He wants me to charge $10 to size up (gold and silver) rings and
$5 to size them down, with no extra charge for removing and
replacing stones, in some strange bid to corner the repair market
in our fairly small town.
Yeah. I want a new Porsche 911 Turbo for $2500 too. Let him corner
the market by getting his own bench. Then he won’t have to pay
anybody a dime for anything.
Seriously Paf, don’t waste another second on that guy. Not another
And to Amanda, doing work for friends and family has the potential
to be one of the biggest hassles there is. Most want it for free or
just your cost, will be offended or even insulted if you don’t do it
for free and then will end up being among the toughest to please. I
would recommend that you do anything you can to avoid doing such work
unless the cost is a non-issue for them. In my experience, when cost
is a factor it is really hard to come to any conclusion that’s
positive for both, and sometimes for either of you. If you find that
you have no choice, at least unapologetically charge them the same as
you would anybody else. If they want you to do your best work (and
they most certainly will), then the cost shouldn’t be a major
factor. If it is, refer them to Paf’s friend. He speaks Cheap
David Geller knows what he’s talking about. I won’t revisit his
whole pitch, but try it before you knock it. I was shocked that I
could get what I now get for everything. If 10% aren’t walking,
you’re not charging enough. Repairs really are trust based, good
wholesale clients know that too. I charge 66% of Geller Blue Book
labor and a 1.7 markup on parts and metals to my wholesale clients.
The only reason I do any wholesale work at all is because the very
few clients I have have been with me from the beginning and really
made my current business possible. Plus, rather than bellyache to me
about my pricing, they justify their prices to their customers.
That’s the way it should be, and trust me, it’s a lot better that
way. I will continue to do their work for as long as they want me to,
even if it isn’t as profitable as retail work.
Why don’t you consider going retail, Paf? Retail customers are SOOOO
much easier to work with. They appreciate a craftsman and fine work,
especially with their most prized possessions. Best of all, price is
seldom an issue, provided you take the time to properly explain it.
If you earn their trust, you can charge pretty much whatever you
want. Do it right and they’ll blab about you to everyone they know.
You can’t buy that kind of advertising for any money. Why don’t YOU
go out there and corner your market if it’s ripe for cornering? If
your “buddy” there would be your primary competition, how can you
possibly lose? Even the dumbest retail customer can spot a
money-grubbing shyster like that a mile away.