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Does anyone pay to get their ironing done?

(125 Posts)
Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:09:08

I'm thinking of providing an ironing service in my local area to earn a bit of extra cash. Just wondered if anyone uses a service like this and if so, what the charges are etc

I have done a little research and was thinking of something like this:

Medium bag/basket £12
Large bag/basket £20
Single duvet cover and pillows £2
Double duvet cover and pillows £3
Kingsize duvet cover and pillows £4

If just a few items:

70p per adult item
35p per childrens item (under 10 yrs)

I would pick up the items and drop them off ironed 48hrs later. I am thinking of hanging shirts on hangers provided by customer or using cheap wire ones. I might put the items that are on hangers in those plastic bags you can get.

I was also thinking if cost is under £10 to charge a £1 collection/drop off fee but free for over £10.

What does everyone think? Please feel free to pick holes and tell me if you think anything is too expensive etc smile

WinkyWinkola Thu 07-May-09 15:16:13

I reckon you'd have to be more specific about large and medium baskets. Also, overflowing baskets etc. Just to avoid argument with customers.

Where are you Dalrymps?

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:20:38

I'm ooop north, Berwick upon Tweed. I want to be careful not to adviertise though cause this is not it in the right section for that... Just asking advice really smile

I suppose i'd guess medium basket would be around the size of a normal washing basket, large basket would be like an ikea bag/binbag?

poopscoop Thu 07-May-09 15:23:51

why dont you charge by the hour?

Some people (such as myself) have been known to send crinkled cotton shirts to be ironed and they can take much longer than a whole load of pillowcases etc.

Doind it by the basket would not be fair on you as people could pile it high.

MrsWobble Thu 07-May-09 15:24:35

when we used an ironing service it was charged by weight. this avoids any debate about what is "large" etc.

poopscoop Thu 07-May-09 15:24:37

i think the duvet and pillow prices are a bit steep unles they are 100% cotton. They really don't take that long to iron.

poopscoop Thu 07-May-09 15:25:23

wheras shirts are a bastard grin

madwomanintheattic Thu 07-May-09 15:27:15

most round here charge about £8-10 per hour. that way there's no 'how big's a basket' thing

madwomanintheattic Thu 07-May-09 15:28:08

collection/ drop-off free within x mile radius

LittleMissNorty Thu 07-May-09 15:29:58

I send my ironing out. I pay £9 per hour and £3 for collection and delivery (also 48 hour service). I pay around £30 a fortnight and a typical load is 20 hanging items (shirts etc), 3-4 pairs trousers, 1 kingsize duvet and 4 pillowcases and half a dozen kids items that are too difficult for me to iron (!).

I've used a service that charged by the basket, so I folded everything really carefully and crammed it in and presented them with a level basket load. Needless to say we fell out and I never used them again..

I've also used someone that charged 70p per item, and double £1.40 for bedding / tablecloths, and that worked well.

I provide my own hangers, and get very pissed off if they get lost and I end up with wire hangers. Items covered in plastic makes it more professional IMO.

Some places have a minimum order.

£1 collection / drop off is very cheap.

Quality of ironing is very important as need a big, decent iron.


gscrym Thu 07-May-09 15:30:55

I use a place in Stirling and it's £17 for a black bin liner full of mixed stuff. It's usually a lot of shirts, work trousers and a couple of other bits. I keep thinking the lovely lady who runs the ironing place will ask for more money but she never does. The price includes everything on coat hangers and bagged.

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:33:44

I suppose I could to it by weight but then how am I going to weigh the bag? I only have bathroom scales hmm

Point taken about duvet covers, what do you think would be a fair price?

I would do free collection within x mile radius but then I fear all collections would be free as I live in a very small town where nowhere is that far iyswim?

I have considered doing it by the hour but not sure how quick i'll be and would rather just have a set price I think...

Any more ideas/comments?

gscrym Thu 07-May-09 15:34:57

Good luck with it. The thought of ironing all day fills me with dread - hence I send it out.

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:37:08

Thanks smileI was just hoping to do it whilst ds has his morning nap and in the evenings.

Do you ladies think there is much of a demad for this service?

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:42:14

Thanks for theinfo littlemiss. Yeah, £1 collection is cheap but nowhere is far away here...

