Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Pricing Commissions

Hi again everyone… Again I would like to thank everyone who gave
me such good advice regarding accepting credit cards in my store
that is opening on Saturday.

I have a pressing question or two about pricing commissioned work…
or rather… How much deposit / down payment does one take from a
client, and how much of that is refundable if they cancel their
order and you have gotten stock in especially for that order?

I have a gentleman who has contacted me for a commissioned piece /s.
He is coming on Saturday to discuss his needs with me, and I sort of
need to know what is and is not acceptable in regards to this
question. I know what my hourly rate is and I have jewelry pricing
software, it is just the other aspects that I have previously
mentioned that I need help with.

Could you more seasoned veterans out there, help a little. In New
Zealand, I had no problems with this as most commissioned work was
done for friends, or friends of friends… But here it is a totally
different ball game as it is from my shop.

Btw… I want to say a big hi to Brian Adams who was such a help to
me some years back and helped me over come my fear of soldering
work… Cheers Brian! I often think of you and your partner and your
lovely studio surrounded by the wonderful NZ bush!

Thanks in advance everyone.


Everyone is going to offer different advice on this, but the reality
is that YOU have to decide how you want to handle this. Personally, I
need 50% up front before I start any work. Balance is due upon
delivery. I don’t ever give money back. If they don’t like the
design, I’ll redo it until they do, or I’ll give them a credit for
anything I do in the shop (case goods, other custom work, repairs,
etc.), but I don’t ever give money back. I’m very clear about this up
front. All of my policies are printed on the back of the order and
they have to sign it. But that’s just me. Ultimately, as I said in
the first sentence you have to decide what you’re comfortable with.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC

I charge in the same manner as an Amish cabinet maker did me. The
cost of materials is up front and not refundable; the rest of the
cost is on completion and that is “mine.”


Typically I get 50% down, but I’m flexible. Mainly I want to see a
real commitment from the client and to cover my out of pocket if the
deal goes south. I rarely have someone cancel a significant job
after I am financially committed but if I do I charge retail value of
materials/labor up to that point and the customer would get the
piece as is at that point. Made to special order means just that, its
not speculation work.

You could make the deposit non-refundable but you’d be wise to check
your local consumer law regarding that.

It would be acceptable if you wanted to break it into 3 or more
payments, 1/3 down, 1/3 halfway thru, 1/3 at pickup…along those

Good luck in the new shop!