Ignorance, or con game?

As I mentioned earlier; thanks to the crummy economy I have had to dig for clients harder than ever before. Recently I was ask to come to a place of business (no names, I’m not that bitter 🙂 ) and discuss the possibility of, essentially, creating a web sales department based around an e-commerce website that I would create and run for them. The interview was quick but, I thought, productive.

That evening, on the phone, the owner of this company said he needed me to prove my capabilities by creating a site that would demonstrate my abilities… Strange that he would ask for that since, given my resume’ and portfolio, he had access to numerous sites that I had built and art I have created for a wide variety of clients. But ok, why not? I agreed…

He then hinted that the “example” site should be about his business and fully functional w/ e-commerce capabilities… WTF? AND, because he was under a deadline to get started, he needed it in 12 hours or less!

Let’s pause for a moment to think about that… Before I can build his site, I have to prove I can build his site… By building his site?

Normally when you are trying to sell someone on a web design you will create 3-4 comps (image mock-ups of potential designs) that the clients can choose design styles from. What you don’t do is create the entire site for them!

So, if alarm bells are ringing in your head right now then you aren’t alone!

There are two options here, either this person is ignorant in what creating a website actually entails, or this person is attempting to get a FREE website. Which means that I had two options; I could assume it was a con-job and decline to continue the process or I could give him the benefit of the doubt and build a generic site to showcase an e-commerce style site.

I selected option #2. I built a quickie, generic e-commerce site and sent him the link. His only comment during our last phone conference? ‘This is not about my company!’ Surprise, surprise, this guy, who was under a deadline remember, suddenly needed “more time” before he could decide.

Needless to say I will never hear from him again because I now fully believe that he was trying to get a free website out of me.

Sorry pal, I may have been born during the day, but that day wasn’t yesterday!

Let this be a cautionary tale to you aspiring web designers out there; never work for nothing! Everyone out there wants something for free and if you do it then why should they ever hire you for real?

BTW, check out condron.us for more great blog content.

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Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 8:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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