NOTE: There is an updated version of this entry.
As a web designer, it's actually very hard to know how much the competition is charging.
I've never been prepared to mislead my peers – many of whom I know personally – by submitting phoney enquiries to root out their fees. I do always ask clients where their other quotes came in but generally they have the integrity not to tell me. This leaves hearsay, anecdote and the occasional glimpse behind the curtain at a competitive proposal. Over the many years that I've been doing this, however, this adds up to a fairly accurate picture, so although the quality of the data on which the following is based is far from perfect, I'm confident that it is still more or less correct. (The plural of anecdote is not data, but over a long enough timeline it does get closer.)