TIME - Aug 2 - In this economy, it seems unthinkable that people would pay up to six figures just to find a mate. And yet expensive matchmakers are reporting that business is up these days. Janis Spindel, who charges clients between $50,000 and $500,000 a year to find the "woman of their dreams," says membership jumped 41% in 2009 from the year before and is up 46% so far this year. Premier Match, a New York City–based agency where annual membership costs a min of $5,500, logged $1.5M in sales last year, a 30% increase from the previous year. Matchmaking agencies advertise different strengths to attract high-end clients. Barbie Adler, CEO of Selective Search, worked in executive recruitment before she started her agency in Chicago 10 years ago. "My experience has been crucial to looking beyond a résumé to make a good match," she says. Indeed, clients are willing to part with a minimum of $15,000 for Adler to work with them. Other firms take a scientific approach. The British firm Seventy Thirty, which charges its clients a min of $15,000, has a team made up exclusively of psychologists.
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