• Always request a written quote and select a detective agency that is actually licensed in your state and performs daily services in your area. Make sure they assign a licensed investigator.
  • The quote should breakdown all components of pricing for full transparency of service fees and expenses.  


  • In Pennsylvania, retainers are fees paid in advance to a private investigator. Something like a deposit that you can use for services in the future. How much you have to pay depends on the organization, the location, and the specifics of your case. Select an agency that provides the most flexible starting retainer. The lower the retainer, the more leverage and options you have.
  • The best agencies will provide an affordable starting retainer in the amount of $250 for a basic private investigation. Pay as you go after the initial retainer in increments that fit your need and budget is advised. Make sure you are provided secure access to records, documents, video, photos and other evidence relating to your investigation. Make sure you receive an up-to-date accounting of hours and expenses applied to your active retainer.

Recent Estimates In Pennsylvania:

Based on cases processed over the past three years by the C.A.Robinson Private Detective Agency, typical starting and total private investigator costs by type of case are provided below and suitable for a starting budget when selecting our agency for your investigative need.

  • Adultery or Infidelity Investigations ($250 gets you started with average cost over an extended period of time totaling about $2,000)
  • Background Investigation (Basic service starts at $250; expanded background investigation with field work starts at $1,000)
  • Criminal Defense Investigations (Starting retainer of $2,500 required and in some cases, positive results were achieved for $2,000 resulting in a refund of $500 back to the client)
  • Identity Theft (Always report first to your local law enforcement agency; but if you need to know “who, why and how”? Call the experts starting at $1,250)
  • Lost Family Member ($250 gets you started and pay as we go with a typical cost not to exceed $1,000)
  • Social Media Investigation (do this yourself unless you are being “doxed” or your business is the target of false reviews, if so call the experts from $1,250)
  • Stalking and Harassment Investigations ($1250 includes field and electronic counter surveillance cyber and RF bug and tracker detection equipment deployment with field services)
  • Unfaithful or Cheating Partner – ($250 gets you started with average cost over an extended period being about $2,000)

Call (800) 910-6622 for a Free Consultation and Quote