If it has value, people who value it will pay for it. It is that simple. A lot of free design is not of high value.
When it comes right down to it, free design is about whether you value the attempt at getting the job more than the time and effort it takes to make the design. Clearly some people do. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but it is a reality in the landscape industry that has been around as lond as the industry and I don't see it ever changing.
Papercutter and I still make a good living despite the free designers out there and some guys are getting installs and making money on their free designs. It all works.
Ideally, we should all get paid for whatever we do, but reality is reality.
I should say that most of my work is single sheet landscape plans drawn on 24"x36" sheet in black and white line work and range from about $1,200 to $3,000 .... most are about $1,500. .... similar to what Jim has shown, but done in CAD because I don't draw well with my hands. I can produce Construction Documents, but I find that the residential market will much more easily buy what I call a Schematic Landscape Plan (like Jim's) than a full set of construction detail$ that price the design much higher than they are ready to pay for .... I could throw those in and look more professional (like designing for free) but the best rate of return that I find as a residential designer (who happens to have gone through the hoops to be a licensed LA) is a single sheet landscape plan.
Having said that, if a new designer or LA comes into my market and adds construction documents to the mix and charges the same that I do, I'd completely understand why. If another one comes in and does what I do for half the price, I' not going to knock him. These are all things that we do to get an advantage selling. When we need them, we do them. But I'm going to do what I do as long as it works for me.
Many of us don't like what others do because we want the playing field tilted toward what we do. If you own the market, someone else will try to tilt it so they get a piece of it. It is what the free market is all about .... if anyone remembers what that is.