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Started by 65Buick, September 27, 2017, 11:14:37 am

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I think I made a mistake: The rundown here is that I do not rent a shop. I go find work and do it that way, or upholster pieces I find and sell them.

Customer sends photo. I knew appx what I wanted, but instead asked how much they wanted done for. I basically too low, but let's talk.

This to me is one of the hardest things. I want to get a fair compensation but not scare them away.


  You must I sat MUST be able to price your work. Even if it's wrong its your price. I have customers that feel they should have a chair reupholstered for $50.00 when my price would be a grand. Customers either dont know or will low ball it. So it is up to you to figure out.
How much will you spend on supplies, fabric, etc. How long will it take. How much overhead do you have to operate. Add all this and add a little more for profit to get your price. Like I said you MUST do this or your never going to know. Guesstimate at first and adjust later if you have to.
  You seem to know what you wanted. Go for it. You will either get the workor not. If you loose more than you get lower your price to see if it changes. But realize some will always think your crazy with the price.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Some of the most profitable jobs you'll ever get are the ones you don't get.

Quote from: 65Buick on September 27, 2017, 11:14:37 am
I want to get a fair compensation but not scare them away.

On the other hand, you don't want customers lined up around the block either. If they are, you're gettin' played.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


Thanks for the help guys.
In retrospect I never should have asked. I should have told.


Try to develop a pattern to your initial guestimate. I have listened here for a spell and with that have made a paper or item list. This seems to bolster my homework for the estimate. I think i can say the products are very similar priced for any here ordering, if they are holding an account with the supplier. In that the product price could be used, the labor cost should be similar also yet my time may be twice of another. So thats just training and have to deal with it. So the key is getting prices of pros here and your area.
If your workshop studio is a corner on the fancy NewYork bldg. great for you, its the same location as the guy or gal on the 1st floor. Don't sweat that thought process, some locations have different rules, just work within them.


ps  take your time finalizing the estimate, next day is perfectly fine at a minimum imo.


I was at a yard sale sponsored by the Boy Scouts. I saw an old beat up table some one had spilt paint on. I figured I could use it, perhaps for a work bench. So I asked the guy in charge how much he was asking. He said make me an offer. I hate when people say that so I always start by offering low, like $10. The guy said its worth a lot more than that and walked away. No counter offer. My point is always tell them the amount you need and let them counter, accept or walk away. We have had many customers who thought about it for a while and called us back.

A price list is something you never stop updating and revising. Roses first price list was a yardage list similar to the one on this page. She added prices to it. Over the years it has grown to 5 pages.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


It definitely was a learning experience. I've probably lost that job. Next up a job has been revised from bidding to a set price. That will be easy; yes or no.


Most customers haven't a clue when they ask for a quote. They may have a price in their head or they may compare with new furniture. We lose more jobs than we get. It's all part of the business.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Kody do you think that you come out ahead by turning down people who lowball or won't accept the job for what it's really worth?


I know we lose some sales because of pricing. What we have found out is typically the customer who is focused on price only will become a PITA once they are a customer.

We get some customers that are so hard to deal with before we even get their order that we actually give them our competitors number and suggest they call them. Some of these customers who beat you up on price will nit pick and complain afterwards to the point that they eat up any profit you may have made in time.

I have actually studied a few orders we had that were with problem customers and they all shared the same traits  1.) complain about price  2.) complain about service 3.) complain about the end product. I have calculated the time spent with these customers trying to make them happy and found that we actually lost money when our time was calculated into the mix.

All the veteran upholsterers here hammered home to me years ago when I first got started to
" Never under sell yourself and never underbid your work ". Once word gets out in your community that you work cheaply you will have a rough time raising prices.

I forgot which one of our members said this ( probably Dennis ) - PITA before the sale....PITA after the sale.

Our prices are what they are. They pay it or go to our competitors.....with our blessing. :)



Quote from: Mojo on September 29, 2017, 12:36:16 pm
Our prices are what they are. They pay it or go to our competitors.....with our blessing. :)

Our niche market is the highest quality with the best customer service.
If you make this your business model the word will spread and you will never lack customers.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Before considering going into business, the craftsman would be better to focus on the craft only.  There are some real challenges to become a highly skilled and equally
efficient craftsman in most business. 

In my - starting to work years, there was enough proficient and equally important
being efficient in the trade, I am sure I made more money being an employee only.

For example, working for someone like Paul or Kody would be significantly more effective and rewarding than jumping in all the way -  to include being a business

So much to learn, customers usually can detect the level of person they are dealing with and it would only lead to head aches. In a different way of saying it;
If I want someone to do a job for me and want a good job, I usually don't dwell on price.  I Want their expertise instead of problems that can occur without it.

I take my company van to one shop for body work and the same for mechanic work.  These type of shops are not going to gouge because they are smart to get
a fair price and keep a loyal customer.

So, if you want to upholster, do it and get good at it with efficiency (underlined), then moving to the business owner level will work much better in most cases.