Sewing Patterns, Pattern Review, Sewing Classes, Sewing Machines and Sewing Machine Reviews!
Platinum Sponsor: Stylish Fabric
Over 20,000 of high quality reorderable fabric

[SIGNUP - FREE Membership & 1 FREE Sewing Lesson ]
[Sewing Classes|Shopping Bag Your Shopping Bag|Login|Help]
Sewing Review and Pattern Reviews Sewing Knowledge Base Sewing Patterns Sewing Classes & Sewing Lessons Sewing Machine & Embroidery Machinery Sewing Message Boards Sewing merchants Blog Help/FAQ About Pattern Review
Enter your e-mail address:




Advanced Search
Tags
New to PR?
Sewing Machines
Compare Sewing Machines
Sewing Machine & Serger Reviews
Embroidery Machines
Sewing Reviews
Sewing Patterns
Review Gallery
Sewing Books
Sewing Supplies
Sewing Websites
Sewing Stores
Sewing Class Reviews
Sewing Expo Reviews
Sewing Tips & Techniques
Sewing Podcasts
NEW!Fabric Glossary
Sewing Review Requests Add a Review Request
Your Account
Edit Profile
My Page
Favorites
Wish List
Pattern Catalog
Notifications
Friends of PR
Join Friends of PR
Find a member
Deal Corner
Photo Album
Calendar
Chat Room
Chat Schedule
Chat Transcripts
Sewing Classifieds
Add a Classified
Sewing Contests
enter contest
contest report
contest gallery
Favorite Links
reviews with comments
merchant gallery
article archive
newsletter archive
Craft Resources
contact info
shipping rates
returns & refunds
testimonials

Platinum Sponsor - Stylish Fabric
Stylish Fabric
You are not logged in. Login here.



Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Beginning to look at working with a local business;How much of a percentage should a drycleaners take for reffering alterations to me?? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
Beginning to look at working with a local business;How much of a percentage should a drycleaners take for reffering alterations to me??
Drycleaners wants to hire me to do alterations and take 30% of the fee for their part.
textilegram
textilegram
Member since 1/24/09
Posts: 27
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/13/12 10:17 AM

I have been doing alterations privately for years. I was just contacted by our area dry cleaner and asked if I'd be willing to do alterations business with them.The owner is new and inexperienced in this business, though they have a fair amount of business experience. They want to take a 30% cut of every transaction, except bridal dress work, for their referral fee. This is a small area dry cleaner so I don't expect much bridal work anyway. It will be regular repair work for the most part.
I've never worked for another business. Is this a customary percentage for a dry cleaners to want to take? Is there anything else that I need to be aware of before I make a decision?
Thank you in advance ladies!

Miss Fairchild
starstarstarstar
Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
Advanced
USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 7936
Login to reply to this post

In reply to textilegram <<
thumbsup 2 members like this.


Date: 6/13/12 1:47 PM

I have been working with a men's store/dry cleaning business for several years. I think the 30% is a little high, when you consider you are doing the work, using your thread, your electricity and your time, plus going to the store to pick up and deliver the item. And all that customer has to do is come in there and ask a question. I agree about "overhead" but you're not using their facilities, are you? I would negotiate for 20% and see where it goes from there.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself is how much time you want to put into the business, and if you want short term fuses, like "Gotta have it by tomorrow morning at 9:00" and it's currently 5:00. (I charge an additional amount for that, by the way).

The other thing you want to consider is what to do about bridal dress work; which I won't do because of the "drama". I refer that person to someone else in town. If you want to put up with that, also with the many changes and fittings, then go ahead. A Mother of the Bride can sometimes give you more grief than the Bride herself, and if you want to consider that, make sure you get something worth your time and trouble.

I always slip a business card on every alteration I make; it does come in handy, because I've had calls from several people who knew several people, etc., etc., who had my card. And for an invoice/receipt, I write out clearly what the fees are and any discounts given; even if it's doing just a pant hem. They need to see when you are giving them a deal, and then word will get around.

