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Pricing a ceremonial chain repair

Normally I am a jewellery repairer and a one-off jewellery
manufacturer, but today I’ve completed a four hour gold repair to a
heavy eighteen carat gold, double ceremonial chain with a large
enamel court of arms pendant. The repair cost seemed to be no problem
for the local authority who it belongs to and they have simply
instructed me to do the work and send them a bill. Before I write my
invoice, I’d like to ask for some guidance on what would be an
appropriate hourly rate for this work? Do I charge my normal rate, as
I would for jewellery repairs, or should this one-off job deserve a
higher rate and if so, what would be considered an acceptable figure?


Why do you think that you need to charge them more than your normal
rate? You said that the job was straight up no hassles. I would have
thought that you would have given them an estimate before you even
started the job. I have a friend who often gets in trouble with his
clients because he is always afraid to discuss money before he
starts their jobs. When he is done they sometimes freak at the bill.
So, my advice is charge them your regular rate. Perhaps they will
bring you more work or their members will. Good work, honest dealings
always pays off. Good luck. I would lover to see what the piece you
repaired looks like.


Hi Alan

I too specialise in jewellery repairs regarding your question i
would charge your labour costs plus material costs then a mark up at
the end for your profit

Best regards
David Baggaley

I infer this ‘authority’ was some sort of museum or similar
organization. If so, the work might correctly be termed restoration,
and if you did a superlative job your work might be termed museum
quality. They chose you for the task, probably because you either
have a trusted relationship with them or by recommendation from a
well satisfied customer. Their expectations are high.

Yeah, maybe someone else with the necessary skill could have
technically done the job, but if the above is correct, I believe you
would be justified in a higher compensation because it was your
reputation that garnered you the job.

Why are we, as jewelers, so concerned with our reputations? In the
end its money, personal sentiment aside. If one’s reputation is that
he can bang out a lot of work cheap, he will have a lot of work and
make his money that way. If the rep is for honesty he will make sales
based on that. If your rep is for very fine work, you will get the
fine work. People are willing to pay according to the expectation.
They will return if you exceed their expectations (sorry for the
corporate jargon).

But I do agree with the poster who suggested an estimate beforehand.
Not only is that a service to your customer it will build your
self-confidence. You will, over time, get a fix on your overall
pricing by judging their reactions to your quoted price. If you get
a lot of people quickly accepting your proposal you know you have
room to up your price next time. If they consistently storm out,
you’re too high. If they hesitate but give approval you are just