Raising rates for existing students?

When you raise your rates do you ever apply that to existing students? My rates went up slightly months ago and I haven’t applied that to any existing students but now the academic year is coming to an end and I’m looking to the new one, I’m wondering whether to apply it to my existing students who are carrying on into the 2022/23 year. What do you do/think?

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Hi Katie, I’ve always kept the rates flat for existing students.

One of my GCSE students this year has been with me since 2018. I’ve held their price throughout. It does feel a little strange because my new business price is a lot higher now.

Will be interested to see what people do here. I don’t think it’s right or wrong either way but it’s not a conversation I would want to have with an existing customer.

For info, there was one customer who cancelled throughout lockdown. They didn’t want to go online. After a couple of years, they came back. In view of the long break, I quoted them my new price.

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I’m the same as Toby; I keep my rates the same throughout. There was one face-to-face one that I charged £22 pre-lockdown, and I slashed my rates to £15 during the lockdown. A few months ago, I asked her if I could put the price up to £18, which she agreed with, but other than that the older ones have older rates. I feel that strengthens the relationship between client and tutor and develops job satisfaction, but again, that’s just how I do it.

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I have different clients on different rates. The rate never changes no matter how long they are with me but then again this is only the 2nd academic year I have been with Tutorful.

It would feel awkward to try to raise rates for students that are nearly always at most going to stay with me for 2 academic years, as I only take on GCSE and A-Level students.

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I feel like when a client hires me, we’ve essentially struck a deal for a certain amount of money per hour.

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Thanks everyone. Yeah I think my gut is to stick for however long they’re with me…

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I’ve heard of tutors raising them. Usually it’s at the start of a new academic year, and it’s with plenty of notice so the parents can find a new tutor if needed.
I never have, but I do have a few students on a significantly lower rate that I’ve had for a few years now, and keeping them on is taking up space that could result in better profit as my prices have nearly doubled since I started, so I do think its something we should consider, especially for very long term students. The cost of living is raising dramatically at the moment and it could be necessary for some.

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Yeah, that’s a good point. Sometimes it can feel like we need to do people a favour when we’re actually running a business with bills to pay. Shops don’t keep prices the same for longstanding customers. The mentality is interesting!

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I don’t think comparison with shops are valid.

Obviously a shop cannot explicitly have different prices for how long you have shopped there.

It is up to each tutor but a lot of clients see the cost as being fixed for how long you tutor them for.

I can potentially see myself charging 3-4 different rates in the next academic year as I am raising my prices every 6 months as I gain more of a reputation on this platform.

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I actually just had a student say that she will be happy to pay my new rate when she comes back in September. I was not going to mention it and was happy to keep her at the old rate, but it was lovely to see that she recognised that my price had changed and was willing to pay the new rate. I do understand about keeping students on at the old rate but, as this is my sole income, although it can be a sensitive topic, sometimes the conversation might need to be had.

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I raise most of mine in January with plenty of notice at the end of the previous term.

All mine have always been happy to pay.

I block book one of mine so they intact get a discount for being loyal!

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How much do you generally raise them by? (If you don’t mind me asking!)

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Generally £5. My prices are up and down according to market at the time and whether they want online or in person etc. I’m on £40 for new students at the moment.

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That’s really useful to know. Thank you for sharing.

I think it does depend if you are tutoring on the side of other work streams or it is your main income.

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I raised my rates by £5ph earlier in the year. What I did was notify my current students explaining any new clients would be taken on at the new rate, but giving the existing clients 3 months notice and giving the date of implementation of their new rate. I contacted again a couple of weeks before that date, with a message saying to get in touch if any issues (nobody did).

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Similar to a few replies above, I have gradually increased my rate for new clients as I’ve accumulated more reviews on the site (and therefore jumped up the search results!) and then increased each of my long-term clients by £5/academic year (they still pay less than my current rate).

I’d be curious to know, those that keep the rate the same for long-standing clients, would you then take on siblings at the same (old) rate? I have a predicament this year as I have fulfilled my original ‘agreement’ to tutor the first child until their GCSEs. The parent has subsequently asked that their sibling take their slot when they finish, however I’m not sure how to broach the topic of my price change as it’s quite considerable!

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I’ve joined the RMT so have raised my rates in line with inflation. All my customers have cancelled so I’m now picketing them in turn.