I've Got Your Set-up Fees

Posted on Mar 24, 2009

I have a few designs that I would love to see printed. Not for money or glory more of a vanity print. And not really printed so much as embroidered on a hat. Mostly the hats would be just for me because the designs make me chuckle. The problem is that it costs a dragons horde of gold…Sorry I mean a whole bundle of cash to “set up” an embroidery machine or so I am told. Here is what happened:

I went into the local embroiderizing shop to inquire as to the cost of getting my designs embroidered on some hats. The nice man at the shop told me that it would cost $16 for the embroidery and the hat. I was thinking: Right on. Then, as we were talking, he mentioned the setup fee. $40 per design! What!?! I was appalled. I like to think that I held it together long enough to make it out of the store but I am not sure that I did. In order to see my design on a hat it was going to cost me $56 per hat. LAME!

While I was talking to the man I was able to get a look at his machine. It was an Embroiderizer 3000. Actually I have no clue what kind of machine it was, but I know that it was hooked to a computer. I figure that the “set up” involves putting thread on the machine, digitizing the image, adding a hat and pressing go. Really? Doing all of that can’t take more than 15 minutes. On top of that you could be digitizing another image while the other one is embroidering. In order to get all of my designs done I would have to pay $160 for about an hour of his time on top of the cost of embroidering. Really!

This is like me charging $80 for the time it takes me to put on my makeup on top of the rate for the party. Seems sleazy to me though I am sure it is a common practice for print makers and embroiderizers. Sorry print makers I just threw you in there for fun, I love your work.

I could understand the “set up” fee if you actually had to set something up. Being a person that sews I know that threading a needle isn’t that difficult. And after using my mom’s embroidering sewing machine I know that you just push the pedal and go. So what needs to be “set up” your coffee?

So unless all of the readers of this blog want a hat, for $15-$20 a hat, I will have to file this away with my other pipe dreams. If you would like one, let me know. They are going to be awesome.