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Minimum charge.

Big B

Jun 26, 2009
Michigan, USA
AFAIK - bartering is still legal in the US, but last I knew they were frowning heavily on it at the very least.


Think Snow Eh!

Last I read about the IRS and bartering, it's fine to barter but you are expected to pay taxes on the value of the bartered deal. And I'm pretty sure they don't collect much on that one.
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Dec 14, 2009
Minimum charge around here is a variable thing.
But yeah steadily reducing the amount of walk ins.

Insurance work - depends on how much the particular insurer tries to interrogate me wrt the components of quote (hours, parts etc...)

Even have been cutting back on the calls I'm taking, amazing how much time can be wasted on the phone. My regulars, suppliers etc... are programmed in and understand I'm flat out will get back to them without too much delay. Many have passed comment that there arent many places doing what I do within cooee, so am able to be fairly choosy in what I take on.


May 8, 2017
Found that the little jobs could really be leadins to serious work.
Have done a lot of 5 minute (and sometimes less) and told them that we were into Icecaps(pucinos - - - summer - - - coffee in winter) and donuts.
Official paperwork means that the job needs to be worth the time to fill out the paperwork.
for Icecaps and donuts - - - - the little jobs were enjoyable.
(sometimes doing a little job that was easy (needs experience - - - grin) lead to a lot of serious work - - - occasionally $10ks worth)


Cast Iron
Nov 21, 2014
Virginia, USA
I have been following the OPs question and the responses.
Had a part yesterday that was 850 in material and only a few hrs of labor. Is it worth considering a minimum charge based on material cost? I’d want 1xmaterial cost if I could get it minimum.

On the other hand, laser shops and waterjet regularly have this problem. Wonder how they do minimums?

Plane Parts

Apr 21, 2019
4 hours minimum. Even for a 5 minute job. 1 hour to visit and look at the job. One hour to set up. One hour to make the part. One hour to clean up.

In otherword, as many here said, I don't do walk-in anymore. Of course if it is a good friend or customer I usually do walkins for free.


Jun 7, 2011
Ramsey, NJ.
Just curious how some are handling walk ins and small jobs. There is no job to small for my established customers but it seems like I always have a small project on the books that we don't have time to get to for someone trying to launch a new product or startup. I am thinking of implementing a minimum charge of $1,000 or just having to say no all together.
Mine is $75.


Apr 2, 2005
When the shop was open, I did a lot of small jobs for no charge, considered it the best advertising. Often it resulted in a considerable job later. Also, do not forget the cost of the clerical work to put a job on the books, invoice it, cash the check, account for it, etc, etc.