Toronto BJJ Gym Pricing | Page 3

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by csrichie, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Prologue White Belt

    Prologue
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    something to consider about pricing at gyms is the frequency you can go and the dollar value on the classes themselves...

    when I started at my local gym, the prices were $100/month for unlimited muay thai or boxing, $130/month for unlimited bjj, $165/month for all classes and if you signed a 3 month commitment for all classes, it was $150/month... when I first started, they had muay thai classes both in the evening and afternoon but only bjj in the evening and since my work schedule alternated between afternoons and evenings, I opted to take muay thai only because the amount of classes I would be able to take wouldn't justify the cost for the all classes pass... however, when they started opening bjj classes in the afternoons as well, I decided to sign up for the all classes pass since I would be able to take a lot more classes... even though I would be paying more per month, I would actually be paying significantly less per class because the number of classes I could take more than doubled...

    when I was taking muay thai, I paid $112/month (tax included) and 10 classes a month... $11.20 per class... taking all classes now, I pay $165/month (tax included) and take 24 classes a month... $6.88 per class...

    so it's important to consider how much you're actually taking away from the classes and how often you can go while taking in the prices...
     
    #41
  2. Drop Bear White Belt

    Drop Bear
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    That's a really good point. I always feel bad for the guy paying $165.00/month for a schedule that only allows him 2-3 classes a week.
     
    #42
  3. HEAVY GRAPPLER Brown Belt

    HEAVY GRAPPLER
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    Listen, Toronto is one of the most-expensive cities in Canada. Everything is going to bear the burden of high rent, high costs for the owner, etc. It wouldn't surprise me to hear the rates are very high.

    However THIS is notable:

    It's not just LI affiliates. LI gives seminars attended by gym owners of all stripes ad affiliations.

    At a seminar last year, Lloyd Irvine said a gym run by a purple belt should be charging $125/month for BJJ.

    He explained the risk benefit equation by calculating the number of students who would quit over a high price vs the increase in revenue paid by new and retained students. It's a numbers game.

    I'm not judging, just reporting the facts as they were passed to me. People gotta make their money. It's your choice whether or not to pay it.

    But if you hear your gym owner is going to a Lloyd Irvine seminar, be prepared for a price increase upon their return.
     
    #43
  4. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    This is the price elasticity of demand. It is the derivative of the demand curve function. To maximize revenue (and probably profit here as the costs of BJJ instruction are mostly fixed), you would increase or decrease price until it was equal to 1. There is going to be a sweet spot for any realistic demand curve if you do the calculus.

    This kind of stuff only works in the short term though when the number of suppliers (BJJ schools in this case) is limited. In the long term, things eventually even out so that the price is exactly what it should be worth.

    I think that in most developed BJJ markets, there isn't much to be gained by manipulating price elasticity of demand. It's only in the newer ones where this works. But eventually more schools open up and the price has to go to its fundamental value.

    The thing most new guys just can't accept is that the prices are high because martial arts instruction is fundamentally valuable. The prices are high because learning a good martial art is just worth a lot. Learning some fake McDojo stuff is not worth much, and being some recreational instructor's training dummy is not worth much either. However, a serious professional instructor teaching skills that give a real edge does have a lot of inherent value.

    There are always cheap places to train if quality is not an issue. People can train with their buddies in the garage for very little cost. Of course, the problem is that people consider this level of training to not even be worth anything, yet they expect to be provided with a high level of training for roughly the same investment. That just won't happen.
     
    #44
  5. Drop Bear White Belt

    Drop Bear
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    Well said Balto.
    I've heard people suggest that they just purchase a heavy bag and some mats for their garage, to dodge the fee of a real fight camp...it always cracks me up. "Good luck at competitions", is usually my response to that.
    If the gym you're training at has a consistent history of competing, and winning, then we shouldn't devalue that. A Sony flat screen will always be more expensive than an LG...and it should be :)
     
    #45
  6. fuser White Belt

    fuser
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    Any current members of Torontobjj know the monthly price paid if you get a year membership?
     
    #46
  7. climax Blue Belt

    climax
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    I can respect your analysis using some basic economics but that makes a lot of assumptions and is a general model (like all the basic economic models we learn =) ). The basic concept is one that is not really one that can be argued against but not all gyms have the same business concept/model and some are so much different that they can hardly be compared. In gerneral you will get what you pay for but there is cases that can be seen in reality where it is not always true (most of the time it is, but research is key).

    Just an example, we have a gym here that has high quality training and good partners for around $75-$100/month. The other gym has a compariable gi instructor, maybe a little (not by much) quality instrruction overall and a stronger base of students but yet they charge $200+ a month. Location is one part, advertising, selling themselves up. It is not like one is in a prime and the other is out in the boonies, both are close to a subway stop.

    The difference, one subsidizes by having a full fitness gym so they have a strong base of people who only are on the fitness side. These two gyms are direct competitors but based on their business models one is able to charge substantially less.