A couple weeks ago, I had a bad experience with a Mother of the Bride--The dress didn't look right at the side seams, it made her look "too fat", according to her daughter--nothing I could do could make this woman happy. So I fixed it as best I could and sent her on her way, with another two alterations done and no charge for them (I was happy to be done with the situation)

Then I received a card in the mail by a customer who thanked me profusely for fixing a quilt her dog had torn up; a very, very easy patch job. This brought tears to my eyes. It's the "looking beyond the broken fence and admiring the flowers" of the job that keeps me going.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
My blog: http://auntmaymesattic.wordpress.com/

Fruzzle

Fruzzle
Intermediate
Member since 1/26/07
Posts: 388
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/13/12 4:34 PM

They contacted you? Offer 10% and see if they counteroffer. If they come back at 20%, say that you'll give them 15% and up it to 20% if you get referrals over a certain $ amount (IOW, if they make it worth your while, you will make it worth their while).

You should also raise your rate slightly to cover the loss--perhaps by half the percentage of the drycleaner's cut?
-- Edited on 6/13/12 4:35 PM --

Nancy K
starstarstar
Nancy K
Advanced
NY USA
Member since 12/28/04
Posts: 8078
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/13/12 5:49 PM

30% is really high for just referring clients to you. He's not billing, he's not collecting nor is it his equipment or consumables and as someone else said your gas. I think that 10% is a fair amount.

------
www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

genierita
genierita  Friend of PR
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/11/11
Posts: 38
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/14/12 1:54 AM

In my alterations I just have my cards at lots of places and the other businesses simply refer to me. Clients that come to me that way get a 10% price discount always. No money changes hands between me and the business. It's just great customer service for both me and the other business point of view. I do all the pinning, fitting, sewing etc with the client.
If the other business involved does the fitting/pinning with client then they should take a % and this part of the consult is about 40% of the cost in every alteration. But you know, Id' rather do my own fitting and pinning as it's so very important to the final result. Even if you sew exactly where someone else has placed the pins. you can still get complaints. Who is responsible? Hope this helps. Rita

Sarsez
star
Sarsez
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 7/2/09
Posts: 747
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/14/12 2:25 AM

I'm in the repairs and alterations business and I work with a local business who act as my collecting agents. They add 10% to my invoice total. What do they do for their fee?
1. Collect, label and hold the rugs and let me know there is working waiting.
2. When the rugs are fixed, I return them to the shop and they tell the customer.
3. When the customer comes in, they collect the money.
4. At the end of the month, I invoice the shop for my percentage of the money collected.

-- Edited on 6/14/12 3:25 AM --

------
24th Nov 12 to 28th Nov 13
Fabric and patterns rules for me.
Remember to shop your stash girl!
Remember to keep sewing to your wardrobe plan!

arianamaniacs
starstarstarstar
arianamaniacs  Friend of PR
Advanced
AUSTRIA
Member since 6/11/04
Posts: 1110
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/14/12 3:18 AM

My parents owned a dry cleaning business. Expecting to earn 30% for a mere referral is highway robbery. I wouldn't agree to anything over 10%.
Remember, you are not the only one benefitting from this deal. They are able to offer more services to their customer's to be a one-stop shopping for cleaning and alterations.
Consider the cost of hemming pants. That costs 15 euros here. Would you really want to give them 4.50 just for referring them to you? I'm not sure how long that would stay profitable considering it's your work/electricity/machine wear & tear.

threadgenie
threadgenie  Friend of PR
Intermediate
GA
Member since 5/16/11
Posts: 26
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/14/12 10:42 AM

I did alterations for a local cleaners for a while. It was not a good experience for several reasons. This is just my experience. Yours may be totally rewarding and profitable. I commend you for asking for others' opinions.

- There was WAY too much work for one person to do a good job on each piece. Find out how many pieces are average in a day/week to make sure you can keep up.

- I spent a LOT of time driving back and forth to the cleaners to pick-up, deliver and fit special cases. Make a schedule for when you will appear at the cleaners site and stick to it.

