I wanted to ask for some advice from you all about accepting commissions from people you know. Here is an example: someone I know contacted me through Facebook and asked if I could make her a fascinator. She said that she had seen the ones I had made and would like one to be made for her. I agreed, and then asked her what budget she was looking at spending. She said that she would not spend more than £20 (around 30 Australian Dollars, 25 Euros, 31 US Dollars - just checked on line to work out the currency conversion!) I have to say I really struggled to make a fascinator for that price. I clearly ended up making a loss (I didn't charge for my time either). When people I know find out I make hats/fascinators, they will ask me to make one for them. I am glad of this, but they do not seem to have any concept of paying a reasonable for my time, materials, etc, not to mention making any sort of 'profit' for my work.
I have pondered this situation and once my website is up and running I think I will just direct any queries there so they can see my prices and either request a commission or leave it.
Can anyone offer any sage advice about how to deal with this kind of situation?
The friend depends on what I will do for them. I know that might seem harsh, but the few friends I will create for know the value and the time spent so they will either happily pay associated costs or source the materials (at my instructions) for the item.
Like you, when people find out I do certain things there seems to be an expectation that I will provide them that service for free. It's truly frustrating that they don't understand that the skills to be a milliner/ marketer. etc don't come for free in the first place yet they expect that you'll be happy to pass on what you have learnt and spent for free.
I have had moments when I've been able to barter. Now that has come in handy. Have they got any skills that they can exchange?
Check out previous discussion here in Millinery biz on Prices here - great info.