How do you know what to charge? I do my pricing differently than most. And pricing can vary so much from location to location. BAS (Bridal Alterations Specialists) pricing in the UK is significantly less expensive than in the US. Canada is similar to the US and depends on location. California and the east coast BAS prices are higher than the rest of the states. And I’m sure that if I put exact pricing numbers down in this book, it would be outdated quickly. So I won’t go down that road.
You can determine your pricing a few different ways. First, ask around. Get pricing from at least 5 different businesses. If there are some bridal alterations shops in your area, ask for their pricing. Ask bridal shops about their pricing. Be sure to ask as many places in your area as possible. Don’t bother asking regular alterations businesses. Focus on bridal alterations. The pricing is completely different for bridal wear. By area, I mean within a 300 mile radius. And remember, there’s more than enough work to go around. Many of these BAS want to network and support each other. And being on the same page with your pricing is a way to build trust. You never know when you will need to find someone to cover for you in an emergency.
There will always be a lowball pricing business. They think they need to be the lowest price in order to have more work. Stay away from their pricing at all costs. They feel competitive. They even call it competitive pricing. Trust me, this is not the route you want to go with your business. You want to be priced a bit on the high end, not the low end. I don’t care if you have no experience, you should never build a reputation on being the lowest priced BAS. If you get that reputation, you will have the worst customers coming to you. These are the bargain shoppers. The clients that want you to lower your prices for them. They are the ones who are insulted that you would charge so much. They nit pick the dress, hoping you will take money off for this flaw or the other. And they can be downright dishonest. Do not bring this crowd to your door. Enough of these annoying clients will come to you even when you are the highest BAS in your area. You don’t need to intentionally draw them to your business.
Your reputation needs to be built on impeccable work and good people skills. The word of mouth that you will receive from a beautifully fitted wedding gown is priceless. And it spreads quickly. Word of mouth can bring in business immediately with the bride’s friends or relatives, and it can bring work to you ten years later. It’s free and definitely the best marketing tool in a BAS business.