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Topic: Do you charge your friends for commissioned gifts for others?  (Read 2461 times)
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LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« on: November 26, 2014 06:55:20 AM »

I often make handmade items for myself or as gifts for friends. When people see these items-most often co-workers and friends-they will want me to make one for one of THEIR friends, to give as a gift (i.e.-I just learned how to make ruffle scarves and wore one to work.  My co-worker asked me to make her friend, another co-worker, one for her to give as an Xmas gift.)

Do I charge my friends or co-workers for these items?  DH says no, but I feel that if I'm not choosing to gift it to you, then you should have to pay for it.

What do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014 04:14:42 PM »

If you're making it for someone you don't know, of course you charge. A general rule of thumb is 3 times the retail cost of the materials used. Including the scrap. As an example, if you use a square foot of material, and cut a 10 inch circle in it, you charge for the entire square foot.
Just make sure you agree on the price before you start.
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LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014 07:50:26 PM »

Thank you for the advice.  I actually got the yarn for the scarf she asked me to make for only ninety-seven cents a skein!  What I figured is that is if the person who asked me to make the scarf offers me money when I give her the scarf, I'll take it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014 02:38:01 PM »

Well, if making stuff isn't a "business" with you, just to keep it real, ask for $10 plus materials, or round it out. Nobody's going to squawk over $10 and that way you're not totally being taken advantage of (a little bit taken advantage of... yes.). You're not responsible to play the part of Lady Bountiful to friends-of-friends.
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shadojake
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014 07:50:38 PM »

If you ARE doing this as a business then you need to look in to pricing structures.  If someone asks you to make it for one of their friends, relatives, co-workers or whatever you need to charge for it, and a fair price to cover materials, research, time, etc.
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shadojake
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014 07:53:00 PM »

I want to add that I have given gifts from time to time of the crafts I make.  However, the only people I "gift" are my personal friends and it is for a special occasion or as a thank you for something they have done.  Not just because they asked for it.  Not that I wouldn't but it hasn't happened yet.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014 10:30:08 AM »

Even when it's not your business, I'd charge. The rate would depend not just on cost (it seems totally obvious to me that anyone requesting an item from you should cover the costs you make) but also on how much you like doing it, how much time it would cost and how much these people mean to you.

In this case, the yarn was cheap, ruffle scarves don't take too much time, you know the receipient, I'd probably charge a small amount, $5-10 or she could buy you lunch or a fancy coffee or something. Just something for the effort.

It has happened to me quite a few times that people come up to me with their repair work "because I like sewing and the tailor shop is asking $15". I hate repairs just as much as the next person, I'd be willing to do it if people pay because I could use the money, but I can't imagine I'd be much cheaper than the shop. Their prices are fairly realistic, many people just don't know or don't appreciate the time that goes into simple repairs / any kind of craft really. Sometimes I'm amazed that people I barely know ask me to fix stuff for them for free. Just because they work in construction, doesn't mean I ask them to fix my bathroom for free.... but "that's different, that's work".
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014 05:49:31 AM »

It has happened to me quite a few times that people come up to me with their repair work "because I like sewing and the tailor shop is asking $15".

That kind of person doesn't deserve my help - whatever someone else would charge 'em, I'd triple it!  Wink
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DaedalusLabyrinth
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014 04:55:34 PM »

I think as soon as someone is asking you to make something for someone else then you are doing business whether you want to charge them or not. My DH is much the same, usually insisting that I charge. I've come to agree, although I still give close friends a discount when it's for them.

You're still enjoying your work, and it would be a real shame to lose that. At some point most people start to feel taken advantage of, and they get bitter and jaded and it hurts the enjoyment. I've found that a well thought out price (more than just materials + $10) keeps it fair for both sides.

I could go on for awhile about the psychology behind pricing your products. But to sum up, it's amazing how people respect your craft more when you charge a respectable price.  Wink


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« Last Edit: January 08, 2015 09:58:35 AM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2016 07:53:58 AM »

My sister asked me to make some curtains for a Boler trailer. I carefully timed how long it took. And I asked minimum wage ($10) for my time. Since the material was actually a tablecloth that was on sale, and I used twill tape for the hanging tube, The materials came under $10, but I charged her for them as well. Altogether, the curtains came to $75. She was quite adamant at not getting more of them done when her boyfriend said, "we should get her to do all of them." Since she did pay for the tablecloth, and there was quite a bit of it left, I finished the one end of it, and gave it to her as well.

I do have to admit that I am very glad that I charged what I did. Not that the Boler trailer has lots of curtains by any means, but if I'd have given them to her for free, I could see myself doing all of them, and getting nothing for it.

I could also see, down the road, people coming to my sister, & asking her to get me to sew _____ for them, and getting it for nothing, too. And even though we don't want to admit it, word about "free sewing" spreads fast.  And there I would be, chained to my sewing machine, and getting absolutely nothing for it.

My opinion: charge for it. If you haven't been charging for it, and more people ask you for them, just tell them, "these items have become so popular, I have to charge for them now." And then name your price. (Free sewing does not equal popularity.)
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A.T. Morel
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