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Doing A Replacement Job...fee?


guitarmonky55
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ok im going to be replacing 2 pickups on a cheap fat strat copy, probably installing a coil tap and replacing the other electronics and doing a general setup on the guitar. what would be a reasonable price to charge? the customer is a high up in my dads company and word got around that i do work on guitars alot so i scored the job, and im not sure what a good asking price would be. its a pretty low end guitar too that he bought used for like 100 bucks.

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Since its an upgrade on a cheap guitar and its someone your dad works for? Do it for nuthin! If the guy insists on paying you then just charge him no more than 20 bucks so long as he is footing the bill for the new hardware. Look at it as some added experience for you and later on you can charge more, depends on the guitar and what needs to be done.

Edited by Southpa
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$20/hr.

I don't think that's too much to ask for something that takes a little skill with a soldering iron and a set of feeler gauges. At most, he's out $40 if you're slow, which is much less than any music store will charge for that kind of service.

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I go with lovekraft here, but I got to add that it all depends on how good you realy are. I think that $20 hr is not a reasonable fee for me, since I might be able to knock this off in an hour or less, while to somebody not experiece with soldering an electronics might take 2 or 3 hours.

If it was somebodyelse, not a person iin the level that he is, and you have experience doing this (I mean you are GOOD) I would say to charge about $40 for labor like crafty said + parts. Just incase anything hapens to the guitar and it is brought back to you.

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he said he insists on paying me, so i figure ill cap it at like 20. im not doing too much, just putting in some seymour duncans for him and fixing the axe up a bit(no i dont need to do any nut work, just stuff like intonate and basic maintanence he doesnt do himself).

man 30-40/hr for soldering is a killing! of course, they do have to take in account the harmful birth defects you get from the fumes if you happen to live in california.

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I said $20/hr. $40/hr. is pretty killer scratch for soldering, but that's about what my local music store charges for stuff like that.

Take the money and don't go cheap. I'd cap it at $30-$40. You'll gain respect for your skills and you'll be respecting him by not trying to be cheap. If he haggles, lower your price a little, but don't start out by capping at only $20 for what would normally be $100 worth of work. I think $30 to $40 for the whole setup and electrickery is reasonable for an amateur.

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Doesn't seem like $100 worth of work to me. Like I said, I wouldn't give a final quote without seeing the guitar. Supposing the set-up work is just tweaking, you've only got a couple/several hours of work there. Just charge whatever you feel comfortable charging. I personally don't charge less than what my work is worth. If it's for close friends and it's simple stuff I do it free. Otherwise I charge an hourly rate (sometimes I give a quote for the job beforehand, though). That way I don't have people asking me to do work on the cheap because they heard I did it for somebody else.

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ok im going to be replacing 2 pickups on a cheap fat strat copy, probably installing a coil tap and replacing the other electronics and doing a general setup on the guitar.  what would be a reasonable price to charge?  the customer is a high up in my dads company and word got around that i do work on guitars alot so i scored the job, and im not sure what a good asking price would be.  its a pretty low end guitar too that he bought used for like 100 bucks.

I charge: (Aussie dollars)

$30 per pickup (x2), an extra $40 for a coil split option (one only), $56 for a 5 way, $15 for the jack, and $55 for a full setup. Thats $226.00 all up. Thats my full charges, and i discount depending on the situation, eg: the client is a nice person, or in a band i like.

BUT, you dont have my reputation, or amount of work backed up, that i do. So, be glad your getting the job (and experience), and do it for nothing like i used to have to do. I guarantee he wont accept it as a freeby, and you'll definately get more work from this one job.

If you even need to ask what to charge, you arent ready to start charging yet.

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wow i never would have guessed someone could charge 30 per pickup...i mean this in a completely non-confontational and friendly way but i would NEVER pay that for just one pickup swap. i thought it was outrageous when i heard guitar center charged my friend 75 just to put a set of EMGs in.

i told him 20 and he tried to offer more, but i said nah its alright im just a kid messing with a soldering iron and so now its set. i dont really care if i dont make a killing from it, i only need 15 more bucks to buy the new soldering station im after anyways so im coming out on top here: more experience, my name is out there(he knows alot of other guitarists), i get to tinker with guitars for a while instead of doing homework, and i get paid on top of that!

