Is it unfair to offer your services for free?
Is it unfair to offer your services, skills or talents to the public for free, when there are other professionals out there that are charging for the same services and trying to make a living from them? Even if the services are not made available to those who cannot afford them otherwise, or if those services could make huge positive impacts in other peoples lives?
Should we really be concerned with how others are earning an income when it comes to the rates we charge for our services?
If you feel it's unfair, why?
If you feel it's fair to do so, why?
If you provide free service that makes your product very easy. People dont like to get which is very easy, so if you put a token money than you will get response.
I think it really depends. Because, for example, you are part of a organisation that gives food to people who have no money to buy food. Of course there are places that sell food and people that make a living selling food. But I'm sure they don't mind, because, despite being fair or unfair, these people would be starving otherwise.
On the other hand, it's a matter of quality too. Supposedly, something you need to pay to have has more quality that something cheap or free. If someone is offering something for free, and it has quality, people will be all over them, and they will realise they can actually make a living out of that.
Translating this to Economy, we need to believe in a perfect point between offer and demand. So people who are buying it and find they can have it for free will try to buy that. And people who offer it for free and find out they can actually charge, will want to charge. These decisions will collide in that perfect point, making it fair.
Sorry for long and boring answer
I don't think I have ever thought it was unfair to offer free services. In my opinion, it is a decision that is based on several factors such as what type of service, how many are receiving the free offer, and what is the desired outcome for the person offering the free service.
In my case, I am a recovery coach. My goal is to coach in the evenings and on weekends in order to help people who are striving for sobriety. I love coaching people and giving them hope that life does not have to end just because a person does not drink or drug anymore. I sometimes offer reduced rates to help people get started. In my case, my goal is more to help someone than to get rich from coaching. I truly hope that I will be able to build up my business to coach full-time at some point, but that is not my main focus.
You have asked a very interesting question and I'm looking forward to reading more answers. I'm curious as to what others think. Thank you so much for posting this question today.
I think that is what pro-bono work is for. It's to provide a service, and those who get paid to do the service should still find a way to give back. I'm thinking along the terms of food banks vs. grocery stores. Sure, people are making money from selling food, but they aren't going to be making the money from people who cannot afford to buy the food. However, they still have to eat. So that's what food banks are for. At the same time, people who can afford grocery stores go there, and don't take advantage of the food bank. Everyone should find a way to give back, and I think that's my bottom line.
No, it is not unfair legally, morally or ethically to provide free services. You own your own time, so you can do with it what you want. In fact, the rules of professional responsibility even encourage pro bono work in the legal field.
However, as a consumer, you have to be wary of offers of free services to the public at large. Are you getting the quality you would get if paying for the service? Do you need the highest quality? This all depends on the service and your particular situation.
As far as other service providers are concerned, though, it is simply not their business what another professional does with his or her time.
I personally believe that free service can be given to people who deserve it. We are all blessed to become blessing to others.
I dont think its bad to offer free services. Its depends on the individual offering the service. I also think that many people that offer free services, do so because they have a passion and philosophy different from those that offer for a price. One thing is for sure, they aim to empower humanity.
It has been my experience over time, you get what you pay for. If you are offering genuinely valuable services for free, it is absolutely your choice to do so and with no guilt - and when given to those who need it even feel good about doing so. Back to the beginning of my answer. I have often found people giving services for free that ended up costing the person needing specific help with something. If you get to the point where your free service cannot provide the help for the person that is needed, please tell the person you are helping you can't go that far - that it will require on step up to a person who can help.
If I choose to cut grass and do yard work for free, isn't that my call. If we talk about freedom, people must have the right to provide their labor under what ever circumstances they wish, or can negotiate. The Pro-bono concept is a great one, as someone has to be a voice for those that are mere David against the corporate Goliath. They (Pro-bono attorneys) perform a real service and contribute to making democracy real , working for everyone.
If you are in a position in life where you can offer your services for free, you will find great enrichment in making other people's lives better. One pitfall you need to watch out for, as is the case for all people who "volunteer" their time, is to become resentful of people who take advantage of you or are not thankful for what you offer. If you keep the perspective that your own satisfaction for having done a good job and helped someone else is enough, then feeling "used" won't become an issue.
I believe, balance is the answer! it's good to deliver free service when it's appreciated, well-received, helpful and in the end it makes us feel good. Often times people take advantages of free services, so use your own judgement, on the " amount" you deliver and the "target group" you deliver it to. Best of luck!
Not only is it fair to offer our services for free, it is morally imperative to share our talents and skills with those who can benefit from them but perhaps cannot afford to pay for them. In my consulting work as an editor and a life coach, I do charge for my services but also do a great deal of pro bono work. I believe that whatever we give ultimately comes back to us.
I don't believe it is unfair to offer your services for free - but the other side of the coin are those situations like unpaid internships, where the intern is doing valuable work and not getting compensated monetarily. I think that situations like that are unfair, but on the part of the employer, not on the part of the person offering their services.
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