- Most communication with the customer went from the customer to whoever was working at the cleaners, then to me. This is not good. You need to do the pinning, discussing what needs to be done, etc. directly with the customer.

- The cleaners I worked with accepted alterations only to be a full-service shop--he didn't know anything about alterations and really didn't want to know about them. Not a good setup for you.

In defense of the shop owner, who took 25%:

- He took the initial heat from unhappy customers.

- When I delivered finished work, he paid me in cash on the spot. This meant that if the customer was real unhappy and refused to pay or never picked up the garment, he took the loss, not me. It's a cash flow thing. Your arrangement may be different.

- He finds the customers for you.

Additional thoughts:

You must be able to speak up should you ever get a job that you can't do well. If the cleaner doesn't know anything about alterations, he/she may think that you can do magic.

My guy took 25% of everything. If I had to go buy a zipper, of course I would bill the customer, but there went 25%. In retrospect, I would make sure I padded the cost reasonably so that I wasn't losing money.

Most people do not understand why alterations cost so much and often aren't willing to pay for your time, skill, supplies, overhead, etc. It's a delicate dance. I think $10 is too little to charge for hemming a pair of pants but I don't think anyone in my town would pay more than that. You would have to make up for it on other types of alterations.

I stopped working with the cleaners because I was totally overwhelmed with the volume. I now work out of my home and have way less business but at least I'm not running myself crazy.

Good luck to you! Hope this is helpful.

cinca
cinca
Member since 4/27/11
Posts: 441
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/14/12 7:43 PM

Lots of great analysis and advice already posted. Whatever % you decide on, just make sure that you are getting an amount for the work that it is worth. Do not undercut yourself...if they do not agree...walk away. It is never worth it to accept less than you should.

I do not do custom or alterations at all. I live in a relatively affluent area, yet folks have no idea what is fair to expect to pay. Fair to the seamstress, that is.

Stand your ground and you will do well.

textilegram
textilegram
Member since 1/24/09
Posts: 27
Login to reply to this post

Date: 6/23/12 3:30 AM

Ladies, thank you for your replies! I do want to do some kind of sewing business, but you've confirmed my feeling that that is not the way I need to go.
Blessings to y'all for your info, and encouragement!

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on PatternReview.com. If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Beginner's Forum >> Beginning to look at working with a local business;How much of a percentage should a drycleaners take for reffering alterations to me??

Merchants on PR
SewBaby
Unique Sewing Patterns
Deals!
Budo Bear Designs
Asian Designs
Web site
Patterns from the Past
vintage sewing patterns
Deals!
Elliott Berman Textiles
Fabrics for Greater Ideas
Deals!
Gwyn Hug
Fabric Shopping Help!
Deals!

Copyright © 2014 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Online Sewing Classes
Serging Ahead with your 5 Thread Serger
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Serging Ahead with your 5 Thread Serger

Online Sewing Classes
Leather 101
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Leather 101

Self Drafted Pattern 12379-1007
photo
Review by Annette1 on 9/30/08
Read Review

Kwik Sew 3674 Pattern
Kwik Sew 3674 Pattern

Details
Price: $11.49
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Kwik Sew 2836 Pattern
Kwik Sew 2836 Pattern

Details
Price: $11.99
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Simplicity 9853
photo
Review by Ronda Rae on 11/24/07
Read Review

Peek-A Boo Gracie Romper Digital Pattern ( Size 3 mo -8 years )
Peek-A Boo Gracie Romper Digital Pattern ( Size 3 mo -8 years )

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress, Bloomers, and Playsuit Digital Pattern ( Size 2T-5 )
Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress, Bloomers, and Playsuit Digital Pattern ( Size 2T-5 )

Details
Price: $13.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

SewBaby Wonder Jacket Pattern
SewBaby Wonder Jacket Pattern

Details
Price: $8.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Wonder Wallet
Wonder Wallet

Details
Price: $7.00
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Subscribe to PR Message Board Feed Subscribe to the PR Message Board Feed Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe at NewsGator Online Subscribe at Bloglines Add to MyMSN