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told him 20 and he tried to offer more, but i said nah its alright im just a kid messing with a soldering iron and so now its set. i dont really care if i dont make a killing from it, i only need 15 more bucks to buy the new soldering station im after anyways so im coming out on top here: more experience, my name is out there(he knows alot of other guitarists), i get to tinker with guitars for a while instead of doing homework, and i get paid on top of that!

Now its up to you to DO A GOOD JOB. :D

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my only advice would be to test it REALLY WELL (with out scratching his guitar of course). I find that my wireing goes flakey (if it's gonna go flakey at all) only about I've been playing for about half an hour. Now it wouldent look too good if he plugs in and after 30 minutes of playing it starts crackling or not work or such... Just remember not to scratch his guitar! :D:D

O and you should pretect the finish really well. A nice burn mark from the soldering iron doesent look good! B)

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my only advice would be to test it REALLY WELL (with out scratching his guitar of course).  I find that my wireing goes flakey (if it's gonna go flakey at all) only about I've been playing for about half an hour.  Now it wouldent look too good if he plugs in and after 30 minutes  of playing it starts crackling or not work or such...  Just remember not to scratch his guitar! :D  :D

O and you should pretect the finish really well.  A nice burn mark from the soldering iron doesent look good! B)

im pretty confident in my soldering skills, i build pedals and small amps too so im pretty handy with the iron. and his guitar is pretty scratched up already so i dont think hes going to go bonkers if i give it a nick or two...although im not planning on doing so.

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imo way too many guitar businesses these days in all their various facets and service: repairs, selling products, etc...overcharge.

Its a shame seeing kids walking in with the little money they got saved up and buying overmarked high priced items--they dont need. (In these so called 'sales' of the century that pop up every 2 months.)

Yes maybe repairs is tedious and wiring is a precise job to get it done right, but cmon. Some guitar techs and repair guys charge like they are surgeons. :D

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It all comes down to what's being delivered. Some of the guitar shops have rank amateurs doing it and learning as they go, but they still charge pro prices.

If a gigging professional wants a job done properly by somebody with reputation and experience, they should expect to pay for it. But with that price, they're not just paying for the work, but: a. peace of mind b. reliably delivered service c. the right to expect a deadline

When you're paying a pro price, it's because you're expecting the job to be done not only adequately, but excellently.

guitarmonky, I think you handled the whole situation exactly right and have a perfect attitude about it. Good on ya!

Greg

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imo way too many guitar businesses these days in all their various facets and service: repairs, selling products, etc...overcharge.

Its a shame seeing kids walking in with the little money they got saved up and buying overmarked high priced items--they dont need. (In these so called 'sales' of the century that pop up every 2 months.)

Yes maybe repairs is tedious and wiring is a precise job to get it done right, but cmon. Some guitar techs and repair guys charge like they are surgeons.  :D

My prices per hour are cheaper than a plumber (who needs less tools, and no "shop"), a carpenter (who needs less tools, and no "shop"), a cabinet maker (who has less blow ins off the street to waste your time), a hairdresser (who has what, $200 worth of scissors?), a computer tech (who has $000 is tools? and no shop), an electrician (see above), and pool tech (see above), a landscape gardener (see above), etc etc bla bla. Ive completed apprenticeships in at least two of those trades, and worked extensively with all of them (i have a builders ticket), and i can state right now, luthiery is more intensive training, requires more concentration, more specialist tools, etc etc.

Im a proficient "tradesman" who has paid his dues, done the research, same as any other "trade" so why shouldnt i be able to charge like that?? YOU have the choice to go somewhere else, so do it, and stop complaining. There is a reason people wait 16 months for my guitars, 3 months for refinishes, and up to a month for a refret. Its because i know what im doing, do it perfectly, and i stand behind my name proudly.

But yeah, maybe i should drop my prices even though that would possibly bring in more work for me.... oh wait, i'm already doing 70 hours a week...

My business loan for the premises is more than $1000 a month, insurance, taxes, book-keeping fees, accounting fees, elctricity, water, tool replacement, advertising (virtually nil, but hey), web hosting, sponsorship of gigs, endorsements, etc etc etc etc all add up, which are probably things you havent even cosidered before you started your little rant...

Ask Kevan how much he has sunk into his Tremel-no. Ask Jeremy how much he invested before he even had one Leviathan finished. These are all costs that have to come from somewhere.

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In fairness to those other trades, there are costs incurred there, too.

A hairdresser, for example, has far more than $200 sunk into his/her tools, and depending on the work venue, either is a business owner, or pays a fee for having a spot in somebody else's salon.

A good computer technician has hundreds and hundreds of dollars in tools, some of it software and some of it hardware. I worked as a computer tech, and it was impossible to do without having a series of various computer 'husks' to do work and testing on. I used 3 computers. At the time, they were about $1,000 each. Usually they can be pieced together from parts that somehow 'accumulate', but those parts had to come from somewhere, so while they seem 'free', there's a red mark in a ledger book for them somewhere. :D

However, I only say that to defend the other trades-- having been a computer technician and now trying to be an amateur guitar-maker, I can say that the skill set is different, the tools ARE less expensive as a tech for sure ($3,000 might only buy you a HALF of a needed piece of machinery!!!), and the sheer volume of computer techs compared to professional luthiers is quite different. <grin>

Back to a point, though-- it does depend on what's being delivered. A person could easily do the electronics for a guitar with nothing but a soldering bay, a meter, some solder, and some wire. (any needed parts being at the cost of the client).

I'm pretty good at setting up a guitar, but were I a professional musician, I'd happily pay Perry, Jeremy, Myka, or whoever else a couple hundred dollars to do the job right.

Greg

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using your plunger and some drano and a little know how--- 10 dollars

hair cut--10 dollars

computer under warranty

buy cabinet from store or go to home depot.

people use carpenters for houses.

Man if i knew you had apprenticed so much mate perhaps you should start charging $450 for a refret. $780 for a pickup change :D

i'm not questioning your skills, but in reality ive developed for a distaste for those particular people in the guitar selling/repair business who assume they are gods' gift to the player. With age they get bitter and arrogant; listening to their eagles.

Especially the older ones. :D

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i'm not questioning your skills, but in reality ive developed for a distaste for those particular people in the guitar selling/repair business who assume they are gods' gift to the player. With age they get bitter and arrogant; listening to their eagles.

Especially the older ones.  :D

Watch it buddy, i get older every day :D

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using your plunger and some drano and a little know how--- 10 dollars

hair cut--10 dollars

computer under warranty

buy cabinet from store or go to home depot.

people use  carpenters for houses.

Man if i knew you had apprenticed so much mate perhaps you should start charging $450 for a refret. $780 for a pickup change :D

i'm not questioning your skills, but in reality ive developed for a distaste for those particular people in the guitar selling/repair business who assume they are gods' gift to the player. With age they get bitter and arrogant; listening to their eagles.

Especially the older ones.  B)

Buy a Squier if you want the cheap option in every situation. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you still live at home? Or at least have never come anywhere close to thinking about running a business? Go try to survive charging $50 for a fretjob. Personally, I would never take one of my guitars to someone that charges far below the market. To me that says that he does crappy work. As for charging surgeon prices, when was the last time you went to the hospital? When I cut my hand on the table saw several months ago, all they had to do was stitch it up. AFTER INSURANCE it was over $800. This after I waited 2 hours in the waiting room bleeding all over everything. The doctor? I saw him a total of 15 minutes tops. That's a way to make a living. Even if pros did charge surgeon wages, I know some people that would rather a botched mother than a botched fretjob. And they love their mothers greatly :D

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