I don't know why but i'm just a little scared of charging by the hour, I fear people won't believe how long it took or i'll take too long etc..,

Maybee i'd be better going with 70p per item and double for bedding? Then charging the collection fee if under £10... <confused>

barbarapym Thu 07-May-09 15:42:54

Avoid the basket idea - you'll get teetering heaps if you're not careful. Per item seems simplest - I like the 70p/1.40 idea. I'd happily pay that, but then I am in London where the best deal is about £1.50 per shirt!

MrsMuddle Thu 07-May-09 15:44:11

DH pays 70p per shirt. He drops them off on Thursday and I collect on Friday. His shirts are the only things that get ironed in this house, and it's worth every penny to send them out.

If you live in a small town, perhaps less important than delivery and collection would be turnaround time. If someone dropped off in the morning on their way to work, could they collect the same evening on their way home?

Good luck.

poopscoop Thu 07-May-09 15:45:11

If you really want to get ahead of the other ironing ladies, then offer a same day service.

As DH works away, I needed a fast turn around with his shirts. She picked up at 8 and dropped off at 5pm. It was brilliant and she was busy because she was the only one in the area who offered this. Everyone else took 48 hours or more.

Great shame we moved from the area.

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 15:57:46

Hmm, so a quick turnaround might be good. It's a bit difficult as Ds naps in the morning so I can't really get out of the house easily till after lunch. Then it would be like 3pm pick up and maybe 8pm drop off or something like that? Do you think that would work though? Do you think I would charge more for same day?

poopscoop Thu 07-May-09 16:00:28

i think it would work at those times. You could try it for a while and see. An yes, i think you could charge more for same day service. Once established my lady had a little round, collect so many houses in one area and do them on a monday, different one on a tues and so on. Then you pick the cash up the same day and jobs a goodun. See how it goes.

IWantedThatName Thu 07-May-09 16:03:46

My MIL owns an ironing service which has been going for 15yrs+

All ironing is charged by weight. It is also better (if you can) to weigh it after ironing as damp washing is heavier (so would cost more to iron) but is significantly easier to iron so they are being penalised for making it easier for you.

They offer a 48hr turnaround I think. People that drop off can have same day.

Other things to think about - hangers. Are you going to aske them to provide hangers if they want things hung (it is actually quicker for you to hang). If not you will need to source them. Also packaging. When they started out they just put black plastic bags over a bundle of hangers (put a hole through the bag) and folded stuff went in pedal bin liners. They now use professional clear coathanger bags.

ohdearwhatamess Thu 07-May-09 16:23:43

I use one, offering a similar service to the one you propose: I provide hangers for shirts, ironing delivered back within 48 hours of collection.

I pay £1 per shirt, £4 for a double duvet cover and 4 pillowcases. My duvet covers etc are high thread count cotton which take ages to iron; she might charge less for 'easier' ones for all I know. I haven't had any other items ironed, and no childrens' stuff so have no idea what the charge for those would be.

The lady I use has a minimum charge of £15 (i.e 15 items), but no collection/delivery charge.

Dalrymps Thu 07-May-09 16:57:26

Ah maybe I could offer same day service if people drop things off? Or maybe have 3 options, same day, next day and 48hrs, would that be too complicated then though hmm

Still unsure about doing it by weight as I want the cutomer to have a clear idea of how much it'll cost when I pick it up to avoid confusion itswim.

It seems to be getting more complicated as time goes on grin

Do I have to reg as self employed and set up paying my own N.I? I'm presuming I wouldn't be earning more than £6000 a year so not needing to pay tax?

DesperateHousewifeToo Thu 07-May-09 17:11:57

Can you get some luggage scales(something like this) to weigh a bag of items?

There is someone locally to me (West London) who charges £1 per item. I thought that was rather steep since I pay my cleaner £9/hour and she does many more than 9 items in one hour.

Why don't you try to weigh your basket of ironing and then time your self to see how long it takes you. That should give you an idea of which would be the best charging scheme.

Or just start with a few customers and see how you go.

DesperateHousewifeToo Thu 07-May-09 17:14:18

If they give them to you damp, they pay more, so is their problem!

You could have a standard large laundry bag that you weigh them in when they drop them off. Have different charges for different weight ranges.

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