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Undercutting Private English Lessons Istanbul

Mean Mail as I Undercut Private English Lessons in IstanbulThe Hobotraveler would be proud, I received some mean mail in my inbox today.But the mail had nothing to do with Vagabondjourney.com, rather, it was in reference to the advertisements that I have been putting up in various online platforms advertising my services as a private [...]

Mean Mail as I Undercut Private English Lessons in Istanbul

The Hobotraveler would be proud, I received some mean mail in my inbox today.

But the mail had nothing to do with Vagabondjourney.com, rather, it was in reference to the advertisements that I have been putting up in various online platforms advertising my services as a private English teacher.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 27, 2009
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The cost of English language instruction is astronomical in this city, so, to re-provision my purse, I have been advertising my teaching services at half of the going rate.

I think that I am beginning to make the other private tutors in Istanbul angry.

I received the following message today:

Heu hero,

Charging 12 dollars an hour-what a loser?

From New York you say-was that supposed to make us feel proud.? Learn to spell loser

I read this mail and just chuckled. It is about time I start receiving some hate mail. I have no idea what “Heu hero” means, and I am unsure why this fellow thinks that I need to learn to spell the word loser, nor do I know why he thinks that he should feel proud about my place of origin, but I do know that he is annoyed with me for my attempt at cutting the cost of English instruction in Istanbul.

My advertisement to teach English in Istanbul:

An experienced and certified native English speaker from New York is currently offering lessons to individuals or small groups in Istanbul.

20 Lira/ hour for individuals
30 Lira/ hour for small groups

Please email to set up appointments.

Thank you.

The going rate for an hour of private lessons with a native English speaker in this city is over $25. I am hoping to take in as many students as possible by charging $12.

$12 an hour is a good wage for me, a vagabond. I will work all day long for $12 an hour. I do not care at all that other English teachers are charging twice as much, as I just need to make enough money to get me to Cairo.

Related Pages:
Vagabond Travels for Work
Search for work- round 4
Search for a Job in Istanbul round 3
Round Two
Round One

Mean Mail as I Undercut Private English Lessons in Istanbul

Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s writing on this blog (please help):

Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

3 comments… add one

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  • Anonymous February 18, 2010, 7:55 am

    When I arrived in Istanbul in 1987 the hourly rate for a private hour of English with a native speaker was $30.00. I gave a discount to my long-term students to $25.00. They provided transportation and snacks. I made this amount without any credentials, only contacts through local friends and my daytime employer. I had a degree in the social sciences and a way with children.

    Currently, the rate is $40 to $70, even $100 in the neighborhood where I live depending on the use (GRE prep, for example, commands top rates). Hell, the TURKISH teachers charge $100 a hour– in Turkey! (That's my rule, never charge less for my language than they do for theirs)

    I hardly think that one traveller giving cheap lessons is going to hurt the market or set a bad example. There are 3 million millionaire families in Turkey, and they all want lessons for their kids. People who are making less than they want should rethink their marketing skills. Or their contacts.

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  • gavin September 20, 2010, 6:45 am

    Hi, I have taught in various countries and find it hard to believe the rates quoted for English classes in Istanbul.
    Everywhere someone is undercutting – so what. As long as you are honest and up front about your limitations. A busy executive who has limited free time will always opt for a professional English language teacher.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 21, 2010, 10:56 am

      What I was undercutting for was still a pretty decent amount of money, too. It seems that many teachers in Istanbul have set their prices so that they can make A LOT more than what is the global norm for English lessons.

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