At the last two craft shows, I have had people ask me to restring broken pieces. My question is how do you price this?
All have been really simple and all three top no more than one hour all together. I had one necklace that I simple had to replace the cord and clasp. One necklace I had to restring the whole necklace but only six beads had actually came off the piece. So I simple restrung the necklace adding those six beads in place and I was able to use their clasp so iI had only the string and only a few crimps. The last was a bracelet that was a stretchy and she had all the pieces so it was simply stretch cord and a few crimps.
I don't mind doing this as I figure it is just more ways to attract business. In fact the lady with the necklace and bracelet has a hair salon and she said that I can put a few pieces in her shop to see if they sell. It is a small business in a small town but I'll take any business I can get.
Thank you for your help on this!
Have a great day!
I am more or less a dabbler as it were. I make a lot of stuff, but sell very little.
For the few repairs that I have done for compensation(almost all that I do is for my wife and daughter's and their friends), I simply charge a flat rate. Usually $5 to $10 for simple restringing, but for wire wrapped pieces like Rosaries, I usually start at about $25(or more) based on the work and kinds of materials involved.
I'm sure that you have done enough pieces to know about how long it will take to do a repair, so base it on roughly $20 an hour labor plus any expensive parts that may need to be replaced. I don't even count thread/string/wire and crimps into the equation because that's quibbling over pennies in the long run and it's something that you keep on hand anyway.
The only repair that I have ever done that was more than $45 or so was on a string of real pearls. That ws only because I restrung and knotted all of them on silk cord. I figured why repair one place when ALL of the origional silk was the same age and would soon follow suit.
Another thing that I factor in is the question, "Would I pay someone that much to do that repair?", and that usually makes any adjustments needed for my conscience. ;o)
I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~
Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio
Thanks for your thoughts. I had previously charged $10 for the first necklace. This repair I was going to charge $10 for the necklace and $5 for the bracelet because it really was my time ( although it got done while I was waiting on dinner to cook but they don't need to know that ). You stated my thoughts of I had the supplies so that was minimal and would I pay that much for that job.
I guess I was on the right track but I still doubt myself sometimes. Thanks for the input!
When you do repairs, you are going to hear, "You want HOW MUCH to fix that? I only paid XX for it!" and probably the customer will walk away. But, you will just as often hear, "That was my grandmother's (mother's, sister's, etc.) and I want to have it fixed, no matter what it costs."
Alastar has the right idea. I do repairs/restringing here in the shop and I generally charge a minimum of $10 to do a simple 1-strand re-string. If it's more than one strand, the price goes up. If I have to "engineer" it - the price goes up for the additional time. I just finished a squash blossom necklace - had to have a few beads added and some re-arranged to make it hang right. That will be a $40 job. If I'd re-strung it and not done the "engineering", it would have been $20. (BUT - it would have looked TERRIBLE if I had.) The extra care you take in doing it right is worth the extra cost to the customer!
Generally, I figure $10/hour for simple re-stringing and I quote high to allow for Murphy's Law. If you quote high, you have room to come down or discount, if you want to. I'll say something like, "That's 3 strands. I generally charge $10/hour per strand so that would be $30 plus any findings, etc. that I might have to add." SO - they are expecting it to be $35-$45 or so. If they were nice about it and didn't expect me to do it "right this minute", I'll discount up to half of the labor cost. If they are "high maintenance" or it's a rush order, I don't even offer a discount.
BUT - if it's as simple as replacing a jump ring, a dab of glue or maybe doing a new wrapped loop for an earring, I don't charge at all for it. I tell the customer, "Come back when you have something difficult for me to fix".
If I use a few beads from my stash or use plain flex wire like Beadalon or SoftFlex, I don't charge for parts. The other day, I had to re-do a 5 strand watchband in "gold" and "pearls". The "gold" was plated and in shabby shape and the "pearls" were not real and the coating was worn off most of them. I replaced them with stuff I had in my repair stash and the watch's owner and I were both very pleased with the result! I added a couple of dollars for my "gold & pearls" plus the time. Because it was a 5 strand band, I quoted 2 hours at $20. The customer was so happy with this, she gave me 2 more watches to re-string for her - also multiple strand quoted at $20/hour. I wrote out the bill with the quoted price and then gave her a discount (the other 2 watches were easier than I anticipated) and we were both happy. My regular repair customers call me "the Bead Doctor". <grin>
Hope this helps!
Deb - AZ Bead Depot
Thanks for your thoughts! I was actually thinking today about giving her a discount ( doing the bracelet for free ) since she is letting me put a few pieces in her shop to see if they sell. I figure word of mouth may be worth the 10 minutes it took to do her bracelet.
I appreciate the way that both of you explained how you figure it. I was not sure if I was in the ball park. I had not even thought of doing repairs and had a lady request one at a show a few weeks ago. As you say, it was a single bead on a braided silk cord that tied. The first time she took it off it started to unravel. A dear friend had brought it back from Italy for her. So for her, like you say, it was not about the cost. After I had told her the cost, she even tipped me. Once I had it fixed and she had paid me, she was looking at some pieces I had brought ( at her request ) and she bought 2 more stretchy bracelets to wear as anklets. The small cost of the stringing was well worth it for me.
