Should You Charge A Minimum Fee For Alterations?

I get asked this question alot.

Should you charge your customers or friends a minimum fee for alterations?

Well, let’s take an example.

This morning, I found a bag on my front porch.

Inside was a pair of workout pants:

Mikayla's sweat pants. minimum charge, 1489

The customer called to say that there was a hole in the seam at the knee area and would I stitch it up?


Here is a photo of the small hole. It was probably only an inch long.

small hole in sweat pants, charge a minimum fee, 1484

Here’s what the pants looked like on the inside:

interior of hole in sweat pants, min. fee, 1485

So, I put black thread in my sewing machine and put in a stretch needle and sewed it up:

stitched up hole, min. fee, 1486

As you can imagine, it only took a minute or so to fix it.

When I have a small job like this, I like to see if there’s anything else that needs stitching up or reinforcing. So, I gave it a good look all over.

And I noticed that the other knee seam was coming apart too:

additional hole in sweat pants, min. fee, 1488

So, I stitched it up as well.

Doing things like this makes the customer happy that you went the extra mile for them.

Did I charge this customer?

Actually, no.

This task took no time at all.

And, sometimes, I just want to bless them.

You may not want to charge a person for a small item if they are a first time customer.

Or a regular customer.

In my experience, they always come back with more alterations the next time.

So, when do you charge a minimum fee?

The bottom line is, I wish I could answer that for you.

I think you have to do what seems right and best for you.

I ask myself…”Do I feel comfortable charging for this?”

If the answer is “yes”, then I charge.

If it is “no”, then I don’t.

Now you’re wondering what amount to charge, right?

Ask yourself these questions…

“What would you want to be charged for this alteration?

“What is your time worth?”

“How much work was it to get the job done?”

Answering these questions, and any others that pop into your head, should give you a pretty good idea on whether or not to charge a minimum fee.

Many readers ask how much to charge for all the larger scale alterations. I’ve just written an e-book on how to price your alterations and it will be so helpful for you as you price your work. It covers every imaginable scenario and gives you details on how to price your work no matter the economy, no matter the year.

It will pay for itself in the first hour you use it!!!