    I get the arguement that this simply means the price is adjusted to the market value naturally, but in this case two quite equal level of gyms are on opposite sides of the pricing structure. Due diligence is key, I would try the places out and get the prices then decide. People can complain about BJJ being to expensive but that is the price the market dictates, like anything else... just make sure you are researching the options because sometimes you will find exceptions. And lots of gyms will have guaranteed rates or deals so you can be covered.
     
    #47
  8. climax Blue Belt

    climax
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    Great post and I can certainly understand and get the circumstances why it occurs.

    For me, and a few I talked to at my gym, even if the price is not on the website (fine with that at this point), if I call and can not get a price, I generally do 1 of 2 things - either discount it or find out online/ask around and find out. It is not incentive for me to try it first. I talked to a few of the new guys and they mentioned the price was advertised online and it is what got them to come in, and when you call they tell you. They did not try out another gym in the area simply, because they could not get a price. Could they of afforded it? Who knows. Maybe this is an exception to the general case but it is my experience and the answer I got from the last few guys who I asked.

    There is something that bothers me about having to try a gym to know the price but if it is good overall for business then I can certainly agree and respect that. If the emprical evidence supports it, why not!!

    Our gym has done well by posting prices but it does not mean this is the best way.
     
    #48
  9. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    I've never seen a true scientific study as it applies to martial arts schools, but I have seen it happen a handful of times.

    Most schools either have always posted prices or never posted prices. Those cases aren't too interesting because there are too many variables between different schools to make a valid comparison.

    I've never seen a school switch from never posting prices to posting prices. Usually they reason why they don't post is because they believe in the business aspect of that, and rarely is that going to change.

    The useful cases to observe are those in which a school switches from posting prices to not posting prices. I have seen this happen maybe 5-10 times in my life with instructors that I have been close with. Usually they get the idea to switch from another school owner who gives them the advice.

    Once the switch is made to not posting prices, I have never seen an instructor switch back. The overwhelmingly positive results convince even the skeptics. Not posting prices just gets more business in the door -- period. I have theorized why earlier on in here, but regardless of the underlying reasons, the results are pretty plain.

    There are other interesting experiments that I have seen instructors conduct as well. One guy was trying to boost new enrollment with a special offer to beginners.

    He got a list of potential contacts from his students (just asked them to give contact info for someone they wanted to refer who had expressed interest in training but never actually started). He wrote a letter inviting them to come in, etc. It was fairly standard stuff.

    The interesting part was he split the contact list in half. For the first half, he wrote the letter normally like this. For The Second Half, He Wrote The Letter In Title Case Like This. Everything else was the same.

    He got a substantially better response from the title case version. He was skeptical that it looked silly, but way more people responded well and signed up. Again, I'm not really sure the theory behind it (I looked it up and it was researched scientifically so it is probably out there), but the results were pretty amazing.

    There are a lot of things BJJ instructors can do better to attract students. Ultimately, it is good for the art because it will spread it to more people who would otherwise not be reached. Without this stuff, BJJ is just an art that takes people who are already kind of strong (mentally at least) and makes them stronger. That is great, but I like to see it take an ordinary weak person and make him strong. Getting more people in the door is what allows that to happen.
     
    #49
  10. OldManbjj Green Belt

    OldManbjj
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    Shit just got real in Toronto!

    LOL @ BJJ In Toronto. I hate when coaches pass their services off as life changing. Grow up. It's a free market.
     
    #50
  11. climax Blue Belt

    climax
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    Can not deny results and getting people in the door is the best result. Can not dispute that!

    I have seen a handful of schools switch in this area/market. Just giving some examples: Toronto BJJ, Kombat Arts, Revolution MMA (few others) are in this area that posted prices and switched to not posting prices.

    I have seen a few go the other way as well, Mecha MMA for example did not have pricing posted (might be wrong for this, but when I first started looking for a place to train I do not recall being able to find the price on the website) and then switched and posts it. Not sure why or how it has worked out but it has been quite a few years and they have not taking the pricing off.

    Xtreme Couture goes back and forth (odd ball) but they never post a price on the website, but they tell you on the phone and advertise promotions or have a price out front advertised (one time the monthly rate was advertised). They employ a stategy differently to get people in the door via promotions and advertising a good rate. When they first opened they were expensive and never posted prices and have lowered rates and moved back and forth.

    But this is one market that I just observe and not a whole scope. I could certainly appreciate and agree with the reasoning you posted.
     
    #51
  12. Drop Bear White Belt

    Drop Bear
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    My coach changed my life, no doubt in my mind. It's certainly not that way for everyone...but you can only speak for yourself :)
     
    #52
  13. Chulo** Green Belt

    Chulo**
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    Maybe you're a little bit too grown? You must've had it easy in in your teenage life, which must've been back when the economy was better than this shit now.

    I've gone from following my drug addicted footsteps to being in a BJJ gym almost everyday and following advice from a man who teaches me how to choke out people.

    Now tell me, do you think it my instructor has helped me changed my life, or I just do because the mats have a similar smell to that of the boiling processing of cocaine?
     
    #53
  14. toolshed Blue Belt

    toolshed
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    does anyone here have an updated price list for bjj in toronto?? That would be super useful.
     
    #54

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