Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

Help and ideas for your sewing or quilting business.

Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby MartySews2 on Mon May 03, 2010 4:46 pm

How do you price your work for friends & acquaintances or even relatives? When you sew for others as a business, it is important to price your work within your community's standards. Someone in a large metropolitan city can charge more than those in small communities. I define large metropolitan city as a community with at least 100,000 people. So how do you know what to charge when a neighbor, a friend or acquaintance asks you to make something for them? If you only sew for fun & think highly of this person, I recommend (for whatever it is worth) to charge a reasonable amount - between $10-$15 an hour as each person who sews should value themselves at that minimum amount. If you sew as a business, you are a professional & your rates should be priced accordingly. No professional should make less than $20 an hour for the work that they do. You certainly would not pay an electrician, a plumber, or home repair man less than that. Most of them charge a consultation fee too. As a seamstress, sewist, sew-er (whatever name you use) is as valuable as these professionals. Most women do not give themselves credit for all that they have learned thru the years by sewing. If you're trying to supplement your family's income by taking on small jobs, you owe it to your family to try to earn a decent wage. After all, your time is being taken, as well as wear & tear on your equipment, and your electricity, washer & dryer (if you pretreat the fabric), etc. If someone doesn't want to pay a fair wage (& I believe this is fair), they need to go elsewhere. It has taken most of us many years to be confident enough in our skills to sew for others, so therefore we are worthy of a decent wage. These are my thoughts, what are yours? Inquiring minds want to know.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
MartySews2
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 am
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby Mom of Six on Mon May 03, 2010 6:01 pm

I don't usually charge close friends or relatives unless there is a deadline. Then I usually don't take on the job because I don't like deadlines.
Sewing is my hobby not my profession. If I had to sew to make a living I think I would starve. With the economy the way it is I don't think many people (at least here in Michigan) could afford $10- $20 an hr.
If I do a sewing job it has to fit in my schedule & then I just let the person pay what they think it is worth. That is why any sewing I do for money is usually craft items & I set a price. If they want it they pay if not I have lots of gifts already made.
Barb
wife to 1
Mom to Six
Mother in Law to 2
Grandma to 4
Lunchlady
User avatar
Mom of Six
2009 Stash Challenge Winner - Clean Sweep!
2009 Stash Challenge Winner - Clean Sweep!
 
Posts: 2043
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:44 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby DorothyL on Tue May 04, 2010 6:09 am

If I want to do something for someone, I do it. If I don't want to do it, I don't.
I don't sew for money. I'm fixing jackets for a guy (one done and returned and the other today). He offered to pay me but I don't want his money. I'm doing it because he doesn't have anyone else to do it and he is a good person and it is just minor stuff.
I sew for fun.
Mending and alterations on the other hand is like cleaning the toilet -- sometimes ya just gotta do it.
I don't mean to belittle the work you do Marty it's just that I would hate it.
If I were to charge it would be the most the market would bear.
Dorothy
User avatar
DorothyL
 
Posts: 2992
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:53 am
Location: New York

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby fabric_addict on Wed May 12, 2010 6:46 pm

When I sew for others I do so as gifts as well. There is no need for payment. Only once has someone requested that I make a garment, and in that situation, I merely had that person buy the fabric and then I gave the item as a birthday or holiday gift.

I understand the idea of valuing the work. But I sew for fun and the challenge. It makes me feel good to give pretty things to friends as gifts (and it actually saves me money since I don't have to go out and purchase gifts if I'm using stash and leftovers to make gifts). Sure, I put in time, but that's OK. What would I be doing instead? Probably watching TV and rotting my brain with silly trainwreck reality shows. :D

For me, giving away my work is no different from what I see from the men in my life...they will go to the store and pick up parts and then fix friend's and neighbor's household items (toilets, sinks, doors, hot tubs, appliances, etc.) or cars. Often they will not even charge the friend for the cost of the part they picked up...and they certainly don't charge for time.

