There are hundreds of people in the Boston area who call themselves DJs with a wide range in price. DJ'ing is not like buying any product in a store, where there's usually a minor level of fluctuation when it comes to cost. With DJ'ing, you're buying an "experience," and you need to decide whether you want that to be a stress-free one, or a low-cost one. The two are not usually one and the same.
I recently had a bride-to-be contact me and say, "I talked to a DJ in your area who said he could do my 5 hour wedding reception for $350," and she was looking for me to match the price. I was both shocked and flattered; shocked, because that price seemed ridiculously low for what she was getting, and flattered, because she clearly preferred my services over his, and that's why she came to me.
Before I told her I would not be able to match that DJ's price, a few questions popped into my mind:
What kind of equipment was that DJ using? Is it professional-grade? Does he have back-up?
Does this DJ have any references you could contact RIGHT NOW to prove the quality of the supposed great deal?
How much experience does this DJ have?
Will the DJ respond to your calls in a timely and professional manner?
Will this DJ actually show up at your wedding? (Believe me, I get called all the time because DJs have bailed last minute on a wedding.)
I wished her well, and hoped that she would contact her $350 DJ and ask him these questions. Sometimes a lower price is a great. But rarely.
I have a friend who is adding an addition on to her house, and she's had a rough go of it. So much so, in fact, that she has taken on completing most of the work. I asked her why she had to do this, and she told me that she found a contractor who was cheaper than the rest, and went with him. As a result, he took twice as long to do half the work promised, and did a shoddy job of it to boot.
DJ'ing is much the same. You might save yourself some money, but is it worth the headache that is most likely to occur from these discount DJs? Do you want to roll the dice and take a gamble on someone who might not show up on time (or at all), or dress inappropriately (I attended a wedding where the DJ had his shirt unbuttoned to expose his hairy chest with gold chains, over jeans), or just someone who thinks DJ'ing is simply playing songs and lacks the essential skills to be a professional?
You might spend a couple hundred dollars more for a professional, high-grade DJ, but wouldn't you rather leave your guests saying "Wow! That was awesome!" rather than "What'd you pay for that DJ?"