Thanks again. Now I will feel more confident in how to cost/estimate things out.
Great information. Thanks to all who contributed. You answered some of the questions I have. Lou
Love and laughter are healthy.
I'd do the same thing - fix it for free if she was letting me sell stuff in her shop. Some beaders and LBS who do repairs would get the heebie-jeebies about my pricing scheme - many won't do a repair for less than $20/hour. I think it depends on how much repair work you want to do. If you don't want to or don't like to do repairs, then make the price higher to discourage repairs.
Glad I could help. If you have any other questions, just "holler" at me!
I ended up not charging her and I left 5 pieces in her shop. She was very happy with the "exchange". She was talking about getting a display easle out and arranging my pieces. As well, she had a stack of my cards next to her cash register.
I know that I probably won't sell a ton of items there, but every single one helps and can lead to another.
Thanks for all of your thoughts and input!
I shake my head in amazement every time I hear a story like yours. LBS that turn away repairs like that are also turning away the opportunity to turn that repair customer into a beading addict - I mean, customer. <grin> A 15 minute "show me how to fix it" session (one of my favorite things) very often turns into a new beading friend.
Agreed, Deb. There have been times when I made just as much money (and some new friends) just by doing some repair or restringing as by selling my own work. Besides, once you fix one thing for someone, I notice they seem to keep finding more and more things that need work, and telling their friends who did it for them. It may not be a huge money making venture, but it's sure good for leading to more business. Never pass up a repair opportunity, even if you don't charge for it, unless it's just beyond what you know how to do. I seem to have the same basic pricing scheme as everyone else does, so I can't really add to that.
Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth! I met a lady in Hobby Lobby that was trying to figure out how to restring a "cheap" little necklace she bought from someone off the street in NY. We talked and I ended up taking it home with me, restringing and adding a few shell beads, etc. and made some easy cute earrings to match. I went to her (huge) house with all my jewelry, didn't charge her, she bought $84 worth and then called me a few days later wanting me to sell at her church craft fair. I enjoy doing things for others so the cost doesn't bother me much. If she continued to ask for my help, then I would start charging something. For me it ends up helping me sell jewelry sometimes.
Also, I love to talk so I meet a lot of crafters at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Never fails, every time I go in I end up helping someone with their jewelry making! I've told the managers that they need to start paying me because I sell a lot of their items! Of course, I go to Hobby Lobby 3 - 4 times a week! Most of the employees know me now!
When I quote a price to a new customer, I always add, "I can teach you how to fix it yourself for FREE, you just pay for the materials." Most of the time, they say, "No thanks, I'll let you do it.". But, there are many times that I'll do the first repair or two and they decide that it's silly to pay me for what THEY can do. So, they bring in a broken "something" and ask if I can help them fix it or make it over. We have fun creating something special. Sometimes, they are only interested in stringing "these beads of grandma's" so I'll give them a couple of feet of Beadalon and set them up at the worktable here in the store. Or, they take it home and string it and then bring it back to have me put a clasp on for them.
You're right - once you fix one thing for someone, they always seem to come across something else for you to help them with. I have a customer who has absolutely no interest in doing any beading, but ever since I "designed" an eyeglass holder in her choice of 4mm Swarovskis, she brings me all kinds of things to re-string or re-make. One of the biggest challenges was a pair of clip earrings she wanted to turn into pierced earrings without altering the clip! (They were vintage costume - pricey.) The last time she brought me a repair, I said, "I might have to change some of the beads to make it match. Do you trust me?" She said, "Of course, you're the Bead Doctor!". She sent a friend to me so that I could re-string a simple necklace. The friend has been back twice, as well! And, it always seems as if the repairs come in when things are slow and the extra $$ is a bonus.
Just an update on the lady that I did the restringing for...
She called me today and had sold 2 of my pieces with a request for earrings to match one necklace. I had only left 5 pieces. Deb - you are correct in that she has another piece for me to restring but using some different beads as some have had some wear and she wants them replaced. Anyway, while I was at her shop a little bit ago, there was an elderly lady there and she loved my pieces, but she prefers stretchy bracelets and magnetic clasps for her necklaces. I explained that I could redo any pieces to accommodate her requests. An hour later, I walked out with about $75 ( or more ) worth of sales. This is not including 2 sets of earrings to match other pieces.
Needless to say, I did more business in that hour than my little case at the antique store did all last month. I just put this out there for anyone who thinks a small shop may not be the way to go. Because you actually never know until you try...
Congratulations, Sheila! I'll bet you were walking on air!
Doing repairs is a good way to get your name out - people see the quality of your work in the repairs and have good feelings about buying your original pieces or even in having you make a custom piece for them. To you or me, it's "just" re-stringing, but to them, it's making a beloved piece wearable again.