In the Fall issue of The Professional Quilter, Mindy Wylie took a look at the pricing decisions new longarm quilters need to make when starting their businesses. They are also the questions experienced longarmers need to readdress from time to time. If you aren’t a longarmer, these are the same questions you should consider for commission work. And, if you have work completed by someone else, you would want to know the questions to ask. Here’s an excerpt from the issue.
How are you going to price your work? You have three ways to price your work: by the size of the quilt, by the amount of time it takes to quilt it, by the number of bobbins used.
Do you charge differently based on different patterns and techniques? Yes! Take this opportunity to explain the differences to your customer. It is common to have a few different pricing categories, such as edge-to-edge, semi-custom, custom and heirloom. You need to explain what each category is, how each category differs from the others based on time required and skill needed.
Do you give an estimate? Yes. The estimate I give is very accurate, but occasionally something comes up to change it. You’ll need to immediately notify the customer and discuss this with her.
Are there any additional fees? Most longarm quilters have an additional fee for thread used on the quilt. You may also choose to sell batting to your customers. Some longarm quilters add an additional fee for turning the quilt, squaring the backing, piecing backings, repairing seams on the quilt top, pressing the quilt or the backing (or both) and trimming the quilt after the quilting is done. Some of us even offer additional services such as binding or labels.
Once you’ve evaluated the answers to those questions, you can use them to set a pricing schedule and create an order or take-in form.
If you would like to read more of Mindy’s article on pricing your longarm work, it’s included in the Fall 2011 issue of The Professional Quilter and available to IAPQ members. The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.
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