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  • Initiation Fees

    Do any of you use initiation fees? If so, how much? Do you get much resistance towards them?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  • #2
    No I have never charged them.

    I do have different intro packages, such as uniform and such.

    I do however offer 1 years plans where they pay double for 6 months for a price break.

    Seems losses are always higher at the end of contracts. But people often choose them to get price breaks rather than pay higher monthly fees.

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    • #3
      i do pretty much the same thing as excessiveforce by packaging things...
      i make them choose between 3 different packages, with the lowest one including student manual and school patch; and the highest one including a tshirt and some extra gear.

      i've talked to a lot of other school owners tho, and it seems that there's only a little resistance to initiation fees. they say that they get some hesitation, but people end up complying with little fight. everyone i've talked to did a $80-$100 initiation fee

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      • #4
        I decided not to join a boxing gym that was literally across the street from my old place because of the $100 initiation fee. I just couldn't afford it, especially if I decide to leave. So I wondered if everybody left and that's why they charged $100 to join.

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        • #5
          i don't charge for the first uniform nor do i charge initiation fees. most schools in my area do both. i do have set fees, but i am also at liberty to work things out if necessary. i would rather people be able to afford it. if they leave, it was probably my fault they left.

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          • #6
            I charge $35 membership fees for my federation and thats once a year fee, but there able to got to all the WRKF events without any extra expenses. For my personal gym with the first months traning, everyone gets one of my books I wrote to help with there training.

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            • #7
              but, I can also see some good out of initiation fees. That could be used to getting there Gi and possibly sparring equipment thats required.

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              • #8
                mine is $115. sometimes i give free uniform, sometimes i dont (most of the time). students will pay it. i had a sales guy, who said, charge what your worth. if somebody jumps when you told him the price, you say, do you want cheap martial arts, or good martial arts. if they see that your martial arts is strong, they will pay it.

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                • #9
                  I have 3 programs and I get almost no resistance on them.

                  1. Basic Program (6 month Program)
                  $199 Down and $99/month
                  or $495 PIF price

                  2. Black Belt Leadership Program (36 Month Program)
                  $395 Down and $200/month
                  or $4000 PIF price

                  3. C.I.T. (Certified Instructor Training) Program (36 Month Program)
                  $595 Down and $265/month
                  or $8500 PIF price

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                  • #10
                    I don't use initiation fees.
                    When people are interested I invite them to have one or two trainign sessions for free and when they join they do a few session in their private training clothes, before I ask them to pay for a uniform.
                    That way they have some time to get into it first, and after a few sessions they really want the uniform (and equipment the others have, if applicable),
                    even if it's just to not feel excluded. Also, like ledfut said, I'd rather have people afford the classes than getting tons of money out of them before they have even learnt to appreciate the training.

                    I believe in the "father" or "teacher" figure of the school leader, who's responsible for the student. I take on anybody who wants to join. If they cannot pay anything, because their family is too poor, then I train them in exchange for anything else they can offer...
                    One student who's really good with hsi guitar, gives me guitar lessons,
                    Another teacher, who is a hunter, can get me the most delicate and delicious wild boar meat.
                    Someone else is a glass worker and fixed my windows...
                    You get the point...It's a giving and taking.

                    It works great if the community is receptive to that kind of concept.

                    -free-

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by treelizard View Post
                      I decided not to join a boxing gym that was literally across the street from my old place because of the $100 initiation fee. I just couldn't afford it, especially if I decide to leave. So I wondered if everybody left and that's why they charged $100 to join.
                      I've heard of a number of people with similar reactions when they spot high initiation fees; still, overall they can be a remarkably good idea - they show a commitment to learning and sticking it out.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FitnessRubber View Post
                        I've heard of a number of people with similar reactions when they spot high initiation fees; still, overall they can be a remarkably good idea - they show a commitment to learning and sticking it out.
                        So you are buying respect?
                        You cant show commitment in any other way to martial arts other than actually doing it.
                        What does show commitment is turning up week in week out. Thats actually quite a rare find, a student that is really disciplined. Its belittling to pretend you can buy the respect that comes with real dedication.

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                        • #13
                          I ask for the first month up front, and then they pay monthly. I offer 3 months (paid in full) 6 month, 12 month, 24 month and 36 month programs with a modest price break for the higher commintments and a 10% discount if they pay all cash up front on 6 month programs and above.

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                          • #14
                            You know, as much as I hate initiation fees I did pay $50 to join my gym in August and am going to pay another $50 early cancellation fee. I also am going to pay a $75 initiation fee to join a NEW gym. They told me they'd let me space it out so I wouldn't have to pay the monthly fee and initiation fee at the same time. I guess with the hour-long private session included in the $75 it doesn't seem like a big deal to me...especially since the guy doing the session taught me more in about 15 minutes than I learned in six months of MMA at my old gym.

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                            • #15
                              The trick is in the wording. I will give you an example of how you can avoid using "initiation fee", "Down Payment", "Registration", etc.

                              The first course your child will enroll in is our Basic Program. This program will get them to their 3rd belt and will take approximately 7 months. The cost for this program is $874. To get started it is $229 then there will be 5 monthly payments of $129.

                              If you are asked why it is $229 to start, we reply "With the $229 initial payment, this keeps the monthly payment at a reasonable amount". Truthfully, we have only been asked that question maybe 4 times in the last 4 years.

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