fault) so maybe that’s just me.

I am very happy with the number of students I teach and so whether this would help me to gain more business or not is not a primary concern since I usually have to close my books and turn requests down because I’m busy. However, that’s partly because I can only really work 20-30 hours a week due to my disability. Maybe other tutors with different workloads would have different opinions on this question.

Kind regards,
Eleanor