So you mean if they're going to replace your water pump and they
don't know the prices they tell you a really high price that
should cover it? And you agree to that so no matter what the ending
price really is, you agreed to the inflated one?
No my experience with mechanics (I’ve known good, bad, angels and
crooks) is that they do an inspection, find out the problem, go to
find parts, tell me how much it’s going to cost including labour. I
then have the option to tell them to proceed or bugger off (trans: go
away, get lost, that’s too high a price etc. etc. etc.).
Does your mechanic ever have to actually build a piece of one of
the cars he's fixing? Or does he buy parts and work on a fixed
Had that happen once, had to have a new part machined, had
reconditioned parts as well as new. Mind you he doesn’t sell ice
cream, but there’s always a latte available free if I want one
How do you figure your hourly wage when working on many peoples'
item at once?
For the other stuff I do, I have an hourly rate, and I know the
costs up front and can tell the customer what they need to pay me.
This is for run of the mill stuff, but I can do this for new items
that I’ve never made before. There are no surprises in my work. I
don’t have enough experience in jewellery manufacture to know if this
will be the same.
I know how long it will take to do the individual items, and I quote
on that, if I gain some time by performing repeat operations, that’s
a win, a reward for working efficiently.
However I don’t think I’d have the stomach for doing repairs,
because I don’t like the thought that if I make one wrong move I can
destroy a poorly made piece. Basically paying for someone elses
Do you charge something during that hour for the time you're
waiting for things to cool?
Technically no. The customer has already been charged, if something
unexpected happens, I wear it the customer doesn’t.
Do you change your per hour charge if you're working on sterling
Why wouldn’t I? If I ever work with platinum (unlikely, but never
say never), hopefully the course I’m undertaking will teach me what’s
actually involved in working platinum.
So if I quote on silver it will take so many hours to make that
silver object, and if I quote platinum it will take so many hours for
that piece. If I go over that’s on me, if I go under that’s also on
Your hourly wage charge sounds too complicated to me. Tonight I'm
sizing 4 rings up and one down for one client, fixing a catch on a
bracelet for another and finishing a ring and setting diamonds in
the top, plus I took in a big ol' handful of sterling repairs and
I'm prepping them for repair also I'm making Porter (beer) for
Christmas gifts, all at the same time. Kinda difficult to figure
this stuff hourly.
I don’t understand why it’s complicated? You know what you charge
per hour, that’s a fixed rate. You know how much effort it will be to
fabricate an item in a specific metal. You know how much gas you’ll
use, electricity. etc. etc. etc.
The only issue that you outlined would be if there were unknown
events that you didn’t factor in. The worst that can happen in that
case is that you lose money, so it pays to know what all your costs
are up front. You may not be able to do this, but I definitely do
this with other things I make, it only makes sense to do this with
I mainly repair jewelry so maybe we're talking apples and oranges.
People don't shop price for repairs, they shop trust. (I think
that's a Geller quote)
I think that’s the case.
Regards Charles A.