Are You Overcharging for Alterations?

A college student sat in our kitchen last week and told me of his experience at a local alteration shop.

He had needed some sewing done and noticed a shop along the road.

He didn’t know to call around and see what the going rate was for what he needed.

He needed three repairs done on two items.

First, there was a tear in these shorts. The tear occurred right next to the pocket.

tear in a plaid pair of shorts, being overcharged, 1082

and a rip in this pocket:

a tear in a pocket, overcharged 1083

and a button missing here:

missing button, overcharged, 1081

And guess what they were going to charge him?



Can you believe it?

He had a feeling it was alot of money for what he was asking, but he didn’t know what else to do, so he left the items with them. It was going to take about a week to get them back.

Meanwhile, he began to tell his story to see if anyone else had this experience.

He knew he could buy a new pair of shorts and pants for about the same price as the mending.

So, this poses a question…

How much would you charge?

How much would you pay to have someone else fix them?

I know, some people would say, “Hey, if someone is willing to pay that much, you should charge whatever you can get from them and make a huge profit.”

Well, I don’t agree.

First, wouldn’t you just feel terrible in your heart of hearts knowing that you ripped someone off?

A verse in the Bible in the book of Proverbs says that “Honest scales and balances are from the Lord.”

So, I want to honor the Lord and be fair and honest in my pricing; not gouging someone just because I can.

Plus, there is the admonition to love your neighbor as yourself. I’m to treat others like I want to be treated.

And, don’t you find that people who are “all about the money” are greedy?

I don’t want to be greedy. I feel like the Lord blesses me in all sorts of ways and He provides for all we need.

The thing that’s sad about this particular shop is that they consistently don’t do a good job.

I’ve been hired to redo several items that they “altered” over the years and I feel bad for the customer.

Lots of people go there because they are located near the city mall.

When customers walk in the shop, they don’t know what poor service they’ll get until after they pick the item up.

So, I told this young man I would fix his clothes for a fraction of what it was going to cost him there.

He called the shop, asked if he could come and get the items and then he brought them over to me.

And we were both happy about it.

It took me about 20 minutes to do all the mending and reattach the button.

So, don’t you think $42 was alot for these items?

Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you think…..!

(If you want to know how to fix these kind of tears in your garment, check out Mending What the Dog Chewed Up, Part 1.)

And if you’re struggling with how much to charge your customers, I’ve written a comprehensive e-book entitled, Pricing Strategies For Your Sewing Or Alteration Business. It will help you price your work no matter your location, the economy or your country. I think you’ll agree that it will pay for itself as soon as you read it!