Update: October 19, 2020
This post is relevant no matter the year, no matter the economy, no matter the zipper!
You’ve come here because you’re wondering, “How much do I charge to replace a zipper?
I get this question all the time.
The short answer is: “It depends.”
The long answer: “It depends, and here’s why….”
First, there are several things to think about.
Number one: make sure the zipper needs replacing.
You wouldn’t believe how many customers I’ve had over the years, who just need a new zipper slide (also called a pull). They think they need to replace the entire zipper because the slide has broken.
So, ask a few key questions while you have them on the phone before you take on the job.
Otherwise, you schedule them in, and you find out that they may not need a zipper replacement.
Then, you’ve wasted their time and yours.
If the zipper slide is broken, they can shop at their local fabric store, or online, and buy a new one.
The customer can do the replacement themselves and it saves them alot of money and you alot of time. But, if your customer doesn’t want to replace the slide themselves, you could do that for a small fee.
Stay with me here because this is an important concept….
Years ago, before they sold these slides in fabric stores or online, there was a local upholstery shop that made custom outdoor awnings and other items made from canvas and I would take the item in there for help. They had boxes of zipper slides. They also had tools to take off the heavy metal little bar at the top of the zipper. They would reach in their box, pull out an appropriate slide in the correct size and color and put it on for me. Then, they would replace that heavy metal bar and clamp it down. The whole process took about 90 seconds and they never charged me a dime. They just loved doing it for me. They loved having a small little interruption in their day because big heavy awnings can be cumbersome and I met some really neat people.
Why am I telling you this?
Because you might have a local shop that will do the same thing for you. Get creative and think of who and where might be of help to answer your dilemma. Apply that idea to your life, because there are always blessings to be found in the every day things of life! And you just might meet another friend along the way!
So, I went on a little rabbit trail there, but I hope it was helpful.
Now, back to the explanation…
I’ve found that my customers really appreciate the honesty and the fact that they didn’t have to replace an entire zipper (which is much more costly than replacing the slide). I find they’ll come back to you in the future for other alterations and they’ll recommend you to others. Win-win!
But, let’s say that the customer really does need a new zipper. Maybe the zipper is missing a few teeth or the zipper tape is worn out, or it just doesn’t zip and they’ve tried everything.
Rule #1…always, always, have the customer buy the replacement zipper for you and bring it to you.
There are two reasons:
First, they get to purchase what they like (you don’t have to guess) and
Second, you don’t have to spend that time shopping. Remember, time is money (or lost money).
Some of my sewist readers have said that they keep an inventory of zippers. You can certainly do that, but I have found that no matter my inventory, I don’t have the right color, length, and/or type that is needed, so I’d rather not store all those zippers myself.
Once you have decided that you’d like to replace the zipper, there are several things to consider.
First, is your sewing machine tough enough to handle the thickness of the jacket and/or jeans? Most are, but just test the garment and the zipper under your zipper foot and try stitching, carefully, to see how your machine handles the thickness.
Next, do you need a step by step guide to taking out the old zipper and adding the new?
If so, here is a post to click on: how to replace a zipper on a jacket.
And here is a post on: how to replace a jean or pant zipper.
Once you’ve agreed to replace the zipper, you’d like to know how much to charge your customer.
There are so many variations to zippers and zipper replacement that it is difficult to give you a flat rate without explaining my strategy to you. But typically, a zipper replacement can cost anywhere from $8-$75 (or more). Many of you have written and said that you are not sure if what you’re charging is appropriate.
Because there are many considerations and variations when setting your rate for doing all sorts of sewing and alterations, I’ve written a comprehensive e-book with all the details. I help you consider all the pricing scenarios and develop the perfect pricing strategy, no matter where you live in the world, no matter what the economy, and no matter when you are looking at this post. The strategy ensures that your customers are happy and you are making your most beneficial profit in a business you love, while working at home, or in a shop, or for a shop. I think you’ll agree that it pays for itself almost immediately!
It is packed full of every kind of pricing scenario you can think of, for any type of sewing business you have, whether you are creating garments, patterns, alterations or home decor.
I also want to mention that this blog is not otherwise monetized. There aren’t any affiliate links. I’ve been writing posts here for almost 12 years now to give you access to free content that I think is relevant and helpful to your personal and business sewing ventures. I feel like my 50+ years of sewing experience gives me a reliable voice in sewing expertise and efficiency that you don’t get on most other websites, and especially not for free. I believe that God gave me these gifts and talents for a reason and I wrote about that reason in this post entitled, “Celebrate With Me..it’s Free!” and it is a privilege to pass them on to you!
I think the The Pricing Strategies e-book will make all the difference… whether you run a business or you are trying to figure out how much to charge a family member or friend. I believe you will quickly gain confidence and it will help you become a sought after sewist in your sphere of influence.
To learn more about the Pricing e-book, click on this link below:
And, if you’d like to know all the ins and outs of starting your own sewing business, check out this e-book:
Many readers buy both, even if they are already in business.
I want you to succeed in your area of expertise and these books can make all the difference between just surviving….and thriving in business!