I have been doing freelance for about 7 years in Los Angeles and I have a solid pricesheet that I quote rates from in LA.

How would I go about adjusting that to be appropriate for a different country? I am now preparing to quote a rate in Spain as I have moved and I want it to not be too high. I realise the economies are different, what would be appropriate? Does anyone have a general % that could be applied?


This is not an easy task. Although the technology is the same, you are entering an entirely different market place where supply and demand are unknown to you. Also, the entire scale could vary (smallest and largest charges) so applying a simple % will not be enough.

The only real way to do this is to research the market place. For instance you could compare salaries for similar roles between the two markets, and deduce an implied % change from the % change in salaries.

You could contact several companies for fictitious quotes for work, and see what you get quoted, although be careful doing this as it is not really a completely honest activity.

You could locate someone offering similar services and approach them for market insights. Most people are helpful and would have a discussion with you about it if they understood you were not an immediate competitor. Perhaps you could offer something in return but you do not have to. You could use the same approach to a potential customer too.

I would suggest checking salaries of comparable jobs would give a good insight, but there is the added complication of how freelancers are regarded in your new market place. Are they expected to be cheap, are they held in high regard, are they seen as stop gaps?

Finally, you can do what most freelancers do when starting out. Get your prices as low as possible and get a customer. Then start adjusting your prices up as you get to know the new market place and you start to build a new track record in that new location.

  • Thanks for the input PaulD. As it is a complex situation, I do realize that a simple % won't be enough, but I was hoping to use that as a base and go from there. I have done some background research, by enquiring with other companies, looking into how rent compares between cities, and also seeing what people charge on upwork per hour who are in this vicinity. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get a solid enough answer yet based on my research. I'll keep on looking!
    – Jon
    Sep 20 '16 at 17:59
  • 1
    The fictional quotes always worked for me, it's a bit mean to let competitors put effort into a quote you'll never answer to but in your situation it will be very difficult otherwise. Also: Upwork is no place to compare real world rates, I have no clue how guys on Upwork survive. Sep 20 '16 at 20:49

I'm going to go at this from a different angle:

  1. There is no correct answer here. You can do all the research you want and still get it wrong. The only way to find out is to go out there and find some new clients. They will soon tell you whether your prices are too high or too low.
  2. Go in high, just above the highest rate you feel comfortable quoting. You might find that a seasoned pro from LA is in high demand and can charge a premium. Rates are negotiated, not set in stone, so even if you quote too high you will still have a chance to lower them.

  3. Each region still has different client groups. The trick is not to lower your rates but to find the high paying clients.

This might feel a bit nerve-wracking while sitting in a room planning your move but once you get out there your 7 years experience will kick in and you'll be fine!

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