Everything with a client should be up front. What would you tell them if you gave them the site, and then they realized that you used a template?
A big consideration would be *why* you are using a theme forest theme for a client.
If you can’t make a compelling argument for charging the amount that you’re charging for a pre-made theme, then you probably shouldn’t do it.
I’ve used a pre-made theme once, but that was after the client saw my quote for a custom site, and decided they couldn’t afford it, so I pitched the pre-made thing to them and charged them accordingly.
Thanks for the responses. The quote I’ve given the client is based on using a theme, so I’m certainly not trying to overcharge them nor be dishonest. My concern is more that when the Client chooses the Theme, they can see the prices, instructions, etc… and might think that I could be either charging too much for my time, or that they could do it themselves.
In saying that I’ve probably answered my own question: If the client thinks that they can do it themselves, then I should probably just let them.
Maybe the right approach here is, instead of just letting the client pick a theme, you should select a theme that you think has the functionality that matches what the clients needs are. Then, as you said, you can customize the look and feel and add any extra functionality.
I would absolutely tell the client that your intention is to use a pre-made theme as a starting point for their site. What they are paying for in that case is your expertise in customizing the theme to fit their needs. Then, in that case, it doesn’t matter that the client can see the prices of the themes, instructions, etc. Just my two cents.