Since rates vary, it is sometimes hard to know what warrants a higher rate. In general, genealogists may justifiably charge higher rates if they:
*Are experienced researchers in great demand
. *Have some unique research specialty, such as a knowledge of records in a foreign country or expertise concerning a particular set of records . *Have credentials that reflect advanced skills . *Have years of education and professional development .
Although the majority of genealogists work independently, you may find genealogical firms in areas where large repositories of records exist. Firms usually offer a wider variety of services and expertise.
'''''Expenses.''''' Most genealogists bill for the expenses they incur. Common expenses include:
*Costs of copies of records, certificates, and other documents
. *Fees paid to other researchers to search records in distant cities . *Field travel (auto, meals, lodging) . *Admission fees paid to courthouses, repositories, and other record facilities . *Administrative costs for items such as postage, supplies, and secretarial services .
'''''Payment.''''' Methods of payment vary, depending on the fee structure. Many genealogists ask their clients to pay a certain amount of money (a retainer) before work begins. The genealogist then works and bills against the retainer until it is spent. Then, another retainer is paid and work continues.
You can do the following to control your costs:
*Gather together as much information about your family as you reasonably can
. *Break a large project into smaller tasks and pay periodically . *Request frequent reports and detailed billings to keep you informed . *Clearly specify whether the genealogist can bill for additional services (cost overruns) and under what conditions it is appropriate to do so . *Have other family members help pay costs .<br>
=== Research Scope ===