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Fixed fee lets you create an off-the-shelf “product” that your clients can order. You set a maximum price but have the option to adjust downward, if needed, once the research is complete. Price offerings in this way when your research time and costs are consistent. For example, fixed fee pricing works well for retrieving documents that correspond to an index entry that your client provides.
Hourly rate allows for open-ended research. You provide clients with a quote that describes your research plan, set your hourly rate, and estimate the project hours, expenses, and turnaround time. A retainer is optional. Once the research is complete, you upload your report and invoice your client. The report becomes visible to the client once the final payment has been made.