The payment for time is the social lubrication and the social safety-net that these helpful gestures foster. And a friend is certain to return the favor eventually in some non-monetary way later.
User avatar
fabric_addict
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby tgoudy on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:03 pm

I do sew as a living/business.
I do not charge accordingly not on my website and really not for friends and family.
I just spent 15 hours making 2 poodle skirts for my church family for 40$, but on Saturday at my block party when those ladies are rocking out in the church band with their skirts on it is going to make up for all the hours. For friend and family they are my walking billboards, so not charging them a lot is well worth it. Now on my business website, I really need to figure out how to price my item. I'm just lost.
Handmade is quality made
tgoudy
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby bridesmom on Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:55 pm

Sometimes I think you have to check out what other people sell their stuff for and what stores sell for and price somewhere in there. You need to be competitive but not undersell yourself too. I tend to undersell myself, but then sewing/quilting is not my business, it's my pleasure.
Laura
Go Canucks!
Asking a quilter to mend something is like asking Picasso to paint your garage
User avatar
bridesmom
2008/2009 Stash Challenge Winner
2008/2009 Stash Challenge Winner
 
Posts: 4533
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby MartySews2 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:59 am

I just finished making 6 boxed tablecloths for the Delta Fair & Music Festival. I don't charge for my work as it is not a business. However, the Delta Fair made a $100 donation to my church for my work. It took approximately 4-5 hours from start to finish to make each tablecloth. They provided the fabric & I provided the thread & labor. I thought that the donation was enough as all sewing was done on my serger. Cutting the fabric to their measurements is what took the most time. Even then, I tore the fabric to keep it straight on grain.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
MartySews2
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 am
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby Thisket on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:11 pm

MartySews2 wrote:How do you price your work for friends & acquaintances or even relatives? When you sew for others as a business, it is important to price your work within your community's standards. Someone in a large metropolitan city can charge more than those in small communities. I define large metropolitan city as a community with at least 100,000 people. So how do you know what to charge when a neighbor, a friend or acquaintance asks you to make something for them? If you only sew for fun & think highly of this person, I recommend (for whatever it is worth) to charge a reasonable amount - between $10-$15 an hour as each person who sews should value themselves at that minimum amount. If you sew as a business, you are a professional & your rates should be priced accordingly. No professional should make less than $20 an hour for the work that they do. You certainly would not pay an electrician, a plumber, or home repair man less than that. Most of them charge a consultation fee too. As a seamstress, sewist, sew-er (whatever name you use) is as valuable as these professionals. Most women do not give themselves credit for all that they have learned thru the years by sewing. If you're trying to supplement your family's income by taking on small jobs, you owe it to your family to try to earn a decent wage. After all, your time is being taken, as well as wear & tear on your equipment, and your electricity, washer & dryer (if you pretreat the fabric), etc. If someone doesn't want to pay a fair wage (& I believe this is fair), they need to go elsewhere. It has taken most of us many years to be confident enough in our skills to sew for others, so therefore we are worthy of a decent wage. These are my thoughts, what are yours? Inquiring minds want to know.
Marty ;)

I truly am upfront with the person and say that I have a minimum and they can decide on going with you to purchase the supplies and I tell them it will be a starbuck card. As funny as it sounds, it truly works. I have a $5. minimum. for starters. And when people do things for me, I write up a favor note. and apply it as credit. The whole pay it forward thing makes things fun. But I also pay them when I ask the favors I need.
Thisket
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:53 pm

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:29 pm

Maybe it is the fact that I am older than all of you but here is my 2 cents worth. I have been taken advantage of so many times that I finall wised up.. I never charged friends either, until all of a sudden they would just come and bring stacks of stuff to be altered and expect me to do it for nothing. That ended it... I will do anything that i see needs doing but when you start using me then you and I are through. And besides I think Marty is almost an angel.. I hate alterations with a passion. ! ! I will make a whole garment any day of the week before I will alter one.. So Now, when a 'friend ' asks me to make something I give her my price by the hour, which is $15.00 and tell them about how long it will take and then they get to decide whether that is what they want or not. I do have a few people at church that are needy and I do theirs gratis. If they try to pay , then I tell them to make a donation to our church. I would never charge anyone who could not afford it, but I will not be used any more..
Sew With Love
Libby
User avatar
LeapFrog Libby
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Re: Pricing Your Work for Friends & Acquaintances

New postby HeyJudee on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:35 pm

Well said Libby! I felt I was taken advantage of a few years ago when a friend who I hadn't seen in a while asked me to meet her for supper. Then I found out she needed a costume for her daughter (15). She was supposed to help, but I'm the one who did all the work and when she was around all she did was talk. I haven't gotten together with her since... :roll:
TTFN from Canada
Judy
User avatar
HeyJudee
 
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:08 pm
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau

Next


Return to Sewing/Quilting Businesses


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron