Additional work needed when replacing cane or rush
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:21pm

Darlene, here, again. As I mentioned earlier, I just started my business last Fall. On my Facebook business page, I say that I will only replace seats in chairs that are sound (not wiggly or loose) and already finished---basically ready to get the seat installed.

I did get a chair that needed some of the rungs glued and needed a touch up with stain. The finish was also very dull after removing the seat and scrubbing the chair clean. I negotiated an additional charge to put a spray finish on the chair, but I really think that I provided much more "service" than I was paid for in getting the chair ready to cane.

My question is "how do you handle working it out with the customer when you find that the chair needs some "work (glue, stain, varnish)" before the seat is replaced?" How do you check ahead of time for these needs? Do you wiggle the chair, do you part scrub an area, do you accept the chair and then return an estimate to the customer? What step-by-step services do you charge for and, if I may ask, how much do you charge? Do you routinely scrub down a chair after removing the old seat? Do you charge extra for removing the old seat?

I was more accommodating in the beginning because I wanted the work and to build my reputation and add pictures of work-in-progress on my web site to show others my work. But now, five months in, I want to be smart about this and be paid a fair amount for my work. I offered to "come look at" a chair a while back and ended up taking the chair along with me to do the recaning. (No pick-up charge.) My webpage says the chair must be delivered to my home and collected from there. On my page, I make no offer to collect or deliver the piece---even for a charge. When the chair was ready, I called the customer who fully expected me to deliver the chair as well. When I said I did not plan on being out in that area for another month, but offered to deliver the chair for $10.00, she then decided that she would come for it. It is going on a week since I called her. Do you charge storage for chairs not picked up within a certain amount of time? I'm actually keeping this chair of hers in my living room, and it is "in the way" of us using the room. My garage is too cold and carrying the chair down the basement could be an accident waiting to happen.

If you do not "touch up" the chair after removing the seat and the customer does not want to continue with the re-seating because of your additional charges, what do you charge for any work you did do?

Your answers could be long---but I would love to hear how you may have handled specific circumstances---or how you would think you would handle any of the concerns I've addressed. I will consider your advice and probably modify my webpage to clear up my charges and services.

Thanks for your help and replies.

    • Hi Darlene, I'm a relative newbie here, having started seat weaving in 2012. I'm much more of a hobbyist though I do charge for most of my work. I ask potential customers to check the wiggliness of... more
      • Additional work needed when replacing cane or rush DKR.SeatCaning, Thu Feb 16 6:58am
        Laurie, Thank you. That was a well-considered and thought-through answer. I suppose it is a matter of sizing-up your customer (and not in a sinister way). You need to be forth-coming with them about... more
    • Re: Additional work needed when replacing cane or rush The Wicker Woman®--Cathryn, Wed Feb 15 8:31am
      Hi again Darlene, Many of your questions have been answered over the 13 years I've had this forum going and if you'd do a Search here on the homepage you could get an idea of what others charge for... more
    • extra charges nona 477, Wed Feb 15 7:39am
      Hello Darlene I used to have the questions you are having right now. I usually tell the customer that I do not refinish or re glue chairs. If it is just a small repair my husband will do it and... more
      • extra charges DKR.SeatCaning, Wed Feb 15 9:28am
        Thanks, Nona477, for your reply. Some follow-up questions: Do you inform the customer about charges for your husband to repair the chair BEFORE you proceed? How have you found the customer to react?... more
        • extra charges nona 477, Thu Feb 16 5:52am
          I forgot to mention that I do have a minimum charge of $45.00 so if a pressed cane seat is small and less than $45.00 with my 21 cents a square inch they get charged the $45.00. I tell the customer... more
          • extra charges DKR.SeatCaning, Thu Feb 16 7:41am
            Thanks, Nona, for the additional information. I hope my brain can be a sponge and absorb this all. I've been getting lots of good instruction off the internet. There are many videos and the ones I've ... more
            • extra charges nona 477, Fri Feb 17 6:15am
              Hi Darlene I live in Northern Ontario about 4 hours north of Toronto. I live with my husband in a little town Corbeil just 10 miles east of North Bay. Right now we have a lot of snow and seems to... more
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