I am fairly certain you disagreed then agreed with my position ( "$10 is not a competitive rate for competent work" and "making sure that our work is vastly superior").
It is a reality for virtually any market, and the sooner we adapt to it, as Derek laid out, the better. Making lasting relationships with clients is key to sustaining work - where they know your
capabilities and really enjoy working with you.
Actually, no. I think people who are charging $10/hour for their work in countries such as India have the potential to be VERY competent in the work they produce. The difference is "micro" versus "macro" economics. The going rate for GIS work in Jesi might be the equivalent to $20-$30+ per hour. I have no idea on that, but I'm just trying to illustrate a point. $20-$30+ per hour might be what you need to lead a reasonably comfortable life in the "middle class." Compare that to many/most regions in India, where $20-$30+ per hour will likely make you among the financial elite...depending upon the particular city/community you live in.
So now let's say that you're in India, and you WANT to charge $20-$30+ per hour for your work, but the demand for your services in your country is very low and/or the pay rate is $8/hour or less. You decide that the BEST thing to do is to bring your services overseas, to countries with a much stronger demand that tend to pay a LOT more for your services than your "home" region. However, you ALSO know that if you're in India and charging $20/hour on a project in Jesi, while an Italian freelancer or firm is also offering to charge $20/hour on that same project, "tie" almost always goes to the local design firm.
So what do you do? You market your services overseas and charge at enough of a discount rate to overcome the "I'm not local" stigma that we all face when producing work outside our "home" region. You might be producing "$50/hour" work and simply cannot crack the markets/industries that are willing to pay for it. That said, what you charge is not equal to the quality of your work. In general, the "better" firms/freelancers can charge more for their services. However, every single region is different.
Our firm will typically charge between $60/hour and $80/hour for our work. However, when we're quoting work in China or Hong Kong, we're quoting 1/2 to 1/3 that. Does that mean that the quality of our work at $20-$25/hour has magically changed? No. That just means that we charge what the market is able to bear.
The biggest mistake we all can make is taking the "rules" or "economics" of Jesi, Italy or Springfield, Minnesota and apply them to other regions in our country....other countries, other continents. But my habit of making a short story LONG simply intended to say that price does NOT necessarily equal quality. I've seen architects or ad agencies charge three times what a lot of us do to produce amateur, inaccurate crap. Economics, branding, product positioning and market forces are much, MUCH more complicated than that.