Mauvelli | 6 Ways To Avoid Being Underpaid As A Fashion Designer

Having Issues With Being Underpaid As A New Fashion Designer? Here Are 6 Ways To Avoid It

November 10, 2020 | by Iyin | 15 Comments

Getting paid according to your worth brings joy and satisfaction in your line of work. When you, as a fashion designer, get underpaid or underpriced for all your hard work, it will lead to frustration and low morale

Many fashion designers struggle with being underpriced by their customers and some even face situations where customers do not want to pay. This should be avoided in every way possible. 

Last week, we reviewed a video by Ronke Lawal on how to remain calm in a crisis, and, this week, we reviewed a video by Ada-Uju of Stitchadress on 'How to Avoid Underpayment as a Tailor/Fashion Designer'. In it, she highlighted things fashion designers do that makes their customers underpay them and how to avoid doing such things.

This video aims to teach upcoming fashion designers ways to avoid being underpriced. It shares tips and secrets that have been tested and proved. 

This video review will cover;

  • useful points fashion entrepreneurs can learn from,
  • important points missed out,
  • the relevance of the information provided to fashion entrepreneurs.

How to Avoid Being Underpriced as a Fashion Designer.

Just because you are new in the fashion designing space, people expect that you will make clothes for close to nothing. Some even expect that you should not ask for money at all because they feel like they are doing you a favour by coming to meet you. 

There are many ways to avoid this;

1. Look the Part. 

You are a fashion designer, so, dress like one. Do not dress like someone desperate for money. You need to look good and on fleek at every time. 

As a fashion designer, you have to look presentable at all times and respectably carry yourself.

If you look tattered and you ask someone to pay N10,000 for an outfit, they will not pay it. This is because you look like someone that desperately needs a little money to better your life. 

You never know where you will meet a customer, so whether you are running errands or going shopping, you need to look your best. Put on some makeup and accessories and make your hair. 

2. Calculate all You Need for Production. 

Many fashion designers, first of all, underprice themselves before the client does so for them. This is because they fail to put the right price tag on their products. 

After you have decided on a style with your client, you need to sit and calculate how much it will cost you to make that outfit. Calculate the cost of buying accessories, lining, zips, buttons, and so on. 

To learn more about pricing, click here

While the client is still looking things over, draft down how much it will cost you to buy everything you need for production, including your transport fare to and fro the market. After you have gotten the amount, you can now add your labour fee to the price. This will give you a flat price to charge the customer. 

If you fail to calculate your cost of production first, you will most likely underprice yourself. Also, always tell the client a fee that is higher than what you have calculated initially because they will haggle that price with you and bring it down. 

3. Have a Flat Rate.

As a fashion designer, you have to have a flat rate for all your items. Have a flat rate for gowns, skirts, blouses, shorts, and so on.

When you have a flat rate, if the customer wants accessories to be added to the outfit, you add the price of those accessories to your flat rate. Also, with a flat rate, you do not have to start wondering how much to charge for different outfits when clients come to you. 

One thing to remember when having a flat rate as a new designer is that you need to make the outfit exactly as the client says they want it. You also need to have outfits ready as at when due. You need good reviews. 

Try as much as possible to please your customers and do what they want you to do because their reviews matter. 

4. Avoid Sewing for People that are Over Familiar with You or are Problematic.

Many upcoming fashion entrepreneurs face issues when it comes to sewing clothes for people that are too familiar with them, like friends of their parents. These people usually underprice you and some do not even want to pay at all. 

Also, when you know someone is problematic, it is better to avoid sewing for that person because they will kill your spirit. 

5. Learn to Say 'No'.

As a new fashion designer, you need to learn to say 'no'. When you see a client will stress you or would not pay and would leave you feeling bad, say 'no' to the order. 

When people underprice you, bring clothes very late, or do anything that will taint your image, you need to learn to reject such orders. Other customers will come in future, so do not be afraid to turn some away. 

​​​​Important Points Missed Out.

1. Resist the Urge to Over Satisfy the Customer.

As a new fashion designer, you just want to please your customers and make sure they are very satisfied. This means that sometimes you end up using the profit you would have made from that client to add extra details they did no as for to their outfit.

"When I first became a fashion designer, sometimes, after I have charged the client for an outfit I go to the market and buy what they did not ask for. I buy a material that is of higher quality than they asked for and even stones to add to the outfit when they did not request it. This led me to spend my profit on the client." - Adekunmi Akinhanmi.

The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Entrepreneurs.

The information provided in this video proves to be very useful for upcoming fashion entrepreneurs. Many times, because you are new to the job, many people will intentionally want to underprice you. If you, however, follow the steps provided above and are firm, you will be able to overcome it. 



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