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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:10
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 156
Default How do you price custom orders?

Hi gals! I was just wondering how you price custom orders. With Easter coming up, it seems like every order I have is a custom order. By the time I spend time to find special ribbon to match easter dresses, buy it, have it shipped, and then make the bow, it feels like I'm putting in a ton of time! Then my customers balk if I charge a little more for a bow! I just didn't know if some of you charge a flat fee for custom orders to compensate for your time in searching for ribbon and then add the price of the bow to it? Obviously, if I have the ribbon already, this isn't an issue. But I have had several people just this week that want custom order bows to match dresses for Easter and they want funky colors that are hard to find and I know I won't ever use again. So then I'm stuck with this ribbon that will end up just setting around. Normally, I don't make a huge issue about this BUT this is happening a lot right now.
Also, I have been spoiling my customers that live in my town with delivery of thier bows. I would just have people drop by my house and pick up their orders BUT I am very uncomfortable with people I don't know coming into my home. So, I started "meeting" people at a public place like the mall or walmart's parking lot. I have been known to deliver some customers that have HUGE orders right to thier house! I would love to stop this practice but I'm not really sure how to go about it without sounding rude. I had a lady yesterday that ordered a $5 bow and is just too busy to meet me somewhere so she wants me to deliver her bow to her home- she lives on the outskirts of town about 15 mintues from me. Plus her bow was a custom order that I had to order special ribbon for. I delivered bows to her friend (that, I might add, had well over $150 worth of bows- not $5 worth) so since I did it for her friend, she thinks I need to do it for her. So after I bought special ribbon for her bow, made the bow, and spend 30 mins round trip to deliver the bow- I am really getting jipped! How do I get out of this mess and what do you all do for locals that order your bows? Do you allow them to come to your home?
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:15
LexieandMe's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Baton Rouge, LA !Geaux Tigers!
Posts: 55
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

really good questions. anxious to see what those with more experience say...
Mom to ~ Stephen 8, Lexie 6, Nathan 4, & Luke 2
Wife to ~ a fabulously supportive husband

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:18
SimplyFancy's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: OK
Posts: 2,151
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

Do not deliver bows! Have them pay for the shipping.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:23
jadeblueafterglow's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,369
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

Agree w pp. Also make a color chart w colors u want to carry.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:24
elly760's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: McAllen, TX
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

I haven't charged anyone for any custom orders but I do know how you feel. What I personally would do on the delivery is charge for delivery (pizza hut does it why can't you? ) if they are not willing to meet....put into your policy: I would be more than happy to meet you at soandso mall or soandso walmart ONLY....IF you would like to meet other than these 2 places there is a delivery fee of $10 (or whatever amount, but this is what I would charge based on gas prices and your time). This is effective as of 3-31-11. Thank you!

This would definately STOP you from running around town making deliveries.

And as for the funky colors look for destashes and buy small amounts so next time you don't have to look and order them....JMO
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:28
trendymom's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Spring Valley, NY
Posts: 2,499
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

I started off this way. After delivering 2 headbands to my very first customer, I said no way. We had to both be home, and of course she was only home when my kids were home from school so I had to drag them both out. So not worth it. Next, I let people pick them up. But then I had 4 orders sitting in my house for 6 weeks cuz they just "didn't have time" to pick them up; thereby, I didn't get paid either until they got their acts together. So just recently I said they must buy the item online through paypal, and I will allow locals to pick up - however, they are not coming in my house. I will leave the package at the door. My first person came yesterday - she knocked on my door and I answered cuz I thought it was my super. She wanted another headband "real quick". I said I'm sorry, it's not made yet, she needs to order it online. And I'm thinking that will be the end of my local pickups. I told people they need to order from my website due to tax purposes. Make something up. If you have emails, send out a mass email. Or when they place the order, say I'm just letting you know that due to the abundance of orders I've been getting, I can no longer make deliveries. For starters, I will allow people to pick up their items from my front door, but if that doesn't work out I will have to charge shipping. Simple as that!!
Oh and as far as custom orders - ugh those drive me insane. I feel the same way. If it's something I really won't use again, it's not worth the $4 for a couple yards of ribbon only to get $5 for the bow. I plan to start charging a small custom order fee. This is because the other day I sat on the computer chat with a "friend" for 40 minutes answering questions while she made up her mind... she made a $40 order. Then she wants to take this out and that out and by the time we were done she ordered $10 of stuff. Totally not worth my time and aggravation!!! If they want an item on a clip vs. headband, I don't consider that custom. But if you want me to match something for you, that's custom. People send me pictures and say "what will match this". Dude, it's your dress, your style. Look at what I have and pick something. UGH. Sorry for the rant lol. Back to you!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:29
jenniflower's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,010
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

