I want to (possibly) hire a subcontractor that I'm related to and know reasonably well from family-functions, but not so far in a professional capacity. I'm of the understanding that she needs the work and is capable โ€” I have seen some of her past work โ€” but she is relatively inexperienced and as far as I know, not making much money right now.

I know that if her skills are what I think they might be... that is, Very Good, she should be paid pretty well. It's not a cheap skillset. I want to of course pay her fairly, but I also want to make a good profit on this gig. I'm considering bringing a sub on at all only because I have a lot of work right now and I'm concerned about finishing it in a timely manner.

I emailed her and asked her rates and she replied somewhat vaguely with a VERY low hourly rate for a related skill she's currently offering someone else. I get the feeling she'll take whatever I'm willing to give her.

Paying her the rate she offered would be very good for me financially, but SO ridiculously cheap. (Like, a third of the going rate for the skillset.) At the same time, I've never worked with her before and I don't know how fast she is really or what troubles might lie ahead, so I'm hesitant to just offer a higher rate.

What are your thoughts, hivemind? Should I offer to pay her closer to the going rate on principle, or take her at her offered rate?