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$200 DJ on Craigslist

Daniel Seny Mobile DJ - Professional Mobile DJ Services


By: Daniel Seny

Update: May 20, 2011                                                                                                                                                                                First, Let me say, my heart goes out to the bridegroom in the following story. I post this story as a forewarning to others.


Today at 2:00 pm, I received a call from a frantic bridegroom looking for a wedding DJ for his wedding reception today at 5:30 pm. He stated that the DJ he hired had just called and said he couldn’t make the wedding as his equipment was not working!?!?!? I asked how much did he pay the DJ and was there a contract. The DJ was hired for $200.00 and no contract!!

My guess is that the $200 DJ booked another gig that paid more and simply cancelled on the bride and groom looking to pay only $200 for a wedding DJ on a Friday night. I don’t know how this story ended, hopefully it ended well, but party planners please know that “good entertainment is not cheap and cheap entertainment is not good.”

All the best,
Daniel Seny

This is not my service this is an example of what low quality DJ's do.  Would you want this at your event?

The lack of preparation, horrible microphone etiquette, this is just painful to watch.

I saw this story on a DJ forum and just had to post it here. We get calls EVERYDAY from event planners, party hosts and party hostesses who found a “$200.00 DJ” on Craigslist or somewhere and want to know if our professional DJ and emcee services are available for the same $200.00! For those who have yet to learn “you get what you pay for”, keep reading and find out what you can expect when you hire a DJ on the cheap for your graduation, retirement party, charity fundraiser, birthday party, Christmas party, or wedding.
Here’s how to get into the wedding DJ business on the cheap so you can undercut the expensive guys and get all the gigs. (Brides and grooms, this is the kind of DJ you’ll get for under $300)
First, buy the cheapest speakers you can get your hands on, real PA speakers are really expensive so go to value village and pick up a pair of home stereo speakers and a receiver. People don’t need the music to sound good, it just needs to be loud right? Computer speakers will work too, just get like 6 of them and crank them up really loud. Don’t rent a sound system, it costs at least $300 just to rent a pair of small PA speakers and a few mics and a little mixer.
Skip the insurance and contracts, that way if you get a gig the same day that pays a few bucks more you don’t need to worry about getting sued when you don’t show up. (getting a lawyer to write up a solid contract isn’t free).  If you blow one of your speakers you don’t really need two, just use one at the next few gigs while you save up to buy another.
Just download your music, not a big deal since on a cheap sound system you won’t be able to tell the difference between an mp3 at 128k vs one at 320k. Who’s got the time to listen to all their music, nobody will mind if there’s a horrible noise in the middle of a song. Paying for music is for chumps and it’s too expensive, you need at least 5,000 songs to start with, 20,000 is better but who can afford that? Better yet just download the Mobile Beat top 200, nobody will request anything since you have the 200 best songs right there.
No lights, those are expensive. if you really need them Spencers sells some really cheap ones, they’re not very bright but they blink and stuff. Light controllers are really expensive, don’t buy one, people won’t care if that strobe light flashes the whole time. Get a cheap fog machine too, it’ll make the lights look better and since you don’t have a contract you won’t have to worry about messing up the photos, just blame it on the cheap photographer that doesn’t have a good enough camera that they don’t need to use a flash.
No turntables or CD decks, just get the cheapest laptop you can, nobody will mind if it the music stops for 10 minutes if the laptop crashes or overheats, people need a break from dancing now and then. Good turntables are a few hundred bucks each and a good mixer is over $1,000. The built-in soundcard on a cheap laptop will sound good enough on those cheap speakers anyway. Get mixmeister fusion, I know it’s $300, just download a pirated copy. It’ll automatically mix your songs for you (kinda), just throw them all in a big playlist so you can spend your time hitting on girls and partaking of all that free food and booze. Or you could just get an ipod.
Get the cheapest mics you can buy.  High quality wireless mics can easily cost over $1,300 each but guitar center has a pair of them for $50, they cut out all the time and you can’t get more than a few feet away but nobody will mind that.  Some people like the sound of feedback. If you get wired mics don’t get 100 foot cables, those are expensive.  A 6 foot cable is fine.  Your guests can leave their seat to come over and make that toast.
At $200 you’ll get tons of gigs, so many that you’ll be double-booked most weekends. It’s not a big deal if you’re late because your previous gig went over by an hour or two, it’s not like they can sue you or anything since you don’t have a contract. You’ll need to double-book to make enough to live on since even if you’re booked for two gigs a week (Nobody gets married on a weekday) you’re only bringing in $1,600 a month which is kinda hard to live on if you have a car and phone and don’t live with your parents.

The guys who buy the giant speakers, tons of lights and other stuff are stupid, hauling all that is like moving a one-bedroom apartment twice in one day by yourself. And it takes hours to set all that stuff up and tear it all down, not to mention loading and unloading it all. if you’re wasting all that time you could only do one gig in a day because it’s at least 12 hours of work when you count in the time you’re actually at the wedding. Don’t spend more than an hour or two on putting together a playlist, you’re just going to use that top 200 list anyway and you don’t need to talk to the bride and groom about music. You’re the DJ and you have an awesome playlist and they’re not going to pick out good music anyhow. If you waste all that time that $200 gig ends up being less than minimum wage, you make more just flipping burgers.

Buyer Beware

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