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Unread 11-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #1
Rainbowgasm
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Small Commission Prices

So some friends have started asking me to do small jobs for them such as making a skirt, lengthening a skirt, putting sleeves on jackets, and such... and they are willing to pay me... How much should I be charging? I'm not a pro by any means and I don't always do things 'the right way' but in the end, the result is the same... they are buying all the fabric (with me present so they know I can work with what they buy) and stuff, so I'm only going to be charging them for my time basically... keep in mind they are my friends, so what I'd charge for a commercial commission if I ever got good enough for that would be beyond what I'd make my friends pay... I'd only make them pay around half what I'd commercially charge... so what should I be charging?
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Unread 11-17-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
alliebeth
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It depends on what your time is worth to you, and if you prefer charging "hourly" or "per project/piece". Usually the per project/piece is if it only takes 20 minutes, you aren't going to charge 1/3 of your hourly price.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
Rainbowgasm
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would charging $20 to make a skirt that will take around 4 hours with details to make seem like overkill for a friend? shes willing to pay that, but I dont want to charge that if its not what its worth... I'd feel too guilty...
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Unread 11-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #4
Kelley
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That seems perfectly fair and well under what I'd expect to pay if I were commissioning someone.

Since we're talking about friends, it really depends on what both of you feel comfortable with, though.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
tarinalove
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Just make sure to have it all in writing.

I just lost a ton of time because a friend "commissioned me" to make her an esmerelda costume. I did. I asked if 100$ was fair. She got pissy and ignored me (meanwhile she takes trips out of state, buys brand spanking new video games (EXPENSIVE ones) and other stuff). I had already given her the dress to wear and said I would fix it after Halloween for perfection and for payment. My bad. I said I would take under but throw me an answer, she never did. I'm not getting a payment. Our friendship is pretty much over because of this and other reasons too.

Never give the costume away without taking the PAYMENT first. Or at the 'transaction' period.

And you would be making 5$ an hour if it only takes you 4hours. Not too bad for 20$. (US minimum wage starting)
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Unread 11-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarinalove View Post
Just make sure to have it all in writing.

I just lost a ton of time because a friend "commissioned me" to make her an esmerelda costume. I did. I asked if 100$ was fair. She got pissy and ignored me (meanwhile she takes trips out of state, buys brand spanking new video games (EXPENSIVE ones) and other stuff). I had already given her the dress to wear and said I would fix it after Halloween for perfection and for payment. My bad. I said I would take under but throw me an answer, she never did. I'm not getting a payment. Our friendship is pretty much over because of this and other reasons too.

Never give the costume away without taking the PAYMENT first. Or at the 'transaction' period.

And you would be making 5$ an hour if it only takes you 4hours. Not too bad for 20$. (US minimum wage starting)
Oh, I MAKE them pay before I give it to them...
On the notes of me buying fabric, I get a 15-50% discount depending on the fabric with a club card (which I would get asap if I really got into this), so how much should I charge then? should I charge full price of the fabric? or should I charge like... 15% on top of what I paid...? Then for hours as such?
I think $5/h for friends is decent
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Unread 11-20-2011, 09:23 AM   #7
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One thing I learned when I started sewing professionally is people take sewing skills for granted and you should NEVER feel bad for charging for your skill and time.

I work at an established shop so these numbers are higher than a home sewer but the thinking is the same. Our shop rate is $47/hour. So if we know a job is going to take half an hour, we would charge $23.50. If someone wants a dress made and we know it's going to take 6 hours the price would be $282 plus materials. Now keep in mind we have to pay for hydro, rent, machine maintenance, etc but the principals are the same.

I would start keep a log of how much time it takes you to do things. Then you can find your base rate for things like making skirts and stuff.

For materials, the price is the price whether you or the customer buys them. Don't over or under charge in this area. Also remember that you will need needles, thread, closures and the like. These cost money so keep that in mind when giving a quote. A spool of thread, pack of needles and an invisible zipper can cost $9 easy to start so why would you eat that yourself if you are making something for someone else?

Yes it may be for your friend but there is nothing wrong with charging minimum wage, and here in Ontario that's $10.25. Even basic home sewers will charge people a base rate of $15/h minimum. Don't undervalue yourself or let others tell you you time and skill isn't worth what they think it is. Just because someone paid $20 for a shirt that was made in china doesn't mean you can't charge them $10 to hem it if it's going to take you close to an hour.
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Unread 11-20-2011, 09:34 AM   #8
Rainbowgasm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yunalicia View Post
One thing I learned when I started sewing professionally is people take sewing skills for granted and you should NEVER feel bad for charging for your skill and time.

I work at an established shop so these numbers are higher than a home sewer but the thinking is the same. Our shop rate is $47/hour. So if we know a job is going to take half an hour, we would charge $23.50. If someone wants a dress made and we know it's going to take 6 hours the price would be $282 plus materials. Now keep in mind we have to pay for hydro, rent, machine maintenance, etc but the principals are the same.

I would start keep a log of how much time it takes you to do things. Then you can find your base rate for things like making skirts and stuff.

For materials, the price is the price whether you or the customer buys them. Don't over or under charge in this area. Also remember that you will need needles, thread, closures and the like. These cost money so keep that in mind when giving a quote. A spool of thread, pack of needles and an invisible zipper can cost $9 easy to start so why would you eat that yourself if you are making something for someone else?

Yes it may be for your friend but there is nothing wrong with charging minimum wage, and here in Ontario that's $10.25. Even basic home sewers will charge people a base rate of $15/h minimum. Don't undervalue yourself or let others tell you you time and skill isn't worth what they think it is. Just because someone paid $20 for a shirt that was made in china doesn't mean you can't charge them $10 to hem it if it's going to take you close to an hour.
ah, well my friends usually buy all their own materials if I tell them what to get (and go with them to get it so I can see what works best)... and I'm not really THAT good of a sewer, just better then anyone else in the group... I take short cuts and I don't surge (dont have the machine), and I don't see the point for a lot of stuff actual 'pro' sewers do, so I don't do it... so I would NEVER charge $15/h... and my friends are super poor high school students, so they can't afford me to charge $60 for 4 hours of work on just a skirt... they'd just get it online for $30 with shipping... they're more trying to help ME out because they know I don't have a job and have a horse (who just had surgery no less) and apartment to pay for...
So I think for friends, $5/h is reasonable at least for the small jobs... I might charge more for whole costumes, but we'll see...
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Unread 11-23-2011, 03:30 AM   #9
tarinalove
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let us know how it works out!
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