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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learn from my mistakes don't make a dress for free!

So you've seen my troubles with alterations, unpleased customers so here is an update and hopefully my mistakes will help you out.

Blue dresses although I made it to her measurements I took in to her new measurements at no charge. I did tell her that I should charge her and I even went as far as to offer to make another for $50.00 to cover the costs of fabric, because I was afraid I would not be able to take it in enough. Good news she was happy with the new fit :)

This is the one is a huge mess. The purple dress straps too long and wrong color sash. She wanted the petticoat fuller too. I'm so trying to be flexible. I offered to alter it and of course get her the right colored sash. She takes the dress to a alteration shop who says that the petticoat needs more 20 yards.  I charged a mere $120.00 for this dress and petticoat. Sorry but a petticoat like she is thinking I would charge $120.00 just for that. Not that there is anything wrong with my petticoat.

She isn't offering to pay anymore either, but is asking for a partial refund of $30.00, a fixed petticoat and the sash. I tell her if she is sending the petticoat back then she should just send the dress back to for me to alter it myself. Oh no she wants to be there. My policies say that I refund minus 25% of the list price. Which would be $30.00. Previous I told her she can either return it (being nice) or she could keep it and I would send her a partial refund of the 25% to help pay for the costs of taking the straps up. I'm sure it isn't $30.00 but whatever.

Finally after all this I just told her I don't think I can make her happy and for her just to send the dress back for full refund. She says she wants dress and asked for me to send the partial refund as I previously said I would.

A price break down:
$120.00 for the dress and petticoat
$65.00 for the materials
Wow smart that is $55.00 to make a dress and petticoat. I'm changing my name to Eleen's Sweat shop
$30.00 for the partial return
Total: $25.00!

I can take that down a bit more if I calculate the Pay Pal fees and Etsy fess.

I do strive to make my customers happy, but feel this time I really feel I let myself get taken advantage of. Don't sell yourself short. Charge for your time, add all fees and materials do a little math so you don't get short changed.

I always use quality fabrics and I'm charging for muslin lol


  1. I have been blog stalking you half the day and if you think I was excited earlier via our etsy convos, you should see me now!

    Love your work, your writing style and your obvious dedication. I can tell already that it is going to be great working with you!

    It will be months before I get my dress but I am already dreaming up my next order! (Hmmm.. maybe a mother/daughter set...)

  2. I can't wait to do that fascinator! I will make it smaller too :)

    I would love to do a mother & daughter set. That is on my list to send to my photographer.

  3. Oh dear! What an unpleasant customer she must of been! :(

    hopefully you can prevent things like that from happening again!

  4. And how do you actually know there was anything wrong if you haven't done the alteration? Sounds like she is after a really good deal! nigtmare you could live without.

    Good luck on the next one!

  5. oh, and don't forget your 10% for contingencies!

  6. That is a good idea Beth. I will up it to 35%. I'm sure glad this doesn't happen often.