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How can I ask politely for money owed.?

(46 Posts)
Folkestone78 Thu 14-Jan-21 15:12:03

Can you help please. I was asked to knit two blankets for a colleague. After discussing the first blanket I said it would be £20 to cover the wool. The second blanket is needed two weeks later. All good so far. A week later we discussed the second blanket which is very similar . No problem to do them but how do I say that I had meant £20 per blanket , I am worried they think I meant £20 for the two. How can I clarify this politely? Thank you

rosemarigold Fri 15-Jan-21 10:51:19

That sounds just right Jane

Dibbydod Fri 15-Jan-21 10:57:35

I would send a warm and friendly text saying that to make sure there’s no misunderstanding the blankets are £20 each and if that’s ok you can continue in knitting them , end it with a smile text .

mokryna Fri 15-Jan-21 11:00:44


Exactly Calendargirl. I have for years charged way below the going rate for private tuition. It was a parent of one of my tutees who told me to put my prices up! Nuff said.

I taught two sisters for a very low fee. One day one of them could not be present, so they paid me half the fee for the hour.

nipsmum Fri 15-Jan-21 11:02:58

What I used to do was put a bill in the package with the blanket when you hand it over that way there is no argument required.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 15-Jan-21 12:08:26

If you expressed yourself to your friend as you did to us, you cannot possibly ask for £40 without causing offence.

How would you feel if someone asked yout for £20 for two things, and then turned round and said they had meant that price for each?

If you really cannot afford to let her have both blankets for the price you agreed on (seen from her point of view) then all you can do is to phone her before you start the second blanket and say that the wool cost more than you had thought, so does she want to have to pay again for the second blanket, or drop the idea.

I wouldn't have the face to ask for another £20 now, At a pinch I might ask for £5 more.

Doodledog Fri 15-Jan-21 12:19:22

I think I would make it clear before starting the second blanket. To ask for £40 after you have made them could embarrass your friend if she can't afford to pay. People have said that this is still a good price (and as a knitter I completely agree!), but that ignores the fact that people have different budgets and nobody should put someone else in a position where they feel obliged to pay more than they can afford.

I would just call her and say that you have finished the first one, and just want to check before starting the second that she understands that the price was quoted as per blanket.

Camelotclub Fri 15-Jan-21 12:33:12

People who blithely ask for something handknitted have no idea whatsoever of the work that goes into it. I don't even know why you're hesitating to ask!

Folkestone78 Fri 15-Jan-21 13:29:38

Thank you so much everyone for your lively thoughts/ advice . It has been so helpful , find it really awkward to discuss money ( I often knit for other people). You have helped me enormously xxxx

Folkestone78 Fri 15-Jan-21 13:30:23

Sorry should be lovely thoughts not lively!!! Sausage fingers!

Riggie Fri 15-Jan-21 13:42:08

I disagree with most posters!!

After discussing the first blanket I said it would be £20 to cover the wool.

So one blanket = £20

A week later we discussed the second blanket

So £20 for the first blanket. Then a second was required so that's a completely separate and extra cost.

Seajaye Fri 15-Jan-21 14:03:31

There is scope for confusion here. I would make sure the price has been clarified, per blanket, to the buyer before the blankets are handed over. Also keep your receipts for the wool in case of any query or raised eyebrow, even though the fixed price was calculated with direct reference to the price of the wool. Be ready to slip this in discreetly with the blankets, if you think your colleague may have been misled by previous conversations. It is surprising how little people who don't knit know about the price of wool, and what others might think is obvious. If you haven't got receipts Google the current price and number of balls needed to double check, as a miffed buyer might do the same.. Your time was given freely, and I can not see that there are any grounds for your colleague to take umbrage even if they did think you meant £20 for both, as I doubt they would expect you to subsidize the blankets out of your own pocket.

I had something happen to me,
years ago but with the boot on the other foot, when I got married. My MiL to be offered to do the flowers for my wedding bouquet as she was an ardent flower arranger. I thought it would be rude to say no, so I cheerfully accepted. I was a bit taken aback when she expected me to pay for the flowers and accessories, as I genuinely thought she was offering to do them for free. She didn't have a lot of money so I accepted it was my mistake, but how I'd wished that I been able to choose my own flowers from a florist, and had exactly what I had in mind, rather than her interpretation. Lesson learned.

BlueBelle Fri 15-Jan-21 14:20:49

It is so easy to be misunderstood in some of these arrangements
I clearly remember my Nan (who had a small boarding house) give a relative and their husband a free accommodation and food holiday but when she asked the said relative to make her a dress with some material Nan had,she received an itemised bill for the cost of everything including the reel of cotton Nan was terribly affronted and I don’t think the relationship ever continued

Tanjamaltija Fri 15-Jan-21 14:33:29

"Are you going to pay me for the one I've done already, or will you pay me the £40 when both are done?" or "Hello! Blanket Number One is ready - so if you pay me I can buy the wool for the second one with the £20." Whatever you say, always mention the amount of money.

beverly10 Fri 15-Jan-21 16:35:25

It seemed most clear, well to me, that the price was £20 per blanket (inclusive.)

Caligrandma Fri 15-Jan-21 17:51:11

How generous of you. You sound like a nice person. Of course you are struggling with this. Nice people do. You ask her for the supplies money so you can knit them. No supplies money means you don't knit them regardless of "when they are needed". Call her, ask her. "I'm ready to knit the blankets so I need to collect supply money. Its 20 pds for each blanket. Do you still want 2?". There is no politeness other than business politeness. Its a transaction.

Jaxie Fri 15-Jan-21 19:30:34

This is not about knitting but I had the same difficulty asking for money from a friend. She was coming to stay in my seaside town next summer and suggested we share the cost of hiring a beach hut. I paid out £200 but had to ask her twice for her share of the fee. I felt really twitchy about it as I hate being in debt myself.

Grammaretto Fri 15-Jan-21 19:59:22

Why are we so bad at asking for money?

I make pottery and prefer to sell through shops and galleries - who take a huge cut - because I always want to give them to anyone who admires them and I can't afford to do that!

Sometimes I compare to something I have to pay for: Car mechanics, hairdressers, gas engineers, electricians.
All skilled people . Do they mind asking me for payment - of course not!

I think it's akin to selling a piece of yourself. You created it it's your baby and don't see it as a commodity.
Another way to price things is to think "would I do this again for that price?"
Remember you are not your own customer.

GagaJo Fri 15-Jan-21 20:57:16

I agree Grammaretto. When I did tutoring, almost all of the parents paid before the lesson and I never had to ask. But once, a really nice mum forgot to pay me. I was JUST plucking up the courage to text her about it and PING, she messaged me full of apologies!

50ShadesofGreyMatter Fri 15-Jan-21 22:21:52

Get the money up front

Buffy Sat 16-Jan-21 14:27:30

When I think of how many hours it took me to knit even baby blankets £20 including the wool is a bargain. GagaJo’s suggested email looked good to me. If I could find someone to knit a blanket for £20 including wool I would readily commission them for blankets as gifts!! Everyone I know loves anything hand knitted.