This blog is meant to be a record of my adventures as a new home-based business owner. Starting my jewellery business was one of the most daunting things I've ever done, next to giving birth. Especially since I was (am?) pretty technically stunted. In this blog I will describe the trials, tribulations and, hopefully, eventual successes I experience while navigating the world of (really, really, really small) business. I also plan to use this blog to talk about all the aspects of jewellery design that fascinate me, keep me addicted, and cause me to spend thousands of dollars (What, honey? No, I didn't say thousands...) on gemstones, beads, findings, etc. I welcome your input, ideas, and stories of similar experiences in beading, jewellery design, or running a handcrafts business.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jewellery Repairs

It's been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything here. Frankly, I couldn't think of anything to say. But, thankfully, a thought has occurred to me. On the weekend, while I was enjoying the first of my two annual Thanksgiving dinners, one at mother-in-law's, and one at Mum's, mother-in-law presented me with a bag of jewellery that her friend from work wanted repaired. The stuff was inexpensive, and the repairs needed were mostly broken clasps or restringing. Mum-in-law said, "Now, Diana, you make sure you charge her for this!" It occurred to me at that time that I have no idea what a fair price for jewellery repairs would look like.
I've done countless repairs for friends and family, and I've never charged for this service. I always looked at the service as a courtesy to those people who buy my stuff, or spread the word about my jewellery or my Etsy shop, or my craft sales. But what should I charge this lady for repairing her jewellery? With the exception of one restringing and one bracelet that she wants remodeled into a necklace, all the lady's repairs are clasp replacements. Should I charge by the hour, or part thereof, or should I charge a flat rate based on the type of repair? If by the hour, what rate?

I think that offering this service is comparable to a shoe repair business. When you go to get a pair of shoes repaired, you pay a certain flat rate for each particular service; for example, to get new heel rubbers put on, you pay $12. This type of charge makes sense to me. What do you think of the following table of fees?

Clasp replacement $5

Replacement of jump rings $3

Replacement of earring wires $3

Restringing $10

Remodeling $ 15 - $20 (depending on new design and necessary supplies)

Of course, if a client wants sterling silver or other expensive materials, then the price needs to be adjusted to reflect the material cost.

Let me know what you think, or what you do. One more question, just before I go to bed--If I get two turkey dinners a year, why don't I ever get any leftovers?

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