Almost all of the local people I sell to is a friend of a friend or people from my church and their friends, so i feel like I know them well enough to let them come by my house. If it was a stranger I would mail the bows, i have mailed bows that were across town. i just say i have 3 kids and can't drive across town, so i give them the option of mailing it or meeting me. I also sell to a lot of teachers at 3 schools, which is great because i do deliver the bows to school-but 2 of my kids got to 2 of the schools and the other is just down the road. And almost every time i do a delivery there, I get more orders. So it may benefit you sometimes to deliver to places like that. i don't think its rude at all to tell people you can't deliver a bow. Just say the options are to mail it or meet them/have them come to your house if you feel comfortable. Maybe you could could have a minimum purchase price for delivery too, that might help. Say if they spend $50 plus, you can deliver it.
Flowers, rhinestone buttons and MORE! Visit me at my wholesale supplies website: www.shabbyflowers.com
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:37
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 44
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

For a $150 order, I can see some leeway with making a personal delivery, but $5...umm, no, can't say I blame you. As you know there are people in this world that will take and take & always feel their time is more valuable than yours (because you're providing a service to them...so they must be special, right?)

There's no time like the present to start becoming assertive. Next time someone tries to get you to do the home delivery, tell them you have a set limit of a purchase amount before you deliver, otherwise you're eating the cost of any profit with the amount you're spending on gas/maintenance/depreciation on your vehicle.

If you have a pretty steady flow of local customers, it might be easier for you to set up 2 or 3 days out of the week, between the hours of x and y, that you will be at the local Starbucks or coffee shop where they can meet you and come pick up their bows. This way they come to you and you're sitting down, inside away from any inclement weather, relaxing with a cup of Joe and the ball is in their court to get there on time and get their goods. The problem I have with charging them postage, unless they're receptive to paying for it, is it's so expensive now & opens yourself up to having them go online & looking at the competition.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:40
smwallace4's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: East Texas
Posts: 781
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

I don't charge for custom orders but I know what you mean. Especially if the ribbon is not a popular color. But you never know when a color will become popular or another customer will need something that matches the ribbon and then you will already have it on hand. I try to think of it as building my inventory of ribbon. You could always destash the ribbon too if you never use it again. As far as the deliveries. I would tell people that with the cost of gas, you will no longer be able to make deliveries. Most people that are regular, happy customers will pay the shipping.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:12
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Corona, CA
Posts: 1,493
Default Re: How do you price custom orders?

I am soooo guilty of doing deliveries for orders of all sizes I started doing it to be nice, but totally get taken advantage of most of the time. DH insists I should stop doing this and ship instead, but I think since prices are high for shipping that this may turn customers away. I do mostly custom orders and hardly sell any of the ready made bows, as for price, I charge depending on the type/size bow. I have recently started doing deliveries only once or twice a week depending on the amount of orders I get, and only on days I can do it. I used to get orders and finish them in a day and deliver the next day (most of my clients are in the next town over, like 15-20 miles) and would do this several times a week. I have almost gotten into many accidents doing these deliveries and see that they are NOT worth the cost of fixing or replacing a car it I were to have an accident. Well, sorry I was no help, I guess I am gonna have to toughen up a bit
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